Sunday, July 17, 2005

Clapham Common picnic

My friend Jonnie had invited me to an afternoon picnic on Clapham Common. I was going to drive, but decided to Tube it again in case there was a parking issue with so many Londoners out in the sun. I'd made it half way through the 600+ pages of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.*

Mediocre brekky in Islington and then Tube to Clapham North where we connected with Jonnie and walked to Clapham Common. The entire park is overrun by sunlovers and football matches. We're joined by a series of Jonnie's friends over the next few hours. Bondi is largely content to snooze in the shade. Australian accents everywhere - I've probably heard more Aussies than Brits since I got to London.

On our return journey in the Tube, our initially sparsely populated carriage filled up somewhere in Zone 1, but Bondi just sat on the floor with paws crossed and no one was peturbed in the slightest. In fact I think seeing him made the day for many of our fellow passengers. Tis a pity that Sydney does not allow pets to ride on trains or buses .. I know a number of people who really only have cars (or larger cars) because it's the only way to get their pets around town. The State Government and City Council should be doing more to entice people onto public transport...

In the first photo below (taken on platform in Islington station) there's a poster of Churchill with the slogan "Its [sic] the dog's [bollocks]". One might hope that a gigantic poster with 3 words on it might have a chance of getting spelled properly...

* Very minor Harry Potter spoilers: Slow opening reminding me of the newer Star Wars films, which are crippled by a babble of backstory about rebel forces blah blah blah. New character Horace Slughorn immediately brings to mind Richard Griffiths portrayal of Uncle Monty in Withnail and I. The avuncular Griffiths already plays Uncle Vernon in the HP movies, but a dual role would not be unprecedented... I also get the sense that Rowling is tuning her writing of character dialog to match the actors chosen to play them in these movies. This is not a first: Frank Herbert's later Dune novels were influenced by portrayals of certain character types in David Lynch's film.

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