I just had a very nice afternoon, although I must remember that my nose is by no means an adequate navigation tool. At about eleven this morning, Dom messaged me to ask if I wanted to meet him in Forster Memorial Park. Of course I said yes, but never having been there before I had to check where it was on Google Maps. It didn’t look too far away, so putting my coat on I set off. It looked roughly in the direction of Lewisham and Catford, and I told myself that I could always ask for directions if I got lost.
Unfortunately, predictably, that turned out to be far too optimistic: I got lost two or three times, and it took about two hours for me to get there. When I found him, Dom was almost asleep on a park bench, and I really must credit him for waiting so long for me. Yet as usual it was great to see my old friend: can you believe we have now known each other for eleven years, since my early days living with Lyn in Charlton? When Dom pointed that out earlier, time seemed to have flown.
We then spent quite a wonderful afternoon together. With Dom on his bike, he lead me to Beckenham Place Park, a huge, beautiful park built on the grounds of an old country house. There we first found a place selling lunch, which I think we both needed by then, before taking a stroll round the park. The gardens were just starting to bloom, and there was a lovely little lake. I could have spent hours exploring, but by then it was starting to get late. We left the park on the other side we had entered it, and, ironically enough, found a bus stop from where I could get a bus to Blackheath, from where I could get a bus directly home. I was home within an hour, going via the shops, without getting lost once.
Mind you, something happened on the bus which I think I ought to record. On the way, I began to hear raised voices coming from the upper deck. I thought little of it at first, but the voices got louder and louder. A few stops on, my fellow passengers were beginning to murmur: something serious was happening up there. Then, all of a sudden, two men came down the stairs, shouting at one another. It was a full scale fight. Fortunately, one man leapt out of the open door, still hurling abuse. The whole thing was over within seconds, but nonetheless it really shook me up: nothing like that had happened before. Being sat in the wheelchair space by the stairs, I could have been in harms way. It was only a small, fleeting incident, but it just goes to show what can happen in London, even on days like today.