Streets of Surprises

The streets of London are full of surprises.


I never know what I’ll run into on any given day…

First, there is the Queen’s Guard, the contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers who parade on horseback along my street at least once a month.  The British Army has regiments of both horse guards and foot guards predating the English Restoration (1660), and since the reign of King Charles II, these have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign’s palaces…and apparently my house on Grove End Road!


The clopping of hoofs sets Lucy into paroxysms of doggie madness!  She barks and struts around in a huff as the horse procession stops both traffic and curious pedestrians outside my front gate.




Then there is the parking situation.  For a country so concerned with rules, it is shocking to note that literally anything goes as far as parking is concerned.  The other day I captured a picture of three cars in totally different positions on the same side of the High Street.  In a creative move, the middle car pulled in perpendicularly to the curb and the other two cars parallel parked on either side facing different directions!

I don’t drive over here because it is a bit intimidating to be on the wrong side of the road (and I officially retired as family chauffeur since moving abroad).  However, I might be able to manage the parking with no difficulty.  Still it is concerning to be on the streets at all when you consider what I ran into the other day….

… I  encountered what the Brits would call a true eccentric.  According to a recent article in Tattler magazine, eccentricity is to be admired in England, a place fondly known as the “Loonyverse”. 

Speaking of loonies, I recently walked around my corner and saw a bright blue old fashioned truck moving slowly and impeding traffic.  The driver looked familiar…it was none other than Andy, the crazy handyman who “helped” us when we first moved in (he has never returned).  Next to him was a giant stuffed gorilla with a red sequined hat perched on its furry head.  I noticed that there appeared to be a microphone in front of Andy.  Yes, then I heard it:  Neil Diamond’s iconic classic, “Sweet Caroline”, was blasting into the streets, and Andy was singing his heart out.

I noticed the logo on the side of this vehicle:  The Singing Handyman.  To hear him in action, go to You Tube and search Singing Handyman, London.  I cannot make this stuff up!!

To top it off, bubbles were blowing out of each tire propelled by some fan contraption that Andy must have Jerry-rigged in his “handy” way.  If you look at the stock photo above (yup, apparently such a thing exists) you will notice the bubbles at the bottom of the picture.

As Dr. Seuss might have put it, “Oh the people you’ll meet when walking down the street”!







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