Sunset over Greenford
November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
A long overdue post: three weeks ago, inspired by my visit to the London Canal Museum, I set out to walk the entire length of the Grand Union Canal. I naively assumed that I would be able to cover the distance from Paddington to the Thames before it got dark, and perhaps I could have done had I started at sunrise, but as it was, I found myself around 4 o’clock in a corner of darkest northwest London where I’d never set foot in my life, with the sun sinking rapidly. I had to admit defeat and turn off the canal path toward the nearest Tube station.
Greenford is on the branch of the Central Line that goes to Ruislip, the one that I’ve never, in all my years in London, had any reason to take. I found myself having to turn my A-Z round and round to try to figure out which route to take, so alike did all the streets look, and when I eventually made it to the station, it stood among a clutch of shops and houses so drab and undistinguished that it could have been anywhere. (The only at all distinctive one among them was a Polish delicatessen, but it was closed so any hopes of rounding off my walk with some poppyseed cake were immediately dashed.)
But the platform at Greenford is above ground – and when I got upstairs, I found myself surrounded by one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen in London.
As good an object lesson as any on how, no matter how well you think you know London, it can always surprise you.