Back to the future. It all started in the Museum of the Future. It had been a detective agency once, reminded him of one of the Douglas Adams novels, Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency or something like that. The whole area was known as the Wells, somewhere he had passed by many times but he had heard many interesting stories about it and now here he was. He looked up and even the clouds looked a bit different. Definitely something different about the place though he couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.
He started walking along the street, noticed a few road cones and a small yard with some hollyhock plants in it, then started walking along the main road near the river. A couple of cyclists went past, it reminded him that there was a big cycle race the following weekend, happened every year and always lots of people watching, some having picnics on the local village green or watching it pass by outside the local pub.
On past the local wine store and the Old waterworks building which was now a gym and student accommodation. He remembered the time the waterworks was still in use and even the slight smell from the old filter beds and looking around began to imagine what it might have been like back in the day. Now it was a wildlife haven, a few years ago someone had the idea of building floating houses there but fortunately that had been abandoned. So many stories he had heard about the area, about giants and caves and a mysterious goat-boy, wondering how many of them were true, maybe that was where the detective agency came in ..
He was brought back from his reverie by his friend passing by with his large but amiable husky type dog, he lived just round the corner and they chatted for a while, walking past the car showroom and the golf studio . After the man left he walked on towards the gated estate, no dogs allowed in the park there so just as well his friend had left by then he thought. He then noticed a cat was following him, as he approached the private garden, looked like a lovely place with large garden, shared walkway and small pond and fountain in the distance. He played with the cat for a few moments before it wandered back to where it had come from. Remarkable to think that the garden had once been a small reservoir, even Alan Titchmarsh hadn’t managed that big a makeover.
Soon be was passing the park where they held a community sports day every year, and then through the Wells estate on the way back to the Museum. There was definitely something different about this place,whether it was the distinctive appearance, the wild garden with the bee hives, and the back gardens of the houses near the Museum. Maybe it was here that the strange tale he had heard about the little goat boy who lived in a cave underneath the mountain originated, it all began to make a bit of sense.
Finally it was back past the old emporium shop with contented cat inside and back to the Museum
As he met up with his friends in the Young Sheep pub afterwards, he reflected, yes there was magic in Seething Town …
I’d taken a risk with the weather that day,
Which’d held until Worcester Park.
The London sublime sound of cars rushing elsewhere
Hummed in the background, and then was gone.
I walked up Southwood Drive
And reccied my position on top of a street sign
That marked my turn left into Oakdene Drive.
I strode up the hill and round to the right
Looking at a porch with a figure of a yacht
Marked out on the window.
The grey late winter held,
As some cast iron steps rose up from the ground
I sailed up, the Atlantic low blustering from the left
And below, towards the Tolworth Tower
Cars, some with headlights on, zipped by
Like a dream of an American city.
I looked towards Croydon, and Crystal Palace,
The Shard behind a hill, Canary Wharf giving birth
To Norwood. This was what I wanted.
As I stepped down to turn towards Highfield Road,
The weather broke.
22/02/2015 and 14/09/2015
By Paul Miner
@PaulMiner3 Paul's LinkedIn Profile