Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Majorcan Showergel Dance

cassiobury park centenary slate markerWoke up in Watford. This was surprising but then I used some showergel labelled as used in Iberostar hotel chain, Majorca. This is because Jof always removes such items from hotels, knowing that the hoteliers expect that, and because they might come in handy, next time you're in a hotel.
Thus once we'd finished a very piggy breakfast, she stripped the room bare of all that wasn't nailed down, and we only just persuaded her to ditch the lamp and the hairdryer.
Thus we came away with many little pots of jam, sachets of sugar, showercaps, mending kits, grooming kits, fruit, cereal and teabags. At this point we have no idea what hotel we'll be in when we use these things, but one suspects we'll export some of them to Crete, to use them there and in turn, bring back some Greek showergel to re-export to Torquay or Cheltenham or wherever we end up next.
cassiobury park watford wildlife sanctuaryWe hadn't really planned very well for the day so went to Cassiobury Park.
This very large green space is in Watford and has a wildlife sanctuary, 2 swingparks, quite a lot of Scouts and Beavers, the Grand Union Canal, a massive splashpark (empty), a miniature railway (very funny) and a lot of ancient trees of all nations. It was most tranquil, apart from where a dog convention had gathered so the elated hounds could splash about in the water chasing sticks and tennis balls.
I climbed the unusual climber-frame made of giant cubic zirconia, we met some ducks and a lock on the canal and a weir and some rivers and I fell over on the trampoline and we both swung in the chair swings and if you played hide and seek there, you'd starve before anyone found you. Houses backing onto the park start at 800k and go up. The London Underground station is next to the park giving you access to central London in half an hour.
edge grove school aldenham watford
Then we battled our way over the good old A41 again (it narrows to a single lane just by the Sainsbury's so is always jammed) and drove right past the hotel we'd just checked out of and north on the Radlett Road to a very wealthy village near the M1 called Aldenham.
Turns out that Bud went to the Preparatory School there called Edge Grove. Now, I've seen his second school and wanted to go there but it would be a bit of a commute, not to mention the ambitious school fees for a private education of that calibre. But this one was from when he was 7 to 13, and still living in the desert countries and flying there and back on his own.
The drive is long and surrounded by cow fields and it used to be an old country house until the 1950s when it was converted into a boarding school for 100 or so pupils. Amazingly, in the 32 years since he last visited, it's changed. All the doors are locked. CCTV abounds, as do fences and gates, but the inside bit still has oak panelling and is very grand.
preparatory boarding school for 7 - 13 boys and girls
We were taken around by a teacher who told us it's grown to 400 kids and half of them are girls, which would have been interesting in the old days. We saw 'North', the dormitory over the main staircase, it used to be the ballroom and is now carpeted and only has 5 sets of bunk beds and a TV and some cushions and you can still see the fire escape going onto the roof where Bud was busted late one night for running around on the roof. The Portuguese servants have been replaced by Australian gap year students, new adventure playgrounds have been erected but the Virginia Creeper remains. Grandad used to delight in parking his ancient Austin Morris next to all the Bentleys and Rolls Royces on the playing field for sports days, but he's like that.
The many acres of rural land have some excellent den-building facilities and a lake with an island and a boat, outside swimming pool to stiffen the backbones, lots of new buildings and we found Bud on some old school photos from the 1970s. He looked like me. This does not bode well for the future.
disposable items stolen from hilton hotels room
Of course I now want to go to that school but the same issues arise, we simply don't live abroad and we'd have to sell the house to pay the fees anyway, it's not justified. So we gave the science teacher some hard disc drive magnets, noted the many locked doors keeping us from checking out the cellars and saw some horses and drove past the same bored cows to the Round Bush Pub where the lady asked us if we'd booked but we had lunch anyway.
Home was an hour and a half away and I watched Harry Potter 2.

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