The rowing club. No not that one…

My first weekend living in Putney, being in Putney. I moved in two weeks ago, but spent most of my time driving up and down to York collecting thing (like parking tickets and speeding tickets), forgetting things (like keys), and generally doing what I usually do. So despite being ‘in residence’ it didn’t actually feel like being here.

Last weekend, I disappeared off to Barcelona again at silly o’clock Saturday morning, returning Tuesday, then saw out my final few days with Xerox, chuntering about the South Circular (I’ve commuted hours in the car before, and commuted across London before, but averaging 7mph drove Bruno crazy!).

So I drove to Uxbridge for the last time on Friday, and have since been car-less (for the first time since I was 17) and have not jet-setted off anywhere for at least a week. I think this therefore qualifies me as a resident.

If it didn’t, just to make sure, I’ve just deposited my bike at Putney Cycles for a service, meaning that shanks’s pony really is my only form of transport. The sun is out, so rather than walk home, I decide to go for a little wander in Putney.

Shoe restrictions

I’m a creature of habit. I’m always up for trying new things, sure, but if I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. So jeans. I did have a purge when I moved, getting rid of two pairs to bring my collection down to just 26 pairs… I’d got back up to 27 within four days, sorry. But unlike most ladies, with shoes I’m at the other extreme. I own fewer pairs of shoes than pairs of jeans. This currently comprises five trainers/pumps, three flats, two flip flops, four boots (excluding my amazing brown MinP cowgirl beauties, which I eventually binned after being told by four cobblers that the heel was irreparable – felt like a yellow pages ad. They were my faves. Gutted doesn’t come close), two courts, three workshoes and two heels. By the order listed, you can perhaps tell that I tend to buy shoes in which I feel comfortable rather than buying shoes and having to keep a spare pair in my bag as the preferred pair are unwearable.

AN: one of my mates down here will appreciate this, as he has a thing about people who wear trainers with suits on their way to work! Causes much entertainment and debate!

Anyway. Today, I decide that one of the aforementioned pairs of flats should at least be given an outing (I’ve actually never worn them, they just looked nice and comfy…) So I pop on the black lacy flats and head downstairs for my bike.

It’s not until I’ve dropped my bike off… (hang on, I sense a name coming on here; the car was Bruno, SatNav was Bella, I’m thinking Bambi for the bike? Thoughts?) …and I walk to the end of the road. Ah b’Jesus, my feet are already screaming at me! Right, so a long walk along the river is out then, as is a wander up the high street (I’ve only been as far as the station so far). Ok so How much can I explore between here and home?

The rowing club meets play your cards right… double entendre?

Walking home, I walk past three bars: Thai Square, the Star & Garter and the Duke’s Head. Thai Square was the first reason I liked Putney – 13 years ago, I went in there on a hen do and loved it (think it was just a bar then). But the other two I’ve never tried. So today I decide to try one on the way past. The Star & Garter looks a bit quiet (more Friday night bar than Sunday afternoon pub?) so I carry on. The Duke’s Head looks much the same, more large pub and entrance is on the main road (not the Embankment where I am) but they have what appears to be a basement bar, with tables and chairs outside by the river. So I figure that looks worth a try…

The Rowing Club

Erm. Ok, so not what I expected? Outside is heaving, with all tables taken and people standing on the riverside pavement enjoying a beer. Inside, aside from being empty, is playing chillout / R&B music, like you’d expect in a bar in town early evening, and the decor kind of reflects that too? The building has a more exposed brickwork theme which doesn’t seem to match? But the bar is the best bit – surrounded by white bulbs, it’s reminiscent of Bruce’s play your cards right and throws me completely! So I think I’ll test the water… The outside suggests conservative relaxation, the I side more like a lost pimp. I order a coffee… The barmaid (?) looks at me bemused. Tell me she knows what coffee is? And responds with “uh, you have to go upstairs for that” brilliant! This is going to be fun! I cant leave now, so my response is simply “better have a Peroni then hadn’t I?!” Maid pours my pint and sits it on the bar in from of me, muttering something about £3.81… I hand over four pound coins and a penny… She walks off to the till and looks at the cash in her hand as though it’s Rubbels… Eventually she drops it into the till and comes back with 11p (?) saying “you gave me too much” drops it into my hand, looks at the two chaps either side of me and suddenly looks like she’s been presented with Giles Brandreth’s tie breaker – who does she serve next?… Brilliant! I have to come back here one evening, just to see if the bizarre choice of decor has a purpose…

Ttfn B xx


A couple have just walked in, had a good look round, and as they left I heard him say “yeah this is a bit weird…” I rest my case!


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