As a treat for surviving yesterday’s hangover, The Wig and I decided to treat ourselves to (another) lunch out. It was The Wig’s treat so I’ve not completely fallen off the Goodship Parsimonious yet (yes, that is a new word I have learnt today). The only negative to this positive idea was that we thought we should walk to the food, partly for excercise but also out of a concern for our legs. Would they still function after our excessive festive period lounging and cheese consumption? Can you get DVT from a Laura Ashley Sofa? There was only one way to find and luckily yes, our legs did still work, and they very kindly took us through the wonderous Victoria Park right up to The Empress of India for a slap up roast. Hurrah!
For those that don’t know, Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets was the City’s first public Park, I didn’t know this until just now and, and in WWII it was used to grow vegetables in! Amazing. It was created as a place for the poor of the East End to take in some fresh air, socialise and generally escape for a while from their horrendous living and working conditions. London in those days, particularly in the East End, was a very unhealthy and dirty environment for its inhabitants, so not much change there then really. There are also quite a few statues if you like that sort of thing and loads of super places for dogs to run around and crap in, if you have a dog. Just kidding, that’s disgusting and you should always collect your dog’s toilets in a bag whilst taking it for a walk.
Whilst we were in the park, we saw a very ominous looking tree with a huge black crow sitting in it. I think it was a crow but I was not wearing my glasses, so really it could have been any huge black bird with a sharp beak. But whatever it was, it looked pretty creepy and along with the dark and dreary sky, the sight of this bird reminded me of the Edgar Allen Poe poem, ‘The Raven’. Not advisable to recite to small children with a bird phobia I shouldn’t think.
All the walking and Crow/ Raven dodging certainly built up quite an appetite, so thank the lord when we arrived at The Empress, they could squeeze us in for a quick roast. The Wig and I shared a Dorset Crab starter and then had roast beef. I’m a bit funny about beef (it must not have any tubes in it whatsoever) but this one was pretty nice. Again, if you are in the area, I would highly recommend sticking your nose in here:
And then for the long waddle home. Actually, it wasn’t that long but when you are bursting for a widdle anywhere seems miles away. Very rookie mistake to not visit the ladies before leaving the restaurant I know but the huge stuffed tiger/fox/god knows what head above the toilet door did rather put me off. Not long after we began the walk back though, we came across a very curious place indeed. It’s somewhere that actually, I have wanted to get a closer look at for some time. In the middle of no mans land along Mare Street there is an odd shop all on its own with not particularly sociable opening hours. It seemed to have sprung up from nowhere and is called The Last Tuesday Society and it is my kind of shop! (If I only had more money and more walls). The new self imposed budgeting system only permitted me to buy a postcard, but its better than nothing.
It’s basically a shop selling all types of curios (all legal apparently…) with a museum in the basement with even more curios in! The sort of curios they have are creepy specimens in jars, stuffed birds, animal skulls, old teeth, shrunken heads, big phallic sort of things etc etc. Just weird sorts of stuff really. While we were in there, one of the presenters of Myth Busters was buying up a load of old medical extraction instruments! Pervert! He also tried to buy a box of old human bones but since he lives in San Fransisco, the shop owner advised him maybe not to take them in case he wouldn’t be able to get them through customs. Yes, I was ear wigging. What an exciting end to the trip out! And proof if proof be need be that you don’t always have to go far from home to find something good / creepy. Maybe, this could be my new business venture for 2011, "Creepy Tour's of Hackney"! It could be like a themed walk, I could dress up like a Victorian (easy) and maybe do an accent or have a speech impediment. I'd definitely sign up for it, but only if it was cheap obviously.