Friday, March 31, 2006


In my senior year of high school, my Dad got transferred to England. As you can imagine, I was not real happy, seeing as I had gone to school with some of my classmates since kindergarden! However, I soon learned to love living in England, and was glad we went. After spending the first few days in a hotel, we moved to a flat (apartment) just off Sloane Square on a street called Sloane Gardens. It was at the top of Kings Road, which had all sorts of neat stores and clubs. It was also the location of the 'Chelsea Drugstore' from the Rolling Stones' song, which was not a drugstore, but sold records (and I believe you could buy illegal drugs there). Actually bought Spirit's "The Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus' there. From Sloane Square, it was a short walk to where I went to school at the American Community School in Knightsbridge, which is no longer there. Across the street from the school was a house where Eva Braun (Hitler's mistress) once lived.

Anyway, the place we lived in looked like the pic below, which was actually taken at Sloane Gardens. Our flat actually was on 3 or 4 floors, with lots of stairs. I believe these buildings were once large homes of wealthy people that were eventually divided up into smaller houses & flats.
Eventually, we moved out into the country, in a town called Esher, where George Harrison once owned a house. On the map below, we lived on Lakeside Drive, just above the 'S' in Lakeside. The property was once part of a manor house, which you could see up the hill. Now, I've seen photos of the area, and there's a lot more housing than when we lived there. Our house was right on the lake, and we had a little boat to paddle around in. I used to go across the lake before there were any houses there, and pick wild black raspberries. Mmmmmm...good!
The house we lived in looked like this one, except the glass wall faced onto the lake; this house was built across the lake from ours, and recently sold for over $500,000. Too bad Mom & Dad still didn't live there, eh?
In the lake lived a swan, and let me tell you, they're very greedy eaters. We used to feed the swan, named Henrietta (originally Henry until someone discovered it was a girl), and she would go through a loaf of bread and still want more! She would hiss at you when she got pissed off, and swans have nasty little teeth, so I imagine it would hurt if she bit you. She almost bit me once, I was reading in the back yard, and she came up out of the water and almost bit my toe before I noticed. I had to chase her with a lawn chair to get her back in the water.
When I was in school, we used to go to lunch at a pub just around the corner (or up the street a bit). It was called 'The Australian', and I remember they used to have good bangers & mash (sausage & mashed potato), which went very well with a pint of bitter. I used to drink Watney's Red Barrel, which I don't think is made anymore. It was my introduction to beer served at cellar temperature rather than refrigerated, and was tasty once you got used to it.

Apparently, they're still there, since this picture and the sign above I got from a listing of London pubs off the internet.
If I ever win the lotto (L&LOL), I'd love to go back to England, and visit the places I used to go to, among them the pub.

And many other pubs I visited when I lived there of course...

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