Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Morbid Ride

After my pioneering excursion on Friday (see previous post) Andy and I set off this morning (Sunday 20 November) for Coney Hall along the aforementioned route, past the wrecks of fairground equipment and the plastic bag full of urine hanging from a branch on the roadside.
Let there be light! And there was light! Andy finds a ray of sunshine
in a strangely depressing environment.
The ride itself was fine – nice and rural as we like it – but, to be honest, the destination left a lot to be desired. Not only was the recreation ground very exposed, it was also very, very cold and all the benches were wet. We were fine one minute, riding happily along Layhams Road, but suddenly, the temperature dropped. It was as if we'd riden into the freezer section of a supermarket.

First, we raced across the vast expanse of the Coney Hall recreation ground and then, realising there was little to do in the small high street, let alone sit down and drink our tea, we travelled a short way along the A2022 and then hung a left into Layhams Road. We found a church on the right, but it was, to be honest, a bit strange and a little depressing, especially when we found the grave of a 16-year-old boy, Jack Anthony Mander, who died way back in 1934. That was sad, but the churchyard itself was disorienting. It was on many levels, creating the impression that there were headstones all around us - in fact, there WERE headstones all around us; as well as above and below us, in front of us and behind us – and it was depressing.

We drank our tea standing up, looking at the headstone of Jack Anthony Mander, who died in March 1934, when my dad was five years old. I popped my head round the door of the church, where a band was rehearsing for a 10am service. I shook hands with the vicar and then went back outside to where Andy was waiting and we headed off, towards the A2022, and followed off-road paths towards Addington village (it's very posh, nothing like New Addington on the other side of the tram tracks).

From Addington Village we headed for Selsdon and parted company near the roundabout at the top of Sanderstead Hill.

Andy and I won't be cycling together again until December 4th, but something tells me we won't be heading for Coney Hall again and certainly not the churchyard off Layhams Road - too depressing.
Our route - taken from Andy's house in Caterham.

No comments:

Post a Comment