Saturday, 4 May 2013

From sun to drearyness – to St. Leonard's Church, Chelsham.

St. Leonard's Church, Chelsham. A bit depressing.
It was always going to be a short one, possibly to Botley, but then, as I pedalled towards the Green, I thought about St. Leonard's Church. Not a particularly inspiring destination, but a change is as good as rest – or so they say, so off we went, past the usual haunts: Knight's Garden Centre, the pond at the top of Slines Oak Road and a sign saying 'not suitable for HGVs', which marks a five-mile point (ten if a return trip is made). We hung a left and followed the winding road, with fields on either side, towards Washpond Lane where we turned right and then, after a hill, a left turn, and another and another.

St. Leonard's Church is, for want of a better word, boring. It's dull, put it that way. The church is locked, the cemetary, as you might expect, is a little depressing and, because it's all set away from the road, there's little to watch. No Lycra monkeys, no idiots driving cars. Nothing.

We sat down, ate our cereal bars and drank tea and I wondered how tough it must be for modern criminals. Think about it. There's little much open to them these days. They can shoplift, yes, but once they've got the goods, what do they do with them? They've got to sell them on and that's how they get caught (assuming the store detectives don't get them first). Alright, so let's rule that option out. What about a bank job? Well, these days, if you hold up a bank, up go the shutters, the doors lock and the poor old bank robber has to wait around for the police. Gone are the days when they can tunnel their way into the vault, possibly set up a huge gun, like the one in Thunderbolt & Lightfoot and then get away with millions of pounds, hide it in a church and end up as the preacher, on the run from your fellow cohorts who are after a share of the wonga.

Alright, well, what about nicking a smartphone while on a pushbike? Ah! That's it! A busy high street, you spot the quarry, you race towards them, cycling one-handed, grab the phone and you're off! But, once again, you've got to sell the phone to somebody else and a lot of phones have tracker devices fitted. Okay, so, we can't rob a bank, tunnelling underneath the vault is out of question and, besides, where are we going to find that huge gun? Shoplifting? Well, it's a bit demeaning. There's nowt else for it – the best policy is to be a law-abiding citizen in a world where salaries are going down and the cost of living is going up. As Morrissey once warbled, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now".

What about drug dealing? Too risky. Big penalties, long prison sentences, dodgy geezers and, besides, being a drug dealer means you're putting other people's lives at risk and that's not on at all. House breaking? Well, perhaps not. The law has begun to look kindly on 'have-a-go-heroes' and besides, once again, you've got to sell on what you nick.

There is only one option open: joining the banking community! The banks have ripped off everybody, stolen their livelihoods and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has been sent to prison. Job done!

It was time to head back home. We weaved our way through the winding roads behind Warlingham Sainsbury's and then down the Limpsfield Road towards the Green where we departed, promising ourselves rides on both Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

The weather turned while we were out. It started off very pleasant: blue skies, little in the way of a breeze and it all looked promising. But then it clouded over, there was even a little bit of rain as I later drove through the dreary streets of West Croydon wondering whether to have a cup of tea in Michael's and deciding not to bother. We ended up in the college canteen: tea, biscuits, fruit juice and a bag of Cheeselets. Then over to mum's for a very tasty salmon sandwich and her wonderful apple crumble, not forgetting a KitKat, a cup of tea and more apple crumble.

Now I'm at home. Alone. Listening to The Smiths. I rarely listen to music these days, mainly because I don't like what's on offer. That's why I'm listening to The Smiths. The older stuff is the best. I might put on The Cure. In fact, I'm going to...


  1. I don't mind old churches and cemeteries. there is something peaceful about them which I like. Nice ride.

    and remember- there is a "Cure" for everything.. ;o)

  2. You're right. I like them too, it's just that St. Leonard's lacks something.