Returning (or “The Taxi Driver, the Pigeons, and the Cat”)

For this MA we need to do a creative project and I wanted to do some painting for mine. The red-eye arrived at Heathrow on Sunday afternoon. With me were my two heavy checked bags full of paints and my two heavy carry-on bags, which were full of books. I decided (I think wisely) not to brave the tube from Paddington to St. Pancras, but to take a taxi instead. I bungeed my bags together into two wheeled masses and marched forth into the grey half-light of January.  This was indeed a wise decision. The taxi driver leapt out to assist and we were soon threading our way through London traffic.

He, being a chatty taxi driver, asked what I was here for. I told him I was taking my masters in Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred. “Ah,” he said, “are you a Wiccan then?” “Yes.” I replied, surprised. We had a delightful conversation and by the time we arrived at St. Pancras, he had a list of books, and three podcasts for him to find out more. He even fetched a trolley for me.

The Pigeons

I think that St. P’s may be a Disabled Pigeons’ Home. The pigeons I have seen on the street are normal, regular pigeons, but the pigeons at St. P’s are almost all deformed or disabled in some way, mostly to do with their feet. There is one that has only one leg, many with only one foot, and some with strange growths on their feet making them look huge. No doubt the smooth floors of the station are more soothing on their feet than the rough concrete of the city streets. I notice them every time I come through here.

Footless Pigeon

Footless Pigeon

The Cat

Having arrived in Canterbury and bribed the taxi driver to carry the two heaviest bags up the four flights of stairs, I went grocery shopping. On the way back, I noticed that the local pub had Sunday Lunch. I asked if they had any left and was fixed with a plate of roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, and vegetables. As I sat drinking my beer and eating my dinner, the pub cat came and crawled into my hat. I am thrilled to know my local pub (only a block away!) has a cat for when I need a cat fix.

Bakushka, the pub cat

Bakushka, the pub cat

Deplaning, customs, baggage, everything went smoothly. It is good to be back with my fellow pilgrims on our pilgrimage.

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1 Response to Returning (or “The Taxi Driver, the Pigeons, and the Cat”)

  1. Maggie Carew says:

    Lovely to hear from you, Louise. Quite nostalgic.


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