Wednesday, 26 March 2014

London Loop: Hayes & Harlington/West Drayton-Uxbridge a.k.a. Mythical Creatures Take Over Hillingdon

I cheated a bit here as this walk was actually in two stages.  The first, from Hayes and Harlington (which one is it actually?  Hayes or Harlington?  And where is Harlington anyway?  Is it a real place?) to West Drayton, was so pathetically short that it barely seemed worth posting about.  It was basically just a walk along a canal for a bit, then across a golf course.

Oh, and through this business park, which was eerily deserted on a Saturday.....

....then across this weird bridge that appeared out of nowhere.....
.....and then over the top of this hill, which apparently had a "stunning view."  I wasn't very stunned, although you could see that weird factory thingy near Heathrow (sadly not pictured as too far away for camera phone).  You know the one.  I'm going to google it now so I can get a picture.

OK epic fail.  If you google the words "weird factory near Heathrow" you get the following headlines:

"Biriyani on pre-flight menu at Heathrow"

"Haunted places near Heathrow."

Weird Factory probably isn't haunted (too new) and I doubt it has any connection to biriyani.


It's this one!  Apparently it's a "large multi-faceted waste plant."  I won't say how long it just took me to sift through a multitude of images of planes, Terminal 5, factories and-funnily enough-biriyani.

Anyway, isn't it a great building?  I basically love it.  It is totally the best large, multi-faceted waste plant that has ever been built.  Just look at those swans basking in the glare of its great beauty, trying to get a piece of the action.

You are probably thinking by now that if spotting this edifice from a great distance was the highlight of my walk, then it was probably pretty dire.  And you would be correct.

Fortunately, the second part of the walk, which I did today, from West Drayton to Uxbridge, was a bit more interesting.  It started here, on the canal.

Now you may be wondering how I managed to go for such a walk on a School Day.  The answer is, of course, that we are on strike.  This is obviously brilliant.  I felt very militant, sticking it to The Man (Michael Gove), off on an intrepid adventure on a Wednesday, when all around me people were at work.  Except in Starbucks in Ealing, where most people were either in pushchairs, or were spending their day off school reading heartfelt text messages to their friends and discussing how yah, I know who hacked my Facebook, yah.  Some other items which were presumably not at work today were these:

Have you ever seen such a collection of cranes in one place?

Anyway, highlight of today's walk, other than the fact that it was able to happen at all, thanks to the sheer, unbridled joy of being off work and it all being rather militant and 1984, was the range of strange animals that can be spotted in the wilds of a place called Little Britain Lake.  Yes, it is a real place.  Apparently so named due to the fact that it is sort of in the shape of Britain, rather than out of any homage to Matt Lucas, David Walliams or Dreadzone, makers of popular 1996 hit Little Britain, after which this country is surely named.

Unfortunately I did not manage to catch any of these creatures on camera, mainly due to the fact that I was very, very scared.  It started with something resembling a whale spouting water through a blow hole on the lake.  Well, I think it resembled a whale.  Put it this way, some water shot up in the air suddenly and there appeared to be nothing under the surface that was responsible for it.  It may have been the Loch Ness Monster.  Then, seconds later, two dogs appeared on the horizon.  Except that they weren't dogs, and I know this because THEY HAD HORNS.  Fortunately they ran away as soon as they saw me.  

I then spotted them eyeing me from a safe distance.  They may have been goats.  Who knows?  Do wild goats roam in Hillingdon?  It appears that they do.  Unless this is some mythical, horned, dog-like creature hitherto unknown to science.  

At one point I believe I even saw a bird that was blue.  BLUE!  Have you ever seen such a thing?  Clearly I have led a very sheltered life where the animal kingdom is concerned.

Next instalment: I go hunting for unicorns.