How much is that doggy in the tube seat?

I wish I had reason to travel on London’s tubes every day. Not so much for the need to reverse, with force, into a jam-packed capsule that hurls itself at crazy speed through the nether networks of the Big Smoke, but so much for the entertainment that communal travelling provides. Every time.

On Saturday, we went to Portobello Road Market. On the tube ride there, we noticed a guy – who looked like he could have been Rod Stewart’s slightly less talented and largely less handsome cousin – who was seated on the end seat of a set of three seats. The other two seats were empty. Why? Because his dog – if you could call it that, he was more of a small elephant with a brindle coat and not so much a trunk, as a small briefcase – was lying in front of the other two seats. Dog owner was completely oblivious to the interest and annoyance that his dog was causing. I think he was oblivious to everything. Some young girls got on the tube and oohed and aahed over the brown heap of dogness, stroked his head and asked his owner what kind of dog he was. Dog owner remained expressionless, and I couldn’t tell if he answered them or not. Big dog became uncomfortable, pulled himself up to his full height and then climbed on to the seat next to his owner. After carefully turning himself round, he sat upright on the seat. And remained there until they got off at their designated station. Not sure how dog owner knew where they were but off they went. Huge dog in punk collar and gormless owner. It was unclear who was leading whom.

So onward and upward to Portobello Road. What an amazing and fascinating market, completely crammed with antiques, beautiful things, old and new things and things you would never want near your house. And that’s just the people! Actually, when we arrived, a few outrageously beautiful young men walked past us, and then some more, and then … I wondered if we’d missed the memo that Saturday was beautiful people day? Oh no! Then I saw a couple who clearly hadn’t got the memo either, and I felt better.

As you walk along Portobello Road you walk through market after market after market. Antique markets, flea markets, clothing markets, food markets … wonderful sensory overload! My husband, being the music lover that he is, is magnetically drawn to any music stall, second-hand record shop or CDs anywhere. He sniffs them out at about 100 metres, and he cannot walk past without clicking his way through every single CD on the rack! There was plenty of music to look at and he was in heaven, although he didn’t find anything he wanted to buy!

We browsed and we wandered and we bogled and we walked. We saw two cute little pug dogs who were attached to each other by a collar and followed their dreadlocked master wherever he went. Wish they’d stayed still long enough for a photo but their master was walking and they were following. We stopped for the most delicious falafels at Falafel King and then walked through Notting Hill to get back to the tube. We stopped at The Tabernacle (where we saw Diane Birch perform) for a coffee and then travelled home for X Factor!

On the tube home, I saw a young guy wearing a T-shirt that said, “No, I will not fix your computer.” And we heard my favourite station announcer at Waterloo, who I think always wished he worked on the Johnny Carson Show. He is fabulously enthusiastic and bubbles: “Helloooooo! And WELCOME to Wadderloo! Mind the gap between the train and the platform. And wherever you may be going to today, be well, do good work and have a nice day!” Even Londoners, sometimes, pay attention.

Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day in London. Church was great and late in the afternoon we went for a walk around our neighbourhood. I took the camera in case we saw a roadside shoe – Maura at 36×37 publishes photos of random roadside shoes and I’ve been dying to send her a London contribution. We saw a roadside comb, a roadside toilet and then, after walking along the edge of the Thames, watched a chilly sun set on a wonderful week.


Sunset over Greenland Dock, complete with one of our resident swans


Sunshine signing off for today!


26 thoughts on “How much is that doggy in the tube seat?

  1. Was this blog post sponsored by the London Office of Tourism, because it really makes me want to go there.

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a fall afternoon. Used CD stores and bookstores get me every time.

    1. It wasn’t, but that’s a thought! There are so many used CD stores and bookstores all over, one famously on the South Bank right next to the River Thames … I think you’d love London!

  2. Hi Sunshine:

    Wow…they allow dogs on the Tube? Only service animals are allowed on our city buses.

    Portobello Road sounds amazing…probably a place I could spend a few days!

    “I saw a young guy wearing a T-shirt that said, ‘No, I will not fix your computer.’ ”
    I bought my granddaughter a onesie with that on it – her dad and Jim are both computer techs!

    Thanks for another fun post!


    1. I’ve often seen dogs on the tube, but never on the seats! No-one wanted to sit on that seat after the dog had vacated it! You’d love Portobello Road, Wendy – plenty to do and see. Loads of places like that in London.
      Sunshine xx

  3. Very calming photo – a river, sunset and birds.

    Not that your blog needs illustration, but I’d love it if you put in the odd photo of your part of the world.

    Do you live near the river?

    1. Yes, we live right next to the river, overlooking a dock. I took the photo on our walk yesterday, it’s of the dock next door to ours. I fought with WordPress for about two hours this morning, trying to include photos in today’s blog, and gave up in a huff! So once I’ve got that all figured, I’ll do exactly that! Thank you!
      Sunshine xx

      1. Thank you! I emailed the Happiness Engineers yesterday and they will talk me through it. I could insert the images no problem, just struggled to align them with the copy etc. I took the “sunshine” photo in Portobello Road on Saturday – I just had to!
        Sunshine xx

  4. I love this, Sunshine! The first time I arrived in London, I immediately took the tube to Portobello to meet friends – so much fun! I love your adventures, your photos – all good, girl!

  5. Ah … this really makes me want to go back to London. I think there are now a whole horde of your followers who should hire our own tour bus … and you should be our guide. We’re planning to take a trip back to England (my husband is from there) next summer (finances willing 🙂 and your blog has provided me with a running list of things I want to do!

  6. Sounds wonderful! Ever since I saw “Notting Hill” I’ve wanted to visit that place; it’s so cool to hear someone talk about some of the places like Portobello Road. =)

  7. What drives me crazy about Portobello is how crowded it gets- on a Saturday it just gets so crammed with people- it is at times impossible to look at the stalls… I do love breakfast at the Electric though… (when you can get a table)… :o)

  8. I have never been to London (or England for that matter. Which brings me to this question: Is there anybody that has ever been to England but not London?) and reading about riding the tube really makes me want to go!

    1. It’s definitely worth a visit! I guess because it’s such a small island, and London is the main entry point, most people do visit London when they visit England! There is so much to do and see, it’s just amazing!
      Sunshine xx

  9. I enjoyed the tour and it makes me want to visit also.
    In the comment section, I laughed at your battle with inserting a photo. When I tried to insert photos of my cats in my previous blog, their photos were sitting on top of my text, just like they insert themselves between me and my monitor when I’m trying to write. I worked on it a while and eventually figured out how to align the photos and the text. Also in that same blog, the opening chain photo was one I viewed and rejected, but it inserted itself anyway and since it was stronger than me, it won.

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