“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Adventures in Metroland.

Have you ever followed the Betjeman Trail into Metroland and headed out on the Metropolitan Line toward the foothills of the Chilterns? That's what we did yesterday when packing the usual flask of tea, packet of sandwiches and trusty Freedom Pass we set out on the tube to Amersham and then to Great Missenden. Journeying into Metroland today it's difficult to imagine that during the inter-war suburban building boom such profoundly ordinaire places as Wembley Park, Northwick Park and North Harrow could be seen as some kind of semi-rural utopia that the moderately affluent middle-class could escape from "the smoke" to. Our plan was to disembark at Great Missenden and walk the ten miles back to Amersham. The walk itself is a pretty easy stroll through fine rolling country. May is my favourite month. All that new growth, blossom, the first almost psychedelic green of beech leaves. Yesterday we had Red Kites soaring overhead as well.  SAY NO TO HS 2 proclaim the posters in every settlement we passed through. I bet UKIP cleaned up here.  Amersham when we arrived turned out to be a microcosm of rural Middle England, the council estate on the outskirts contrasting with the film set, olde worlde High Street with Georgian buildings and the usual posh shops. A group of very smartly dressed women passed us in a cloud of what Her Indoors assured me was Estee Lauder. We sunk a couple of well deserved pints in The Crown before trudging up the hill to the station and the tube home.

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