Walking to Kew


I walked to Kew from where I live the day after the London Marathon.  For the London Marathon, about 40,000 people ran nearly 27 miles, including one dude who ran the distance while in space.  I walked about 15 miles and was knackered. To put it another way: marathon runners, I salute you! I walked for two reasons.  1.  I had to get to Kew to help my Mum with some stuff, and who takes the District Line?  I mean seriously, what is up with it?  How can any underground service be that slow and unreliable?  It just makes me …

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Turning Seasons

North London LIght (3)

My uncle, who is at the best of times proudly cantankerous, declared at Christmas: “I hate summer.  The light’s just bright and boring.  Give me winter light, far more interesting.” Did I mention he’s cantankerous?  In my mind I heard courteous silence and from my mouth, obviously, came a rant. “But uncle,” I exclaimed, bastion of restrained tact as I am, “That’s just nonsense.  Summer light changes as much as winter light does.  It can be a hot pink sunrise or a bright golden splat of light across the horizon.  It can be sky-blue brilliance that brightens to white, or …

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A London List

September Walks 2013# 030

A little London List, to pass the time. Men in children’s playgrounds who have taken over the monkey bars and associated kits. They pull themselves up with their fingertips, swing for a while, do push-ups with their feet balanced on swings, pull-ups from the top most bars of the climbing frames. When they are done, they nod manfully at each other, and take it in polite turns to work out. They wear vests, the better to reveal their very toned arms, and perhaps, in working hours, investigate insurance claims or answer telephones in the local council housing repair unit. A …

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At Least He’s Breathing!

Magnifying glass

I was sat in a park near Brixton Underground a few days ago, scribbling away, when a man started having a seizure. He was in his mid-forties, I’d say, and was in the park, lying in the sun, with two of his friends.  We’ll call him John.  John had been there with woman – Jenny – before I arrived, resting on one side, occasionally drinking beer.  His second friend, Joe, had arrived roughly at the same time I was – when he entered the park, he was talking to himself, chiding something no one else could see, but on seeing …

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The Canal at Night

Regents Canal July 2014 (6)

So a few days ago, I walked back from my escrima class along Regents Canal after the sun had set.  I always walk along the canal to the class, when the sun’s up, but very rarely after dark.  It wasn’t much past 8.30 p.m., so hardly the deepest hour of the night, but canal towpaths in London – indeed, perhaps, in most places – have a reputation.  In the minds of most Londoners, I think it’s fair to say that after sunset, the canals are associated with crime and danger, ranging from your petty flasher, up to the most extreme …

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