17 Mar 2020 – 9:42 GMT – 10°C Mostly Cloudy – Co. Dublin, Ireland
This month last year I was walking the Capital Ring around London. I made seven it in outings over two weeks. Walked clockwise, starting in Woolwich, averaging about 20 km each time. It helped that we were based in SW1 at the time and each walk could be accessed by a radial journey on public transport, age and residence making it free to me after morning rush hour.
Snippets from WhatsApp with the family, posts made by covenant to confirm that I’m upright when walking alone; a protocol following an incident on a mountain last year that left me with pins in my hand.
March 3 – a photo circulates of a baby from thirty-something years ago:
Omg the cuteness!! And a real look of Bella about her 🥰
Ah yes. The house where she would soon ingest a cockroach …
The very one – and in August, hurricane Alicia would rip out our fences, trees, roof tiles while destroying city blocks … Freya is huffing and puffing here at the moment but despite being named and the crud falling into the room from the chimney, it’s but a trifle compared to Alicia.
March 5 – en route to Crystal Palace:
Moved from the action at Marvels Close, crossing Baring Road and onto Railway Children Lane. All is good.
Good for you!
Schools are emptying: overheard two ten year old girls meeting their mother who says “Who’s ready for pancakes?” And they replied that “…it’s deep fried Oreos this year”.
Not sure I could live in a place called Penge.
Sounds more like a condition than des res – imagine saying “going home to Penge.”
March 6 – towards Wimbledon, a year after my father died:
Elfster just reminded me of Frank’s birthday … together with Facebook notifications, the dead are staying in touch.
Elfster is a BAD elf.
But it’s nice to know the digital age remembers Frank ❤
March 6 – ducks on the Wimbledon Park Lake in a time of avian flu:
Feed them! They look cold!
Crushed, is what they look. Disappointed.
I had nothing they can eat. As an aside, though not here, a lot of ponds have signs saying no bread. And here’s another thing – I was here once before – the same summer that Yvonne Goolagong won her first Wimbledon and then came to Dublin where she won the Irish open (she autographed my program) 48 years ago – aargh.
March 7 – a dialogue as I pass through the Brentford Marina.
Near miss: I hear a bike behind me on the tow path – man says “passing right” – I step left and he shouts “for fuck’s sake you’re on my right” and the very fat guy swerved around me and gave a middle finger.
One for the Darwins, maybe?
He didn’t die yet …
Oh oh he’s stopped in front of me …
Should throw something at his head
Kick him and run
He cycled off as soon as he saw me.
Justice: he’s left the tow path with a rear puncture.
March 15 – Passing through Fryent Country Park
Distracted by a confetti snow, a green woodpecker stabbing at my back while overlooking brutal developments in Wembley. Must be the Ides of March.
What happened at Wembley??
Nothing other than bad Roman links … ides of March … walked across Watling Street