London Life
2020-05-15 23:03:03 (UTC)

The Big Day Out

On Friday morning I left at 9:15 rather than the planned 8:30, having woken at 8 and deciding there was no rush. I cycled down to Kew Bridge in 65 minutes, wearing no jacket and a skimpy running skirt, but two tops (one to tie round me when running) , gloves and a hat. The biggest streets were busy but the smaller main roads were still quiet. It was sunny, and really nice cycling through Hyde Park. The bit from Hammersmith to Chiswick and Brentford quite nostalgic, recalling teenage rides to see Perry and Simon. The bike was running smoothly, the back wheel has stopped rubbing.

I realised I'd have to leave my water bottle on my bike when I started running, but I carried my small expensive pump and later left it in Asda, until the lovely till-girl ran out to bring me it, and I realised it would fit in my midriff bag.

Of course the run from Kew Bridge to Twickenham was mostly delightful. Just before I got to the church I met another volunteer, a chubby North American girl who talked too much, once I'd started chatting to her. Surprisingly, she thinks care homes have been handled well enough during the virus. Her mum is in one.

At the church, I told them I was there to help with the gardening, and after a bit of confusion I realised I'd got the tasks confused, and this one was a food drop. The man told me where to find Asda (a couple of blocks away, over a stream) and I got most of the food and cosmetics they needed. They mentioned that the tinned food should be vegetarian - well I wouldn't buy any meat. I even got vegan milk. I was clearly not going to be back in time for a late lunch with Jack.

As I'd gone to the tasks in the wrong order, I had to turn back on myself, along the river path and over the bridge, certainly no great hardship. I found the address but couldn't see a garden to tend. I tried ringing the bell of the address I had, and looked round the back by the river, and I was about to write to the task setter for advice, when I saw she'd mentioned a triangle of poppies, and I saw the plot, not at that address but near to it.

I hadn't got a watering can but I'd brought gardening gloves so I weeded it as best I could and also did a bit of the steps down to the river, which was mentioned on the task instructions. Several passers-by admired the flowers and even took pictures while I was gardening. I talked to a pretty girl, Mayna, who was walking her friend's sausage dog.

As I was doing the tasks in the wrong order, I had to retrace my steps again, to go via Twickenham to Ealing. Along the river it was embarrassing that people were so good at letting me go past, to social-distance on the narrow path, that I tried to go up the street but soon returned to the river down another one.

The run through Isleworth and Hanwell wasn't so pleasant, but the almost 10km passed so quickly, that when I stopped to check my route, I was only about 100 metres from my destination. At one place, City Mapper said to take a Diagonal right, after a bridge and a stream, up an apparent unamed road, which turned out to be a path through a field (Osterley Park) which then crossed both a railway and the Grand Union canal.

This time there was a handy little shop to get the food and items from - I didn't see the fresh fruit part of the list but as the food is only needed by Wednesday it was best to get tins of food. The girl I was leaving the food with, wasn't at her house but a man came out and I said to tell her it was Lisa.

The final run was quite straightforward - Lionel Road was very long and I took a picture of Brentford's new ground. I gulped down my water but couldn't get an energy bar so just bought some chocolate. I'd only eaten two oat bars since I left home.

The 15km ride home was relaxing and I'd asked Jack to get me some dressing I was supposed to take to a man near Primrose Hill for my 4th task of the day, my 7th of the week and my 300th overall, but I'd got an email saying the timing has been changed. Anyway it had been a good day in the sun, I ran about 21km and cycled 30km.

I went for a walk with Jack in the evening, just to the Italian coffee place and a sit down by the Lock.

Today after hearing a podcast and catching up with the news, we walked down to the river via Gray's Inn Road, not as interesting for me as I've run it several times since the lockdown. Unfortunately on the way back, we stopped at M&S in Tottenham Court Road, Jack said his foot hurt and he'd bought a whole litre of orange juice, so he spoiled the day out by getting a bus home, which you still aren't supposed to do.

Earlier I had a Zoom chat with Caroline, Frances, Graham, Simon, the two Steves and James (and Claire). I managed to prod the conversation along a couple of times when it went quiet.

We've been getting the kind of food which we wouldn't normally eat. We got another vegan Magnum today and we've been eating a croissant every morning. I'm worried my stomach is beginning to swell. Time to start wearing a crop-top to remind me not to over-eat - which usually isn't a problem.