London Life
2020-07-06 16:15:39 (UTC)

28/06/2020 to 01/07/2020

After Simon’s final Zoom chat, with fewer of the old regulars apart from Graham briefly, we had a cuddle and a podcast. We were supposed to be leaving at 14:00 to do some litter-picking, but didn’t go until half past, partly because Jack was sorting out his parents’ television package. He said they’re not getting the UK Gold repeats channel, but British Telecom said they are. We had no time for stops (except to look at some boars in the zoo), and went via the canal to Paddington, through Hyde Park, followed the bike route to Chelsea Bridge and through Battersea Park, though not for the first time I got confused there and came out at a different place than I was expecting. As the post code on the listing was wrong, we went at first to Latchmere Rec, before looking up Christchurch Gardens on CityMapper - it wasn’t far away, through a winding alley. It had a nice old brick seating area in the corner.

We were the first there but were soon joined by Alice and Zoe (covering all ends of the alphabet… Ana, and a quiet bloke. I chatted to Ana about the changes – she’s freelance so had no work – about the changes, though my annoyance has abated slightly at the moment, with plenty of evening tasks going on. She looked great in a figure-hugging Girls Night Out T-shirt. Zoe was nice enough but a bit matter-of-fact. Alice was friendly. We were picking up litter but there wasn’t loads, not even cigarette ends.

Afterwards we cycled back along the river – seeing the huge new Battersea Power station development – with some nice little concessions under the railway arches, including the Battersea brewery. We also saw the ugly new USA embassy, and carried on along the river as far as London Bridge. Jack wanted to get some food from an independent place at Borough Market, but I was very hungry by then and we went to Leon, eating our food at a kerbside alongside a huge crowd of people.
We cycled back through the City, finding a previously-undiscovered open space in Camberwell on the way.

Ran 9.2km down to Clapham Common to help the local theatre – which I’ve never come across before – prepare to open its café, so it can get some revenue during the lockdown. It used to be a library, and rather than build private flats there, they manage to turn it into a community theatre. We weeded and tidied the front outside area, and Paul chopped away at a tree to make more room. We laid out socially-distanced chairs and tables, and tidied up. The lady in charge gave us a tour. I caught up with Sophie and Lorna. Frances was also there, she’s very witty online but I never find it easy to talk to her, I feel almost unworthy as she’s so naturally beautiful. I made a quip about her artistic talents (she was cleaning an object). We wondered whether we could have the end-of-year party there and Frances mistakenly thought I was organising the monthly socials.

After sheltering from the rain under a tree, I went for a coffee (and falafel balls) with Lorna, Paul, Ollie and a new bloke doing his first task. I had to bring up Lorna’s confessional piece about her mind problems, but I think I managed to handle it sympathetically. I ran back as far as the South Bank, but after yesterday’s 33km cycle ride I was struggling, so went in Pret for a coffee and a snack. It didn’t really help but I managed to run most of the way home.

I put the Amazing Chart on, but didn’t pay attention as I was still capturing the best stills from my super-heroine video, and did the same with some girls dancing super-sexily in front of other girls, some (genuine) young cleaners in mini-dresses, and some skimpy-bikinied (and sometimes brazenly topless) girls on a boat with three fully-clothed lads.

Still no boss – I was called by a senior manager who said he’d sorted out my problem and that he was always there to help. I’d forgotten about Ian! so I managed to catch up with form applications. Followed up the usual Jack run with a trip to Arsenal for the second fitness session. This time we did some intervals, between the statues of Dennis Berkhamp and Tony Adams. After two sessions – surprisingly seven minutes covers only two circuits of the ground – I discovered I’d miscalculated and wasn’t ready for a third. Sally was there, as well as Claire who I like more and more. She’s very quiet but not actually shy and is really quite humorous. There was another girl there with very black, straight hair who sounded Scottish and seemed to like my humour. As she left with Sally I asked Simon “do you know that girl’s name?”, and he said “Sally”.

Jack made some pasta and avocado with vegan sausage, and we forgot we’d booked to see Rich Hall remotely live. Instead we watched an old Tommy Trinder Ealing film, but it didn’t give much of a taste of the 1940s, as the two stars were whisked back to Roman times. We’ve now got his parents’ set, but the sound seems bit fuzzy to me – Jack thinks the sound is so good you can actually hear too much (such as the newsreader rustling his papers). I went to pick my cauliflower, which has shrivelled some more. It’s hard to know when I should have picked it, as its never got as big as Rebecca’s. In the news, Leicester is to stay in lockdown when the rest of the country starts to come out of it next week. In bed, I was catching up with my diary and taking some more surprisingly-good stills from the super-heroine video.

A real struggle getting down to work; after more than three months I’ve never adjusted to working from home. For lunch we used two of my pre-cooked meals which had been in the freezer for weeks – kedgeree I think - but they were fine. Actually tidied the front room a bit before a short 2km run to some gardens in Islngton. Sam who I first met yesterday was already there. She’s got a ten-year old daughter, she doesn’t look od enough. Good to chat to, lives in Finsbury Park but was originally from Chester. I was shovelling soil with her. Another girl, Sophie, said she’d been to the AGM weekend last year but I didn’t recognise her. A tall, good looking girl with flowing hair, from Colchester. Dom was also there, and Francis. I mentioned to Dom that I’ve done the most tasks in the area this month (14) so was glad he’s in another borough (he’s done about 41, but returns to work tomorrow after furlough). I checked the football score, 2-1 up with 88 minutes gone so I had to wait while they announced 3 minutes stoppage time and actually played at least 5. Jack had a packaged meal ready.