London Life
2020-12-08 10:29:35 (UTC)

Two tasks and an article

Saturday 5th December
Got the timing just right, running to a Bethnal Green task along the canal, arriving 22 minutes before the start time. I fancied a coffee and a sit down, and there was a nice local cafe opposite. I couldn’t order at the counter, the waitress told me to sit down, but it was ten minutes before they took my order and after another seven minutes had passed, I had to tell them I was leaving. I’ve got no problem with relaxed cafes, but I need to know that they’re slow, before I enter.

I prefer to get to tasks when only one or two people are there, as I like to instigate conversation, not arrive during it. I did talk to a girl I hadn’t met before and when Sam arrived I may have overwhelmed her a bit by talking too confidently on too many subjects too quickly.

I put my hand up for moving wood, then didn’t actually go and do it because I wanted to be with Sree who’s always good to talk to, and Ivy who is so sweet and beautiful even though she scolds me sometimes. We were moving fencing, and found a much easier way to carry it than how the young, fun girl in charge told us to do it.

We then went to pull large concrete blocks up from what looked like a barbecue area. They seemed to be wedged together too tightly to remove, but we had a man (Boris) come and help, and he was strong enough to prise out the middle block. The other girls thought they wouldn’t be any help but I managed to loosen a lot of the other blocks out and lift them up onto the grass for Boris to move by wheelbarrow, but I was worried about injuring my back. One bad lift, and I might not be able to run for months.

I watched Becks and another girl having fun with some wood, and joked with Steve L who was sawing some wood while James held it down. “Are you just making that plank a bit shorter? “ I asked, and said that James was a good holder-downer. Later I passed by again when he was obviously sawing another bit off, and I said “still trying to cut that first bit off then? “

Alex, Becks and others were rushing off to a cafe before doing some other activity, but I missed them because I was looking for my small back-pack. Lovely Laura found it in a place where I’d already looked twice, including one time with another volunteer. I couldn’t see anyone I knew in the cafe I’d visited earlier so I phoned both Alex and Becks without getting an answer. I was looking for somewhere to get a small snack to eat before my run home, when someone said “hello Lisa” and it was Ivo with his two kids in a pushchair. I love it when I see someone I know, completely randomly like that.

We chatted for a bit, then I got a samosa and walked up to the canal to sit down and let the food settle. I saw that Becks had texted me the cafe details, (too late) and Jack had also written. I phoned him and we agreed to meet at King’s Cross. I ran there along the canal, enjoying plenty of girls in mini-skirts walking along the towpath. I was particularly taken by an East Asian girl with over-knee boots, very short tight skirt, and great thighs in very light gloss tights. I ran past her, and after I stopped running I waited for her to pass me again and I walked close to her as we went up to Granary Square.

Jack thought I’d be too cold in my running kit, sitting outside Notes cafe (it snowed in Essex today), as it was full inside, but eventually we did go and sit there until Jack got the train to see his parents. Incredibly, when I walked back to the canal bridge, my new favourite East Asian beauty passed me, coming the other way.

When I got home, hungry and cold, I did some canned soup and potato, gave up on the football commentary when I heard the fake crowd noises even on Radio 5, and flopped on the sofa reading the Guardian and feeling exhausted. But I had to go and do another task with Sam.

I had to run from Goods Way onwards, to get to Bloomsbury on time. We were helping the same woman I’d got shopping for before. When I told Sam that, this morning, she told me she’s got the lady’s shopping about four times. She said she’d been home to Finsbury Park since this morning’s task. From reading an old diary entry, I remembered she’s from Chester but not that she’s got a daughter. We had to get a full chest down about seven floors, but we let gravity do its thing except on the landings. Later, Dom told us he'd had to help get the chest UP the stairs previously, which would have been difficult.

Afterwards I walked home, rather than run or get the bus. I had a bath and started rather late on an article about cricket, deadline on Monday. I thought I might have to re-source a lot of stuff from magazines but to my relief I found the notes I made when I did that before, so the task was less painful than expected. But I need to do another article tomorrow and I'm not sure what to write about.