Some of my favourite people.
Due to a mis-calculation, I arrived at the Victoria Dock training session half an hour late. I let Simon know and assumed they would start without me and I could join in when I got there. However, the 11 people that had signed up yesterday had dwindled to four – probably because it had rained earlier - so the other three waited for me: Simon, Dharmesh and Matthew (disappointedly all blokes). Every time I’ve been to the Excel Centre before has been by DLR, so I didn’t really know how far it was, until I cycled there today.
I started too fast, as I was running with speedy Matthew, which took a bit out of me, and when I was running at 5:20min/km pace, the effort felt as if the pace was under 5min/km. I’ve definitely got slower this, year whether or not it’s to do with my weak ankle (or my age). The course was along the dock, past the Excel and back again, mainly very straight, and firm. Conditions were ideal, dry and a bit cold, but the 5km took me 25:40, which would have been my slowest ever ParkRun if I did one in that time.
Simon brought us all a coffee and Dharmesh told us about his trip to Iceland. I had plenty of time to get to a daffodil-planting session at Grove Hill Park. I went via Zetland Road, which I got so familiar with when working at the warehouse. I had some spare time so cycled around Mile End looking for a café, but the options in the area seem to be tacky chicken or cheap pizza take-aways, so I got a ”wicked kitchen” wrap and a Purdey’s from Tesco.
I cycled through the small park, and only on my return did I spot Becky and a German girl, Nina. We were told what to do, and left to it – the Friends group had marked out rectangles for us. I was working with three of my favourite volunteers: Ivy, who came over to talk to me immediately (too close, actually), Hannah and Ceiling, who as usual was a bit late, and spotted that my puncture wasn’t mended yet (because I was on my folding bike). Hannah took a while to accommodate my method (learned from Ceiling) of balancing on the spade and wiggling.
Two of my other favourite people, Alex and Isabelle, were working on the other side – they decided to take off slices of turf, plant the daffodils and replace the turf at the end. We were using the "cut out a chunk, plant and replace" method. I said to Isabelle that Alex had brushed off her injury by saying “she’s hurt her foot”. You need to start confidently chatting with her, to get her to talk back as she’s naturally quiet despite her beauty. She’s sprained her ankle and her experience was very similar to mine: she fell off her bike and her ankle got caught under it, the hospital told her it would be all right in two weeks and it’s lasted two months, and she’s also seen a physio.
When I phoned Jack, he told me one of the tenants had a man round, who was looking for the main water tap and wanted to get in the cupboard under the stairs. When I got home I went down there with the tenant (after leaving him waiting while I mistakenly went to the cupboard next door, even though I’d seen him on my way out). I remembered that the main water tap is actually in the front garden.
My brother was sending me news from the football ground, where fans were being admitted for the first time since the pandemic started, and Graham sent a video, as well as Joe posting on Insta. Jack, who hadn’t met his friend as expected, was talking about going to the Everyman, but after we’d sat listening to the Amazing Chart, Jack doing his Pitcherwits and me looking at my phone, Jack decided it was too late to go out. Instead I did the washing up and we watched The Last Leg.