London Life
2021-02-15 10:40:45 (UTC)

Emma, Harriett and the mystery blonde

Cycled down to Kennington Park for a litter pick, where I met Emma who I recognised despite having her hair down this week. After a quick chat about running and the ice, I set off for the passage behind the decorated wall, and when I’d filled a bag, I stopped to talk to Gayle and a blonde who’s name I’ve forgotten (and who isn't on the write-up), who didn’t think there was much litter, then went to the far side where a lot of litter had blown out of the over-full council bins. I had a lovely chat with the delectable Harriet, telling her about my exploits last week, and she suggested I should buy a cycle helmet. It was very noticeable last year that Claire was wearing one and I wasn’t, but it’s a long time since I’ve thought about getting one. Jack used to say I should get one, until he started cycling, without one.

After that, I was slightly late getting to my second task, picking up some food parcels from a house in Peckham. It was a direct route via Camberwell, though I was a few minutes late and I had to check with a North American CA girl who was just leaving, which house to go in. Again I didn’t really have enough room in my backpack and my smaller cotton bag, but the lady leant me a zip-up bag which I had to bring back afterwards.

I found the addresses all right and as I had more than three hours before my next task, I walked the 7km back to Kennington and then on to Brixton, pushing my bike. I’d made the mistake of having a cup of tea, so was desperate for the toilet, but after looking in a couple of council estates, I found a toilet in Morrison’s, which made me feel great for the rest of the walk. It was good to walk, as I could take in all the buildings, notably Southwark Resistry Office which looks 18th century.

When I got to Brixton, I parked my bike and got a coffee and snack from the Pret which I was expecting to go to the food task later. I went and sat by the Ritzy. I thought it would be a bit noisy next to the skate-boarders but they were almost drowned out by a man with a megaphone talking about Jesus. I was looking forward to a rest, having been walking or cycling for six and a half hours, and I thought I had an hour to sit down.

I went to check the task details, and got a shock. Not only was the task at 16:25, rather than 16:55, it wasn’t at the Brixton Pret but was in SW11, and I had less than half an hour to get there. I quickly drank my coffee, ran to get my bike, looked up the route and set off. To my surprise, I got there just in time, and before the other two helpers, Lucy and Ben who seemed to be a couple. I had to get the security guard to let them in, as the shop had already closed when they arrived. The girl asked me about football, as I had a team face-mask on. I had enough capacity by filling up my backpack and using a smaller cotton bag than the one I had yesterday.

I set off before them, but they’d been and gone by the time I delivered the food. Again I’d arrived at a domestic house. A woman took the food in, and I could hear a child talking. She gave me my cotton bag back and didn’t take my own Pret food, which I hadn’t had time to eat. I only had 3% battery, so I texted Jack and quickly checked the first part of my route, but I nearly went the wrong way up Brixton Road until I spotted Vasall Road on the other side (I’m getting to know this area now).

I found a good way to Waterloo Bridge by taking a chance on Baylis Road. Unfortunately when I got back, Jack had just started a 90-minute chat with his friends, which he hadn’t been expecting. We watched PMQs but Johnson is no longer rattled by Kier, he just waffles on and ignores the question. The other questions were very boring.

I discovered that Google Timeline gives maps of where you’ve been, which is useful for when I forget to map my rides, or don’t record them when my battery’s low, like today.