London Life
2021-03-08 20:03:54 (UTC)

Stuck in the park

Went to bed shivering again on Friday night and still felt achey on Saturday. My run to Kennington and back wasn't going to happen, so I’d cancelled the task there and just sat at home all day, looking at our phones, listening to music and watching another episode of the railway architecture series on the ‘Yesterday’ channel from UK:TV. Actually it was the first episode, which we’d never seen, featuring one of our local stations, King’s Cross. Unlike when the presenter visited St Pancras, this time the "secret" place he went was somewhere we hadn't been - up the clock tower.

By Sunday I felt fine, though I’d cancelled the six-hour, possibly tiring task in the warehouse (and the 18km ride there and back). Sitting indoors on the previous two days did feel like a return to the week when I had the coronavirus in January. A constant headache, a lot of coughing, sudden cold shivers despite numerous layers of clothes and sleeping bags, a strange taste, a loss of appetite and no energy. It went on for more than a week but as it didn’t quite match the advertised covid symptoms, I didn’t realised I’d got the thing until Jack tested positive.

So on Sunday we had a lie-in and went on a cycle ride with the intention of going to Soho and then down to the river. Instead, we walked through St James’s Park, reminiscing about normal times when we’d have a lunchtime coffee there. We did a leisurely cycle round the Victoria Monument and along Constitution Hill, which pleasingly was closed to traffic, as well as The Mall.

We continued to Hyde Park, cycling round the South road, accidently using a police-only lane, until reaching the café we discovered during the first lockdown. It was a pleasant sit-down on the wall looking at the wildlife, and I got a pleasant surprise when I looked up the football scores. It just didn’t have the thrill of last April, when to discover an open café you could sit by, in such a great position by the Serpentine, which we hadn’t even used in normal times, was such a pleasure in a very grim period.

Afterwards, we briefly went along the bank and under a bridge into Kensington Gardens. Oddly there was a turnstile to get back onto the road, even though there were two easier ways through. We realised that this is to let people out after the gates have been closed in the evening, while stopping people getting in. They should do this at Regent’s Park. A few weeks ago when it seemed to have closed, we got in through an not-yet-closed gate but when we got to our gate, Jack was unable to climb over, after I quite nimbly stepped up and over it and fluttered down on the other side. To be fair he had skinny jeans instead of my loose skirt. But he was standing there saying “I can’t do it” when it looked as if he could. I had to walk round the outside of the fence, him round the inside, until we found a way out where some work was being done.

The plan was then to head for the vegan restaurant next to BBC Radio. Along the North side of the Serpentine were a number of roller-skaters, some dancing and others manoeuvring their way between a line of small markers. We cycled past the animal memorial , and when I needed to turn left at Davies Street, and Jack wasn’t with me, I stopped and waited for him to catch up. That’s our rule; stop if you have to turn, to check whether the other person's still there. I waited ages, then made my way back along the road. Jack had decided to unilaterally change the rules. As he couldn’t see me ahead of him, he turned right at Grosvenor Square for no obvious reason.

The restaurant was closed so we went through Regent’s Park to Temple of Seitan, not our favourite vegan place, but I got a kebab-style thing and we took it home. I had a Zoom call with local runners, where I expressed how soon mid-June seemed to be for the planned re-opening of night clubs, and mentioned the heavy breathing in a club situation. I didn’t mean sexually, but couldn’t find a better expression. The new bloke John, patronisingly said “I don’t know what your idea of a nightclub is Lisa” as if I wouldn’t be the sort of girl who goes to nightclubs. In fact I go to the sort where the heavy breathing actually is sexual. He is smug and annoying. Carole J, Katy and Beth were also in the call, as well as Pete, who’s currently with his parents in Suffolk.