I stuck a rake in my Bluetooth headphones
Friday 19th March
We went to Wok & Fire and St Martin’s Gardens for lunch, and in the evening just went on a short walk to King’s Cross Square and to both Waitrose shops. I saw a Chinese-looking girl with bare legs wearing a very short crinkly-hemmed dress, kept my eye on her, and soon saw a bit of her sweet bum when she leant over a food counter. She would know this might happen, but if it was me I’d want to know exactly when and how much I was revealing. It’s hard to tell, when the skirt isn’t touching your skin, unlike the tight jumper-dress I was wearing today which I can feel if it rides up my thighs. Though I don’t think it’s warm enough for bare legs yet. Which probably made her look even sexier.
When the road-map out of lockdown was first announced, it seemed a long time until we could go to entertainment events and even on holiday, but after we started arranging things for April, when we can go on self-catering holidays, it felt good and not so far away. But the lockdown is definitely dragging now. All the novelty of the local bike rides and walks, and going out every lunchtime which I enjoyed to a certain extent last year, has definitely worn off and it’s now a slightly dull routine.
Saturday 20th March
I not only timed it right to run to Stepney (though I left at 09:00 instead of 08:45, so no leeway), but brought the right amount of clothes – a jumper and long-sleeved running shirt round my waste, and a rain jacket and another shirt in my bag. I went slightly wrong running through the City, going too far south instead of along Cheapside. When I arrived one girl had already got there: Isabelle O, who I met some time ago but haven’t seen for a while. Becky J who has been one of my best friends since the warehouse tasks was leading the group. A girl called Imer was also there, and Ceiling who arrived on foot.
At first we were levelling a soil area, and removing bits of rubble. There was a large, heavy cylindrical package which needed to be rolled across the farm. At first it seemed Becky and I would be unable to move it, but task controller Alex gave us her help, as did Emer, who I dom't think I've met before, and we managed to get it rolling and kept it going quite easily by using its own momentum. Then we rolled out a lot of black sheeting from the package, larger than you’d think could have fitted in the packaging, and re-located some more earth.
I spoke to Isabelle O while passing turf down to her, to pass on to Ceiling. She works in a hospital, researching children’s allergies. Heather was also there today, a fairly quiet, slim girl. The farmers’ market was operating, but wasn’t vegan-friendly so I got a coffee and sticky chocolate muffin from the café instead.
I had time for a quick sit-down before the afternoon team arrived. Sree told me Alex and Isabelle (the usual one) were now a couple. Isabelle was no easier to talk to, she’s very quiet. Stephen and Katrin, a German girl, were also there and when we had a glass-of-water break, we talked about languages. We shifted some more earth, and with Sree I helped flatten a mound and remove gravel from the top of it. I don’t usually listen much to the instructions when we’re told them, as I assume the others will know what to do, but as Sree didthe same, we had no idea what we had to do.
I made sure I brought my waist bag to put my phone in although I’d also got a backpack, so I couldn’t lose the phone again as I did the other day. However, during the task I hung my £70 Bluetooth headphones over my waist bag rather then having them round my neck or in my main bag, but they fell off and before I knew it, I’d stuck a rake into the wire. However it only broke the rubber and not the wiring, so one of the girls suggested I get something called sugru to mend the plastic. I took so long sorting out my clothes and bag afterwards, that I had to run quite a way to catch up with Sree who was just walking.
There were road blockages near St Paul’s which I tried to avoid, but as a result - not for the first time - I got a bit lost in the City and somehow find myself going the wrong way along the road under the Barbican. When I got home, Jack had returned from getting his vaccine.
I’d had an email earlier about the New Forest running weekend, which was so successful last year in demonstrating how a run could be held safely during the semi-lockdown. I realised it was taking place the day before we planned to go to Devon, so I’d sent a quick email to Jack before getting back to the task, suggesting we went to the races on the way to Devon and when I got home he’d already entered one of the races and was planning our hotels, travel, and where we could stay afterwards on Sunday night.
Jack worked out we could go to Lynton on the North coast which had been featured in the television series about great railway architecture. He provisionally booked two hotels and was trying to work out the best way to get there before it got dark, from the quite remote Wimborne St Giles where the races were held. I decided I’d have to do the 10km, rather than the Half, as it finished four hours earlier and would give us time to get to Lynton before it got dark – the nearest station is Barnstable.
Before bed we watched another of the railway architecture programmes. I instantly recognised Huddersfield station when the presenter had only said that it was in Yorkshire.