London Life
2021-04-02 13:03:47 (UTC)

Friday to Tuesday

Friday 26th March
While reading the Guardian on the sofa this morning, I was feeling that this latest lockdown is too much for me, I’m getting really bored now and I just want to be back out enjoying London life as well as going on regular trips around the country. It’s Sally’s birthday today and I’m thinking of arranging an outdoor drink for next Thursday when the rule-of-six will apply, though the pubs are still shut.

It was too wet to go out for lunch, probably only the second time this has happened in a year of working from home, and we sat on the sofa having a cuddle, watching the cricket and eating the last couple of my prepared meals from the fridge. The only time we went out was to Waitrose and the Co-op in the evening.

Saturday 27th March
I ran to Wheatland, using my bike route to Shoreditch and continuing along a side street. I got there early and so did three blokes. They got us started - the task was to carry some heavy logs from one place to another, and as the task needed four people, I had to help the lads, though they did let me go in the middle which is supposed to be easier. When a lot of other people arrived at the task, one of them was a bloke so I asked him if he wanted to switch to the log task but he wasn’t interested, probably because his girlfriend was with him. We spent most of the two hours carrying these logs about, though later on we used the more fun method of rolling them, letting them pick up momentum on the downward bits to roll up the hills. One or two were too heavy and we had to cut them in two.
Not only was I unsuited to these tasks, but I missed the chance to chat to the girls who were uprooting a bush and moving it to another spot, until near the end of the task.

Afterwards I ran to another task at the farm, where almost naturally I paired up with Sree (and a new man, Simon, very tall with long Covid-hair) to shovel some gravel into a wheelbarrow and lay it on the black sheeting we rolled out last week. Sree says Alex and Isabelle have hardly done any tasks since they became a couple, which is a shame as I like them both. She says they tried to keep the relationship secret at first. I didn’t ask Sree how she found out.

Aidan was also there today, and Comfort who was half an hour late as she couldn’t find any of her stuff (which is like me), as well as Isabel who was chipping away at gravel. I walked for a while with Sree and then ran home, going North of St Paul’s this time and not getting lost in the City. I felt exhausted after running 7km, carrying heavy logs for two hours, running to the second task and then shovelling, but although I struggled to run home, the pace was much faster than on the earlier run. Maybe in a contradictory manner, the extra effort because I was tired, made me faster. Or maybe I’d just woken up properly.

I would have been happy just to sit on the sofa but Jack wanted to go back out, so we just cycled to Islington and got some ice cream from Pinkberry, and a half-price salad from Itsu.

Sunday 28th March
The clocks went forward so I didn’t wake up until 09:30. After breakfast I went back to bed with Jack for a couple of hours, then spent ages getting ready for my long run. I couldn’t get the Bluetooth headphones to connect, I don’t know whether it’s to do with the damage I did to them with a rake. They have worked since then, although my repair to the plastic doesn’t seem to have worked.

I ran along the canal, but came off it when I saw a sign for ‘Limehouse Link’, which is not really where I wanted to go, and to my surprise I got to the farm where we were working yesterday, but I was a different side, so my run home wasn’t the same. I even found a narrow park to rub through. I never got down to the river but did the distance required by my training plan, coming back via my Shoreditch bike route. My pace was surprisingly fast, probably because it was cold, even though I seemed to have a back strain as soon as I started, which persisted throughout, probably from the way I was lying in bed for so long this morning.

Jack was still watching the cricket. England seemed to have a very achievable target to beat India but only had two wickets in hand. But even though no-one else got out, they didn’t get the required score, losing by seven runs. We switched to the England football team who won 2-0 in Albania.

We went out briefly to get a vegan pizza from Parkway. It was still light when we left at 19:00 but dark by the time we sat by the canal eating our pizza. At home, Jack had a family call while I watched the u21s in the Euro finals, losing 2-0 to Portugal, meaning they need the right result in the final Portugal-Switzerland game while winning themselves and managing a four-goal swing. We watched Tim Minchin on the ‘Fish’ Comic Relief series; he was entertaining and I like his phrasing. We’re watching more telly at the moment than usually, with all live entertainment still closed.

Monday 29th March
It was another sunny day but by the time Jack had done his morning’s work, we only had time to go to Ellie’s and eat our lunch opposite the station. As it was a rest day in my ultra training plan, I went by bike to today’s task. I had time to look for a vegan place, ‘Vice’ under the railway arches, which Jack wanted me to look for, but couldn’t see it, and got an espresso at the coffee van next to the Love Shack. Not for the first time, I thought I’d not been there before but recognised it when I arrived – particularly that where we meet by the community centre is not where we do the task. I went there before with Jack, which was also the first time I met Ceiling. The area has since been transformed by the building of a base for a children’s playground, where there used to be a road. I didn’t have as good a chat with Hannah as usually, partly I think because I couldn’t get to sleep last night, a consequence of the clocks going back and not waking up until 09:30 yesterday. Becky and Ceiling were also there so it was a pleasant task. Joel who was working on the far side suggested my back strain was due to all the lifting of heavy logs I did on Saturday, even though I didn’t feel it at the time.

At home we watched a video documentary, ‘The Dissident, about the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, though it was a bit of a strain on Jack’s laptop, trying to keep up with the sub-titles and the Twitter posts shown. I didn’t learn very much I didn’t already know from news reports.