This morning I punted on my brand new resolution to go to the gym after dropping the kids at school.
But hey, no regrets… the sun was out! This is not a small thing. It has been raining solidly since we returned from Spring Break two weeks ago. Well, hold on, I think there was a brief reprieve for part of the day during the London Marathon, but even that ended in a thunderstorm raining on the stragglers’ parade. Today, finally, was glorious. I went for a walk.
I know, I know: a walk can be a poor substitute for “real” exercise, but I tried to do it the way Guster would have walked me back in Marblehead. No, not dragging me knees-over-neck behind his leash, zigzagging across the trail to check his pee-mail, and periodically whiplashing me into the trunk of some tree where he’d cornered a squirrel. And I definitely had no intention of stopping to pick up poo in a little pastel bag (why do they make them look like party treat bags?) Rather, my thought was to walk half a pace quicker than I was comfortable, work up a sweat, and enjoy being outdoors when it wasn’t raining. After all, I stayed pretty slim those last couple years in Marblehead, when I spent all my available workout time, and then some, walking the dog… er, I mean, with Gus as a personal trainer.
Anyway, it was good to get out from under the umbrella and look up at the sky for a while. I never can resist snapping a photo from the top of Primrose Hill– even though it always looks like the city is a hundred miles away. In this one, you can see St Paul’s Cathedral on the left (looks like a tiny rotunda), the Shard (the really steep pyramid-type skyscraper, nearly completed and now the tallest building in Europe) near the center, and the London Eye (you know, gi-normous ferris wheel?) to the right. The green and treed expanse between me and the cityscape is Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park– though it looks like we’re out in the countryside, we are very much within London town.
I walked across Regent’s Park, past the zoo (a similar walk to the one you took with me last fall). But this time, I decided to check out the canal path before heading back toward home. And so it was that I found myself in the scene at top, a peaceful canal, crossed by quaint bridges and punctuated with tidy houseboats and already-lush gardens. I strolled along a short while, enjoying the ambiance, wondering vaguely just how lost I was getting myself.
But then, voila(!)– a signpost pointed me to Camden Lock. I climbed the stairs and found myself in the heart of one of the Camden markets, which was just being set up for the day. I found my way through the byzantine rows of tables and stalls into one of the main thoroughfares (which I only just remembered to photograph). From there it was a 10-minute walk back to our flat. I stopped at a Costa Coffee for an Americano, then walked home uphill again. (Because, of course, in North London, it is uphill to get anywhere– and also uphill to get back. This is opposed to my ancestral seat in Northwestern Ohio, where my parents live at the highest elevation in town– nearly 10 ft higher than the lowlands…) Anyway, the hills are good for your legs, right?
It felt good to step into our flat and have it bright with sunshine. I immediately opened the accordion doors from the kitchen to the deck, to let more light in, as well as possibly some sticky Spring debris from the trees and bushes outside, or even the squirrel who has taken up residence on our patio table.
Here’s what I see when I take my coffee outside in the mornings (yes, the neighbors are an inch-and-a-half away… but I do think it’s a rather picturesque garage… and at least there’s no longer a porta-loo right next to our deck!).
And at right? In the long tradition of a particular Heskett connection to squirrels, here’s our newest squatter. Anyone have a name suggestion?
No coffee– it’s nearly midnight here! But I’ll be up having my next cuppa not too long after you all get tucked in for the night. Sleep tight!