Thursday 22 July 2021 – London.
I went to the office today, the second to last day of work before I start my six-month career break. I didn’t need to go in, one of the positive things I can say about the government department I work for is that there has been no compulsion for us plebs to return to the office, and current thinking suggests there won’t be until at least September. Ironically, that’s what they said about this time last year and we know how that turned out. I had to return my laptop, clear a couple of personal items from my locker, and most importantly, see some workmates I’ve rarely seen in the flesh for quite some time.
To be honest, I am also sick of being at home, especially as it’s been 29/30 degrees most days and I’m working in the dark in the bedroom as I don’t want to let the morning sun in. I think Eleanor would say (if she was being polite) that I have been tetchy these last couple of days. Boredom, heat, electing to not go out because we don’t want to test positive before we have fly, have all made Phil a grumpy old man.
So yeah, getting out of the house was a good thing.
Work was fine, the journey in on the tube was as expected; a lot more people not wearing masks as they don’t have to, and they are selfish arseholes who couldn’t care less for anyone other than themselves
I packed the Polaroid in my bag before I left this morning. I don’t use it enough and have decided not to take it to New Zealand. I had an eight pack of film left so thought I would walk from Westminster to Liverpool St Station and take the overground train home, avoiding the Tube, and take some photos on the way.
I didn’t have much of a plan; walk Thames side to St Paul’s, take a photo of the cathedral and one of Tate Modern on the opposite side of the river, then see whatever happens.
After walking up the stairs from the Thames to take the photo of St Pauls I was inspired to cross the river and walk to London Bridge and pay my respects to ‘Fairy Towers’m – my late friend Kev’s flat in London Bridge, where I lived from February 2013 to July 2014.
Wow, this place has changed in the last seven years. Where there were some garages in the estate where the flat was, there is now another small block. Kev told me they were building something here but it has all been finished and people are living there now. I think it is all much needed social housing, least I hope so.
Kev’s flat was on the 12th floor and had such a great view, I very much appreciated living there for so long.
I walked past Guys Hospital and took a photo from the foot of the Shard.
Then crossed over London Bridge, stopping to take a photo of Tower Bridge and the Thames.
There are a lot more people around now, I was quite hot from walking in the sun and was going to stop for a last pub pint but everywhere was too busy. So I carried on going and bought a can at the beer shop near home. I drank it on my own in the garden, it was nice.
There is one week until we leave, so we have decided to not go anywhere unnecessary, except Tuesday when we have to go back into central London to get our pre-flight PCR Covid test.
We walked locally and I used the last of the Polaroid film up. Eleanor’s house in Walthamstow.
The old mill house, now a cafe and gift shop for Walthamstow Wetlands.
Postman’s Park. Eleanor showed me this lovely little park after we had our PCR tests. It has a small memorial wall to people who died saving others, sadly the final plaque is from 1903. It has some lovely tributes to a range of people, young and old who were killed saving family members or strangers. There were a lot of drownings and fires in 19th century London.
To return the favour I took Eleanor to St Dunstan-in-the-East as she hadn’t visited before and it is one of my new favourite old places in London. I took one final Polaroid.
That is it for London and England for a while. We fly tomorrow (29 July), our PCR results came back negative this morning, so nothing left to do but wait for one more day.