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It can be a village

2021-11-24

Image generated by Midjourney We were cycling to work together this morning and my girlfriend bumped into an acquaintance she hadn’t seen in a few weeks in the bike lane. I cycled a little ahead of them down from Ludgate Circus to Blackfriars Bridge and listened to them make smalltalk and catch up. Being in a busy but flowing bike lane on a morning commute usually makes me feel good in a tribal kind of way (us the cyclists vs.

The feeling of away

2021-11-16

I’ve been away from home for just over a week now. I’ve been in France. When I’m not in the UK I feel a lot less claustrophobic; I feel like I have such a wider range of choices to choose for my life. An advantage of this trip has been spending time with people who actually live in not-the-UK. I believe to some extent that people are the same everywhere but it’s been nice to see the variations in the patterns of a life.

The mountains and the beetroots

2021-11-03

When I cycled to work this morning the air felt like the mountains. Maybe once it gets cold and dry enough the smog drops out of the air or something (unlikely). Either way, the sky was blue, the sun was low and golden and blinding. The roads were full of cyclists breathing steam and I didn’t trust any patches of glittering moisture I saw not to be ice. I got to work early; I just didn’t want to squander those hours of sunlight when the night comes on so early.

Drink up

2021-10-26

Image generated by Midjourney I can’t stop watching and listening to things again. I’m back in a cycle of cueing up a continuous stream of video content from dawn until dusk. I walk into the bathroom watching TikTok, I come out casting a podcast to the speakers in the living room, where I work from home. I get on my bike and put my headphones in, queue up another podcast episode while I ride through the streets.

Carbohydrate tubes

2021-10-18

I ran out of steam with cooking a little bit this weekend. A lot of that probably has to do with some gargantuan hangovers I inflicted on myself a few days in a row. It also has to do with the fact that I’ve been a victim of my own success in using what’s already in the cupboards. I used up those spices that have been sitting around. I used up those frozen sausages in the freezer.

Eating and swimming

2021-10-11

The good bread Running’s been difficult lately, but swimming in the ponds is getting better each week. It’s cold enough now that it burns your skin all over when you get in. It’s cold enough that when you feel the cold on your legs as you step down the ladder you think, “not everybody would do this”. Very self-satisfied of me. When the burning fades off, this sudden feeling of wellbeing washes over.

Museums of Oxford

2021-10-08

It’s getting darker and colder, but so far I don’t mind. Like I said before, I’m cooking a lot of satisfying food. It’s still warm enough to get into the Hampstead Heath ponds every Saturday morning. The crowd there is thinning out and there’s now a pleasing corps of batty and rich ladies of a certain age who we’re starting to see on a regular basis. Leftover homemade pesto with udon noodles I’m doing more in those dark evenings.

Time to cook

2021-08-30

Image generated by Midjourney I like to cook a lot. Sometimes I cook all afternoon, one meal after another. I end up with a fridge full of boxed up meals that I can pile through in the week or give to loved ones. Dinner guests are relatively rare these days, in the wake of the pandemic year. Some people have been scattered away from the pestilent city centre.

Journal - 30th July 2021

2021-07-30

There’s been a gap. There have been some changes. I left that house alone and I crossed the river I miss the cat I cycle everywhere I go if I can I’m learning a new language for her and also me I live alone most of the time I’ve been off the island and onto another island I’m fully vaccinated against the virus I’ve sold most of my books (I still have plenty of books) I swim in the ponds; I see my friends for breakfast I’m happy and I’m not ill any more I’m busy; I squeeze people in; I squeeze them into my calendar I’m twenty-seven years old

Snow day

2021-01-26

Snow whiting out the park London had its first snow day of the winter. We set out for a run in the mid-morning when the first specks starting to stick to the frosty tops of parked cars. By the time we were circling a park it was coming down thick. The roads were coated with a layer a couple of inches thick and quickly became communal playgrounds for bored families.