diamond geezer

 Saturday, May 16, 2020

150 things I saw on a walk up the Olympic Park and back

Empty bottle of Dragon Stout, bus stop identification number 348, graffiti by Eiros on a listed building, passive aggressive note slipped under the windscreen of a badly-parked car with a noisy alarm, private ambulance, a slew of white vans, man sporting lockdown mohican, black rubber glove standing erect on top of an orange plastic cone, two fully-decorated Christmas trees in storage, Chris and Loanne's Farmdrop delivery boxes.10

Weary jogger, former station sign from Pudding Mill Lane DLR, line of key worker caravans, three IJWS waste tankers queueing to enter waste disposal site, stack of unread Metro newspapers, discarded juice cartons left behind after impromptu skateboard gathering, innumerable pigeons, electric Jump bike abandoned outside permissible zone, tweet from Sir Peter Hendy, yellow JCB scooping aggregates from the lofty mound beneath it.20



Freshly-trodden socially-distant footpath, hedgerow with dog roses, History Tree, John Deere utility vehicle towing water bowser, treetops alive with birdsong, gardener from Willerby Landscapes hoeing the approach to footbridge H16, three yellow irises (two of which have opened since Monday), alliums, jogger stopping to photograph Rachel and Hannah's bench, banks of colourful poppies.30

Olympic ode commissioned by the current Prime Minister, two ducks-a-leaping, the last of the hawthorn blossom, a pair of flirty goldfinches, giant-size crayon mooring posts, desire line path dodging between poppies and oxeye daisies, YTIЯUƆƎƧ, Muster Point 4, heavy-breathing jogger, set of permanently temporary traffic lights.40

Approximately 100 superfluous crowd control barriers, moped rider choosing not to stop at a zebra crossing, the ongoing construction of balconies, jogger sporting closely-cropped pink hair, man doing sit-ups on a sloping lawn, a cheeky cigarette, father using picnic table bench to do step-ups while carrying a small child to provide additional weight, shaggy spaniel lolloping behind a cyclist, nodding rushes, horse manure (not fresh).50



Child alighting from a Segway to point at some wild flowers, max headroom 10' 3", waterside buttercups, sunburnt QEOP litter-picker, concrete pillar sprayed with the graffiti I Am Ill With Hope, double decker bus with one passenger, main road that's not normally this easy to cross, man skipping with fluorescent rope, shadow-boxer, woman on football pitch doing stretching exercises while her dog circles.60

Bright orange footbridge, Tesco bag for life abandoned on bench, History Tree, woman brazenly picking flowers from beside the path, flapping banner advertising this afternoon's hockey internationals between England and Argentina (long since cancelled), Supply Pillar FP2, dual carriageway as busy as it often is, jogger doing a clockwise loop of the Velodrome, damselfly, meadow scattered with thistles and daisies.70

Magpie pecking at locked gate, discarded Santander Cycle Hire receipt, inspection hatch shielding supply of non-potable water, the City of London, interlocking shadows of the five Olympic rings, champagne cork and two bottletops, kickboxing practice, small white butterflies, thickly-wildflowered slope, a dozen sparrows hunting for food on a recently-watered lawn.80



Perfectly-aligned handrail shadows, horticultural contractor's truck proceeding slowly with lights flashing, abandoned tennis ball, circle of white paint sprayed onto grass around trip hazard, Canary Wharf, mum and toddler playing on picnic blanket, irrigation rainbows, History Tree, avenue of acers, overweight couple only one of whom has chosen to wear a face covering.90

Goose staring defiantly into midriver to protect nesting site, cyclist deftly taking a selfie while crossing bridge, pristine dandelion clock, path that didn't used to pass through a low hanging branch, Shred-It van, cloud of tiny flies, brightly-coloured lycra one-piece, roadbuilders sitting down behind trolley for a fag break, the aftermath of wet resin, two bored traffic marshals.100



Apple orchard, beheaded silver birch, half-covered 20mph speed limit signs, photographer setting up her tripod to capture a bank of dazzling flowers, rising radial lock, pair of red Beats headphones leaking loud dance music, bearded dad actively encouraging son Toby to cycle down a set of canalside steps, floppy poppy, dinging cyclist approaching from behind, unhired swan pedalos.110

Personal trainer working with client hanging from coned-off exercise equipment, History Tree, small child on the back of a bike pointing up at two cranes and shouting "wow! wow!", The Honest Sausage, boy running onto the lawn beneath the Orbit for some much-needed football practice, cashpoint, mothballed cafe, cycle hire station with only two gaps, shrivelled daffodil stalks, the beginnings of a new university campus's second floor.120



Gabion as vehicular obstacle, LTN1/55, handrail recently scrubbed clean of pigeon droppings, class 315 train not yet retired from TfL Rail, locked allotments, motley collection of sheds, a dozen empty soft drink bottles cut in half to provide frost protection, several blocks of flats awaiting recladding, sixty Jubilee Greenway plaques, incorrigibly inquisitive labrador.130

Four blue plastic gloves disposed on top of an empty pack of Heineken, rusting iron barge, leaking drainage outfall, pre-Olympic footpath infrastructure, resident setting off to do essential shopping, lockkeeper's cottage, angler with a big net and an actual can of worms, socially-distanced angler puffing on a reefer, flat-builders pumping sealant into a 3rd floor balcony, flat-builders nailing down a 7th floor ceiling.140

Telecoms engineer sat on a reel of cable checking his phone, empty Capri-Sun pouch, DHL delivery pulling up onto the pavement, concierge popping outside and leaving reception unguarded, elderly cyclist returning home with this week's Bangla Post, four coot chicks, woman wielding a bunch of tulips, Thames Water van checking McDonalds car park terms and conditions, 277 relief bus, empty bottle of Dragon Stout.150


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