diamond geezer

 Friday, February 05, 2021

Do join me on the aimless ramble I took yesterday.
I took a snapshot every 20 minutes.

20 minutes

This is the Greenway, specifically the stretch between the Jubilee and District lines near West Ham station. Up here you can see for miles across London, which is one of the prime benefits of a permissive footpath built on top of a mega-sewer. Canary Wharf appears to the southwest, shrouded in cloud. Other than the tiny windows in adjacent loft extensions the only nearby building exceeding our height is the Victorian multi-storey primary school in Corporation Street. This section of the Greenway has been upgraded in recent years with regular streetlamps and CCTV sentinels to deter muggers and encourage use as a 24 hour cycle artery. The usual crowd of joggers, striders and padding dogs are here too. A damp blue sweatshirt hangs from a branch. The sun is faintly visible through rolling grey cloud. No virgin surface goes untagged. And in my first 20 minutes I've managed to walk a mile and a bit, confirming my speed as 4mph rather than 3, which is why I've chosen to snapshot today's post by time and not by distance.

40 minutes

This is still the Greenway, specifically the stretch in Plaistow beside Newham University Hospital. A new footpath has been constructed allowing direct access to the hospital car park for the first time, but it remains barriered off despite having looked ready to open for several months. An armless concrete signpost has been added at the junction-to-be. Passing traffic includes a man on a motorised skateboard, a group of friends dawdling three abreast and a woman shouting in Portuguese into her phone. I fear that's what passes as her normal voice. The strip of grass behind the railings has been christened Greenway Orchard by a group of community volunteers who come down weekly to prune, weed and plant things, thankfully in beds raised above the organic nutrient flowing beneath. A chorus of sparrows sings from the railings, having mistaken a brief mild spell for spring. I hasten my pace because there's a genuine risk I'll still be on the Greenway in 20 minutes time and that'd be narratively tedious.

1 hour

This is the A13, specifically the Beckton Alps Interchange, because I got a move on and exited the Greenway just before an hour was up. A complex road junction complete with flyover has been built where Essex arterial meets sewage pipeline. One of the directional signs before the traffic lights points towards 'Roman Road', not because the area has ancient history but because that's the name of the next residential street. The pedestrian signals here never change to green unless you press the button, even if the traffic on the sliproad will be stationary for the next minute - an evil software setting which seemingly applies to all the A13 interchanges in Newham. A smattering of East Ham residents cross anyway, trudging to or from shops they don't have on their side of the divide. The artificial peak of Beckton Alp looms to the southeast, with the row of left-over ski-run panels at its summit casting shadows like some mystical henge.

1 hour 20 minutes

This is Gallions Reach, specifically the DLR station, not the nearby stretch of the Thames estuary. If you've not been down recently yes, people live here now in undistinguished brick-clad blocks and towers. Open a station and 25 years later they will come. Even better, they now have a Co-Op. Not everyone wants to trek to Beckton's giant Asda, nor indeed any Asda, so the availability of half price PG Tips and Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes is very welcome. Even the in-store bakery is up and running by the smell of it. Hardhatted workers from the building site across the road drop in regularly as a break from labouring on the latest vertical housing project. I'd quite like to rewrite the Gallions Point sales brochure to reference the isolation, the nearby sewage works and the City Airport flightpath, rather than being "the heart of East London's most up-and-coming district", but that's a post for another day.

1 hour 40 minutes

This is Royal Albert Dock, specifically the white elephant Chinese-funded business neighbourhood rather than the body of water alongside. Two streets of office space have been built adjacent to a DLR station in anticipation international uptake, but so far only one company has taken the bait and they haven't yet turned up. All the units are numbered, and empty, and even the Marketing Suite is being used for nothing more than storing rolls of insulation. On the lawn where Phase 2 is meant to arise a German Shepherd is being taught to sit and stay. A family walk by, the son preoccupied with bouncing a basketball against every available surface. Across the dock London City Airport is in hibernation between the 9am to Amsterdam and the 4.35pm to Belfast, unless perhaps some private jet has reason to take off. If I keep walking, perhaps you can guess where I'll be in 20 minutes time...

2 hours

This is ExCeL, specifically the end that's been taken over as a Vaccination Centre, not the end with the underused Nightingale facility. You might expect it to be busy, given all the hoo-ha about Britain's successful immunisation programme, but nobody is queuing outside, nobody is being checked in at reception and nobody with an appointment is approaching from any direction. One woman of pensionable age exits clutching a treasured confirmation letter which she folds up and places in her handbag, but she's the sole evidence that anything's afoot. Having been past a number of times since the place opened, two jabbees is the maximum I've ever seen.

2 hours 20 minutes

This is Canning Town, specifically the new bit opposite the station branded Hallsville Quarter. The council estate I've just crossed would have been more interesting to write about, but I've instead I've ended up here in a characterless highrise wind tunnel. The piazza outside Morrisons has become a gathering place for just-finished shoppers, perhaps overwhelmed by the offer of a £3 Stir Fry Meal Deal or maybe just waiting for the rush in Superdrug to die down. Around the corner by the shisha cafe an influencer wearing a Burberry hat is setting up a tripod so that they can broadcast their thoughts to persons unseen. And who's that walking up behind? Blimey it's BestMate, just arrived in search of pork ribs and entirely coincidentally bumping into me. We haven't seen each other in six weeks, let alone spoken face to face, so a lengthy catch-up conversation ensues. Hang on while I pause my stopwatch.

2 hours 40 minutes

This is Cody Dock, specifically the semi-public footpath through the middle of the Leaside community project. Head honcho Simon is on site to supervise deliveries, unlock bollards and keep the Thames Water volunteers topped up with hot drinks. Roofs are being fixed and joists hoisted, because a community facility doesn't build itself. The dockside is littered with tents, metal containers, giant sculptures and daffodils in raised planters. Today is not the day to feed the rabbits or sit on the bench beside the sliced phone-box. Down by the creekside the river is low, the reeds are thick and a flock of seagulls is paddling in the mud. Alongside at the Sainsbury's distribution hub the car park is nigh empty because all the vans are out delivering your groceries. I'm hoping the rain holds off until I get home.

3 hours
Home, mug of tea, bath running.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21  Feb21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards