diamond geezer

 Friday, March 05, 2021

Some walks you walk more often than others. Some you walk a lot more than others. A few become such an entrenched part of your routine that you walk them over and over and over and know every place you pass every step of the way. And those well-trodden walks change as your life evolves, so by the time you get to my age you might have a lengthy repertoire.

My most-walked walks

Home 1 - School 1 (5 minutes) [60s/70s]
Past the garage, up the road, turn left at the tiny corner shop where I might get the chance to stop for some Fruit Salad chews or a packet of sweet cigarettes on the way home, down the road, past Simon's house, cross the road by myself (which you'd never let a seven year old do by themselves these days), past the last few cottages, through the gate. (later extended to School 2 via the lollipop man)

Home 2 - School 2 (20 minutes) [70s]
Through the church, past Heidi's house, turn left at the postbox, head down the hill, watch out for buses, turn right at the library, cross the road near the butchers, turn left opposite Budgens, weave through the Victorian working class quarter, pretend you're too old for the lollipop lady, say hello to classmates, walk up the drive.

Home 2 - School 3 (25 minutes) [70s/80s]
Past the bus stop, 5 minute marker at the end of the road, down the hill, past John's house, under the railway, 10 minute marker at the roundabout, over the canal, over the river, 15 minute marker at the fire station, past the garage, 20 minute marker at the local newspaper offices, past the spot where I saw the nasty cycle accident, up the hill.

Uni - lectures (20 minutes) [80s]
Across the cobbles, up the narrowing alleyway, over the pedestrian crossing, past the globally renowned tourist opportunity, dodge the bikes, past the other globally renowned tourist opportunity, past the pub where it all kicked off, past the long wall with all sorts of locked gates, past the architecture I didn't appreciate at the time, in the back way.

Home 3 - Job 1 (15 minutes) [80/90s]
Down the path, keep an eye open for the good-looking neighbour, exit the close, wait for a gap in the traffic, cross under the flight path, past the satellite workplace, past the big houses, past the bigger houses, cross under the other flight path, through the alleyway, past the council houses, through the gate.

Home 4 - town centre (10 minutes) [90s]
Round the courts, under the Indian Bean tree, wait for a gap in the traffic, in and out of the paper shop, past the sadly-mediocre pub, past the bridalwear boutique, turn right at the traffic lights, down what passes for a hill round here, past the disappointing bakery, across the car park, skirt the bus station (embark here for Job 2)

Home - tube station (10 minutes) [00s/10s]
(numerous variants according to where I decide to cross Bow Road, but easily the most walked stretch of road in my entire life)

Home - Olympic Park (10 minutes+) [20s]
Badly parked cars, step aside, burgermopeds, step aside, nip across the unsafe bit of the Bow Roundabout, slip between the towers, dodge the delivery vans, past the smelly waste, look up at the empty trains, past the hotel, under a lot of railways, dodge the pigeonshit, dodge the big trucks, climb the concrete steps... and then a world of variety spreads out ahead of me, over and over and over again.

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