diamond geezer

 Saturday, February 10, 2024

My Saturday
diamond geezer

The East London blogger, 58,
shares the minutiae of his
typical routine in the most
exciting city on the planet

5am  I awake early because there's not a moment to be wasted. I'll read for a while - the latest by Tess Gerritsen is a proper page turner - then leap purposefully out of bed and find a grapefruit to slice, perhaps a handful of berries. The cafetière is already primed with fresh beans so that I can really hit the ground running.

6am  I don't believe Amy Lamé gets into the studio this early to do her show, I bet all the links are pre-recorded and stitched together later.

7am  I like to get to the gym early before the rest of the neighbourhood wakes up and hogs the crossover benches. After I've hogged them myself I shift to the treadmill and walk the equivalent of The Mall while listening to 1980s synthpop remixes. My glutes are glowing long before I reach the Victoria Memorial.

8am  I drop in to see my friendly local newsagent and banter with him while I buy my usual paper. He'll squint to try and spot the price and I'll point it out for him and we'll probably both laugh. Once I'm outside I'll bin the advertising supplement, then quickly check the chess puzzle, this weekend's birthdays... and the My Saturday feature of course!

9am  I'm very much a regular at Parkrun, I find it gives structure to my weekend. I don't have a regular course, I like to vary the location and keep it fresh. But as a default you can't go wrong with running 5K up Mile End Park, the all-weather surface is such a blessing at this time of year and the volunteers are always so lovely with the stragglers.

10am  I always interrupt my busy morning with an artisan coffee from whichever new opening Time Out has recommended this week. While I wolf down my organic pastry I check into my blog, that's diamond geezer, and roll my eyes at some of the comments people have left already.

11am  If a new bus route has launched, and these days it's more often than not, I'll be right down there to check it out. It's not just about riding it end to end, it's also about scrutinising the tiles on the bus stops and tallying the timetables, and probably tutting a lot.

12 noon  My readers are great at pointing out places I should visit - perhaps an anomalous streetsign, perhaps a peripheral pub, perhaps an unusual manhole cover - can you still say that these days? Other days I have ideas of my own and go there instead.

1pm  Lunch is a very important part of my Saturday. I might head to the latest streetfood nirvana and try my luck with a spicy chilli dog, a twisted falafel wrap or a mini pistachio crêpe - Kerb at the Gipsy Hill Taproom is always a winner. Or I might just open a packet of Mini Cheddars.

2pm  If I'm not halfway down a muddy footpath by now, researching some obscure neighbourhood none of my readers have hopefully even heard of, I consider my Saturday to have been a waste. It's always crucial to jot down a list of the names of the shops in the local parade so I can add colour to the subsequent blogpost.

3pm  I make sure I'm on the terraces by three, fully scarfed, ready to cheer on the lads. Unless they're playing away, obviously, in which case I go ride a rail replacement bus instead.

4pm  For me afternoon tea is a Saturday institution, ideally in a West End hotel, the pricier the better. The sandwiches are never as amazing as they sound in the reviews, but if they're small enough I can wolf them down and be out of there in twenty minutes flat.

5pm  If I haven't been to Sutton yet today, I slot it in here. London's most interesting borough never fails to delight.

6pm  Isn't Gladiators brilliant? I'm glued to my TV every Saturday evening, just like in the good old days, to see if Comet will win Hang Tough or whether Viper'll get his come-uppance. I see Barney Walsh very much as the natural successor to Ulrika.

7pm  I cook dinner ready for 7pm prompt, often imagining I have friends to share it with. During the day I'll have sourced a nice bit of fish or some kind of meaty flank, then I'll fry it up with whatever vegetable Yotam Ottolenghi's recommended in the magazine today, then probably a Creme Egg for afters.

8pm  Unless the prize crossword's really difficult this week I aim to have at least six clues filled in by now.

9pm  I'm a regular at my favourite pub, The Fletchers Arms, and on a Saturday night am often to be found propping up the bar with a pint of Old Skeddle or a mango daiquiri. They also do the best pork scratchings at a fairly reasonable price, plus the loos aren't up some awkward staircase which can become difficult later in the evening.

10pm  They let me jump the queue at Candelabra these days, I'm permanently on the guest list. A couple of cheeky vodkas and you'll find me on the dance floor, gyrating wildly, top off, probably popping a few like there's no tomorrow.

11pm  I'm always in bed by eleven. To wind down first I write my diary, then I open up my laptop and dash off tomorrow's blogpost - gotta give them something to read. The lights are inevitably off by half past.

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