Sunday 26th March, 2023

Another Sunday, another swim at Vauxhall.

I got lucky with the lane situation. There were four of us sharing the fast lane. Each swimmer was aware of their strengths and limitations. A very polite stop and start system was in place for my forty lengths. It meant we all got to push ourselves with a decent workout.

I listened a little to Robert Elms on BBC London. Richard Strange was an ACE Listed Londoner. I liked his choice of Child of The Jago as his favourite Ldn shop. I would love to be able to pull off some of the hat designs. I have a head shape that is only suited to baseball caps.

Buzzed: Dulwich Hamlet show resilience in face of tough opposition to nab point in a 2-2 home draw against high flyers Oxford City

“There was large queues at the turnstiles for fans wanting to buy tickets on the gate. This was Non League Day and so a big crowd was expected. The official attendance was a sell out of 3,334. Local MP Helen Hayes was amongst those in the crowd.”

I was on weather watch for most of the morning. I wanted to get out, but the forecast was bloody awful.

The Sunny Stockwell skies seemed to brighten up shortly after midday. I made a break for it and headed out for a walk.

I had no real plans or destination apart from keep walking. I crossed at Vauxhall. It was rather windy. My cap was almost blown into the river. Imagine how I might have felt if I was wearing a £200 Child of The Jago hat.

I ended up around the back garden of Buckingham Palace. This is a place that is completely alien to me. The tourist tat shops were fucking awful.

I pressed on and reached Hyde Park. Large sections were cordoned off with replacement turf covering up the damage from the concerts of last summer.

BRUUUUCE at Hyde Park is coming up, Comrades.

Like a fool I strayed over to Speaker’s Corner. I’m currently reading Tony Allen’s excellent A Sumer in the Park. It’s part personal journal, part anarchist art project taking the piss out of Speaker’s Corner in the summer of 2000.

Twenty three years later and the scenes seem a long way removed from the intellectual fun and debate that Allen describes in the book.

tl;dr NUTJOBS and homophobes.

I walked away after one speaker told me I was part of the “gay militant” after I questioned the homophobic shit he was spouting.

It’s sad that Speaker’s Corner is now an irrelevance. You find better debate under YT vids.

I walked towards Marble Arch, and then the western end of Oxford Street. What a bloody dump. I took a detour instead around Mayfair.

In my ears was the new Forest On and Off the Pitch podcast.

Yes, I have given it a listen. It was half decent, albeit a little too Soccer AM for my linking. Ryan Yates’ description of the Market Square celebrations last May were touching:

“I’ve never known so many people in one area looking so happy.”

My walking led me to Soho. I wanted to pick up a bargain £4 FGTH remix double CD that I passed on earlier in the week at Reckless.

I passed the Museum of Youth Culture. That looks interesting. Inside was an exhibition handed over to the old goth Batcave club. It led heavily on Specimen pics and artefacts. I’ve got a Beauty of Poison 12″ filed away somewhere.

I was snapping away, and then I felt a tap on my shoulder.

Blimey. It was only that nice Mike Urban. It’s surprising how much chat on goths, cameras, football and Brixton you can fit into fifteen minutes.

I walked around the outer edges of Holborn, and then towards The Strand. I almost didn’t recognise the stretch around Somerset House with the complete pedestrianisation.

More of the same please.

I crossed at Waterloo, and then headed through Lower Marsh and The Cut. The final few kms back to Sunny Stockwell were a little tiring on an empty stomach.

16km in total, 23k steps.

Gent-Wevelgem highlights was the Sunday night recovery.