Lockdown Life

Lockdown lessons: it’s not just ‘popping out for a walk’

Yesterday, TheFrankFlyer and I went out for a walk. It was my first time outside the apartment building for what seemed like an age. So it felt quite strange.

And it was my first time wearing shoes in weeks, which somehow felt stranger! I’ve been living the barefoot life at home and it’s marvellous. These days, putting on clothes is an additional chore. I usually work in shorts and a t-shirt, slipping into a (fancy) polo shirt if I’m going to be on a webinar, then stripping off again for an evening on the sofa.

But out there, in the real world, we’re still expected to dress, so I dutifully obliged!

We walked 5km around the Isle of Dogs, generally steering clear of the Thames Path, which these days, is a dickhead-magnet. Honestly, it’s full of people walking in groups, impatient cyclists who won’t slow down, and runners who fly past with just a couple of inches’ space.

Walking south and then east, we seem to have avoided (most of) the dickheads and enjoyed a reasonably relaxed walk. But we still had to be on our guard for other people, especially the latest breed of pavement cyclists.

We were both amazed at how peaceful it was outside, how calm the river was and how we could hear ourselves think even though in the middle of such a busy neighbourhood.

We came home through the newest development of Canary Wharf Group, a set of enormous apartment and office blocks to the east of the estate. It’s looking good, but coronavirus has obviously delayed everything.

I wonder if the advertised bakery, coffee shops, restaurants and other commercial outlets at street level will ever open. I think we’re all braced for an economic catastrophe and lots of small businesses like these are going to feel it full on.

Then it was back home, to be greeted by a large gaggle of our neighbours gathered on the Thames Path, oblivious to social distancing rules, waiting to see an RAF fly-past for VE Day. Because seeing some colourful planes is more important that stopping the spread of a deadly virus. I despair at their stupidity.

Anyway, despite all that, we’re going to head out for another walk this morning. We’ll leave a little earlier in the hope that the streets will be that much quieter. And we’ll continue to remain sharp – as it’s not just popping out for a walk anymore. It’s like an assault course, where the obstacles are idiots.

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