I’ve gone for one of this week’s optional themes from the Weekly Blog Club: a walk. With 20 minutes to this week’s posting cut-off, I was about to send my regular tweet begging for one of WBC’s popular Squidgy Deadlines. But today I’m slaying the procrastination demon.
Down the seventy stairs from the fourth floor. This usually entails an urban form of ‘It’s a Knockout’. Will I get past the mattress blocking the stairs below? Have I forgotten the major leak outside Flat 31 or will I end up on my backside again? What else is there on the iSpy checklist of a Stepney staircase: vomit, urine, phlegm (tick), cigarette butts (two), discarded Monster Munch (lots), tissues, bits of straw (down to me and mine usually).
Out the door, inhaling Eau de Rough Sleeper. Onto the street past one of the last Jewish bakeries in the East End, resisting awesome salmon bagels or tiny Danish pastries endorsed by Nigella herself.
Cross the street where Stalin lived when he was in London. Architect-enhanced wealth mingles with overcrowded immigration, literally next door to each other. Look out for urban foxes filling up on the chicken bones that litter every street of the borough with the highest concentration of fast food and serious child obesity. No longer take a minute to wonder if the two are related.
Past the care home that specialises in dementia and suffer usual guilt about my dad. slowly going under in that vile fog. Catch a glimpse of the raised bed that my work has helped put in there to envliven sight and scent for residents.
Swap a grin with a young father, pushing his baby along at Mo Farah speed while her big sister runs, school bag, bashing against her chubby legs, as the primary school reaches register time.
Debate a walk through the park, with its groups of boys in uniform swapping spliffs and gobbing. No, too many mobile thefts recently and I’m limping with a sore Achilles tendon. Being mugged five times does tend to lean one towards a pessimistic outlook. And the last instance of being groped by about eight of them inspired police to say that I should consider covering up my long blonde hair as it made me look ‘obvious’.
So I pass the Crossrail workings, walk along the side of Stepney City Farm with the walls from an old Baptist college and past St Dunstan’s Church and ‘the bells of Step-nee’ from the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons.
The picture of the Triumph of Good Sense is from Spitalfields Life by the Gentle Author