It seems to be taking an unfathomable amount of time for my knee to heal from the arthroscopy I had at the beginning of November. I managed a broken three-miler filming with Nick Papadimitriou the other Sunday, out to Mogden Purification Works, then down to HMP Bronzefield. But I seem to have been paying for it ever since.
This period of restricted mobility inevitably turns the mind to walking – the dream of perambulating across the city, into the Chilterns. I start to make imaginary walks – plan excursions I’ll make when recovered.
Right now I’m thinking of the walk I did with the family at the end of the summer – a rare hot day when we set out across Wanstead Flats from the Dames Road end of Leytonstone, past the ponds, along Capel Road dodging fiercely fought multinational football matches, the boys intrigued by the deep trenches dug for the re-laying of the water-mains that scar the meadows, around Aldersbrook to the gates of the City of London Cemetery then back again in a broad loop to upper Leytonstone. That I shall reprise in the winter light.
Meeting old comrade Jerry Whyte for a beer in Clerkenwell took me round one of my imagined routes – The Three Kings, lost looking for the Jerusalem before a walk along Saffron Hill to the Mitre off Ely Place.
Last Christmas saw me tramping my old grounds around Fetter Lane and Doughty Street. Where this year? Have to see where the city’s mood draws me.