I emerged from self-imposed quarantine after one week. No-one at Gatwick Airport seemed remotely interested in where I was going or who I’d be seeing, so last Monday I laced up my walking shoes and started a daily habit of wandering the empty streets of London. The Square Mile of the City is one of my favourite haunts, not least for the names of its streets. Garlick Hill, Pudding Lane, Bread Street. The building that looks like a pink, stripey Edwardian dessert is No 1, Poultry. A fabulous address, I think you’ll agree.
Look, though. No traffic. Almost everything here is dark and shuttered. My current bedtime reading, which at 880 pages also serves as a workout for my biceps, is Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, so I’d have liked to revisit the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula where Thomas Cromwell is buried, along with many who preceded him to the scaffold. But, like everything else, the Tower of London is closed. Maybe things will loosen up in December.
For me walking is the best ever brain-recharger. This morning as I passed HMS Belfast (closed to the public until further notice, natch) I heard the voice of Dr Dan resuming his story. He was quite insistent. So, tomorrow, I may begin the task of playing God. Who will survive in Book 4 and who is for the chop? To be decided. But that’ll be after I’ve walked to Postman’s Park.