Took a ride today through the city to that most romantic of places. Peckham.
Nothing particularly inspiring about the ride there, apart from the Richard Herring podcast I was listening to as I pedalled, which happened to run for exactly the right amount of time (including a brief stopover for a Greenall's pre-mixed g&t. Fortitude was needed as I was attending a 6th birthday party. As if I have to explain myself to you lot anyway) If you are the podcast type, I heartily recommend subscribing. If you are not the podcast type, then quickly become so. Alternatively of course, there's YouTube things and websites and even live performances you can go to. If you are the comedy type, you will laugh, I promise, and if you don't, then you have no soul. The whole thing around 'cumpkin' is worth it in itself.
But, the ride back. Now that was something else. I chose naked ears for this return journey, because:
a) the podcast had finished and;
b) sometimes I like to soak up the atmosphere (which includes sound) as I ride.
London on a winter's night - weather permitting - can be a truly wondrous place, and a bike telescopes everything, allowing one to flit from one reality to another in the blink of an eye. Or perhaps just a little longer. Instead of simply carrying out the same journey in reverse, after passing Burgess Park, the Old Kent Road, Bricklayers and the Elephant, I unwittingly got caught up in the madness of Waterloo, and followed an RV1 bus into the road which leads to the London Eye 'launch pad' or whatever the hell they call it.
Cynical I may be, but the wheel is certainly an arresting sight as it heaves into view.
Then, faced with the choice of turning around and heading for one of the road bridges, I decided to dismount and push the machine along the South Bank to Hungerford Bridge and over it. Anyone who's been there will know that it comes alive in the early evening, with some great street performers and a marvellous light show laid out in front of you. All the way to the top of Villiers Street I went, breathing it all in.