Said the lady at the Bologna baggage check in when the very polite check in desk lady asked her where her passport was. Followed up by “that bag I’ve just put on the conveyor belt”. So began my journey home to the UK. Leaving behind Heatwave Lucifer and aiming towards London’s version of summer.
My cabbie was a friendly one and complained about how hot it was and difficult to sleep at night. I smiled because I was sooo looking forward to sleeping in 18 degrees and not 28.
Mr Smooth invited me here for a City break run and up I got. The hour time difference helped, as I was able to get out in reasonably free of commuters time. I had promised myself two things, first off I’d go to my beloved Borough Market just to see if things are back to how I remember them and not those awful newsreel shots of a little while ago. And second to try and beat my average km time, which has been hovering around the 9-10 minute mark. Now I am not obsessed by the timing, I just thought with it being cooler it may be possible.
So being back to the City, a quick recap on the rules. Never talk to strangers, in fact never make eye contact even when talking to someone. Never amble, always walk fast. Black/grey clothing is de rigueur, as is a stern face. Oh and the one I remember from my time working here – any runner you see jogging on the spot at junctions is called a w..k.r – under your breath of course, because you’d never say it aloud as that may risk a conversation.
I started at Barbican, out to Fleet Street, the Strand, back towards St Paul’s and over the wobbly Millennium bridge. Now I am a thumper when running, I try hard to follow Oldfloss advice to kiss the ground. I knew that my running was a bit thumpy (not a real word – forgive me). At that time Blur was on, and the actor Phil Daniels said the immortal line “it’s not all vorsprung durch technik you know” it made me smile and so I softened my feet. As I finished crossing the bridge, World in Motion came on. I think I must have subliminally chosen loads of songs for running, and then Mr Smooth piped up again. I miss him on these longer runs, as I don’t get to hear the liquid velvet and calm encouragement quite so much.
Borough was quiet and just coming to life, I saw the market traders I know and some I don’t and took a quiet couple of minutes to say my respects. I love this City, it’s dirty and noisy and frankly pongs a bit. And what do you know, there’s loads of us runners around, not wearing fluoro like me, they are all in ‘City appropriate’ greys and blacks. And not one mention of the “w” word, but then to be honest, I didn’t dare jog on the spot at junctions, I ran up and down until the lights changed!
Oops it’s in the bag – I just did the run, I broke my time record by about 2 minutes, did the longest run/walk so far, oh and I am down a shade of red – now sporting Raspberry Bellini.