I am very much enjoying this wintry weather. My self-discipline with the central heating at home means that a briskish walk has multiple benefits - a helping of vitamin D, free exercise, the excitement of new grounds to stamp, and a bit of a warm-up. This weekend we tested the instructions for the last leg of Walk 2012 which runs from Putney Bridge to the Olympic Stadium.
It was one of those grey days that, if you are in the right frame of mind, can be soothing rather than miserable. We took the tube to Putney Bridge, followed the route to the Thames Path passing pretty suburban villas; zigzagged along the path past breeze block walls, buddleias and concrete benches; looked across to Bell Creek where the Wandle meets the Thames,; crossed at the river and found our way back to the river path, him ranting about the unimaginative modern architecture, and me admiring sand and gravel depots; had a long chat with a stranger about power stations and the Pre Raphaelites; and mooched past the pretty-in-pink Albert Bridge. Once we were in Battersea Park we had to take shelter from the rain under an awning with a cup of tea. We thought we might make it as far as Tate Britain without getting too wet, but still had time to stop to see the trickle that was the Tyburn meandering across the mud, and a heron paddling at the edge of the glittery, grey river.
I'm a little ashamed at how long it took us and that we took shelter without getting even half way, but that's what happens if you don't leave home until midday and spend too much time dawdling. Even so, we felt we'd earned our cup of tea, a gentle mooch around the Camden Town painters, and the pleasure of finding my lost beret (in the shop) and my gloves (in the cafe). It's the little things that make a good day.
We'll try to get up a bit earlier for the next stage. Promise.