I woke up with a hangover and with Anna in South London on Sunday morning.
Two outta three 'aint bad, etc.
We had agreed the night before to be out the flat by 8am, and walking the mean streets of SW8 on a photo shoot.
It's a rarity that we get to spend South London time together now. Nine Elms is changing at such a pace, that we wanted to capture it.
We couldn't have timed it any better. It was the perfect blue sky photography day.
The streets of Sunny Stockwell and Vauxhall were empty.
I did a similar photo walk a couple of years ago. The whole regeneration site had pretty much been flattened by then.
Fast forward two years and it is almost finished.
I wasn't expecting to see the cuboid American Embassy so close to completion.
The missing piece for the jigsaw appears to be the Power Station.
We both felt that the whole stretch was lacking in any soul. It may have been 8am on a Sunday morning, but you find evidence of 'life' [and then some...] back outside Stockwell tube.
Even with a Transpontine blue sky day, it was bloody freezing.
Sunlight was nowhere to be seen. The height and scale of the development blocks it all out.
I remain slightly sneering over the whole patch. It's not for me. It's not for you.
It will be interesting to see in 12 months time if any of the luxury apartments are actually being lived in.
Anna then buggered off back to Essex play golf.
I did my thing.
Which meant a lovely lido swim of course.
I'm not sure why, but my mind wasn't really into this; my body even less so.
The water temperature had dipped ever so slightly since Saturday.
It felt bloody cold poolside, with the South London wind starting to blow up.
It took me four lengths to find my rhythm.
And then it was absolutely LOVELY.
The Brockwell skies overhead were spectacular.
I rotated my stroke, and then when my head was above the water I was met with blinding sun in battle with the bruising skies.
Three layers of clothes were left back on the radiator rail back in the gents. They had a comfort blanket value as I shivered after a shower and a towel down.
A dash back to Sunny Stockwell, a bit of gardening, a bike clean, and then I buggered off back to Brixton.
I haven't seen the Lady Topcats play at the Rec in sometime. I enjoyed it more than the men to be honest.
Some school work back in the flat, and then some further training and a late night Sunday shift.
Up early and hangover free.
Fast forward 24 hours, and that won't last.
I did a bit of blogging and photo editing from the basketball from Friday night.
And then the Brockwell Park Run.
My enthusiasm has been slowly picking up over recent weeks.
The unfortunate run of 'male bodily injuries' that I suffered over the Christmas and New Year period appear to have been resolved.
The run last week was gentle; today I was up for a half-decent work out.
Although probably not a PB...
Madam Pacemaker greeted me at the gates of the Park.
I politely declined her very kind invitation to sprint around with her.
Instead I took it at my own pace - 11:58 at the halfway split. Happy with that.
My final time of 22:30 was around 30 seconds up on what I was expecting.
I took no consolation from being beaten by a man and his dog. A fella and his four-legged friend crossed the finish line just ahead of me.
Woof woof, etc.
And then the lovely lido.
Woh - that felt cold as I strolled up poolside, still soaking wet in my running gear.
There was a brisk Brockwell wind, but the water temperature was actually up form yesterday to 9.1 degrees.
I put in eight enthusiastic lengths, and was then joined by the rubber boys and girls of the Windrush Tri Club.
I kept the pace for a couple more lengths, before ducking out.
Back at base and @RobertElms was asking about the best and most missed things in your borough.
My contribution was:
BEST things in Lambeth:
Brockwell Lido - now open all year round.
Black Cultural Archives - brilliant new Windrush Square location.
Canterbury Arms pub, Brixton - proper old school boozer, live music, club nights, but now demolished for 'luxury apartments'.
Not quite gone, but will be soon: Vauxhall Ski Jump bus station.
sad, sad face
I cycled off to the West End (ish) early afternoon.
The first stop Sir John Soames House.
I have been past many times, but for some reason never ventured inside.
I was expecting it be BONKERS.
It was DOUBLE BONKERS.
My disdain for hoarders soon diminished.
The whole house was full of phallic items. Who would want to live in a house like that?
I felt rather inadequate as I put in a toilet stop in the authentic old basement u-bend.
And then something very different: the New Ldn Architecture exhibition at the Building Centre in Bloomsbury.
There was so much detail to take in. Basically I just wanted to try and find my flat on the HUGE map.
But South Lambeth Road had slipped off the end of the world, somewhere around The Oval.
I hunted for around 15 minutes to try and find the SE17 school.
I checked, and double checked my cycling route, but still kept on ending up in deepest Bermondsey.
And then I found it.
Half a school.
Year 1, 3 and 3 had fallen off the map.
I cycled back down South, taking in Whitehall.
I hadn't planned this, but I caught the Save Our NHS demo in full flow.
I stopped for a short while to take some snaps.
And then I had a visitor in Sunny Stockwell.
How very rare.
Oh, hello Wifey.
It was another His 'n' Hers Transpontine evening.
That's not technically true. We headed over to Hammersmith for a gathering of friends in remembrance of one who has recently died.
It was all very respectful, yet still life-affirming.