Today I went for my first run in about three weeks. I’m getting old apparently and injuries will come periodically. I’ve really missed the exercise, so thankfully today I felt strong.
Running around a reservoir turned nature reserve with views of the sun setting over the Thames, is about as good as it gets in London. And yet you still can’t escape the pollution and dirt, on the non river side is a busy road with the lingering smell and resulting chesty breath caused by diesel fumes.
As I walked back to my in-laws house I switched my switched my music to one of my favourite songs. I let my mind wonder, aware of my body beginning its recovery, the sweat on my brow, my legs getting stiffer, my posture for once excellent. I looked around at this typical but very wealthy corner of suburban london, standard semis, big extensions, luxury cars, a group of dog owners having a chat in an enclosed park, but grey, so grey.
As the music crescendos I realise this is likely to be the last time I will be here in this situation. That morning the last of our things got picked up by the movers, we have exchanged, we complete on Friday and we will be getting the keys to our new life in Wales in three weeks!
Next time I’ll be here will be to visit, no longer a Londoner, no longer with nowhere else to go. I could look back at the delays, crazy fuck ups and the huge financial expense of the last few months. But instead I’m just elated. Elated to be moving on, and so, so grateful.
Grateful for my in laws who are housing our rather large and noisy family yet again. Grateful for friends who will be housing us soon. Grateful for my parents who have housed us one way or another for huge parts of the last three years. But mainly grateful for my life, my wife, my kids, the potential, our options, the future, just everything.
By this point I’m grinning like a Cheshire Cat as I stride up the road, my mind wonders off towards potential futures/plans/ideas, when my song and thoughts and mood are rudely interrupted by my phone alarm beeping at me.
Perhaps a gentle reminder that not everything ahead will be smooth sailing...
After a quick fumble, the song resumes, then the lyrics and music slowly come to an end.
I turn it off and enjoy a peaceful moment.