mundane adventures in running
I had planned to write about running in Malaysia, but I got distracted. London is too beautiful today, too haunting, too full of ghosts and history to think too much about tropical splendour, jungles and monsoon showers.
I ran from Denmark Hill, up and down the Lewisham Alps, to the top of Telegraph Hill, under the foot tunnel at Greenwich, across the Island to Canary Wharf and then along the highway.
The air is wet, sodden with fret that lies as a veil across familiar skyscapes. Everything looks fuzzy. The fuzziness lets your imagination run away. The shard, the gherkin, familiar buildings are recast as ancient spires, sentinels in a steampunk reworking of modern London.
The clouds in the sky are illuminated piss yellow by the sun. Milky cataracts and confusion. It’s dizzyingly bland, sharply obscured. I don’t know where I am.
I’m only just back from three weeks away, London feels genuinely new and surprising, but more so with this visual trick, this disguise. The Highway is the Ratcliffe Highway again. St. George in the East is at home, an eerie pagan temple shimmering in the fog. I’m sure I made out spring-heel jack somewhere round about Limehouse.