And so to Richmond this past weekend, staying locally and taking part, Ms Alive and Running and I, in Richmond parkrun. Richmond Park is a large open area in south west London, adjacent to the Thames. The course is one gently undulating circuit along established paths and it’s common to run past large deer. Being an intrinsically brave person, I held my nerve as I passed very near to a giant specimen with a frightening array of pointy antlers, which to my untutored eye, seemed to have been deliberately sharpened for maximum damage. It met my gaze and started to run along side of me. I resisted the urge to run screaming with terror in a non parkrun approved direction and held my nerve. Thinking quickly, I shouted out that I knew for certain that most people running behind me loved to eat venison and that he should draw his own conclusions. I saw him pull up and stare malevolently at runners to my rear. Ten seconds later, I heard cries of surprise and alarm but I judged it best to run on. Didn’t they have marshals to sort this kind of thing out? I would be crazy to jepardise my time by assisting the injured and traumatised.
Overall, Richmond parkrun went well. It’s described as challenging although I would be hard put to argue how it merits that description. You go down long inclines and go up them as well but they aren’t severe. It is, however, a lovely course with views over London and there are runners and cyclists everywhere.There were 354 runners and I came in at 104. Before we ran, the run director drew our attention to someone who had completed 250 parkruns and was wearing the coveted gold emblem tee shirt. How we drooled with envy! It’s akin to Charlie winning the golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.
This giant poppy, commemorating those killed in war since 1914, is displayed at Kings Cross station.
This platform on one of the stations we stopped at between Cambridge and Kings Cross, London, is out of use. The sign on the red background says “Do not alight here.” This is clearly good advice unless you have a strong interest in platform based plant life.
This is St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel which retains the outside Gothic facade and inner Victorian architecture. It’s joined to St. Pancras railway station which is a stone’s throw from Kings Cross. We had a little spare time and went into the reception area for a coffee. They waived the minimum £12.50p spend per person since we were going to simply drink coffee for a short while rather than have an endless business meeting. Very interesting environment, expensive, lots of security to make sure the right people get in. We gained admittance because we were harmless non-spenders who met their diversity and inclusiveness criteria. I spied a security guard ticking a box as we left. Am I being unfair? Probably.
We walked along the Thames by Putney Bridge. Beautiful houses, plenty of money, lots of conspicuous spending, no poor people in sight. How clever of rich people to have their own political party to disparage and shame those who have the least resources. How clever to mention that ordinary, hard working taxpayers feel “swamped” by immigrant alien cultures who either take our jobs or claim benefits money out of the pockets of ordinary, hard working…etc, etc. How reassuring that bigotry is alive and well in the Tory Party. Grrr! I think I’ll go for another run.