Southside | Start: 13:41 | End: 15:36 | Duration: 1:55
There are great lengths of peacefulness here, whole minutes with no ramblers, cyclists, or runners. Follow the walker as she takes in the bright sunshine, blossoming bursts of trees, lapping tide.
Then the people come and the walker listens and learns. It’s low tide season, or that house is on sale for £15 million but it’s still on the market and there’s a sunken pool inside. Real life is heard in that which is told to others.
Here’s the old Meridian Line, used to set the time before GMT was established. Follow this route, marked on the ground, to the edge of the river. Lean over with the walker and spot as she drops her pen onto the exposed riverbed. Watch her debate how Iain Sinclair she is feeling, then leap across a rock and lower herself down. It’s quieter here. Walkers could lose themselves, sinking into the vague mud, all alone. Footsteps forward, then footprints followed in retreat.
Birds in a row, screeching at a heron or else the cloudy river. A terrier barks at a woman’s ankles and, as it passes, she confides that she’s always hated dogs. Binoculars around the neck of a sprightly man taking sparrow steps towards the blanket of wild bluebells in Kew Gardens.
It’s the longest walk so far and there have been 211 cyclists en route, including three tandems, two babies tucked into bicycle-trailers and one singing family. How still the water is today, how calm.