I love to run along the banks of the canal and not only for the athletic satisfactions. The sociology is pretty good too: the rich array of human life, all those mid-rise new build flats packed with young professionals. And then there's the odd, enlightening culture clash.
It was there just after 7:00 this morning as I walked through the gloom towards Palm 2. Boris Johnson has taken pride in very few of his hire bikes being dumped or vandalised. Here was one of the few. Was it left there as an art statement? Should it be dismissed as mere arsing around? Is there a difference? I took this photo on my way back home at around 7:45 (the shopping and coffee are mine). When I went out again just after 9:00 it was gone.
Astoundingly, it is eight years since the beautiful Clapton Federation Synagogue on Lea Bridge Road was demolished. And what has become of the bare site since? Not a lot. I took this photograph last autumn but, having checked the other morning, can report that it still looks exactly the same. Brown fencing and a gate have been erected at the front but apart from that, nothing visible.
Early this morning, straining to get fit for this year's Royal Parks Half Marathon, I ran from Millfields swings along the towpath to Pickett's Lock and back for the first time since, I think, February. It was around then that the stretch between the Tottenham and Stonebridge locks was closed off for repairs. The newly-smooth underfoot surface is a welcome improvement for runners who, like me, have learned to be nervous of our knees. The rest of the experience, I'm happy to say, was as rich and varied as ever.
Back in November I wrote about the plethora of people you see on the streets these days pointing cameras at neighbourhood goings-on. The example I photographed - perhaps I'm one of those people myself - showed a young woman filming the creation of this mural in Clapton Passage on the side of Danny's. I didn't go close enough at the time to see what the man up the ladder was doing, and I only noticed the result quite recently. I had, though, already noticed and photographed two other creations by the same artist in the same style. One is a (still unfinished?) effort also in Clapton Passage on a builder's fence there, the other can be found on a wall in Linscott Road. See them here and here. To learn more about the artist and the young woman filming him that day in November, see the comment here and this website. Give it space.