Daylight filters in through the eyelet curtains from 5.30am onwards these days. It insinuates its way under my eyelids but I roll over and try to hide from it for a little while longer.
Steve’s alarm then trills at 6.15am. I pretend I haven’t heard it but the elbow prod from the other side of the bed is hard to ignore. There’s a mumbling but I can’t hear what’s being said until I pull my ear plugs out. I don’t open my eyes but the question is repeated. “Are you walking with me?” He asks, rolling out of bed. I take a moment to think about that ....
It’s early but I know the roads, parks and paths will be far less busy now than later in the day. And the mornings are so stunning. I hauled myself out, got dressed and pushed my feet into my worn walking shoes. A bathroom stop, drink of water and we are out the door.
Today the lock footbridge was empty so I darted across as there is no way you can keep the 2 metre rule should someone come from the other way. It is too narrow.
Surprisingly, I’m not very talkative until we get going. Neither of us needs to be plugged into music as we have a live orchestra overhead. The birdsong is incredible right now, interspersed with a woodpecker tapping out a drum roll.
Weaving our way through the empty walkways and streets we came out onto Ham Common. A swan is nesting on the tiny island in the middle of the pond. She was still fast asleep with her head deeply buried under her snowy wing. Lucky girl. On we walked to Ham Gate, which leads into Richmond Park.
No cyclists are allowed in the Park right now so it was just us, a few other walkers, several dogs, deer, rabbits and ducks nesting on the pond in here too. Total peace and tranquility surround us. Cutting through the road to Petersham Nurseries we ended up alongside a field of Belted Galloway cows. A very pastoral and bucolic scene.
The last leg of the walk was via the Thames Path, which was getting busy. It was a cacophony of geese honking as they fast-paddled, flapping their wings hard to gain lift off, ducks quacking and yet more birdsong.
Crossing back over the footbridge I covered my mouth and nose with a tissue as there were several people on it. With such stunning mornings and wonderful nature all around us it’s hard to believe we are living in such a sick world right now. It’s a privilege to be alive and to live in such a beautiful place.