Woodsmoke and limes. A strange thing to note down considering the lower Lea valley has changed beyond recognition since I last walked this way in the first weeks of the New Thatcher experiment. Now the ODC has turned the river, like an olympic gymnast, on its head. The grave is at the bottom. Apartments and studio flats spread out along the tow path from Limehouse like colonising triffids. Each property boasts 2.4 Moorhens, 10 cubic centimetres of abbatoir greased polyethylene and a view over a cordon sanitaire into a pre-abandoned future. Workers wait in the green zone for a bus to somewhere else.
This week I have been reading Concrete Island by JG Ballard and can see what all the fuss is about. I read it as a companion to the Little Toller reprints of nature books which I have been nibbling at recently – and enjoying. I never had myself down as an otters and damp tweed sort of a man – even if I do spend longer in the bath than most ordinary people and can swim a length of Parliament Hill Lido in three and a half seconds.