Spoke 219 – Speke

Tuesday 03 November 2020 (2 min read)

I enjoyed the colours of the leaves along the Regents Canal. And the colours of the African Hunting Dogs which remind me of cave art. No two of them have the same markings, apparently. My photos were blurry sadly, but they were pacing around. They knew something was up: which is more than I did. They mostly eat ‘antelope and wildebeest but often warthogs, zebra and even lizards’. I’m sure they wouldn’t turn down an ambassador if he happened, somehow, to fall into the enclosure:)

I took a slightly better pic of canal-workers (fried breakfasts, doorstep sandwiches, roasts, pies, beers). Despite watching hundreds of hours of canal vids on youtube, I couldn’t remember how to describe this setup. I want to say flyboat and butty. They told me that they only paint the roof orange in autumn. And they spent so long in the tunnel at Little Dennis I decided they must have legged it for old time’s sake.

Here I hung left along the Paddington branch. I took a pic of the Westway and a FedEx lorry carrying the ambassador’s vote to Heathrow even at the very moment the keepers were pulling his dismembered corpse from the dog pound (sad face).

I ducked and dived around Crossrail construction and entered Kensington Gardens through a small gate on Bayswater Road. Until recently I hadn’t distinguished this from Hyde Park. It is a lovely place to stroll and unimagine London’s various ghost rail projects, and money laundered sub-basements, two of which brought the house down in Chelsea at the same time as the sirens went off at London Zoo. The incidents weren’t linked, obviously, but neighbours said that they heard dogs barking and smelt sulphur just before 23:35 GMT on Monday.

I discovered the source of my current project in the form of an ancient obelisk erected by superstitious natives. Speke is the grandfather of spoke’s urban explorations. Today, I am so dumbed down by depression and corona anxiety that I can’t even finish the Wikipedia article.

Considering we’re not yet in lockdown, Hyde Park was very quiet. Boathouses always make me feel melancholy: even ones that look like Monopoly pieces. I took a pic of a very rare giant anemone.

On the way home, I stopped for tea at The Langham Brassiere and photographed the Diorama building near the south-east corner of Regents Park.

It wasn’t a complete disaster. The November sun had opened a chink in gloomy autumn. Speke spoke. Just for a moment, the sad stones, slyly and falteringly, sputtered to animate life.

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