I am an early riser. I wake with the sun (or my lumie alarm clock if it's dull out), and I make it my mission to get as much out of those few hours before I have to be at work. Recently I've been restless, unhappy in my flat and in need of movement, so I walk.
I walk through Elephant and Castle, blindly navigating the huge roundabout now that the underpasses are gone, past the people stood at the bus stop with their headphones on staring blankly at the middle distance.
I begin to feel the warmth of my gentle exertion spreading across my skin so I take off my jacket and feel the morning air nibble at my bare arms. I love the chill of the morning, that first couple of hours before the sun really gets going.
I'm listening to Amy Phoeler. Her voice soothes and energises me simultaneously. She makes me laugh and I catch the eye of someone walking towards me, a grin on my face. This stranger and I lock eyes and I can see that they're puzzled by the smile on my face - smiles can be hard to come by in this city. I wonder for a moment whether I ought to adjust my face, hide the smile and rearrange my features into a London frown, but I decide not to. Amy Phoeler is making me laugh, it's a new day full of all the opportunities a day brings, and a smile is so rare these days, it almost feels like an act of kindness.
Walking is good for the soul. With each step I can feel the knots in my shoulders come loose, I consciously release the anger and sadness and feelings of not being enough that seem to build up. I get to work early, feeling refreshed and ready for what the day will bring. If it brings sadness, well, I guess I'll be walking those same streets again tomorrow.
I moved to London in the summer of 2013 and fell in love with the city. London Notes is a new series where I document the various encounters I have with this city - the weird, the wonderful, the seemly inconsequential, and, occasionally, the profound.