These Streets

I’m really enjoying running on streets I’ve never visited before. Particularly while the parks are swarmed with people walking 4 across who glare at runners for daring to exist in their presence.

English streets – particularly those in this part of London – are so different to the streets I grew up with.

New Zealand is all about the 1920s wooden bungalows, large front yards and windows and doors facing the street, but far enough back to still be private. Terraced houses are reserved for modern, new-build townhouses, and you rarely see them out in the ‘burbs.

Here in Greenwich, I love the wet brick, terraced houses I run past. The small old working class homes, and the large ones up along the park.

They might vary in size and decoration, depending on the street. But once you’re there… uniform but for the colourful doors. Who knew that the colour you painted your door would be your shot at showing the world your personality? That’s a lot of pressure on a door!

I like to ponder the prices some of these houses go for – ridiculous prices – and I can only hope to be in a position to seriously consider buying one one day.

My mind wanders as I think about the families that live in the houses, and those that have in the past. Some still have childrens’ pictures of rainbows offering kindness and thanks to the NHS staff from the first COVID-19 lockdown in March/April. Others have fluffy cats lazing in the window, giving zero f*cks about those of us outside.

This all provides great distraction from the physical feelings of training my body to get used to this running, but it also gives a great change of scenery, reminding me of why I enjoy living here, and taking me away from the worries I’ve had in the day – work, family, anything. I’m in the moment, appreciating my surroundings, and the community that I live in.


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