#TodaysWalk was for groceries, so here's a picture from yesterday of the Thessaly Road Bridge which is a really a railway bridge - it just happens to go over Thessaly Road.
Originally Thessaly Road was called "New Road", owing to a lack of imagination. By 1871, however, it was thought old enough to need a new name and "Thessaly" was chosen as, pertinently, that area had just been handed back to Greece.
The bridge's decoration is more recent, having been done by Yinka Ilori in 2019.
For #TodaysWalk I went to Burgess Park to see if there were any shovelers on the lake, but I didn't find any.
There weren't any shovelers in Dulwich Park, either. Which is strange, because there's usually at least one pair. Perhaps they were hiding.
The weather seemed a little better than forecast so, for #TodaysWalk, I set out grey and early to see the Isle of Dogs, by way of Deptford Creek.
They have a little farm at Mudchute, where they keep budgerigars and goats (I didn't ask) and cheerfully remind visitors that animals are just like people.
Today was one of those depressing clear autumn days when the sun lurches briefly above the shrubbery to touch the world with a feeble glimmer of hope, but does nothing to dry the streets, leaving them smeared with the treacherous detritus of inconsiderately deciduous trees.
I'm not yet old enough to write to newspapers to complain about wet leaves, so #TodaysWalk was to Penge, in search of abandoned optimism, though I found most of it in Crystal Palace Park.
It eventually stopped raining, so #TodaysWalk was taken at twilight which, in England, lasts from the end of August to May.
It had rained earlier and the drains were clogged with leaves, so the the sidewalks, and the lower parts of any pedestrians, were continually sprayed with the mixture of oil, water, gravel, and what's politely known as 'mud', that traditionally grouts the lycra'd cracks of cyclists.
And I saw other things, besides.
It's been raining again today, so #TodaysWalk was just a run for damp groceries.
So here's a picture from the weekend.
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The rain cleared this morning, mostly, so #TodaysWalk was to Crystal Palace Park, where there are dinosaurs, including a new one I hadn't seen yet.
The "Palaeotherium magnum" is allegedly a forbear of the horse but an ancient mix-up with a tapir means it's gained a trunk, arguably of more benefit to sculptors than the animal, making it look less surprisingly extinct.
Less so the equally fictional hump-backed Megalosaurus, which, having done nothing since 1854, should be an example to us all.
#TodaysWalk: I nominate big leaf maple for the most on point tree name ever. In other news, the tide at the bay was super high when I got there, a fallen madrona has beautifully intricate branch structure, the rain stopped, sun came out, and it smelled like wet pine needles. #trees #maple #BigLeafMaple #walking #OlyWA #SquaxinPark #GetOutside
#TodaysWalk was two walks and I got wet on both of them.
The first was dry enough, in part, for my Hallowe'en pilgrimage to what might have been the Monkey Puzzle of Old London Town if only it were old enough and not four miles south of the river.
The second was a walk I'd rather not talk about, thank you.
The forecast predicted rain this afternoon, so #TodaysWalk happened this morning.
It rained this morning.
Crystal Palace Park was very wet, but South Norwood Country Park was wetter.
#TodaysWalk took me to Camberwell via Champion Hill, a hill that is also Denmark Hill and Herne Hill and was formerly Dulwich Hill and King's Hill, but is also a road, unlike Herne Hill, which is also a parish.
On the way I found some wooden sheep and some mushrooms which were feasting on some bark-chippings that had been used in place of gardening.
#TodaysWalk took me to Bridgehouse Meadows, a patch of land which, after serving time as a greyhound stadium and some sort of depot, has been turned into an apparently artificial hill that affords, to whoever can find it, a view of mostly the South-East London Combined Heat and Power facility.
Though its name contains three things it hasn't got, the nearby Surrey Canal Road suggests it had a quieter past before it was trapped between two railways and Milwall's stadium moved next door.
#TodaysWalk at lunch included exploring a new to me Squaxin Park trail that gave me a #ForestBath, comparing my hand size to the leaf of a big leaf maple and confirming there's a reason it's called the big leaf maple, and finding a puffball mushroom I wish was definitely safely edible because it's such a big one. #trees #autumn #mushrooms #forest #walking #MapleTree #SquaxinPark #OlyWA
#TodaysWalk took me to Brockwell Park and Peabody Hill which both felt very damp.
On my way was Dulwich Park, which was also damp, and there I found rhododendrons that thought it was Spring, and funguses that didn't.
Inspired by other posts recently, I took #TodaysWalk in search of autumn colour, meandering via Streatham Common, Norwood Grove, Biggin Wood and Horniman Gardens.
Maybe I'm harder to please than I think, but at least it didn't rain.
#TodaysWalk took me to Brixton, or possibly Herne Hill. At any rate, it's whatever has the Dulwich Road in it (which isn't, obviously, Dulwich) where, following a whole week of diligent searching in what I thought were likely places, I was pleasantly surprised by an unexpected monkey puzzle.
#TodaysWalk was an ill-advised quest to discover the difference between Manor Park and Manor House Gardens. Which is, broadly, that one was once a pig farm, and the other has a Manor House in it.
No pictures of pigs, sadly, but here's the Manor House, which is now a library.
And a plaque that, though it fails to explain why some bollards were turned back into cannons, strongly suggests Lewisham College's Typography Department has yet to lay off the sauce.
#TodaysWalk started damp and so, though it brightened up for a while later, here's another snail.
I also remembered to take a look at one of those odd little plants that don't look like they have leaves. If it is a plant. I've no idea what it is, apart from a #MysteryThing, though there are so many about that I'm sure I must have known once.
And, as a sort-of bonus, a picture of the Crystal Palace Transmitter Tower. Because it's there.
#TodaysWalk was not as damp and miserable as tomorrow's is forecast to be, but some creatures seemed to enjoy it.
#TodaysWalk was a grocery run, but I didn't let that stop me admiring the natural wonders on my way.
Which amounted to this #moth, which may not have been alive. I didn't know what sort of moth it was so, when I got home, I looked at a few hundred pictures.
That left me none the wiser but, at a guess, it might be a very dull variant of a Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria), which are common in these parts. But I'm not sure.
#TodaysWalk took me up Round Hill, which is a road Upper Sydenham. It is also a small housing estate, with a generous cedar tree that once stood in the gardens of Round Hill House, which no longer exists, and now just stands.
It also boasts, less congruously, the spire of St Antholin's Church in the City of London, which was transported to Sydenham to serve as a folly, which is what it's done since 1829, though the church wasn't demolished for another 46 years.
The first part of #TodaysWalk was an early one, taking me over London Bridge to Liverpool Street and thence, on wheels, to Wickford and beyond.
The second part brought me back again.
#TodaysWalk took me through Crystal Palace, or Upper Norwood, yet again. So here's a picture of the Transmitter Tower, which never seems to get old.
The sun is always low in autumn and the Shard, four miles away, stood tiny under the sky, garing both annoyingly and desperately, its expensive profile bloated and distorted by the rays of reflected gold, almost as if it had been built as a metaphor.
#TodaysWalk took me to Bromley and along Deadman's Walk which deftly, and appropriately, skirts the Field of Hope.
It was warm, but as grey as any autumn day could wish to be, and the only incongruous splash of premature Christmas Cheer I saw had given up already.
The lake, incidentally, might be the remnant of Peter Pan's Pool, or perhaps Southend Pond. It was once part of an early sort of children's theme park, but now serves as a moat for a home "improvement" store.
#TodaysWalk was disappointingly repetitive as I'm now old enough to go for a grocery run and forget to take my money.
So this afternoon I thought I'd stay at home and scrabble about in Desert of News for something to cheer me up. It was a long and arduous hunt, but I did find this which, if nothing else, reminded me that, despite most evidence pointing to the contrary, not all ideas are bad ones.
#TodaysWalk followed an edgy route between Camberwell and Peckham in the London Borough of Southwark.
Shortly after passing the extremely disappointing Cactus Close, I walked along McNeil Road where, either for a reason or the lack of any, this has happened.
I am sure there should be a word for this sort of thing, but perhaps I was brought up too nicely to remember what it is.
#TodaysWalk had an autumnal clamminess to it, and the Crystal Palace Transmitter Tower, after a few months of unusual visibility, was looking like itself again.
On the way, I found some hawthorns, including a prune-leafed variety used for a street tree.
#TodaysWalk took me to Brockley. Specifically to Brockley Cross, a collection of the ends of left-over roads that survived the installation of Brockley Station.
Thereabouts I found something that might be a gang-related tag, a cry for help or an off-grid entry for #BadHorseSaturday.
Whatever it is, and it might even count as "found art", it was there and, for all I know, still is.
In all excitement of butchering a pineapple this morning, I forgot #TodaysWalk, which might happen this afternoon, and my flaky-bark pilgrimage.
Sycamores are in the news today, sadly, so here's part of one I found the other day, and a few of the mosses and lichens that depend on it.
#TodaysWalk was a shortish one, but I found two critters and a tree, so my time wasn't entirely wasted.
#TodaysWalk took me to Downham Playing Fields, through which Spring Brook disconsolately flows.
The consortium that runs the Lower Fields on behalf of the London Borough of Lewisham describes them thus:
"Separated by Glenbow Road, the area of the space protected is located to the east of the road where there is also a car park serving the entire space. For public use on foot, the grounds are open during daylight hours".
It wasn't the only thing that didn't make sense.
I didn't get as far as Dulwich Park, but I did find what I was thinking of, Betula albosinensis, or the Chinese red birch, on Park Hall Road, where there are at least two. I didn't manage to get a good picture there, so here's one from the park that's been maturing in my archives for seven years.
It's Friday, so #TodaysWalk took me along some well-trodden paths.
There was nothing along them I hadn't seen before but as I had time to take a snapshot that's exactly what I did.
#TodaysWalk took me to the backwaters of Peckham, where I admired the Consort Park Imaginarium.
On the way I came across an cost-effective solution to street clutter that has achieved results more quickly than any number of campaigns, meetings, strategies and carefully-considered reports.
It's not the most democratic approach, admittedly, and landowners and topiarists might not approve, but that's surely just a question of numbers.
#TodaysWalk took me through the margins of Nunhead, where I found an impressive, if thought-provoking, example of Active Travel infrastructure.
#TodaysWalk was damp in parts, and humid, so I kept it unambitious.
Not that ambition is something I much treasure. It's hard enough just to be there, as this little plant may know.
No #TodaysWalk today, as my foot's gone wrong and I can't find a replacement at the weekend.
So here's a picture of a plaque in a clock tower, put up to celebrate the clock-winder being replaced by an automaton six years earlier.
The clock is 136 years old, still tells the time, chimes on the quarter and isn't in Maldon, but in Burnham on Crouch.
Despite that, Maldon District Council laid claim to it for decades before ceremoniously returning it to Burnham, which it had never left, in 2017.
Today it's raining, again, so #TodaysWalk probably won't get me further than the postbox.
Yesterday, however, I ventured further, passing a school somewhere to the West. At the entrance, zip-tied to the security railings, was this plasticated message.
It's intended to be inspirational, I presume, but it reminded me very much of the mottos my own schools had, which more-or-less amounted to "never mind the misery, you'll be rewarded when you're dead".
To cut a long story, I wasn't inspired.
#TodaysWalk, being combined with yet another act of errandry, took me to Molesworth Street in Lewisham which, though it's yet to be immortalised in song or legend, is at least a bypass for the High Street, which is well worth bypassing.
On my way I stole a minute to stare into the waters of the Ravensbourne, where I saw no ducks or herons, but a moorhen and a carp (not pictured).
#TodaysWalk was mostly in search of plumbing supplies but also brought conversations with cats and a detour to Brenchley Gardens by way of the Old Kent Road.
The Old Kent Road features in song and may even be picturesque in places, but I didn't go to any of those places, so here are the twelveish beeches of the Grand and Only Avenue of Brenchley Gardens.
#TodaysWalk isn't yet, but yesterday's found me nine questionable miles from Hounslow.
I didn't test the claim, but I did notice the coat of arms, which should feature a cross flory (a cross with split ends) and five martlets (footless birds, like a certain logo).
An iffy logo is the badge of a counterfeit, but why fake a milepost?
Is Hounslow trying to make itself look more significant - or nearer - than it ever has been? Or is it a trap laid by local footpads?
Being unsure, I went home.
I nearly forgot to post #TodaysWalk, so here's a picture.
To be fair, it was a very forgettable walk, apart from the wind, which filled my eyes with dust and my face with twigs, like something from one of those children's tales that come with an uninspiring moral about tying your shoelaces or not answering back.
But, all the same, I took a picture and, because it's vaguely in focus and not of my thumb or feet, I'm happy to release it into the social wilderness of Mastodonia.
It's a cold and damp day in London which ever since Brexit has been largely insulated from European heatwaves.
And so, for #TodaysWalk, I climbed Forest Hill, not so much to see the forest, as there isn't one, but the Forest Hill Radio Site, a transmitter built in 2003 in the teeth of local opposition.
I gather it mostly handles emergency-services traffic but local folklore, doubtless fuelled by much independent research, has gifted it many darker powers.
#TodaysWalk took me via the railway footbridge in Sydenham which, after 148 years of rotting and rusting, was replaced last November.
The work involved felling a plane tree to get a crane in, sparking a small petition that claimed the tree had "stood for easily a century" and insisted that "there must be a[nother] way".
By the look of things, there wasn't.
#TodaysWalk took me through the foothills of Brockley and Sydenham to the majestic heights of Forest Hill via Shaws Cottages, a humble street that boasts an iron post, and over a bridge from which the trains look peculiarly furious.
#TodaysWalk was to Croydon, which is to photography what Mona Lisa's sisters were to painting.
So here's a picture of something else.
#TodaysWalk hasn't been to anywhere, but I was running some errands yesterday and just happened to notice this.
#TodaysWalk has yet to happen, but Thursday found me at Fairy Hill Park. Or maybe Recreation Ground.
Though it might equally be "Fairy Hall", given the name of the erstwhile manor house that's now part of nearby Eltham College, and the absence of a hill.
Still, the council's right to describe it as a "medium-sized park" with "an outdoor gym installed as part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich's Olympic legacy" which, at least when I visited, was serving as a silent memorial to good intentions.
#TodaysWalk was to Beckenham Library, which is now run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd, a charitable enterprise that masquerades behind the trademark "Better" and has a turnover four and a half times that of Eton College, because the council couldn't be bothered.
The council could be bothered to install some rocks on the property, though, so I looked at some of those and, to be fair, they looked very much like rocks.
#TodaysWalk took me, by way of other places, to St Norbert's Road which, despite being mostly flat, is in the Telegraph Hill ward of Lewisham.
St Norbert, a former bishop, is big in Prague, where his remains, after something of a tussle with the abbey he founded, are kept in a glass coffin (which you can watch being opened on YouTube if you fancy).
That abbey once owned all of Brockley, until Henry VIII thought different, so the street's, in effect, a celebration of a former landlord.
After a period of deep reflection, I've concluded that #TodaysWalk did me no good at all.
I wasn't sure - am still not sure - if the public is ready for that message. It rubs, after all, against the profitable optimism that shouts its wares from all the heaving self-help shelves in all the literate world.
But still. A January walk through London, a traffic-choked slough of despond whose concrete trophies shimmer wanly in a clammy brown mist, as if in mouldy aspic, won't always lift the heart.