Lights Out for the Crazies

The view over the City from our loft

This weekend we should, finally, being moving into our new house. Even though the scaffolding is still up, there is enough room inside now to set up a bed, cot and a camp fire to keep up warm. The delays were numerous – mostly to do with the weather – and had nothing to do with the two weeks I spent painting over the grotesque green walls, or re-painting the loft – having done it once in the wrong colour already.

When not up a ladder Michelangelo-esque with my neck craned back painting the ceiling, I spent a long while day-dreaming out of the window. The photo here does not do it justice, but over the right is the Shard near completion and on the left Battersea Power Station, the future of which is as uncertain as ever. I had hoped to do a bit more running than I did on my two weeks off, but in one of the afternoon reveries it struck me that I have never seen many of these more distant landmarks up close even though they are less that seven miles from my front door (according to the AA route-finder). Why not spend a year picking off every landmark I can see from the loft?

Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair

Simultaneously, I was reminded of a conversation with a serpie runner two weeks ago who ‘fessed up to doing most of her running early in the morning. 4am early. And what surprised her was that she was not the only one. There were great numbers of people out on the street running, reclaiming land that is choked to the gills when daylight service resumes. It reminded me of the brilliant book by Iain Sinclair Lights of for the Territory in which he sets off on a series of walks redrawing the boundaries of the secret histories of London.

The boy hits one next month, and although he has been sleeping through the night pretty much since January, the howl of discontent pierces the morning at anywhere between 4 and 6am, and the only thing to do is get up and make his bottle. Running in the evenings is now out of the question, although I am let out occasionally to run with the Serpies. However, I have realised, belatedly, that when he goes back to sleep this is the time to set off into the dark/light and join those who are already out there taking back the street while the world sleeps.

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About Robin Harvie

I have been running marathons for ten years. But when I couldn't around faster than 3 hours 12 minutes, I decided to see how far I could run before I keeled over. Turns out pretty far. In September 2009 I took on the Spartathlon - 152 miles from Athens to Sparta. Non stop. Why We Run is about that journey and about why we run at all.
This entry was posted in Fatherhood, Night-running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lights Out for the Crazies

  1. gemma carter says:

    i wonder who that serpie is you talk about 🙂 😉 hope the move went well.

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