With less than an hour to explore, I headed along a reasonably familiar path out of Paddington along through the Paddington Basin and along the Grand Union Canal towards Kensal Green. One day I need to make more of an effort to walk this route after work, as far as I can get in a one-way trip, before I need to return home or back to the city, but alas today it was just a short lunchtime stroll. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to be out of the office and probably the mildest day of the year so far, so much so in fact that local authorities, local councils, or private landlords (whatever we call them these days) were cutting the grass outside one of the housing estates I walked past.
Road bridge over the Grand Union Canal just as it opens out into Paddington Basin
I quite like the contrast of the old and the new in this second picture. The modern graffiti on an old brick wall, the colourfully painted but doubtless old iron bridge, and the stray trees having taken root in the old brickwork of the bridge with the modern apartments in the background.
Road bridge between Paddington and Kensal Green
Like much of this canal, the section I walked could almost have been anywhere, and it's not until I started my return leg through the streets to force a change of scenery, that it became obvious I was in London.
In other news, I went on my first proper bike ride of 2013. It was only 22 miles but felt considerably longer, and my dodgy back has been feeling over-tight since. I'm hoping it's just caused by lack of exercise rather than anything more sinister and if the weather holds again this weekend then I'll make an effort to go out again. But of course, with the milder weather comes the gardening chores. Last year was such a disappointment in the garden and vegetable patch, so I am determined to make a better effort this year, with plans to completely rejuvenate one particular corner.