I am sitting in bed in my daughter's Hackney flat, with a teapot on a tray beside me, reading, writing and intermittently listening to life go by on the street below: a bus drawing up to the stop, letting off, then taking on new passengers, people going to work, children in their English school uniforms (flannels, ties and jackets that make everyone look equal--this is a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, but the majority of the children I see are of African descent)--going to school. There is a tree in the brick courtyard with maybe half of its leaves still.
On the other side of the flat there is a pocket garden, then a grassy space with some playground equipment, then Regent's canal, lined with canal boats, and with a tow path on which, in one direction, you can walk or ride a bike towards Kings Cross; and other the other side (which we took on Sunday) towards Victoria Park and eventually (we got there) the River Lee and the Olympic stadium. The canal in fact bifurcates and the fork we didn't take goes south towards the Thames (I almost said the Seine).
Plans for today: writing this morning: tinkering with my new poetry manuscript, mostly minute (but enormous to me) changes to one or two poems, but also a book review I am working on for the TLS. Lunch, then I'll put a second coat of paint on the entryway to my daughter's flat, which was painted dark blue, but is now turning white. Later I'll meet someone for a drink and after that a reading in Notting Hill, a trek from here, but a neighbourhood I also know a little because mmy daughter lived there before she moved east, to Hackney, a few years ago.