James and I ran twice round Hampstead Heath and the Heath extension yesterday afternoon. Total of about 14 miles, the longest both of us had ever run. We tried again to find the way into the secret, ancient Turner’s Wood, hidden away behind the nouveau riche neo-Georgian mansions in Ingram Avenue and Wildwood road. Talked again about the development of Hampstead Garden suburb and preferred the vernacular English, Dutch-influenced red brick maisonnettes on Hampstead Way.
Soaked my aching bones in the bath, before heading out to Die Tote Stadt at Covent Garden.
In Brussels for the weekend, for both business and pleasure. Dinner on Saturday night at Anne-Marie’s Palais de la Victoire in Saint Gilles with a lovely Euro-minestrone mix of people and languages: Danes, Swedes, Finns, French and Russians. Sat in between French Marie, who used to work for the European Space Agency in Holland and is now working for the UN in Brussels on immigration issues and Olesya, a Russian journalist, who is making a film about the Last Dervish of Kazahkstan.
Late Sunday morning run with Anne-Marie in the Soignes forest. We parked by the Stoclet Palace, ran down and up the Avenue de Tervuren to the Quatre Bras, then off into the forest for a loop I used to run when I lived here. Just under 18 kms and felt good at the end of it. As a seasoned marathon runner Anne-Marie was able to give me lots of good advice about training and the psychological challenges of long-distance endurance.
Was lucky to be able to leave work a bit earlier, so went for a seven mile run around Hampstead Heath and the Heath extension with James. Couldn’t find our way into the wilds of Turner’s Wood. We chatted as we ran at a reasonable pace, not too fast as it was dark and had to stay on the roads and take a longer detour through Hampstead Garden Suburb. Talked about television production, the crisis et tutti quanti.
Back to James’s place. Honor had cooked a delicious roast chicken dinner and their daughters Indigo and Coco played Mozart and jazz on their beautiful baby grand piano.
Five or so miles around the Heath last night to get the juices flowing before supper at Le Bijou d’Ange in Islington with Kevin and Kieran. Not bad at half price, as Kevin has a Taste London card, but wouldn’t have been impressed at full price: