With a coincidental precision that would please any maker of atomic clocks, at 9am the thunder started. The roaring detonation outlasted the final Greenwich pip by several seconds and then gave way to solid hiss of rain. Explosive drops cratering the canal, pulling leafs into water.
Radio 4 headlines absorbed, I walk my bruises along the towpath. The canalside air is a warm kiss, the downpour pure espresso. After Belfast, Dorset and broken toes, this is the first time in three weeks I have actually fulfilled my boyfriend duty to get and the papers and milk.
It is not the rain that keeps me close to canal today. There is a natural indolent gravity to the Three Bridge Kingdom when you feel under the weather in every way. It is easy to wait for the barge which serves as a mobile shop to chug passed. I can buy beer for the batter at the end of the road, pick rain-washed rosemary from the towpath.
Night comes. I cook sausage toad and roasted vegetables for four, pour wine. I am surrounded by friendship, laughter and love. There are no greater forces to bind me to this place than those.