After a three-week break from running (house move, end-of-term, mild dose of chest-bashing Mycoplasma), I laced up my trainers early this morning and set out on my new route. I say ‘running’, but I must admit I’m not much of a runner these days. Jogger. Hobbler.
I’m an early morning girl, preferring to get out there before the sun turns my lungs to liquid, and so I’m often doing my routes in that bit of dark before dawn. Singapore is essentially a safe town but you do hear of the odd incident, so I like a few people dotted about here and there, and I plot my routes carefully and accordingly. My new route looked good on paper – four right angles round the block, roughly 3.5k, through areas that looked quiet and green but still populated.
Having lived in the leafy Holland Road area for three years I wanted a run that took me under a few trees, but before you hit any greenery around here you have to first navigate the weird bit of land just before Orchard. It’s a funny old area – like the outskirts of any major city, the road loops along placidly for a good few miles before suddenly getting excitable just before the action of the city centre. Our nearest strip of main road has a line of odd buildings that look like they ought to be on the outskirts of a city, perhaps just approaching the main train station, or something equally noteable. There’s nothing wrong with the buildings, they’re innocuous, but when someone says ‘Singapore’ you usually have glitter or jungle in mind, not pink faux Tudor.
No matter. Once I’d turned away from the odd bit of main road I was in embassy land, and my route took me limping past vast houses set back from the road and swish condos with shiny gates – if you know Norf London then I might just say ‘Bishops Ave’ and leave it at that. In theory I had thought this would be a good road to go down, being semi-populated; in fact it was dark and deserted, and absolutely no one would have heard me being bundled into a car and captured, as they were all sleeping in the back of their 20-bedroom cluster apartments, with Fort Knox locks between me and them. So I turned down a side lane that I knew would lead me back a bit sooner and found myself galloping weakly along a leafy track that reminded me so much of Sevenoaks I immediately started constructing a letter in my head to my Aunty who lives there, before a passing car (YAY, people!) reminded me to keep my mind on the road.
After that it was back down to the Tudors for a wobbly sprint along a nice flat stretch before a last painful pant up the path to home. Just shy of three-and-a-half of your best kilometres, and a nice little notch on my Nike app for the month of June.
One nice thing was that I ended up skirting the Botanic Gardens, which made me think of Dad, who adores the place. So Dr P if you’re reading this hurry up and come back again, there’s lots more to show you. Promise not to make you run.