It is a bright, clear Autumn morning in London. A scattering of brown autumn leaves covered the pathway outside my flat and the air really felt cool when cycling for the first time since spring. Yet the sun over Walworth’s 1960s council estates made the place feel a bit less drab, and the aroma of the cake bakery on the approach to Elephant & Castle and the coffee roasting at Costa’s roastery close to Lambeth Bridge (details) stick in my mind more than the smell of the traffic.
Yet from one of the poorest areas of London, on my approach to work I hit a traffic jam of excessive riches on Belgrave Road as all the Prada-clad mothers of rich small kids with ludicrous blue uniforms and hats going to Eaton Square School are dropped off from their monstrous Chelsea tractors. The mothers (for there are few fathers around) look out of the windows of their plush Mercedes GL-Class monstrosities and seem bemused that the rest of the traffic and – shockingly – even vermin like cyclists have to get past their double-parked contraptions. Have they ever been to Walworth?