On Sunday, my husband took part in a sponsored bike ride called the Prudential 100, which started at the Olympic Park, went through London and out to Surrey, and then back into London to finish on the Mall. I went along to support (marital obligation…) and found myself with a bit of a gap in the middle. As luck would have it, what with lots of roads in central London being closed for the event, and people being kept away in their droves thanks to Hurricane Bertha and her associated wind and rain, I was able to walk around various parts of central London in conditions that might have been familiar to Sam and Martha Plank – i.e. no motor vehicles, and not that many people.
I took the map which I had carefully marked with locations of key incidents from “Plank 2”, and had a wonderful time walking from one to the next, looking at whatever remained of the 1825 cityscape, and soaking up the atmosphere (and the rain – we’re talking tropical standards here). I also learned a few new things about London to add savour to my descriptions – for instance, there are seagulls everywhere. And I realised that in one scene I had described a particular window of a building as being on the first floor, but it is actually higher than that, so “Plank 2” should be even more accurate thanks to a bike ride and a hurricane.