I decided to walk from Notting Hill Gate to Knightsbridge last night. The direct route is across Kensington Gardens which is closed and locked at dusk. I climbed over the fence and walked fast through the snow. There was a moon discernible through the thin layer of cloud that itself reflected the loom of the city below, which was in its turn reflected back by the snow. You could have read by the light. The trees, free now of even the occasional autumn leaf, stood black and silhouetted against the amber sky. Ducks slid and waddled over the frozen Round Pond, protesting loudly at the indignity of each slither. London traffic busied itself on Bayswater and Kensington Gore.

I was alone. In the very centre of one of the world's great cities there was no one within a quarter of a mile of me.

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