I’m soaked before I even get to George’s door. He lives in ‘Globe Town’ – a small part of North East London in the borough of Tower Hamlets. I call him from Globe Street and walk up and down, failing to find the landmarks that he can see in the regimented tower blocks. In the end he points out a woman with a Dunlop branded umbrella and via her I find my way to the buzzer.
The buttons are silver rounded pale yellow, brushed steel braille under my fingertips, I tap in the number of his flat, stop to take photos of the stairwell on my way up. Wrought iron, broken frosted glass, paint peeling.
George Buckenham is a Londoner. He grew up in the suburbs of SW London, a place called ‘New Malden’, and today (in a month’s worth of rain) we have agreed to walk across London, without once using a map, from where he lives now to where he grew up. 14 miles (22km).