Walk #16, with: Lilith (born 1969)
Date: 30 June 2016
Where: Hampstead Heath, London
I met Lilith at Gospel Oak station. She was recuperating from illness, so we paced ourselves as we walked straight up Parliament Hill to take in the view. Sitting on a bench overlooking the city we've both previously called home, we compared notes about our lives.
Lilith and I met via OKCupid, which for a few years now I've found to be a rich vein of interesting people each with their own particular brand of post-monogamy. Though barely older than me, Lilith has a grown-up child and a grandchild both of whom she is close to, so in that sense our lives are quite different. She's also tended to follow her passions more than I have, and has developed her own business. But relationships-wise we've undertaken somewhat similar journeys of discovery through a range of different models, arriving lately at some kind of nomadic, solo, non-monogamy.
When not travelling abroad, Lilith has a camper van, spends time with her family as well as chunks of time home- and pet-sitting for friends, and works at various alternative festivals.
Having suggested we go to the women's pond because I wanted to, I was relieved to find that Lilith loves outdoor swimming and was keen to visit the pond for the first time. Recent works having been completed the pond now has a new changing block and showers. For the first time ever I accompanied Lilith in two laps of the pond, which was definitely my limit in terms of the cold and my puny arms. It was lovely to have ducklings paddling about at eye height.
To my surprise we had the meadow to ourselves as we shared a picnic and chatted. One particularly beautiful duck was so insistent on getting some food it clambered across my legs (see picture)! After a relaxing afternoon we strolled together to the Bull and Last for a quick drink before going our separate ways.
Thank you Lilith for indulging my wish to visit the pond and for the excellent conversation!