Parks

Burghley Park and Thinking Through Time

Burghley Park on a week day morning in January. (Escaping London) Impressions: Sunless day, damp in the air, wide park, naked trees wearing only balls of threatening mistletoe, ancient trees.  Princess Diana memorial, young trees, drawings by children that will be adults now.  Deer droppings, electric fence, cattle grids, golden door of Burghley House, dulled today. …

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Winter Light Magical Powers at Kew Gardens

Winter Lights at Kew Gardens on a week day evening in December. Impressions: Night, magical lights, tacky performances, amazing sculpture, fire, colour.  Mulled wine, doughnuts, marshmallows.  Children, families, music, fairground rides.  Winding walk, floodlit trees, laser lit water.  The Hive shining and breathtaking. Question: The lights create a magical atmosphere.  If we could use magic to give …

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Mile End Park, Neglect and Attention

Mile End Park on a week day afternoon in December. Impressions: Distant sirens.  Flourishing arts, eco pavilion, wild life and wild plants.  Canal and narrow boats.  Drizzle and wet grass.  Hipsters, headphones, phone conversations, student halls, cyclists, dogs.  Stagnant water, lurid green algae, floating cans and a pair of fat rats. Question:  The dead green water used …

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Hoxton Square and the Changing Light

Hoxton Square at midday on a week day in January. Impressions: Post-sleet puddles and sunlight.  Deep shadows and reflections.  Muddy grass.  Outdoor urinal.  Dog fetching a stick.  White cube gallery.  Chained bicycles.  Chain restaurants and bars – so many changes of ownership and lost memories for me.  Church and church bells.  Cold.  Icy wind.  Grey clouds and …

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East London Cemetery and Stone Memories

East London Cemetery on a weekday morning in October. Impressions: Raining Autumn leaves, leaf blowing, pots and pots of fake flowers, newly planted trees, old trees, rose bushes, chapels. Hundreds of names and stories and stones, hundreds of sadnesses, love, shock, relief, fractured families, private and public histories.  Deflated balloons from remembered birthdays, oranges, incense, …

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Altab Ali Park and Shelter

Altab Ali Park on a week day late morning in October. Impressions: “The shade of my tree is offered to those who come and go fleetingly” from a Bengali poem.  Remains of the Whitechapel white chapel.  Fragments of historical decoration.  East London cultures.  Pigeons feasting on bread.  Cigarette butts.  Smokers.  Beer bottle tops.  Man sleeping on …

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Battersea Park and a Long Lost Friend

Battersea Park on a week day afternoon in October. Impressions: Groomed fancy leadless dogs.  Many busy squirrels.  Parakeets.  Sub tropical plants.  Mediterranean plants.  Hidden sculptures.  Decorative fountains.  Quiet.  Restorative.  Surprising.  Wide walkways.  Wide water.  Reflections.  Bright algae.  Ducks.  Geese.  Heron.  Windy pathways.  Deep with trees. Question:  Walking, talking and laughing with a friend I haven’t …

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West Ham Park and Letting Go

  West Ham Park on a late midday October morning. Impressions: Birds. Robin. Pigeons. Magpies.  So many squirrels.  Gaudy flowers.  Berries.  Fiery leaves.  Green, yellow, orange, red.  Falling leaves.  Fallen acorns and conkers.  Peace.  Beauty.  Names scratched into trees.  Prams.  Hoodies.  Headscarves.  Uniformed school boys learning outside.  Running and yelling.  Footballing kids in high vis …

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Green Park and Change

Green Park on a weekday lunchtime in October. Impressions: Green grass and green trees.  Red berries.  Blue sky.  Orange leaves.  Autumn sun and summer breeze.  Joggers.  Tourists.  Memorial.  Buckingham Palace.  Fountain.  Photos taken on mobile phones.  Deck chairs.  Push chairs.  Tai chi.  Rounders.  School trip.  Lost teddy bear. Question:  Today Green Park is suspended between …

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Berkeley Square and Restrictions

Berkeley Square on a week day lunchtime in October. Impressions: Encircled by traffic.  Walls of benches.  Scavenging pigeons (no nightingales).  Suspended parking.  Restricted areas.  Pink and white flowers.  Workmen.  Workers.  Lunching. A group sleeping on the sunny grass.  Phone box stuffed with bedding. Question:  Are there rules or restrictions for people spending time with you? …

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