Maybe it’s because I live on a small island, which boasts only two cities (which are so close together that really they are one) that I seem to write more about the countryside or the coast – simply, there is more coast and more mountains than there is city life. It isn’t that I don’t like cities. Often I ache for the energy of a big city.
What’s left to say about London? Honestly, what can you say about London which hasn’t already been said? I have friends who loathe cities, London included. Me? I love ’em. I love cities, but in a totally different way to the way I love the mountains and the coasts.
I’m a slave to the beauty and the majesty of ocean, mountains, sky and trees, but there is vitality and zest in cities, which comes from the rubbing together of so much humanity, the pooling of their enthusiasms and enterprise. If I go to Nature for renewal, to wind up my mind and energy, and then the city uses and drains it, and there is a satisfaction in that being drained too.
Whilst I prize solitude in the countryside, if green spaces in the city are thronging with people I prize the variety and energy that produces also. So a walk in Hyde Park the other week, though beautiful, bursting with the new growth of Spring and easy on the eye, was filled with people too; people walking, running, skating, skateboarding, cycling, sitting, strolling, eating, reading and enjoying the warmth of the sunniest March I ever remember.
Look closer at the picture above. At the bottom of the wall you can see swans building a nest. In the midst of folk rambling about, kids shouting and the general cacophony of man they were serenely going about their task, apparently oblivious to all else around them.
On the other hand, in other parts of the park’s animal kingdom, not all was so serene, there was definitely some vying for attention going on!
And the warm weather brought an additional surprise for me – this is the first time in over 25 years that I’ve seen bluebells.
And whilst I was surprised that the craze for gelato seemed missing in Britain’s capital, the Mr Whippy went down a treat! Is there anything quite like it on a hot day? :=)