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Welcome to My Parks - By our new editor — Alison Mould Trustee

Welcome to My Parks - By our new editor — Alison Mould Trustee

It had been a long, long week. The day job, now a computer in the spare room was busy and demanding. I was “zoomed” out. The news was just depressing — more people infected, tragically more deaths, disputes over whose vaccine it was and who got what, when and where — having had a glass of red too many on Friday night I needed a reboot. Lockdown 63, week 4,786 and counting was getting us all down!

Dimity Spiller, one of The Friends’ members had sent this text for our Blog with an amazing photo:

“We look forward to longer days the moment we are past the Winter Solstice on 21st December but it doesn’t happen quite so quickly as we might like. This is particularly so for those who walk in the Park in the mornings as the gradual lengthening of days is weighted unevenly, the afternoons draw out sooner than the dawns draw back. That is to say, sunsets go from 3.01pm to 3.02pm to 3.05pm at once but it doesn’t work like that for the sunrises. These times actually retreat, sunrise on December 21st in London is officially 7.59am but it is not until nearly two weeks later that the sunrise is earlier than that. This photograph was taken at 8.27am on 29th December, when sunrise had been at 8.06am. It was the first time the Palace had been lit up by sunshine at this hour for some time. This time gap of 20 minutes or so between sunrise and the sun hitting the Palace seems to hold good for the moment, as I saw on 25thJanuary but by then the daylight in general is much stronger so there is far less contrast of the sun and shade. As you will have noticed there has a been a dearth of sunny days but I will keep an eye on sunrises on my morning walks, until, of course, the sun rises before I do.”

FIRST SUNSHINE OF THE YEAR (and don’t we need to see it again?)

And so, inspired by Dimity and in what I guess, technically, probably wasn’t a storm, I ventured out with my dog to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park — my parks — I guess we all feel like that!

My journey did not start well. All of that beautiful snow we’d seen the weekend before had melted and it had rained and rained – and then rained some more.

This is not, in fact a stream!
The Scots call this type of weather “dreich” — that’s how it first looked when I got to my parks that morning – miserable, cold, grey and wet.

But, fairly quickly, the parks remind you of their charm and their magic starts to work. Where else do you have this much space to yourself at 9am on a Saturday morning in Central London?

Where else does the Household Cavalry stroll past?
These three are Cavalry drum bearers.

Where else would those to whom we owe so much, wait until their next often life-saving call? In the distance, I noticed an ambulance parked overlooking the Serpentine. I hope they were enjoying a well-earned break — it was so reassuring to see them.

I was cheering up. It occurred to me, as I looked around, that we are a bit like trees at the moment. Not really living or blooming just existing until the summer comes along. They do it every year they wait, patiently, majestically and gloriously for things to get better.

And it always does — gets better – every year.

And as I pottered along I noticed it wasn’t all grey either.
Unbelievable oranges and fiery reds of the Cornus (Dogwood).
Delicate pink of the Hellebores.
….and white Snowdrops.

And just everywhere nature told us there was hope. Across from a puddled walkway were daffodils, just starting to push through.

And some plants were already in bloom like this lovely Camellia.

_So, if like me lockdown gets to you —
just once in a while —
take yourself off to my parks —
you won’t regret it._ **

Meet Lynden Easton Some of you may have already “met” Lynden in her role as membership secretary. She has an impressive record of keeping us all in order and up to date with our subs. But better than that, she also manages to phone members who appreciate a friendly voice especially when we can’t get out and about as much as we’d like. Lynden is also a tech maestro and has been sending out the Members Blogs for nearly a year. She has somehow mastered Mail Chimp layouts and uses it to absolute capacity, loads of great photos plus, of course, all the bits and pieces of material which we supply her with. She’s very proactive and tolerant at the same time which is a wonderful combination. We’d be lost without her.

HUGE thanks to her!

Sue Price

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