Autumn is falling – Leaving London   #leaves #autumn #London #GreenPark #October

Between the green stretches of Hyde Park and St James Park in the city of Westminster lies Green Park, 47 acres of public strolling grounds.  

It is both a lovely green space in the heart of London, and the lungs of the city too, providing fresh country air – perfect for escaping Piccadilly madness.

There are no lakes, no playgrounds, no buildings and no planted beds (so no king may gather flowers for his mistress). There are 3 memorials.

Here is a quick history of the area:

In the 17th century it was a swampy burial ground for lepers.

In 1668 the area was part of the Poulteney family estate, who then surrendered the bulk of land to King Charles II, thus becoming a Royal Park, ‘Upper St James Park.’  Charles, in his turn, enclosed the parkland with a brick wall and built an icehouse for cold summer drinks (as one does).

By the 18th century it was an isolated area, haunted by thieves and highwaymen. Horace Walpole, writer and politician, was robbed here.

In the 18th-19th centuries there were public firework displays (in 1749 Handel composed music specifically for a Green Park display) and ballooning (up, up and away) and even duelling (sword fights).

In 1820 John Nash landscaped the area and in June 1840 from Constitutional Hill, Edward Oxford made an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria.

For me, in 2017Green Park (also a tube stop) is an excellent in-between walking route from Berkeley Square to Victoria, early in the morning when the squirrels are busy burying conkers and tourists are making their way to Buckingham Palace.

The plain trees are beginning to shred, scattering brown and yellow crinkly leaves along the pathway; there is an earthy dampness, a grey chill and a pale light filtering through the flaking canopy.  

Autumn is now the season to go strolling.  

Green Park offers everyone a green and pleasant land in London Town.

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The Last Bank Holiday of the Year, August 2017.  #holiday #Hastings #beach #festival #music #Boyzone #weekend

What better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than down on a British beach, with summery British weather & a wild mix of British people all having a thoroughly good time. Everyone entertained by Hastings Old Town, spending their English pound and speaking in their English tongue, turning pink and trying new things. Watching and observing, or taking part and letting go.

The weekend started with a big Boyzone concert on Hastings Pier. Ronan Keating and fellow Irish lyrical lads were singing till late, out at sea, under an orange moon and far from the madding crowd. Girls were ecstatically happy, the boyfriends were less-than pleased.

Safe parties on the beach, picnics, swimming, sailing, church-bells, wrapped fish and chips to individual tapas, it can be original or fancy, working classy to posh and arty.

Everyone is welcome.

By next week this pebbly beach will be a desert, not from stones to sand but from lots of people to very few. But it won’t be long before we can fish out and dish out a new festival, The Seafood and Wine Weekend, in 3 weeks, for example: the celebration of British wine and seafood; a feasting festival, with plenty of live music and tipsy-ness.

Wherever you are in Britain, I hope you’re taking full advantage of the last, long bank holiday of the year. It is still summer, despite an early crop of apples, signifying a shift into autumn.

Hastings is merely a stone’s throw away from London… lots of things have happened since 1066…

http://www.katebarnwell.com

Everyday a different day…

Where shall we go today? Books and poetry, artists and their ideas can take us anywhere in the world; everyday we can discover a new voice, whether it be in your own language or translated into it, and a new place, whether it be real or imaginary, right where we sit. We don’t have just one tongue or one world or even one time we can have hundreds more of each!

So when you’re not travelling the world in body, you can travel it in mind instead…

“Earth has not anything to show more fair” (Wordsworth) 

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it” (Kipling) 

“All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare).


“Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,

With the wonderful water round you curled,

And the wonderful grass upon your breast

World, you are beautifully drest.”

By William Brighty Rands

I’m reading a book in English, translated from the Japanese, set in Russia, China & Japan & set over many time zones…! So where are you today?!
  

The World according to Oysters

On a day like today, out in the June sun, the sky a deep, jewel-like blue; there’s a calm, rolling sea, a safe shoreline, fresh oxygenated air and endless space.
You may look to the horizon and say the words:-

“The world is mine oyster!” Well you won’t be catching oysters from this boat in this English Channel but you will mean so much more when you look back on this proverb with ‘its highly memorable condensed bold imagery of its commonplace fact of experience’ (quite a verbal mouthful – break it down!)

What you are really saying is “I can achieve anything I want, go anyway; I have the opportunity (time and money) and the ability (health)!”

‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ (Shakespeare’s play, written in1600) was the first to make use of this phrase:

Falstaff: “I will not lend thee a penny ”

Pistol: “Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with a sword will open.”

The world doesn’t have to be expensive or exclusive or difficult to access; maybe we just have to change our perspectives…this view is free and makes you feel instantly liberated. Anyhow it’s food for thought (although while we’re on oysters, I hear they are quite a required taste!)

  

I’ve found a Goblin Market!

Here sit a seasonal, succulent selection of plump & luscious market beauties; some blushing, some hiding their sweet faces, some on full display! Every colour is a temptation…

Christina Rossetti’s poem, ‘Goblin Market’ is alive and well: ‘Morning and evening,
Maids heard the goblins cry:
Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy…
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye
Come buy, come buy…
“Take a seat with us
Honour and eat with us”
They answered grinning
“Our feast is but beginning…”‘

These twisted, deep creased tomatoes, and the openness & variety of a market scene provide great inspiration to writers & artists.
There is something definitely odd and goblinly about this box…one bite may lead to another…

The wind, one brilliant day

Here I am at the grave of Catalan poet Antonio Machado (1875-1939) in Collioure, France…this is a great pilgrimage site for both poetry lovers and students…all of whom seem to leave a small memento of their moment….he escaped Franco’s tyranny by a perilous journey across the Pyrenees in 1939 finding freedom and a home here briefly amongst the free Catalans.

“The wind, one brilliant day called to my soul with an aroma of jasmine….”