My monthly travel card ran out on Saturday. I decided not to renew it just yet and cycle to work. I’m lucky my journey to work on my bike is a journey of 3 parts:
A. GETTING INTO BUSHY PARK
Leaving home, leaving Hampton, cycling parallel to the RiverThames, past David Garrick’s house and Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare. Somewhere along this stretch of river the unknown Charlie Chaplin performed for Fred Karno and the rest is history.
B. IN BUSHY PARK
This is the second largest Royal Park and for we townies this is a good dollop of what we think the countryside is like. Don’t laugh at us please, we are sensitive creatures. There is loads of grass, bracken, trees, deer and birds. I half expected to see Mr Heron as I entered the park via the gate by the Stock Yard, fishing for his breakfast. Maybe I was too late or maybe he was having a lie-in. There were plenty of wood pigeons and parakeets but no sign of Mr Heron.
I crossed the central chestnut-lined avenue that runs through the park, nodded to Arethusa/Diana on her fountain in the middle of her pond (both designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a grand approach to Hampton Court Palace) and cycled on past the children’s playground which has delighted many children over the years, including me and my sisters when we visited our Auntie Bernie, later my children and their friends and cousins and recently the daughter of my eldest son’s girlfriend.
Now on my second half of the park stretch I caught a glimpe of someone out of the corner of my eye. He was hanging on to the edge of a tree trunk like a children’s toy and was wearing an outfit of green with a red hat! A green woodpecker! I don’t think I’ve seen one of those since I lived in Horndean, Hampshire and we had a wood at the bottom of our garden. That was BEFORE baby sis was born so probably very very early 1960s.
Reversed into and forwards out of the wrought-iron kissing-gate and past the Bushy Park Allotments. These photos were taken through the railings and haven’t captured the diversity and abundance of growth in there but if you know anything about allotments you can use your imagination to guess at the dahlias, sunflowers, beans, marrow et al that were jostling for breathing room.
Another wrought-iron gate, near the skateboard park, a short ride out of Church Grove and then I mix again with the hoi-polloi who drive in or catch the bus to Kingston.
C. OUT OF BUSHY PARK AND INTO KINGSTON
“Earth has not anything to show more fair”, no, not upon Westminster Bridge but Kingston Bridge and the view is not so inspiring, It mainly consists of ghastly developer-thrown-up (in the vomit sense of the word) “modern” blocks of flats, whoops, I mean apartments and yet more offices of no architectural merit at all.
When I catch the train, the view is a little more appealing and includes these two boats, permanently moored. Now that’s what riverlife should be about rather than money-making waterside properties
It takes me 40 minutes to cycle and I arrive hot and flustered and in need of a blanket bath because I work in a building that allegedly was used to build parts of Sopwith Camel aircraft and, apart from filling it with computers, I wager the building remains pretty much as it was in those days. We certainly do not have niceties such as showers. We are lucky to have running water.
The problem with cycling to work is that you have to cycle back, on an already sore bottom! Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh.