I DID have two good long walks Friday and Saturday, Friday's to a part of the walk along the north bank of the Thames, part if which I'd not yet covered, Saturday's simply a brisk walk around a good portion of Hyde Park, then heading back to South Kensington, stopping at a nearby Saturday market on Bute Street.
|You KNOW when you are entering the City of London|
taken alongside the Thames
Now that I have actually turned 65 (who'd-a thunk it?!), and am really in my last semester of teaching (boggles the mind!), I realize how very very close I am to retirement.
|Memorial to W.S. Gilbert|
along the Thames
Someone, I don't remember who, wrote me recently and noted that "transitions are hard." Whoever it was, s/he was right. I've been in transition most of my life, learned to cope with change when I was a wee one, being uprooted nearly every year as we traveled from air force base to air force base, I've covered this ground in earlier posts, but this particular change seems the most daunting of all.
And yet at the same time it's potentially the most exciting of all.
|I ate my lunch on a bench with this in sight:|
the Globe and the Millenium Bridge
But still I get bogged down. It's one of my great frustrations about myself.
|A look down the Thames|
from an unusual angle for me
I'm sure everyone has their own peeves about their own lives. My life would be just about perfect (except for the fiscal side, which barring a miracle will never improve) if only I could shake this tendency towards becoming mired in concerns that seem mighty whilst in the mire, but that once out of the mire, seem petty and inconsquential. True confessions, Dottore Gianni style!
|An obelisk along the Thames|
from ancient Alexandria
For God's sake man, what's wrong with this scenario?
|Ragazzi scavenging along the Thames|
I for one find these rather funny!
And now, just a few more comments, about my walks in Hyde Park. One of my very favorite experiences in the theatre
|The Italian Gardens, Hyde Park,|
not much now, but spring's on its way!
was performing in an adaptation of a Noel Coward short story called "Ashes of Roses." In it he wrote, "There is much to recommend Hyde Park on a Sunday afternoon, particularly in the spring, when the grass is newly green, and there is a feeling of lightness in the air." It's not spring quite yet, but I have so enjoyed being near enought in the vicinity of this beautiful park to enjoy walks there whenever the feeling hits me. And yesterday, a Saturday morning, not a Sunday afternoon, I had a chilly brisk walk through a good portion of it, about an hour's worth -- and believe me, even a very brisk walk taking that amount of time does not cover all the park, not even one turn around it. Another reason to look forward to the few remaining months I have left in London is to continue my walks there, "particularly in the spring..."
At the end of my Hyde Park walk I stopped, as noted in the very beginning of this post, at the Bute Street market. I've written about this place and the market before.
|The Institut Français in South Kensington|
It's a very "Francophile" block, with boulangeries and French groceries along it, primarily because it is very near the Institut Francais. I almost feel as if at one turning of a corner I've stepped out of London and into Paris every time I stroll through it. A tale of two cities, rolled into one! Yesterday I stopped and bought a half chicken with stuffing and gravy, elegantly prepared, for £7. Pricey, but I made two meals of it, one last night focusing on the leg and thigh quarter, and later today very much looking forward to the breast, both meals with generous dollops of dressing, all covered with the delicious gravy. They also do beef, and it is very likely that next Saturday I will take a small pot of that back with me to 35 Harrington Gardens.
I began this post in a brooding, confessional style, but seem to have written myself out of it. In fact I just remembered London is celebrating Chinese New Year today, and I should get over to Soho, where the festive crowds will be.