The other week I was in London. I wrote about it too, here. At one point in the day, I headed for South Kensington, intending to go to the Science Museum but that part of the world was busy and I reasoned that the museum wouldn’t be massively comfortable. I went for a walk instead with not much of a plan beyond just following my nose. I walked up round by the Royal Albert Hall and then decided to walk through Hyde Park despite the drizzle and the cold. I hadn’t been to Hyde Park before and I was particularly glad to see the Serpentine in particular, which I had heard of mainly because of some bonkers folk going swimming in it on Christmas Day, apparently an annual event.
Beyond the Serpentine, I went across the park, eventually ending up near Marble Arch. Despite the horse riders, cars and traffic noise, I managed to be on a path entirely on my own with not a soul to be seen around me. In the heart of one of the biggest cities in the world, on a Saturday afternoon when everybody and their granny seemed to be out, quite a few of them in costume, I was alone. I just found that amazing. To be fair, a drizzly February Saturday wasn’t the best day to see Hyde Park. A lot of people would have preferred to be inside. I can appreciate how lovely the park would be on a summer’s day. But I was there that day and I felt something. I’m not London’s biggest fan. It’s big, loud and busy. But I felt comfortable and at peace, even in one of the biggest cities in the world but still managing to find a space in the crowd to be alone, to hear myself think. My connection with London, even my affection for the place, grew in that moment.
I also have a post on my other blog, Easter Road West, tonight. It is about Cathkin Park, home of Third Lanark. Sunday’s Streets post here features Mitchell Street. Have a read.