The last couple of weeks have been the quietest I can remember since I started this blog in early-February of this year. The fact that winter has arrived is the most likely reason for the change. I have gone into the park some evenings to lock up and it has been empty — not a soul in sight. Even the birds have gone to bed. Yes, these are slow days in the park, with not a lot happening from the visitor's point of view. Not the same can be said for Dave, our groundsman. He seems to be permanently on the go, taking his barrow everywhere.
I have photographed the park path a good few times, but this is the bleakest picture I have taken. I imagine it set with yellow cobble sets and dancing towards me is Dorothy and her mates from the Wizard of Oz. It's a long way from Kansas, but the bends in the path give it the feel of a path which is always going somewhere greater than the park gates and that those who use it are more than passing through or doing a circuit of the park. It's a kind of 'dream path' where you enter a different world for time that you are there.
The Derby Road toilet block is a first. I haven't taken a picture of it before. I actually asked a couple of people to name the buildings in the park and both missed out these toilets, so I am not alone in blanking them from my line of sight or mind. They are never used and are always locked. With the toilets attached to the Park Pavilion being easier for staff to monitor and manage, the Derby Road toilets aren't needed, even on the busiest of park days. Occasionally they have been mentioned at a Park Consultative Group meeting, but I can't remember the last time or what was said. The fact that I haven't even noticed them is indicative of just how quiet the park has become in recent days.
Talking of buildings in the park, I usually call the building which overlooks the Bowling Green the 'Park Pavilion'. So do most other people, but park signage says 'Club House'. Another fact that has passed me until now. It's not the end of the world, but it is perhaps an indication that we should look at the world around us at different times of the year and different times of the day if we want to fully appreciate what is happening.
I do have weightier matters to do with Nottingham parks that I want to write about, but not today or tomorrow. I have sent an article to the Nottingham Civic Society about the city's parks in general and Lenton Recreation Ground in particular. I will wait and see if they publish it before writing more here. I was glad to see that yesterday's Nottingham Evening Post devoted nearly a page to the City Council's Breathing Space report. It's another sign that parks are being taken seriously at last and this can only be a good thing.
Belgium's chances of surviving as a single country suffered a significant blow last night when the man tipped to be the next Prime Minister abandoned almost six months of bad-tempered wrangling over a new government and threw in the towel.