Sunday, 30 March 2008

"It feels like summer today"

Two rows of Hyacinths and a pink flower I don't know the name of greeted me as I entered Lenton Recreation Ground this morning at the Derby Road entrance. The hyacinths were giving off a heavy scent which came and went with the breeze.

It's 10.45am and I have the park to myself as I walk towards the railway and the bowling green. Looking back I stop to take in the grass, Devonshire Promenade and the Lenton high-rise flats. It's a view I never tire of seeing.

On the side of the path between the railway and the bowling green I catch sight of a lone tulip. This is what I came looking for today. Last year I saw only one tulip in the entire park at about this spot. This year there's a few more dotted along this stretch of path. All are on their own. I love tulips, but they always seem like a fragile flower to me and I have learned not to buy them as they quickly wilt. Better to enjoy them for the few brief days they appear in the park and in gardens.

One of the joys of an early morning visit to the park on a bright sunlit day is the shadows cast across the path and onto the grass on the Church Street side of the park. To capture the true impact of the scene this picture really needs to be three times wider, but I think it captures the magic of the moment. The still leafless branches with the help of the sun behind them provide a view of the park which will soon be lost until the end of the year.

As I came almost to the end of my walk around the park I saw this lone cluster of three tulips by the site of the planned Nottingham Peace Garden next to the small copse between the path and Devonshire Promenade. Their bright red colour shimmered like silk in the breeze and I stood looking at them for an age. I was actually glad that the park was not awash with tulips because the beauty of this scene would have been swamped and gone unnoticed by me at least. Perhaps others would have noticed.

Whilst I was, as my Nanna used to say, 'Away with the fairies' I heard voice say "It feels like summer today and they're the reason why. I love them, don't you? The clock's have gone forward so you know that summer's here". I turned and saw Tony, who lives in the Lenton flats on the 16th floor of a block overlooking the park. On nice days he parks himself on a bench or at a picnic table and soaks up the sun whilst having a read and some refreshment. I took a picture of him last year reading a book about ferrets. Standing there with his neck tie and 'shades' you could be forgiven for thing summer has, in fact, arrived already. A little early, but none the less welcome. A few more days like today and my disappointment at there being no snow over Easter will soon be a thing of the past and a hope for the future.

I went out today without a coat or a hat. The first time this year. It is a truly beautiful day and as I finish this blog at 4pm the park playground is full of parents and children. I would love to take a picture and post it to the blog, but parents are very reluctant to have their children photographed. As I said before this is a great shame as it means that children are disappearing from our recorded history. Old pictures of parks and streets almost invariably include them looking at the camera and the photographer. Today, such a scene will almost certainly be devoid of children. The irony is that the very people who seek to protect children are, almost certainly, the biggest threat to their wellbeing — not the strangers they are so fearful of!

Despite government promises made over the past decade that playing fields would be carefully protected, at least 187 fields have disappeared. Hundreds of other pieces of school land have also been sold after being classed as too small to be playing fields.

1 comment:

Lilian Greenwood said...

Hi Robert

The little pink flowers are English daisies - Bellis perennis - I think they're sometimes called double daisies.

Like you I've been out enjoying the spring sunshine - heard a woodpecker when I was out for a run on Sunday - but no cuckoos yet!

See you next week.

Best wishes