Monday, 10 March 2008

Thoughts of Lenton inspired by Paris



Stefan Kruczkowski, who used to be a Nottingham City Council Parks Development Officer and was at the heart of Lenton Recreation Ground's renaissance, has sent me these pictures and the following words as his contribution to my request for contributions about 'favourite parks':

' A small pocket park I stumbled across when walking down the Champs Elysees in Paris last year (Espace Pierre Cardin). Apart from the birds feeding from your hand, I was really taken with the image of the park keeper with his cap - I think he knew the people he was talking to. I think it captures the role of the park keeper - a custodian but also a friend in the community. Much like Dave at Lenton Rec.

The third image is another pocket park beside Notre Dame. It was a simple place, with trees and benches, but the shade afforded a place of relaxation within the bustle of the city where many were taking a break or catching up with friends. These small simple spaces can be easily overlooked in terms of their value, but it's clear what they add to the vitality of a city, town or a village. Perhaps a source of inspiration for Lenton's Pocket Park?'

Stef also said 'I'm still checking out the blog and enjoy reading it, keeps me in touch with the Rec (I drove past the Rec the other day and did see what I suspected to be studded booters playing...............but then realised I have no authority on behalf of the council to remove them). Some things stay the same eh? But some things improve, such as the fantastic sponsorship of the Rec by Universty of Nottingham. Who'd have thought it a few years ago. I will drop into the Rec over summer. Tell Dave that I say hi and tell him that I think the new uniform brings out the colour in his eyes!!!!'.

Thanks Stef. As always you give us plenty to think about. Just as I was about to post this blog entry I heard a news item on Radio 4 that a Government official has said that no one should be more than 300m from open space of some kind. This made me think of Lenton's blocked off drives where unsightly concrete has been used. With a little imagination and for not much cost the concrete could be replaced with small gardens. I know the arguments about access by emergency vehicles but there are other means of access so this issue is not a critical one.

Spain's socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, won a convincing general election victory last night. After a bitter and divisive campaign dominated by fears over a stumbling economy and rising immigration, Zapatero fell short of the absolute majority that he had been hoping for. Socialists will now have to negotiate with smaller regional parties in order to form a government.

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