Wednesday, 20 April 2011

"Oh to be in England now that spring is here"

I am and it is!  England does spring so well.  The streets are avenues of lime green leafed trees and gardens are bursting with tulips, bluebells, grape hyacinths and the last of the daffodils.  Wisteria creeps up brick facades and everyone looks happy and summery. Yesterday it was hot sunny and 25 degrees.  I think today will be the same. It is wonderful to be with my son Jacob, Catherine, his wife  and Edward, my two and a half year old grandson.  He is, of course, gorgeous and becoming a real little chatter box with an English accent.  They live in a beautiful part of London, East Twickenham, directly opposite Marble Hill Park, which is complete with a stately home.  The park runs down to the Thames pathway so there are a number of pretty shady walking paths close by and ample safe play areas for Edward.  In Marble Hill Park there is an area, about an acre in size which is surrounded by a low picket fence.  This is solely for preschool children and their parents.  No dogs are allowed and there is no play equipment there.  It is a pleasure to walk past and see mothers chatting and picnicking while their children run around and play together in complete safety.

All the talk in London is of the royal wedding, a week or so away.  There is a buzz of excitement....every shop you go into the staff are talking about it, and I hear it in snatched conversations on street corners.  There are street parties planned and shops crammed to bursting with memorabilia.  It seems that the royal family are still hugely popular here....and good for tourism!  I went into Trafalgar Square yesterday and couldn't move for the crowds.  Apparently the royal wedding has increased tourism numbers enormously.  I had planned to go to the National Gallery but was put off by the crush so went around the corner to the National Portrait Gallery.  It was very quiet and I enjoyed a saunter among images of people from hundreds of years of history.  I wandered down to the embankment and watched the hordes strolling, cruising the river and ascending in the London Eye before retreating to the relative peace, quiet and tranquillity of East Twickenham.