Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Walk in the Park

It just occurred to me that I have more photos of Northumberland Park from the weekend before Bill's birthday.  

Simon came for a visit, bless him, and stayed Saturday night.  On Sunday we visited the flea market, where I bagged the only remaining Dick Francis book I didn't already own (with the exception of the biography he wrote of Lester Piggott; I don't feel I need to know about the man, but I've linked to this in case you do).  I much prefer Francis' fictional writing and I have my fingers crossed that his son Felix might find a way to continue in his father's footsteps. Oops...looks like there is a new one out, Crossfire.  'Scuse me a minute, whilst I visit my Amazon wish list. 

Right, where were we?  Oh yes, the park.  It was just a lovely day, sunny and about 60 degrees.  I'd been promising myself I'd show you the first daffodils I came across.  These are certainly the first I've seen with camera in hand.

What I couldn't believe is that we've lived here for coming up on 15 years and we've never taken any of Bill's kids to Northumberland Park.  


Guess that's a grandparent thing to do or something.  And Bill's kids were in their teens when I came along, so maybe it's not so surprising.  Anyhow, it's a lovely place, one of Bill's favourite running routes.  He's far more dedicated than I am, doing hill work.  Also, it's only about 17 acres, so he ends up doing loops, which I would find boring.

Speaking of grandfatherly things, there is a lovely old bowling green and club house at the park.  


I was ribbing Bill about taking up bowls now that he's retired.  He didn't seem very interested.  Maybe I'll catch a game in progress sometime and show that to you.  I think you're supposed to wear white clothes or something. 

Bill noticed all the nice uniform stones scattered around, made into various walls and benches.  He reckons that is what happened to the old St. Leonard's hospital.  You see it all around the Roman and other ruins - lovely little stone cottages built out of what used to be the wall or the castle!

I'm sure I've shown you this pond before. 

For some reason the shape of that culvert and its reflection in the water below always get to me and I take a photo - I probably have a dozen at least.  


We were admiring the ducks that people enjoy feeding when Bill noticed a large rat dragging a piece of floating bread back to its nest in the island of rocks in the middle of the pond.  Just the other day we noticed a fat pigeon balancing precariously on a hanging bird feeder in some one's front garden, having lunch.  I don't think people always realise which animals they are encouraging.  I believe I'll leave cleaning out that pond to some other more dedicated volunteer.

We were wondering what disease this tree has; Bill thought maybe a fungus.  Simon, the guitar maker, informed us it made for very interesting wood to work with.  

When I first saw the park, it was quite overgrown and more like a forest than a park.  


A lot of volunteers have worked to restore some of the gardens and clear the weeds and the council have taken out quite a few dead trees so it looks more like a park.  


I worry that they will keep at it, though, and along side the archaeological dig continue to restore the place to the formal Victorian garden it was when it opened in 1885.  


Personally I'd rather have a forest than a garden, but then I don't own the land, so it's not down to me to tell them what to do with it.  I'm sure it will still be a pleasant place whatever they decide.


Jg. for FatScribe said...

i really liked that ... the visit in the park. i'm with you re: the forest over the garden, but they're both nice.

btw, one of my favorite places to visit in Minneapolis is "Brit's Pub" which is a trad pub with great beer and bar and the ultimate chicken potpie on the planet! they have lawn bowling on the roof which folks do dress in whites for (on teams and whatnot).

look them up on the web


Shelley said...

Jg. I expect we'll be visiting Mnpls again sometime. Will have to remember to look up Brit's!

Jo said...

It is interesting to see how your speech is changing. Where as we would say "it is not up to me to say", you now say "it is not down to me to say". Actually I think the Brits way of saying it is more accurate. We elevate ourselves by saying "up to me".

Pauline Wiles said...

Gulp. You just made me feel very homesick... big time. There's something so English about these photos!
...Except for the duck... we do have ducks in California, too :)

Shelley said...

Pauline - I know what you mean. I get homesick for Oklahoma when I see a brilliant red and purple sunset (or when it's stays cold and wet all summer long here). These are very typically English looking photos, aren' they? Makes me appreciate the park that much more.

Joanne - The up/down thing used to drive me nuts when I first came across; I hadn't realised I'd made the transition til you pointed it out! Funny how you just fall in with the speech patterns around you without noticing. I can't decide which way of saying it is preferable. When I think about it, neither really makes much sense, but English is like that isn't it?