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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Tag Archives: park

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They don’t make ’em like that no more…

Last month I have been clearing out the stables of the small victorian farm behind the house.
Just a general rummage to get rid of general grot and grime, and to generally find out if there was really anything worth conserving.

While sorting through I found many things…
Canisters with strange names, spagettied wirls of leather tack (left behind by an old saddler who used to rent the cottage), old buckets with names of a different house, a tricycle… etc etc. I also found the most amazing old sickle. I decided to clean it up and look after it.
When digging through piles of stuff, finding old tools are like nuggets of gold. You can imagine someone using them, even making them to a clear end.

But one of the things I found, wondered at then left… was a spoon, tied to a long stick…

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Here bunny, bunny, bunny…

As it was found amongst many things in a stable, so I imagined it to be a specially made tool to feed horses (?!) or to medicate something at a distance… Bah. I gave up and I moved on to shoveling out the grot on the floor.

Then yesterday, looking at some old country footage from UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive, I finally saw that spoon in action…

http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/219226
(sorry, can’t embed the video here)

It is a short documentary from 1961 about the old gamekeeper at Elveden. The good man is in his 90s… and as you see him gently totter about on the estate, his assistants go about their business, spreading out feed for the game…

…and poisoning rabbits with cyanide…

Hmmm.

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Only rabbits and rats?

So that’s what’s in that friendly looking yellow bucket called Cymag…

I doubt you would see anything like that in modern day video’s, eh?

(And yes, this is probably a response to my last post on rodents…)

 

Later addition:

… Off course… how could I forget to add:

Oh the good old days…

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woop woop...

The weather is too good to blog today.

See you in the park!

F.

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Herons > Pigeons

During my walk home today I ran into a surprising sight…

A large group of over 20 herons stood around quietly on the lawn in the park.
When on land these birds really resemble old skinny men in tatty grey rain coats, hunched together against the rain…
Only once they start their stretched gait on stilts do they turn back into actual predators…

Anti-social cousins...

When I was small my neighbour told me that herons were of the anti-social persuasion. No heron would land if it saw a fellow perched on the edge of a pond…
So how is it possible to find 20 of them in a clump in the heart of the city?

Apparently the heronry of Regent’s park is well-known and the largest urban community of herons in a city in the world.

Grey squirrels next time...

Haha, these long faced felons sure make the pigeons pale in comparison. If a pigeon is a flying rat, what does that make a heron?

Oh London, you never cease to amaze me…

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What about E?

One of my favourite things in London (if the weather allows) is walking…

I love getting lost.
Preferably when I am not in a hurry.

London is a brilliant place to get lost in, you will always see something new and interesting, you never know what you will run into around the corner. And going back on yourself usually means you see new things in a known street…

Walking from A to B to C to D is far less fun than getting lost between and A and C, finding F and stumbling into D.

Elephant/Hare staring at the moon?

Last week I walked home from work on a lovely spring afternoon. Once you get out of the bustle of the Strand and Trafalgar Square, it really becomes stunning around  St James’. This corner of London has so many parks that all interlink.
So in a way, the way home became ‘a walk in the park’. 🙂

An added bonus this week was the ‘Elephant Parade’ which is a special charity event placing 260 statues of painted elephants all over London. There are some really stunning pieces of art amongst them.

Regretfully I did not have a camera on me… but luckily I found my favourite one online.

Finally my favourite song to support this feeling:

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Queen Anne's Alcove

Yesterday was the first day it was light enough for me to go running after work again.
So I made my round through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, along the Palace and the Serpentine and  up to my favourite building in the park:

Queen Anne’s Alcove.

The proportions are truly lovely, it is classical yet elegant.
And with the high wooden paneling it almost becomes like a comfy chair. It is nearly impossible not to resist sitting down in its arch, take up your book and lean back.

Crowded gardens...

In its present location it suffers a bit from its surroundings, while also benefitting…
Firstly it is stuck behind a large Victorian confection (pump house for the Italian Fountain Garden) and then there is an enormous high rise office block that looms over it behind it.
Quite a pity for such a pretty and elegant design of 1705 by Christopher Wren… Originally this building was located to the south of Kensington Palace. With the present plans to change the entrance to the Palace they might consider putting it back… But then again, it would lose its marvelous views.

The view...

On weekend runs I always have a little break and sit down to listen to the water and look at the people milling round the fountains. There are children who are trying to pet the Swans (while the parents are not aware of the danger and smilingly take pictures) and I saved a Labrador once from the handsomely shaped deep ponds. Only when I dragged him out by the collar, did I find out he had only 3 legs…

Anyway I digress… I am wondering if the States will have an equivalent elegant surrounding to run and relax in. Everywhere in London there are little sites, buildings, arches and funny architecture to entertain and surprise you.  They date back from Tudor times, the elegant Regency or over the top Victoriana. (There you go Albert!) It is all these things that makes London such an inspiring place to be.

My original home town of Amsterdam also had a similar scenery, even if we called the eras differently and made everything out of bricks…

I wonder what awaits me in the States…

Same proportions...

So far I have seen very green and pretty areas of Cambridge and Boston. Including the impressive Mount Auburn Cemetery.

But what about the living and daily life?
I bet you wont see many children playing around here…

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Household Cavalry

After an early morning running in Hyde Park,  I think I will really miss seeing the cavalry excercise in the mornings…

It is always a majestic sight to see a large clump of horses trotting towards you. Rain or shine.

Makes me stand up straight and run faster indeed. 🙂

Brattle Street

At least it will be nice and green around Brattle Street and Bellevue Avenue…

Still I will miss the thundering hooves…

F.

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