Sunday 7 August 2022 – London.
‘Imagine your favourite city as a wasteland’ opens the final chapter; ‘Coda’ of ‘Shadowlands’, Matthew Green’s excellent book about disappeared UK villages and towns. I finished the book this afternoon (Friday 12 August) accompanied by a glass of red wine after a busy week of work, a decent way to unwind.
Looking back at the photos I took on Sunday, it is quite easy to imagine London as a wasteland. The green spaces are bone dry and there have been a number of grass and scrub fires around the fringes of the city already. It’s been over a month since there was any substantial rain and we are a small number of days away from a drought being declared in large parts of England and a hosepipe ban in London. The use of hoses is already prohibited in St Leonards, where we are now which is a shame as the car is in desperate need of a wash.
After a sustained period of no rain a few days ago and a drought now predicted to last at least until the end of October, the UK recorded the highest day time temperature; in excess of 40 degrees. It’s hard to believe that some among us deny there is any sort of climate emergency.
After Eleanor and I walked through Kensington Gardens a few weeks back we arranged with some friends to come back for a picnic lunch and take an afternoon stroll through the park. At the time we were not expect this ongoing heat-wave, nor expecting to see the parks looking so dry.
We found some shade from one of the many wonderful of trees in Kensington Gardens and unloaded the bubbles and food we had carried with us from home. It was a very enjoyable lunch.
The walk was not as long as we would have liked, it was too hot to be out for long. We stuck to the shady paths were we could, but that was not always possible.
I had brought the camera along, though I wasn’t really feeling it that much, which has been reflected further as I write this very short post. I’m going through a very demotivated period at the moment, possibly due to my pending 60th.
There were the occasional, heavily watered oasies,
and some of those bloody parakeets.
We walked through Hyde Park, then onto Green Park to get the tube home. Hyde Park was almost desert like in places.
I’ve not seen the parks as dry as they are now, and with no end in sight, I hope they get a chance to recover. Much as I hate the royal family the royal parks are a wonderful part of London.