Sunday 23 April 2023 – Chalet Wood, Wanstead Park, London.
I finished my job on Friday and much as the last couple of weeks have been pretty chilled I’m kinda glad to be moving on as I’d definitely lost interest in the work and had been struggling with motivation for most of the last twelve months. It’s fair to say that I’ve been struggling with motivation in the rest of my life as well, so it wasn’t surprising it impacted my work experience. I have a week off before starting a new role at the place I was at prior to the one I just left. I remain a civil servant, part of the shiftless workerati establishment blob; or something like that.
I’m looking forward to both the week off and starting the new job. I’m hoping this change of employer and work, along with an improvement in the weather and that it’s lighter for longer each day, will encourage a few changes in other areas; like not sitting on my butt in front of the telly scanning social media every 15 minutes night after night. I also plan to re-arrange my workspace in the spare room to refresh the routine and have a load of other tasks planned as well. It won’t be a complete rest.
We had planned on going to Chalet Wood in Wanstead Park to see this season’s bluebells last weekend, but we completely forgot about it, and I only remembered again yesterday. This will be the final weekend they will be out in full bloom. I’m glad I remembered as they were magnificent. I love that this glorious wood is a 30 minute walk from home, roughly the same amount of time it takes to get into the centre of London on the tube.
We were up pretty early by our standards and were at Chalet Wood soon after 8:30. I was surprised to find only five other people as I expected it to be quite busy. The London Marathon is on today as well as an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster, the forecast of rain perhaps kept some punters away as well. I was certainly busier when we left and went for coffee in the small lakeside café. The coffee was terrible by the way.
This is the fourth year we’ve managed to catch the bluebells and I swear they get better each time; the display seems to be expanding its reach across this section of wood and there are larger numbers in the fields. Bluebells only really grow in quantity in ancient woodlands and there are few of those left in the UK. We’re lucky in that Wanstead Park was once owned by royalty and was preserved for the hunting of deer and other edible wildlife so it was still a woodland when it came into the ownership of the City of London in 1880 when the owner went bankrupt. We walked the weird past the Temple construction that is one of the last remnants of the once grand set of buildings on the grounds.
I took a few photos, but they really don’t do the place the justice it deserves. You just have to go and experience it yourself, it is a beautiful sight. You need to visit mid-late April, preferably with flatish light, and it’s best to go early in the morning when you can take a seat on a log and enjoy the solitude; get in before the groups of families and loads of other people arrive to disturb the peace.
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