November has arrived and the temperature is going down, which is why I was surprised and pleased to wake up to a day of bright sun, and temperature heading up toward 60o. Binoculars at the ready, we rode the Tube to Regent’s Park and spent a lot of the day walking along the lake, and visiting the gardens.
We saw a variety of birds along the lake, tall gray herons with a few shaggy black and white feathers creating their decorative cape, and coots that let out little croaks before diving under the surface, then bobbing back up like submerged balloons.
People-watching was every bit as interesting as bird-watching. Getting on and off the Tube, we passed a man wearing a Zoot Suit complete with widely-spaced chalk stripes, broad lapels, colorful tie, and spats on his shoes. The elevator doors opened onto another man wearing a conservative business suit; what caught my eye were the long, waxed points on his mustache. He looked like a young Salvador Dali on his way to the office! On our walk, we heard at least eight different languages, Arabic, French, German, Swedish, and several we didn’t recognize. Jonathan offered to take a photo for a family who turned out to be Flemish-speaking Belgians.
On a lovely sunny day like today, every park bench and every table in the cafe was full. We managed to snag a table for a coffee break. After we were seated, I noticed that everyone outdoors except us was facing the sun, soaking up a few more rays before winter rains begin. (As longtime visitors to tropical zones, we always sit in the shade, or at least facing away from the sun. )
Every sunny bench was occupied, and no one wanted the shady spots.
After our pause for coffee, and a very good, tiny red velvet cake, we continued on to the gardens on the southeast corner of the park, where works of contemporary sculpture were placed during the Frieze art fair. The pieces will be in Regents Park for another ten days, and we were able to stroll around and look at all of them. I like to see what is being offered for sale, since I don’t follow contemporary art. My favorite was a set of “chairs” that looked like their hair was on fire:
Many of the sculptures were attractive or intriguing, a few puzzling. The captions weren’t terribly helpful, mostly full of art-speak about deep connections and universal truths.
The park is huge, we could easily go back again and again. In the summer, there are pedal boats, one of my new favorite activities. If you start your walk at the far north end of the park, you can walk up Primrose Hill, where people go to look out over the city. So many lovely places, so little time.