Wednesday, June 6, 2007


One of the many civilizing features of London are its squares. They are scattered throughout the city, even in seemingly dense commercial areas. You turn off the main road, and in the distance you see a lovely little green patch...

You step closer and you see beautifully manicured lawns and grand trees:

These are the lungs of the city. They open up the vista, let the sky in, and clear the air. Your heart flutters. You imagine reading a little book of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning you happen to have tucked into your bag under the shade of an oak tree (or perhaps catching up on the latest mags).

You work your way around to the gate only to discover:

I feign surprise, but of course this is a feature of London that I had discovered on previous visits. These little gems are private property, belonging to the buildings that abut the square. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. I do believe in private property and whatnot. It's just a little bit disconcerting when your momentary flutter is betrayed by the facts. What next? Will they require key access to walk on the sidewalk (footpath)?

Not quite, but more on that some other time.

1 comment:

Lola Is Beauty said...

Taking the obvious precautions not to impale yourself on a spiked fence, there are often ways and means of jumping into these gardens...the belgrave square one is particularly lovely - and huge...who's going to stop you esp. if you have a book of poetry on you...

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