When the nation has found the time to stop worrying whether this Government knows its arse from its elbow (Priti Patel MP, absolutely not back by popular demand, was wheeled out for the coronavirus briefing during the last weekend in April), or wondering how on earth we are going to reach the target of 100,000 covid19 tests a day, or even where exactly am I going to be able to buy flour? Some of us have been considering whether the blossom trees are the best we’ve ever seen or whether we’ve just got more time to study them right now?
With the weather in south west London more like mid-June than late April me and Clare headed for the Thames Path to walk from Kingston to Hampton Court. Although the Thames Path is exceptionally busy in many places this stretch on the north bank is very wide and lengthy stretches have the walkers and the cyclists separated. Exercising a little caution, and an excess of manners, negotiating the section where we left Kingston Bridge we were able to maintain adequate social distancing to the satisfaction of all. The ‘after you’, ‘no after you’ stutter shuffle doesn’t always do the job but worked a treat on this afternoon.
Me & Clare are more familiar with walking this part of the path the other way round. We’d occasionally meet at Hampton Court station on a Friday evening in the summer and ‘walk home’. We’d stop in The Boaters Inn, of course, for a couple of beers. Do you remember just casually dropping into pubs and drinking beer? (It’s a rhetorical question but feel free to use rhetoric to answer.) When this is all over…
I’ve written this before and I’m sure I’ll write it again but I really don’t know as much about tree recognition as I should. What I do know though, is that cherry blossom season in Japan is a major event, normally drawing visitors from around the globe to witness the petals in full bloom – London might not match Japan for sakura action, but there are plenty of bloomin’ marvellous places to see the flowers. So if you live local to any of the Royal Parks, especially Greenwich Park and its candyfloss arched avenue going towards or from the Wolfe statue, pop over and see ‘em while you can.
At Hampton Court, we stopped briefly for some essential shopping and had a Magnum each, no sitting or sunbathing officer honest, just a lean on the parapet near the bridge. We then headed home via Bushy Park. We Buffalo Gal’d it round the edge (“Buffalo Gals, go round the outside, round the outside..”) and re-crossed Kingston Bridge to home. The Thames Path is always a treat whatever the season but there’s something special about strolling along it in shorts, sunnies and a t-shirt in the sunshine.
Check out this walk on strava here: https://strava.app.link/505oQqsa55
The walking class hero lockdown days playlist:
Blossoms – If You Think This is Real Life
John Paul White – We’re All in this Together Now
The Staves – Sadness Don’t Own Me
Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals