Green Park

April 26th, 2006 | by Charlotte |

Spent the morning applying for jobs and recruiters, sending a fax to my bank in Australia, then I took the Tube to Oxford Circus to prove I had a UK passport to PFJ.

What did I see right next to PFJ?

It’s Post Office Tower! (Now the BT Tower.) Last time I saw it, a giant, white, fluffy kitten called Twinkle was knocking it down. (In The Goodies episode “Kitten Kong”.) Must say they’ve done a good job of setting it upright again. 😉

Kitten Kong tower

After so many days of running around, with the possibility of work looming (thank goodness!) I wanted to start enjoying London again, not just keep racing around from interview to interview on the Tube. I thought of Green Park. I noticed it the first week I arrived, a lovely city park, with Buckingham Palace at one end, and several caches inside. Even better, it was right on the Tube line. To Green Park I went…

There’s a strange species that you see in Pommie parks that you never see in Australia. I’m talking about:

Deckchairs

Deck chairs. They stick them up wherever there’s a view. Now in Australia, we’re tough enough to sit straight down on the grass. Maybe it’s considered too cold and wet for that here.

Like most English parks, there were daffodils everywhere, but daffodils that were mostly past their prime, though there were a few unwithered stands left.

Daffodils

Even more daffodils

Isn’t that stunning? Have you ever seen so many daffodils in one place? It’s a pity I wasn’t at Green Park a week or so ago, when the daffodils were at their height.

Standing by the daffodils, I got a call from PFJ asking me if I wanted temp work next week. I did and I was pretty happy about the call, as you can see. Nice to be offered work when you’re off having a good time. Nothing’s finalized yet but at least I’m up on their whiteboard.

Made may day

From the stand of daffodils, I could see Buckingham Palace through the trees.

Buckingham Palace through the trees

I couldn’t leave without a closer look.

Buckingham Palace

Here is a view back over my shoulder of Green Park. This is what I’d just walked through.

View of Green Park

Diana’s Memorial Fountain must be around here somewhere, but I didn’t have time to find it. I heard they had to close it down for a while because too many people were visiting and it was less a fountain than a pool of mud.

Diana Memorial logo

I think these are called the Canada Gates. They seem to be a memorial to Canadian troops. There’s a fountain with maple leaves nearby.

Gates

The gardens around Buckingham Palace were at their height. Look at those tulips.

Tulips near Buckingham Palace

You cannot walk right up to Buckingham Palace, as there’s an ornate fence, and quite a few policemen. There’s also the guard.

Guard not changing

I got that song, ‘Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace’ stuck in my head after seeing this. There were two guards, marching back and forth slowly, but not actually changing as far as I could see. Wrong time of day, but I was perfectly happy seeing them march.

I’ve seen lots of teddy bears dressed as palace guards and Beefeaters. I’m tempted to get one for Mum.

Look at the magnificent fountain outside Buckingham Palace. The Queen Victoria Memorial. Queen Victoria is on one side, but I had to take pictures into the setting sun on that side, and they turned out dark.

Queen Victoria fountain

Here’s a detail of the fountain. The water was beautifully clean, you could smell a touch of chlorine. I bet this fountain is full of tourists when it’s hot. If it ever gets hot – the shops are full of thin, floaty dresses but I’ve still got my ski jacket on. Chaz told me the weather has been unseasonably cold lately, but I still can’t believe anyone would be able to wear those dresses outside in Britain. Maybe it’s the well known British phenomenon of cold ignoring, the attitude that it’s summer, so it’s damn well time to wear a floaty dress and sit outside a café, even though it’s 10 degrees?

Detail of Queen Victoria fountain

Sitting on the fountain, I turned on my 60CS. I haven’t geocached in ages and I remembered there were several geocaches in Green Park. I acquired satellites in seconds, and the first cache, Green Park #1, was 300m away, attached by magnet to an old gas lamp (now converted to electricity). This photograph isn’t the actual gas lamp, I didn’t want to draw too much attention to it, when I put the cache back. It’s amazing to think gas lighters used to come around over 100 years ago and light this then gas lamp. Reminds me of “The Little Prince”.

Gas lamp

Wandered over a carpet of thick, green grass, filled with white daisies, to find the next cache, Green Park #2. It was my 100th geocache!

On the way to Green Park #3, I passed 3 bouncy squirrels. These creatures move in a series of parabolic leaps. No Australian animal moves in the same way. It’s quite difficult to find a still moment so you can photograph them.

Squirrel

Here’s a squirrel in action. Bouncy!

Action Squirrel

All the trees on my way to the final cache, were in bloom.

Flowers

More flowers

I didn’t see any other geocachers that day, but the logs showed I was following Wild Rover around. I wonder how much I missed him or her by?

It was time to head home. The roads were packed, so I was glad to be travelling by Tube. But I found the transport system struggling when I got to Upton Park. I live really near West Ham Stadium. I pass by it on the way home. Westham vs Liverpool were playing tonight, and the sides of the streets were packed with imaginatively parked cars, and happy traffic police booking the imaginatively parked cars. The cars were hung with football team flags.

It was impossible for the bus to fit down Boundary Road, the street had been reduced to one lane, so I had to walk about 500m home. On the way, I could just make out the rising falling note of the football crowd cheering the game. A shopkeeper told me traffic came to a standstill like this every time they played.

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  1. 4 Responses to “Green Park”

  2. By cjb on Apr 27, 2006 | Reply

    You could’ve used the camera’s movie mode to record the squirrels!

    Erm, yes, congratulations on the 100th cache find.

    :’P :’)

  3. By Charlotte on Apr 27, 2006 | Reply

    It’s not a race, Chris!

    I could have used movie mode, but the large file size upload would have been a pain. I’m only on dialup.

  4. By yewenyi on Apr 27, 2006 | Reply

    I think the action photo of the squirrel in flight is an excellent photo. When we were at Buckingham palace there was a band. I do not know why, or if it is a regular event.

    The problem with the parking sounds cool, but I guess it is a bit of a problem for the locals.

    I did not see the deck charis before. Do they charge for them? I notice there are some splitters who are sitting on the grass anyway.

    I was at Barrenjoey on the weekend, and used the foretrex to get on top of a cache, but could not find it. I had not brought any of the notes as I had not actually been planning to go there.

    🙂

  5. By yewenyi on Apr 27, 2006 | Reply

    For some reason my link did not work as a bit of html. 🙁 Here is the link to the band photo.

    http://flickr.com/photos/yewenyi/107817596

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