Posts Tagged ‘Serpentine’

Weekly Reading and a New Watercolor

hyde park serpentine watercolor

Today, after going to Tuttle and having a lovely Friday morning talking to friends and making new ones, I headed to Hyde park with my watercolors, intent on painting something in the afternoon sunshine. What you see above was my one and only creation — a view of the end of the serpentine, facing the Hilton Hotel (which you can see rising over the trees). I was never particularly talented with watercolors, but I still like to try. And sitting on a bench in the middle of the park, I just didn’t really have the patience for mixing colors or measured brushstrokes. I’m also pretty horribly out of practice, though it was fun to be outside, doing something.

In the park, I notice that things were completely different from two weeks ago when Evan and I went and took photos. The tulips in those striking gardens were almost completely gone and their flowerbeds looked frazzled. The supposedly dead tree that people were climbing — seriously, it had NO leaves or even buds — was lush and verdant, forming an intriguing bower. And the beautiful flowering tree, with full, pink blooms, had no flowers to speak of. My how things change…

Writingwise, this week has been busy. It was my last week at Sugarscape.com. In my 6 weeks there, working three or four days a week, I managed to write 69 stories, not counting competition copy (the numbers on my page are a bit off since it includes individual photos for galleries). It was sad to leave Alex and Becs, who were lots of fun to work with, and they bought me a lovely bouquet and a travel journal for my summer trip.

I also wrote a post for Londonist, “Shocking: Amy Winehouse Arrested, Let Out on Bail,” and a post for Workology, “Want to reduce your WTD? Get a VA!” I would love for all you freelancers and small business owners who read this blog to come join me at Workology, or at least comment on my blog posts — as of today, you don’t need invites anymore to join the new social network for independent workers.

And if you haven’t read the blog post about Best Supper Ever (I know, it’s just below on the page right now), go take a gander — Battlecat gave an awesome interview.

Springtime in Hyde Park!

hyde park tulips

Winter finally decided to loosen its clutches on the city of London, and we’ve had some lovely weather. The first really gorgeous day, Evan and I took an excursion down the road to Hyde Park. While we’ve been to the park plenty in the winter, and we knew it was a nice park, it was pretty chilly and barren save for the grass.

Two weekends ago, though, it has a fantastic facelift — there were tulips, cherry blossoms and daisies in bloom, the lake was full of row boats and pedalos (what the Brits call pedal boats/paddle boats — you know, the plastic kind you power like a bicycle), and there were plenty of children, pets and friends soaking up the sunshine. Even better, we left our jackets at home and were even able to go without our sweatshirts for much of the day.

hyde park serpentine rowboat

Evan and I went out on the Serpentine on a rowboat, which was very relaxing (I did some rowing, too). The only thing missing was a picnic and some sunscreen — I unfortunately managed to get a pretty decent sunburn.We also took a tour of the Serpentine Gallery, which had a very intriguing exhibit of Viennese artist Maria Lassnig‘s work. Though the gallery was very small, it was perfect for a 15-minute detour in the park, and Lassnig’s works were very intriguing — the first paining that greeted us was a self-portrait titled “You or Me,” where we were confronted by the naked octogenarian artist pointing guns both a the viewer and at her own head (you can see some more images of her work here).

And here’s a great photo of a duck Evan took while we were at the park…

duck at hyde park

For more photos of the day at the park, visit Evan’s site.

A Run in Hyde Park

Yesterday, I decided to explore nearby Hyde Park by taking a run. I was already feeling pumped up by my workout the day before at Fitness First (I’m looking to maybe join a gym here, so any tips on that would be appreciated), and I laced up my running shoes once again to check out the famous green space.

I started at Hyde Park Corner and checked out the monuments and the arch in the open area there. Then I crossed into the actual park and ran by one of the smaller gardens and a few statues then ran up the bank of the Serpentine, the lake in the park. There were plenty of pigeons, geese and even some swans, and there were lots of other people about taking Saturday walks and runs. Nobody had their dog on a leash, yet they were all surprisingly well behaved, even if I couldn’t always tell who their owners were.

As I got toward the bridge that crosses the Serpentine, I didn’t feel like heading back over just yet, so first I turned to my left and explored the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which was quite a nice, interactive kind of memorial. It’s a large concrete ring built on a slight hill, so the water spills down both sides and meets at the bottom. The water goes through various stages, obstacles and textures. In some points, it’s deep and still. In others, it moves quickly over bumps, splashing about. In yet others, it’s quick and smooth or bubbly, or the stream gets quite narrow or wide. The memorial was full of families dipping their hands in, children running along the edges and people like me observing as they were walking or jogging by. This was my favorite feature in the park.

I went on to jog around the entirety of the lake — the far end was much quieter and had a series of fountains, which were nice but pretty standard. And I jogged away from the Serpentine and on more open grassy land on my way back. There also seemed to be a number of private cottaged built in the park, which were very charming and inviting looking, and made me curious as to what’s inside.

I finished my run very close to where I started, by a large statue of the Duke of Wellington, and crossed Park Lane underground to head home.