Ducks

Tuesday 2nd March 2021

We went to Regent’s Park. As you know it has emerged from this Time of Wrong as the greatest of the parks, unrivalled in its architectural theatre and range. The sweep to the west towards the American Embassy residence is wild and vast, then there are the avenues, the circles, the formal lawns landscaped with hedges, the rose garden, the dry garden and the lakes – with ducks. Harry Rollo knew all the ducks and said there was a special place where a rare bird could sometimes be seen, not a duck. I explained that Royston King was trying to find a use of an area to the east of the Rose Garden that needs to be found a use for. ‘No humans,’ Harry said at once. ‘Think of all the harm they’ve done. But badgers, foxes, otters and… wolves.‘ Superb.

Anyway, we looked at the ducks. I thought I’d grasped them from the visit to the Serpentine a week or two before. But it seemed not. There are gulls too, of different types. The duck that sticks in my mind is the eider duck because of the connection with eiderdowns. But it doesn’t look a bit like an eiderdown. It’s a stark black and white.

We saw a heron standing on a lawn. I thought they were shy and shunned human company. Apparently not. A lot of people look like herons. But hardly anyone looks like any other sort of bird, except eagles – odd.

As we were regaining our machines for departure, Harry said, ‘Listen.’ He’d heard a bird singing and knew it and found it, high in a tree. It was a mistle thrush. I’ve never seen a mistle thrush before.

Next I went with Merle Barr to Hackney Marshes. Surely the Krays were busy there, burying people.The disused filtration beds are a feature. They filtered out cholera, you know. It took some time to find the special bird viewing facility with shutters to lift for viewing. But most of the shutters had disappeared so you just looked through the square in the wooden panel. I don’t know why you couldn’t have just looked without any structure. The birds were quite far away. More ducks, but not belonging to any of the categories previously encountered. Maddening. Maybe they weren’t ducks at all. V. busy diving.

We saw Merle’s past residence and the block of flats opposite from where a man flashed. He was very unattractive unfortunately as well as a fool, flashing from his home address in full view. Merle had the Police round and the resident said it was a friend of his, come round for a bit of flashing before going away again. The Police were certain it wouldn’t happen again and it didn’t.

On the next visit to Regent’s Park when the newly vaccinated Royston King came over, we decided we’d had enough of it. Royston didn’t like the idea of the wolves at all. I said, ‘Let’s tour to the east.’ ¬†We machined past the Nash terraces. I said, ‘They’re fake really. Just plaster.’ Royston didn’t like my remark. I didn’t mean to harm the terraces. I think the boldness of all that drama of pillars, pediments, statues mounted, done in plaster is fabulous.

Those terraces are one of the wonders of the world.

I was right that our tour would be rewarding. After the Caledonian Park Clock Tower which Royston had funded the restoration of, and which stands in the middle of what was once a huge cattle market, we viewed Pentonville Prison with the added bonus of the warders’ quarters right by. The remarkable thing was Pentonville Prison was flying the Gay Flag. I wonder which Gay inmates they’ve got. After that it was Tony Blair’s old house in Richmond Crescent, where Cherie opened the front door having just got out of bed on the morning after the 1997 election and was seen by the entire world. Then the strange Egyptian styling of the houses in Richmond Crescent. Finally a surprise. Whose house was this? Can you guess? Royston got it straight away, in fact before we got there. Boris Johnson. Royston said, ‘I’ve seen enough.’ But there was one last thing. My Covid-19 neighbourhood vaccination centre. Royston said, ‘Why don’t you ask for a vaccination?’ So for the 4th time I entered into negotiations with the volunteer on the door. ‘Royston’s had his,’ I protested, ‘and he’s younger than me.’ ‘But I’m fat and black,’ Royston bellowed and everybody in earshot turned to ash.

An Eider Duck in Regent's Park - not a Bit like an Eiderdown

An Eider Duck in Regent’s Park – not a Bit like an Eiderdown

Another Eider Duck

Another Eider Duck

The Middlesex Filtration Beds, Hackney Marshes

The Middlesex Filtration Beds, Hackney Marshes

Hackney Marshes - Merle knew it Like the Back of Her Hand

Hackney Marshes – Merle knew it Like the Back of Her Hand

What is this Hackney Marsh bird - Much Given to Diving ?

What is this Hackney Marsh bird – Much Given to Diving ?

Caledonian Park Clock Tower, Restored by Royston King

Caledonian Park Clock Tower, Restored by Royston King

The Gay Flag Flying from Pentonville Prison, Signalling their Gay inmates, but whom?

The Gay Flag Flying from Pentonville Prison, Signalling their Gay inmates, but whom?

 

Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2021 under Adrian Edge day by day.

2 comments

  1. Harry Rollo says:

    I think your ducks are pochards – which I see are now classed as vulnerable. Speaking of vulnerability, the silent appropriation of the Gay Flag by the N.H.S. is one of the Wrongs of this Time.

  2. Adrian Edge says:

    Thank you – so useful. I had not realised that the N.H.S. have taken the Gay Flag. This is worrying

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