Regent’s Park as Never Seen Before

Saturday 2nd May 2020

I must apologise. I’ve fallen into despair again. But let’s not let that stand in our way. Yesterday I stopped off at Merle’s because the Turkish shop was out of curry leaves. I thought she might have some. Don’t worry. Nobody is more socially distanced than Merle. Besides, she wasn’t there. She was Click and Collect at Waitrose. But a man forged towards me outside her house, going for his car. Wouldn’t wait. I got tangled up with my bicycle somehow, trying to get out of the way, and fell over backwards. Quite hurty. Then my Kerulan aubergine creation wasn’t right. Chewy desiccated coconut, even though from Planet Organic. I read a few articles, in the Spectator and so on. Bad idea. Before I knew it , had plunged. No hope. No end to corona. And the economic damage.

It’s no use expecting anybody to feel sorry for a Poor Little Rich Gay who’d only wanted to be just a little bit rich in old age and free at last of racking strain and worry.  Instead of which, three times, devastation.  2008, the financial crisis,  then my mine went bust in 2018. We’d just got through that and seen off the threat of the most ghastly Socialism and this happens. Beyond belief.  Three times. Who would believe it? Contrary to common belief, one is not strengthened by these blows, but weakened. In the end, it will be too much.

But I digress. I was going to say, I went out for exercise to Regent’s Park. Whom should I bump into by remarkable coincidence but Royston King?  ‘Human beings can only worry about something for so long,’ he said. That was some days ago, when we were still comfortably locked, not now when we face the horror of trying to unlock and consequences of it all and the hopeless viral future…

But Regent’s Park, as never seen before. Only now it reveals itself in its glory, as if it had been unpeeled and pushed forward by crisis in which only outdoor tours are possible. What an incredible thing Regent’s Park is. The completeness of it. We cycled all round. I never knew that Quinlan Terry had added six or seven mansions on the north-western side. We saw a Memsahib walking in the garden of one of them with a mask on. She was going round and round the box grove. Royston thought she could be the wife of the Indian steel magnate who owns the house and not a member of staff. Not that there are any members of staff these days. The creamy terraces we know of course. But they blazed that day. I’d always understood them to be badly built and narrow. But Royston said only on the south western side. The eastern terraces are astonishing. Flaring statues, great portals and pediments and friezes – such a grandeur of conception when really they’re stucco terraces.  Then the Park itself. I’d always thought it was mainly flat with carpet bedding but it’s got lakes, wildernesses, Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, another garden like a stage-set near the theatre and a new desert garden with echiums. Just incredible. Tremendous landscaping with concentric circles. We saw some herons up close. I thought maybe they were ornaments but one of them moved. I never knew. I thought herons couldn’t stand human company.

So, I’ve got a bird in the oven. I managed to get some frozen peas. After dinner I’ve got another episode of Belgravia stored up. The most fabulous high-class rubbish. A foundling story for nos jours. The Gay Mother says that tomorrow is International Dawn Chorus Day. We must be up at 5 to join in the Dawn Chorus.



Posted Saturday, May 2, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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