There are moments when you need to get out of London, when the chaotic streets, the noise, the people and the smells become too overwhelming. Fortunately you don’t need to leave town, but you can have a quick fix at one of the numerous green areas, some of which are very small and hidden. I’m in my favourite park in Central London; I don’t even know its name, a little corner of wild nature negotiating its space between the buildings behind St. Giles church. It’s really small: a narrow path sneaks through it connecting few wooden benches.
My bench of choice is always “I love worms and woodlice“. From here I can’t see anyone, and probably no one sees me, so that I can quietly contemplate the little pond opposite the worms bench and the Stik graffiti above it.
I’m absolutely knackered and still a bit hungover and this garden is recharging my batteries.
Now the silence is torn apart as someone starts playing “Freak Out” very loudly from an open window, while some builders, on the opposite side of the park, are dragging iron panels on the asphalt road. A helicopter hovers very close to the tops of the buildings and the church bells have been merrily chiming with no intention to stop.
A fat pigeon above me is clinging frantically to some thin branch trying to reach some berries and ending up upside down like a weird feathered bat with its wings spread open while a big black cat is sleeping undisturbed on a bench next to mine.
All around me the city is buzzing, rushing to the tube or to the pub but still, here, it’s quiet.