Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I didn't get my timing quite right this year.
It is our custom to prebook just two things on our annual journey and make the rest up as we go along. These are our return flights to London and our Eurostar ticket to France, which we contrive to allow us two weekends with the kids and a bit of time in between to visit other friends out of the City while the family members are off being busy executives.
This year, we landed on a Monday, which was exactly the day after the first weekend we'd hoped to be here for, and booked to leave the following Monday, puzzled at why travel was so expensive on that day. Sure, it's obvious with the benefit of hindsight and a calendar, but we usually eschew both of those things which is why we inadvertently booked to travel back to France on Easter Monday.
This gave us a bonus few days with family of course, but also meant that we had insufficient time to travel to the midlands to make our intended visits this time round, so we are stuck, oh dear oh woe, with filling in our days wandering around Hyde Park and thinking warm thoughts and feeling enormously grateful to our offspring various for giving us the opportunities they have over the past decade.
By choosing as they have to live in London, each in turn, we've been compelled to visit as often as we've been able, and astonishingly when we total our visits, we've actually lived here in the City for five or more months. When we wander along the banks of the Serpentine as we did today, stopping at the Lido for coffee, then across Hyde Park past the Prince Alfred memorial to Kensington itself, it is not as tourists we travel, but as residents, people for whom these surrounds are familiar. We are here often enough to notice subtle changes between visits.
We can gauge progress on construction works, see how last year's ducklings are going, or wander among our favourite trees watching as the buds develop on every branch, half-wishing we would still be here for the explosion of colour which will take place in a week or two.
We popped into the Science Museum today mid our meanderings, and quite coincidentally spent an hour or so becoming acquainted with the history of time keeping and clocks. It seems that it is really only since the beginning of the industrial revolution that man has been conceptually bound by time. Before the invention of the clock, deadlines as we know them simply did not exist.
I am not sure that I believe that entirely, but I like the thought. The concept of living in a timeless state is an admirable one, and we have determined to undertake the pursuit of that state of being with some vigour.
If we remember.
at 11:36 pm