Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gladstone Park

I must confess, I wrote yesterday's post three or four months ago, and never posted it because I was afraid it was a bit...lame. But I saved it, fortunately, for a morning when I didn't have time to write -- because I hadn't done my French homework, for example -- and it's a good thing I did!

So thank you for indulging me by reading about a box of old office supplies. I owe you.

Yesterday, after French class, Olga and I set off on an adventure to Gladstone Park, to the northwest of us, near the neighborhoods of Dollis Hill and Neasden. I don't know why we never walk in that direction, but I'm glad we did, because I needed a change of scenery from Hampstead Heath. Olga didn't seem to care, as long as she had her Kong.

Even the walk there was interesting. We found a cache of French and Arabic books discarded on the street, and I picked up a copy of "All Quiet on the Western Front" ("A l'Ouest Rien de Nouveau"). I'm not sure I'm any more likely to read it in French than in English -- in fact, considerably less likely, probably -- but who knows. I might get inspired.

The park itself is about 90 acres, mostly of open grassland and sports fields. It's named after William Gladstone, a prime minister in the Victorian era.

I was extra-careful to keep Olga occupied so she wouldn't go after anyone's football -- and she didn't.

We walked a loop around the outside of the park before exploring some of the paths, lined with century-old plane trees. A railroad line runs through the middle of the park and must be crossed via a gigantic old footbridge, and part of the park -- with formal gardens and a duck pond -- sits atop a high hill with views of London to the south. (You can kind of get a sense of the height in that top picture.)

We watched this guy practicing his tightrope-walking skills...

...and by the time we walked home, Olga was so tired that she couldn't bring herself to carry this stuffed football that we found on the street. She left it behind.

She's pretty much been sleeping ever since!


  1. I know that you crazy Americans messed about with the English language in times past but I never realised that you refused to distinguish between practice (noun) and practise (verb). Do you also say: "Donald Trump's people are advicing him to wear a white stetson and cowboy boots"?

  2. Is it a big yawn or smile Olga presented in the 2nd photo? And her view in the last photo seems to say "Would you please bring that football home for me?" Did you?

    To YP, great you pointed that out ;-)Oh oh, wonder what you think about all my mistakes, I'm slightly in panic now.

  3. Kaki - no worries. English is not your first language and so all of your mistakes are forgiven. I am in awe of people like you who can leave blog comments etcetera in what is effectively their second language.

  4. I never realized until Mr. Pudding pointed it out that there ever HAD been a difference between the spelling of those two uses of what we call "practice." They are pronounced the same here whether as verb or noun. But advise and advice- still different, both in spelling and pronunciation.
    Anyway- too tired to carry home a stuffed ball? Poor Olga.

  5. Well, you didn't have to admit that yesterday's post was old. We'd have never know if you didn't tell us. The park large and gives everybody space.

  6. Love the guy rehearsing his tightrope skills...too bad you didn't bring home that ball...Olga would have enjoyed it eventually.

  7. YP: American English doesn't use practise -- only practice, for both verb and noun. As Ms Moon says, they're pronounced the same, whereas advice and advise are not!

    Kaki: That's her PANT PANT PANT face -- like when she's been running a lot. :) We did not bring the ball home.

    Ms Moon: I knew of the British spelling "practise" -- I seem to remember seeing it in "Winnie the Pooh" books! But I also didn't know they spelled the noun and verb differently. News to me!

    Red: I am all about full disclosure.

    E: It would be ripped apart by now!

  8. Olga always looks so cheerful! Even in the last shot, where she also looks pretty worn out.

  9. From the big smile as she's lying on the grass, I think Olga enjoyed her outing.