Saturday, April 20, 2019

Back to Hyde Park

Dave had to meet with some colleagues yesterday to help with a work-related project. His meeting was in Queensway, near the northwest corner of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. So I went with him and brought Olga along on the tube for a visit to the park.

Hyde Park was our regular stomping ground when we lived in Notting Hill, so perhaps she remembers it from her puppyish years. She seemed pretty comfortable rolling in the grass with Kensington Palace in the background.

The leaves on the horse chestnuts are an unbelievably fresh, light green.

I definitely noticed a difference in Olga's stamina. When we used to visit Hyde Park we'd make a loop all the way around, and she would chase squirrels like a crazy dog, running wide circles around me at top speed. This time, we walked maybe two-thirds of that distance, and she trudged along and was even a bit grudging about it. She seemed to want to lie down more often. I think our lady Olga is showing her age.

(Granted, we didn't see any squirrels -- if we had I'm sure she'd have taken off after them. Plus it was a warm day.)

We stopped for some water and a bite to eat (vegan wrap) at a food stand on the Serpentine, and watched the swans nibbling underwater. Then we made our way across the grass and sat for a while under a tree near a huge group of twentysomethings -- mostly women -- flying rainbow flags. I figured Olga and I definitely fit in at any queer gathering!

Moving on, we noticed that someone added a pair of glasses to one of the figures on the Joy of Life Fountain.

Finally, we left the park and walked through Mayfair, toward the Bond Street tube stop. Olga dutifully posed next to some of the careful plantings in this very chi-chi neighborhood.

After taking the tube home, this is how Olga spent the rest of the afternoon and evening. She's still snoring away on the couch as I write. We'll take it easy today!


Frances said...

I don't think I have ever seen a dog on the you have to carry her on the escalators? Those bright blue flowers are an amazing colour, though I might be seeing them differently to some as I have recently had my cataracts done, and it gives you much brighter blues especially!

e said...

Well,she does get out and about, so naps are a good thing...what were those deep purple flowers?

Sharon said...

I can relate to how Olga was feeling. Yesterday, I was moving rather slowly myself. However, I think mine was because I took an allergy pill. It couldn't have anything to do with age. ;-). Great photos!

Ms. Moon said...

Oh, bless Olga's heart! She's just not a puppy anymore, is she? I can so relate.
What beautiful pictures. The blue of those flowers is incandescent.
Love the glasses on the sculpture.

Vivian Swift said...

I do the same thing when I'm in Hyde Park. I like to roll around on the grass with Kensington Palace in the background. That might be why the Queen has never invited me to one of her tea parties.

Red said...

Sometimes dogs have an off day just like us.

robin andrea said...

A lovely place for a walk and a roll in the grass. This post makes me wonder how old Olga is.

ellen abbott said...

those purple flowers are intense. I tried to determine what they are but no. our dogs get old. Minnie, at 4, is not as energetic as she was. she'll still run mad loops but not as often or as long.

Linda Sue said...

Joy of life fountain!! Brought me so much joy, I LOVE that photo.Of course you can not go wrong taking photos of Olga, She is such a delight, I rather like dogs who slow down a little. Nice that you happened upon some rainbows, always a welcoming feeling. Your weather is better than ours, wish I was there...always. Beautiful spring!

jenny_o said...

I LOVE that first shot! lol

So what does Olga eat when you're out and about? Do you have a collapsible water dish for her? Or does she drink straight from a bottle and eat vegan along with you? Inquiring minds and all that :)

It's a bit sad when our pets start to show their age, isn't it.

Catalyst said...

I think Olga just likes rolling in that fresh green grass. I might have joined her.

Comox Valley and beyond said...

Lovely photos of Olga feel I could just reach in and pet that tummy, enjoy your weekend.

John Going Gently said...

The fountain is a magnificent photo

David said...

I too am curious about the Joy of Life fountain (new since I was last in Hyde Park). I know you have other things to do in life, but may I suggest that you post more pictures sometime? (I presume you have others).

Steve Reed said...

Frances: Yes, I carry her on the escalators -- which isn't easy because she weighs about 23 kilos!

E: I believe they're called Senetti, a hybrid of cineraria. I had to do quite a bit of research to come up with that! Maybe they're just plain ol' cineraria, but the flower petals seem pointy like the hybrids.

Sharon: Allergy pills will do that to a person! I avoid them at all costs. Fortunately I don't have very severe allergies.

Ms Moon: Yeah, we're gradually seeing evidence of her age!

Vivian: Ha! Then again, the royals LIKE that kind of behavior. Well, some of them, anyway. Maybe not the Queen.

Red: This is true! Could be just a blip!

Robin: We got Olga in January 2013, and at that time the vet estimated she was two or three years old. So that would make her eight or nine now.

Ellen: Senetti, I think...? I guess Minnie is just old enough to have shed her puppyish energy. That's probably not a bad thing. Puppies are exhausting!

Linda Sue: It's a great fountain, isn't it?! Especially with the spectacles! And yes, there are benefits to a slightly slower dog!

Jenny-O: She ate some of my vegan wrap. She loves bread, so she went for bits of the tortilla. We weren't out long enough to warrant carrying food for her. I used to have a collapsible water dish, which I unfortunately lost somewhere on the Heath, so now I bring a plastic bowl on very hot days. Yesterday I just got a shallow cardboard container from the food cart and put her water in that.

Catalyst: It's funny -- whenever I get out the camera, that's her response! She's a ham.

Comox: We love her speckled belly!

John: Thank you! Although it would be much less magnificent if not for the person who left those spectacles behind!

David: I could have sworn I've photographed it before, but I can't find the pictures now. (Among my 30,000 or so on Flickr!) I don't have my most recent photos online yet, but here's a page about the fountain on the Royal Parks web site:,-fountains-and-statues/joy-of-life-fountain

37paddington said...

Olga has a good life. She is so loved and taken care of. It must be a little daunting for you to think of her getting older. And that's a really dynamic fountain.