Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday in the Park

I love Roundhay Park in Leeds and it's looking particularly good at the moment in all its autumn glory.

To me, it is everything that a park should be - spacious and with some formal parts and some wilder parts. I love the long avenues of trees:

The Communist loved this park. When he was very small, he lived in the slums of Leeds (where Sheepscar Junction is now) and his major ambition in those far-off days was to live in a house near Roundhay Park. My grandparents used to take him there on day trips, by tram, and he thought it was Paradise.

He achieved his ambition to live near the Park by the age of thirty-three and I know it brought him lasting pleasure for his remaining fifty-two years.

I don't think that, in essence, the park has changed very much since those days.

They have refurbished the Mansion, where Stephen and I had our wedding reception back in August 1980.

It had become very run-down and then was closed for years. The Council wanted to turn it into council offices, without the restaurant that there had been there before. The people of Leeds rebelled and a good thing too - so, after what seemed like an interminable time, it's now open and we can once more go inside.

At this time of year the ground is covered in leaves, of course.

I look at the benches like this and it doesn't take too much imagination to picture the old Communist sitting on them, like he did so very many times throughout his long life.


Blogger Michael said...

Roundhay is also my favourite park in the world, probably because we went there a lot as children, but also because I spent much of my A-Level study time (spring 1980) hanging out there with friends instead of revising.

10:04 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

When I saw your title I thought of "Sunday in the Park with George" which made me think of Stephen Sondheim which made me think of Bernadette Peters which made me think of that movie "Pennies From Heaven" that she made with Steve Martin. I like the bathtub scene in which B.P.'s note gets all wet and S.M. tries to read it anyway. It always makes me laugh.

I am one weird dude.

2:15 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Michael - yes, I did a bit of wandering round the park instead of revising for exams too!
Bob - I was thinking of that piece when I wrote the title. Though the rest of your links are - - - well, I think you should have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.

9:44 pm  

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