Sunday, 17 October 2010

Peace and Picnics on Primrose Hill

In a city heaving with people, cars, buses and bikes, it is nice to know that peace is never too far away. Just a short tube ride and a walk up Primrose Hill and I would have been forgiven for thinking myself in another world if it wasn't for the distant reminder of London etched against the horizon.
Paradoxically, Sundays in London seem so much quieter than they did back home. Wandering through central London feels eerily quiet. Streets that swarm on a weekday are deserted at the weekend.

It seems Sunday in the big city really is a day of rest. More importantly it is a day for friends and family. For three Sundays in a row I have been lucky enough to receive some lovely visitors: first my mum, step-dad and sister, then my dad and his family, and today: my best friend from home.
With the sun shining I decided to make the most of the our brief meteorological luck. Alice and I had planned to meet in a café for lunch but a picnic on Primrose Hill suddenly seemed so much more appealing. Armed with tasty supplies from M&S we scaled the hill, puffing and panting and hoping the view at the top would be jolly well worth it.
And boy was it worth it.

I couldn't help but let out a sigh. It wasn't just the exercise that took my breath away. That view was something special.

As we sat and shared our feast of salads, memosas, homous and cheesecake I watched as children ran down the hill giggling and cyclists pedalled under the autumnal trees. Little patches of picnickers were dotted throughout the park. People walked dogs, couples strolled hand in hand and the most dedicated of joggers braved the hill.

It may have been a chilly afternoon but sat on Primrose Hill with my best friend and the debris of a lovely picnic, my heart was well and truly warmed.
After our picnic we wandered down the hill and into Regents Park where we stopped to watch a football match noisily taking place on the endless grass. I found myself wishing I was a sporty person; there was a real sense of team spirit and community emenating from the pitch that I instantly wanted to be a part of.
I never thought of myself as a country-girl, but walking through the autumn leaves and fresh air I began to have my doubts. I could never deal with the quiet of the countryside all year round but now I am all the more looking forward to a relaxing Christmas in Dorset. After a few months in the city long country walks will be blissful instead of a chore. Pub lunches next to roaring fires, carols in old churches that smell of cold stone. Mud.

Autumn is officially here. For me that means one thing - wool. Today I yearned for snuggly wooly jumpers and chunky mittens, and welly boots I can kick through the leaves.

On our walk back to the station I picked out where I want to live - a pink house that looks out over Primrose Hill.
And it was just a minute's walk from a row of beautiful shops, cafés and (of course) a cupcake shop. Perfect.

It was so sad to say goodbye to Alice, and after such a lovely day coming back to piles of work was a shock to the system. But if it ever gets too much, if work is weighing me down or I have had enough of traffic and sirens, you'll know where to find me.

I'll be at the top of Primrose Hill.


P.S And thank you, lovely Miss Nicholson for such a perfect Sunday :)

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