Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dear London, thank you... Part 2

Battersea Park.

It's green, there are no cars. In all seriousness, this enclave has a wealth of attractions for everyone, not just me and my mini WWF competitors. 

The Zoo. Unpretentious, an abundance of South American mammals (no darling that's not a pig it is a CA PY BA RAH), a brilliant play area, sand pit and FIRE ENGINE.

The 'adventure playground'. Beneath  the swinging bridges of 'go ape', next door to the new mini-golf centre (great pizzeria/cafe). There are 4 separate play zones with swings, slides, pirate ships, tree houses. The mobile coffee shack is invariably within screaming distance and every few visits you're guaranteed to see a celeb or royalty.

The Peace Pagoda. Tranquility adjacent to the river. The steps up made for great 'buggy fitness' equipment back in summer 2011 as Henry and Idris cooed at leaves in the breeze.

The Pump House Gallery. Never been but have intended to on a number of occasions. Exhibitions, workshops, film screening, funky party venue. Cultural tick.

The Prince Albert. Great boozer, good food, nice wall paper.

The list is endless....Affordable Arts Fair, running club, boating lake, fountains, sub tropical garden, cricket pitches, cafes (that sell alcohol too).

I have a rich tapestry of memories threaded through Battersea Park:

Christmas Parties at Battersea Evolution (think The Moosevirt meets Starlight Express, meets Casino Royale) of 2008, 09 and maybe 10. I was so skantily clad I may as well have been naked, threw j├Ąger down my neck and am pleased I can't quite remember how much of a tit I made of myself.

Race For Life and Landaid 5kms;  every year. PBs were made and Paula Radcliffe was beaten, I shit you not.

Shoulder dislocation attending one of only 3 highly regarded 'Andy's Military Fitness'.... Can't think why that one hasn't taken off.

A brief sojourn into club hockey saw a season for the 'Battersea Wanderers' and winter training 8-10pm on Wednesdays, miss it, not. 

First sports day as a parent. The eldest screamed, ran in the wrong direction, was visibly upset and clearly too young to be forced to try and enjoy (and win) the mini competitions set up for him. The youngest rolled around on the rug next to the medals and sausages stealing produce whenever no one was looking. That child is going to go far. Mummy and daddy won the egg and spoon and simple running race, worth leaving work 2 hours early.

Great place. If it's not too big a journey (less than 30 mins). GO. I do know most London Parks are similarly fabulous so pick your closest because a journey can be the ruin of an outing.


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