Monday, 6 September 2010

There are parks and Parks

What could me more appropriate than an english rainy day to talk about parks and green spaces in England? An english sunny day. Sure. But, let me tell you, in England sunshine is not to be found under the hooves of a horse. To be fair, I have also been told that it is as hard to encounter a complete day of rain. Aren't you relieved? That's why it is not rare to spot not less than ten rainbows a day in this country.

And somewhere, over those rainbows you'll find english parks ! Yes, England is that magical.
England is 130 395 km² big, has a density of 389 persons per km² and still finds free space to have green spaces. And not tiny ones.

It is quiet remarkable, I mean, we are not talking about one of those ridiculously endless countries. England is neither Australia nor Canada. This island is four times smaller than France. Yet, the smallest park in London might be the size of the Buttes Chaumont. The parisian park I was so proud to live next to. The biggest park in Paris intramuros*.

Now I realise, how ridiculous I was when I was advising british citizens to put "Les magnifiques Buttes Chaumont" at the top of their "top-ten-things-to-see before-you-die-and-only-if-you-are-going-to-Paris" list. Worst ! I now realise how britishly polite they were, telling me what they thought of it, using the ultimate weapon-word when you don't know what to say: "it was lovely".

Well, now I know. I know even better since I have been to Hampstead Heath, La Lande. This is massive. And just five minutes away from London city center. Walking there is like stepping in Highlander, The Film. You feel so wild, you want to wear a kilt. You can reunite with your clan around the stone of free speech. 

There are also some lakes you can swim in. Back to nature style. Forget about your swimming cap and your speedos, I tell you, you need a kilt ! Members of ancient tribes have their names engraved on centuries old wooden benches. The grass is fluro green and the air is pure. Here we are, born to be Kings, we are the princes of the universe.

A stroll in les Buttes doesn't make you want to wear a kilt and fight for your land. It makes you want to drink rosé wine. Same, same but different.

*It's actually not true. Le Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the biggest park in Paris. But am not sure you can call a cemetery a park. Can you?

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