The Coronavirus Diaries, 12th September 2022: Out and About

Celia and I met up after lunch yesterday. She’s been away, visiting family in various parts of the country. We went to Sydenham Woods, enjoying the cool of the shaded paths on yet another warm day.

We weren’t alone. There were families, quite a few with dogs, but it didn’t feel crowded. Partks are all very well, but walking in the woods is better somehow. When we emerged at the top of a hill there was a convenient pub called the Wood House. In we went for some cider. Very nice. We couldn’t decide if this was the same pub where Celia’s cousin Sally had a surprise birthday party some years ago.

I don’t know why I didn’t take photos there or when we left. Opposite was a large house. We walked around the outside. Was it now flats? Some sort of institution? There weren’t any clues. along the road there were any number of huge houses. Some seemed still to be single family homes, though others were divided up. On the left there were some more modest houses. A cat rolled on the path and approached for a stroke. Another lay on top of a wall, happy for attention but not soliciting it. A cupboard where two walls met attracted Celia’s attention. Could it be a book swap, she wondered? It was.

I started talking about a little estate I had visited somewhere nearby years ago, and had never found again. I had hardly finished my sentence when there it was across the road. We went to look. It was as perfect as I remembered it, though my imagination had made it bigger. A model of good planning. Houses and flats grouped around a central green, human scale and charming. It’s called Lammas Green.

We were now heading for the bus stop and home. The views from the top of the hill were spectacular.

An afternoon well spent.

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