Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My walk home from Springfield Park

View from Springfield Park before the weather
took a turn for the worse ©Heather James

I had plans for yesterday that had to be rearranged on the fly so, after a bit of dithering, I decided to head up to Springfield Park just a few miles away. To save time I travelled by bus. When I set out the weather wasn't too bad but by the time I arrived the rain had settled in which wasn't conducive to the sketching trip I had in mind.

By now it was around lunch time so I went into the café to warm up and delay making a decision to either carry on with my plan or jack it all in and go home. Having eaten I felt fortified enough to explore the park and I spotted a shelter I could stand under so even though it was raining I reckoned it was worth unpacking my rucksack and getting stuck into at least one drawing which you can see above.

I found the view really interesting. It included part of the river Lea, some railway lines, swathes of green and trees coming into blossom. Unfortunately I couldn't explore this view for very long because the rain was driving into my shelter and the far distant horizon had turned from an interesting fuzzy grey with indistinct buildings to a blanket of dark grey with no visible features. There was only one thing for it: it was time to head for home.

Walthamstow marshes
I didn't feel like repeating the crowded bus journey with all the traffic hold-ups and passengers yelling at each other so I chose to walk back along the river. When I set out I realised that it must be five years or more since we had taken this route which I found astonishing. The walk home was about three miles and most of it was either along the river or along the Lea Navigation canal.

I was delighted to experience some sunshine along the way that was so warm I had to remove my hat, gloves and scarf. The sunshine brought out the gorgeous scent of some blossom that looked like Hawthorn flowers but seems rather early in the year since I gather it doesn't usually flower until May. I was less pleased when I had to put all these items of clothing back on and endure more cold, windy rain which increased the closer I got to home.

I was thrilled to watch some of the wild life living on Walthamstow marshes which is one of the last remaining wetlands in London. This is definitely somewhere I'd like to explore later in the year. I enjoyed looking at the maps on my route which look so new I suspect they are a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. I was amazed at the number of blocks of high rise flats that are rapidly replacing old industrial buildings – I can't imagine who will be able to afford to live in them. Most of all I enjoyed the peace and quiet of strolling along the river path and scrutinising the narrow boats moored nearby. Some of them looked so fancy they might be featured in a glossy magazine and some of them looked so dilapidated I hope no-one has to call them home.
It was so tranquil I thought I was in the countryside

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