I have a spare morning, this morning. It’s too good a day to waste it on the underground and so I walk myself to Fulham Palace. Tudor out front, Edwardian out back I am caught in a time, not present.
The grounds are green and smell of freshly laid bark. The daffodils that bloomed a few weeks back have shrivelled in the unexpected April heat. But heat has brought the people out and they lie on the grass on picnic rugs. I choose a table outdoors, where the sun is a-blazing and order my usual. It comes in the size of a King’s latte, fitting I suppose sitting in a palace.
I’ve heard the English are laughed at for their desperation to soak up sun. When it slips through the heavy grey, they flock outdoors. Cafes, bars, pubs, parks, courtyards…they’re there, outside, no matter the hour. The other day, at the beginning of the this heat, I walked past an outdoor party. They stood around the front door on the concrete which can’t even be described as a front yard, holding their drinks and acting like it was normal. No seats, standing room only. I laughed, but I don’t think them crazy. I’m doing the same thing, appreciating any warmth whatever the degree. I’m rolling up my sleeves or wearing t-shirts and dresses and when the sun comes out, I’m already out to greet it. This morning at Fulham palace is evidence of it. This whole week is evidence of it. I’ve tripped to the park each day, my little charges in tow, just to feel a bit of warmth on my back.