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Dr John Hawkins

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Getting Away From It All

Posted on 2007/10/30 22:35:16 (October 2007).

[Saturday 27th October]
Following the absolute git of a week I'd just had, I was quite determined to have a complete break this weekend, and, if possible, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, even if just for a short while.

We have a mailing list at work for completely miscellaneous queries, and I availed myself of that yesterday to request suggestions of somewhere near London where I could see a bit of greenery. The suggestion that seemed to stand out in the flurry of responses was Richmond Park - and so that became our destination today.

It was only about a 20 minute journey by train away, which was part of the appeal - as much as I wanted to get away from London, I was also too tired and lazy to be getting involved in any long train journeys.

I've never actually been to Richmond before, and immediately on arrival I liked it. It was a bit like a Hampstead of the South West, and also reminiscent of other nice places along the river like Henley. Despite being a suburb of London it has the feeling of a small rural town about it, and even before we got to the park I had found the place quite appealing.

We wandered around the park for an hour or so - not too long as we'd typically left it until a bit late in the day before heading out, and so towards the end it was already threatening to start getting dark and it was also quite cold. It's a really big park, and whilst it isn't the wildest looking of green spaces, it did feel quite far removed from the centre of London, which was exactly what I was looking for. I found it gratifyingly cathartic to amble aimlessly through the vernal landscape, and I realised a short while into our stroll that for the first time this week I was actually relaxing.

After leaving the park we popped into a nearby pub - The Roebuck - for a quick drink. We ended up staying for a couple of drinks actually, and ordering some food (either a late lunch or an early dinner, not sure) and again it occurred to me I was actually relaxing.

Before getting the train back into London, we took advantage of the Waitrose in Richmond to buy some bits and pieces, including a bottle of Pimm's No. 3 (recently rebranded as "Winter Pimm's"), some Angostura, and finally some broad beans (our local supermarket had been out of stock of these for weeks due to some dispute or other). On arriving back home I experimented with the Pimm's - mixing it with tonic water and a few drops of Angostura - and odd as that sounds it was actually a rather appealing drink.

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