Chapter 7 Part one/The Park
As usual, Ben knocked for Pat. She opened the door letting him in with a great big grin on her face and did a turnaround showing off her new outfit.
“Wow, you look great.” Ben declared. She was wearing one of the new tops together with the new pair of slacks they had bought yesterday.
“Thanks,” she said and gave him a hug.
“Wow! What was that for?” Ben exclaimed, as he stepped back. It had been Ben’s first real physical contact with anyone since Matt had gone away. Up close she had felt so good.
“Can’t a girl say thank you?”
“Sure you can, it was nice,” Ben acknowledged.
Pat was pleased to see Ben was wearing the new jean and shirt she had bought him.
Ben trying to carry on as if nothing had happened, suggested, “It’s such a lovely day and you’re dressed for it, we should visit Regents Park.”
“Where’s that?” Pat asked, thumbing through her tourist guide of London.
“We have to take the train to Baker Street and then walk a couple of blocks to the park.”
“Hey hold your horses a minute; it says here Baker Street is where the Sherlock Holmes Museum is.”
“Ok we could stop off there before going to the park and, if I remember correctly, there’s also a shop selling Beatle’s memorabilia.”
At Baker Street station, as they came out of the main entrance, they were confronted by a bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes.
Pat insisted Ben stand next to her while she took a photo of both of them and the statue using her phone camera attached to an extendable tube designed for taking selfies.
“According to this,” Pat announced holding the map she had just picked up at the station, “We should have turned right and right again.”
“You and your maps,” Ben said taking Pats hand and pulling her in the direction of the traffic lights. Saying, “It’s this way.”
Ben had to drag Pat out of the ‘Beatles shop telling her, “Don’t buy anything now. Get it on your way back.”
Reluctantly she had to agree that someone, meaning Ben, would have to carry everything she bought whilst walking in the park.
The next disappointment for Pat was the queue for the Sherlock Holmes Museum. It was extremely long and would take ages before they could get in. They decided not to wait, so instead they moved to the front of the queue where Ben took several photo’s of Pat with the actor playing the part of a policeman dressed in period costume, who stood in the doorway of number 221B Baker street.
Pat soon cheered up when they arrived at the park entrance.
As an artist the colours were overwhelmed, everywhere she looked there was something to see.
Unlike the parks back home it was set out more formerly.
She could imagine, in the past, elegantly dressed people living in the adjoining buildings taking the air.
They would walk around the lake on the surrounding walkways stopping now and then at one of the many bench seats to watch the ducks and swans.
Pat looking around her spotted on a bank nearby amongst the flowers a long legged bird standing perfectly still, “look at that,” she said to Ben in a hushed voice not wishing to disturb it. “What is it?” she asked.
“Let me go and check,” Ben responded, as he moved over to the bridge spanning the lake.
On the bank he had spied an identifying notice, “It’s a heron,” he called back. He waited for her to join him, after she had taken a photo.
Moving slowly along the water’s edge they came to a man with a little boy feeding two swans. They stopped for a while to watch. The man tore some bread from the loaf he was holding and handed it to the little boy who threw it into the water. Unfortunately the boy was very young and not a good thrower, the swans had to move all over the place to get the bread. What made Pat laugh was occasionally the boy would eat the bread instead of throwing it. She asked the man, “Would you mind if I take a photo of you, the little boy and the swans?”
He didn’t mind but the little boy was shy, and he hid behind the man, so no photo.
Next, as they passed the island in the middle of the lake, they got a clear view of the other bank. A band stand stood surrounded by people sitting on deckchairs. Just then the bandsmen started to play.
“Oh how lovely,” declared Pat, swaying to the music. “Let’s go over there,” she suggested.
“Okay but we have to go back the way we have just come” Ben informed her.
As they passed the man and boy again, Pat, without asking permission took a snapshot.
The path on the other bank was festooned with all types of flowers in prepared beds. Of course, Pat had to stop and continually take snaps remarking she would use them for reference in her paintings.
The nearer they got to the band stand, the louder the music got. Rather than stop they decided to backtrack across the bridge again and then walk around the outside of the park heading towards Regents Park station. Once again they heard music, this time coming from loud speakers.
“Hi its Thursday isn’t it?” Pat asked.
Ben nodded a yes and waited.
“I want to go dancing.” Pat said. She had her tourist guidebook out in her hand again. “It says here there are dance classes in the park on Thursday mornings with free general dancing in the afternoons,” as an afterthought she asked, “You can dance Ben?”
He just laughed and grabbing her hand ran with her towards the sound of the music.