At 34 weeks pregnant, in anticipation of what is soon to come, I’m making sure to appreciate more than ever those quiet stolen moments and early morning silences. Bishops Park in Fulham is a perfect place to do that. I took my dad for a walk while he was in London recently to admire the frosty winter scenery as the sun came up.
It was a bitter cold morning, the tops of the shrubs crusted in white, stalks and stems frozen stiff and upright, leftover leaves trapped at all angles under sheets of ice. If you looked closely, you could see each individual fragment of frost, glistening around the edges like glitter, a bright winter shimmer.
We walked around the pond where brittle leaves carpeted pathways to the water. Ducks bobbed along in groups, unaffected by the cold. Green leaves hung heavy under the weight of the morning frost, glinting in the yellow flood of dim light next to spiky thistles frosted with crystals of ice.
As the sun rose higher, we walked the pathway along the Thames. The horizon on the other side of Putney Bridge was a deep yellow-orange, silhouetting the decorative lampposts and passing buses full of early morning workers. The branches were bare and scraggly, stretching over joggers toward the calm but murky river.
An hour later, the grass would be green again, the plants covered in moisture and the leaves released from their bitter trap. The park would fill up slowly with dog walkers, couples strolling along sipping with coffee from Tinto, more and more joggers, mums and nannies pushing buggies and the day to day bustle of Fulham life. That short window of silence with its frosty golden glow would fade away, a secret to those of us who know to return again and again because, while it’s always beautiful, it’s always a tiny bit different from any other sunrise.
(As I get closer to my due date, trekking across London with a heavy camera is becoming less appealing and won’t be possible for at least a while after the little one arrives mid-March. That means there will be some changes in the way I approach blogging for the next few months at least – focusing on life closer to home, interviews, recipes and other little slices of inspiration that come my way.)