After seeing Jean and Lionel meet in Holland Park on the British Comedy "As Time Goes By," I knew I had to go there. But one visit wasn't enough, and I wondered what life in England might be life beyond the more pleasant summer months. So it was that we booked a week in a hotel in that area of London after the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. Our first stop? Where else but the Dutch Gardens of Holland Park, where Lionel asked Jean out to a party held by his publisher Alistair Deacon.
The sun sat so low in the sky that it either blinded you or left you in shadow. Unlike our last visit, gardeners were everywhere, cleaning up fallen leaves, and preparing flower beds for winter flowers. Aside from a few rose bushes, the garden offered little more than greens and browns, the browns being the trunks of trees and the tilled soil. Still, it was neat to be there, even if it was too cold to sit down, and the gardeners were serenading us with their blowers and vacuums.
And just like the musicians hired by Alastair to serenade Jean during his brief attempt to court her, their voices rang out in pleasant chorus.
"What are you doing for the rest of my life,
the east and west and north and south of my life,
I have only one request of your life,
that you spend it all with me…" *
Alas, as with Alastair, our hearts already belonged to another.
Holland Park is a beautiful place, even without a plethora of flowers. There's lots of history there, including the old Holland House, and some great architecture to appreciate.
If you want long, quiet walks, there's plenty of areas for that too. At least, during the week.
Lord Holland wants you to come and enjoy his park, if only to scare away the birds that adore him so.
I'm glad I visited Holland Park in November. I just wish I could pop into my TARDIS and go see the flowers they planted during our visit.
* Song presumably written by the great Bob Larbey, who wrote every single episode of "As Time Goes By."
Related Dragon Cache entries
"As Time Goes By" in Holland Park: Part 3