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A Trail through London

Richard Bell’s nature diary, London,  Tuesday,  12th May 2009, page 4 of 6

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prairie dogs
great-crested grebe
Regent's Park lake
dabchick or little grebe

THE BREEZE has picked up by the time I reach the lake in Regents Park, so I draw the wind riffling the foliage of the weeping willow from Pizza & Pasta by the Lake, over coffee and a croissant.

I pause to sketch Bactrian camels and prairie dogs as I walk past the zoo.


Barbara says she finds London tiring, probably because whenever she’s here with me and I always want to walk everywhere, so I’m here on my own today. For me the city - or at least the rectangle with Kings Cross and Hyde Park at diagonally opposite corners - is like village because of all the familiar corners and all the memories it holds for me.


Although the city isn’t built on a grid iron plan like some cities, I find that I can even navigate with confidence through the maze of little back streets because, every 10 minutes, I can be sure of popping out on some familiar thoroughfare - such as Regent’s Street or the Tottenham Court Road, or  a park or square (such as Russell Square behind the British Museum). Soho in particular has a village atmosphere with its narrow back streets with little bars, cafés, food shops, an art materials shop (got to have one of those) and even its own village green - Soho Square.

Great-crested grebe