In celebration of summer arriving and, dare I say, sticking around we’ve taken our lunch to the park, or Gray’s Inn Gardens. I immediately notice the marked difference between the family tableaux spotted draped around the grounds of Marble Hill House on Saturday compared to the desperate sun seekers from the surrounding offices today.
On Saturday there were clearly defined areas around each group. Most had marked their territory by flinging picnic blanket and tablecloths on the grass. As children were running around, whooping in the sunlight, the zones got extended. Here the park is smaller and the the inhabitants more concentrated by the constraints of the lunch hour. They sprawl munching their sandwiches or lie soaking up as many rays as they can with barely a outstretched arm width between them. Each inch on the park seems occupied by a solo luncher or small groups chattering like birds. There are no running around children here. This time the groups are demarcated by outspread greaseproof papers of sandwiches grabbed from one of the many delis and sandwich places around and about, tupperware boxes of prepared pasta salad brought by the organised, ripped open bags of crisps and bottles of water.
It’s very civilised joining the throngs and kicking back in this little oasis for a while, it’s too easy to take the grabbed sandwich back to your desk and continue typing whilst trying to avoid getting crumbs in your keyboard.