Friday, July 25, 2014

garden in the rain

Despite what looked like impending rain today, Miles and I headed out to try to find the mysterious Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Technically, first we had a hamburger, and then we went to find the mysterious Kyoto Garden. It was pretty easy to find, turns out.

 Holland Park is pretty amazing, with or without the Kyoto Garden. It's not far away from our flat at all and yet we rarely go there. It sort of gets eclipsed by Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, I guess. But I want to spend more time there. There are beautifully manicured sections, and then wild sections that stretch along forest paths. It's quiet in there, and feels a little like home in many ways. You walk along some hidden path and bump into a cow. Or a peacock. And it's in the middle of London.

We did find the mysterious Kyoto Garden, and it wasn't that mysterious but still very beautiful. It's a park within the park, full of koi fish and waterfalls and delicate little trees. It was built as part of a Japanese festival in the early nineties and then rededicated after the English assisted Japan in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Miles really liked it, as Miles loves everything Japanese.

After that, the rain hit. It was announced by some pretty heavy thunder, which gave us time to sit on a bench under a tree. We read our books until the storm passed on. And then we ran into Chantel, Angela, Paige and Ashley. We all emerged from under trees and coverings like birds after a storm. We explored the park for a bit, and then crossed the street to visit Leighton House. Leighton House is a museum and former home of the painter Frederic, Lord Leighton. It was beautiful inside. Full of Arabic tiles and stuffed peacocks and works of art, including some Millais. Miles got into a little trouble for swinging his umbrella around. Apparently he was 'of some concern to the alarms,' which we thought was funny. There was a Steinway upstairs that made my fingers itch.

We parted from the ladies after that, and Miles and I walked along the park to Notting Hill, where we stopped in a record store and Miles discovered the LP of his dreams, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. He couldn't have been happier. He actually discovered two copies; but the one on the shelves was very worn and scratched. We left disappointed, only to turn around and see a second copy hanging in the window. This one was in perfect shape. So, we got it.

After that we rode our bikes around for a bit, but the rain came back so we headed home through the park, stopping only so I could get a picture of these rocks:

Tonight we met up with Alex and Topher to see The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I liked it mostly, though it's hard for me to connect with a monkey for long stretches of time. I couldn't remember the last one, so I kept wondering why all the apes could talk. But the special effects are fantastic. I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes, but was awakened by the lady below me texting. LOL and BFF on a bright screen in a dark theatre? Don't make me ask you to leave the theatre, lady, because I will!