Esoteric London

No. 411: Dalston Lane, E8

Posted in Parks, Public Art, Shops by esotericlondon on September 26, 2011

Dalston Lane, London, E8. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Londoners, Life in a Civilized City – Walter Henry Nelson, 1975:

Lovers there are aplenty in London, especially in the parks, but it is there more than elsewhere that a visitor can stumble onto wrong conclusions. In warm weather the grass is used by many Londoners for a fairish amount of heavy breathing; to the visitor, this public display of personal sentiment seems to betray everything that’s enshrined in the phrases ‘British reticence’ and genteel decorum.

Londoners regard such things differently, however. Precisely because they feel alone whenever there are only strangers about, they regard their parks as places which provide privacy; passers-by, if they are British, reinforce this by stepping gingerly around the entwined couples and acting as though they simply did not exist. Only foreigners actually look.

[ The extract from The Londoners, Life in a Civilized City by Walter Henry Nelson reprinted by permission of Peters Fraser and Dunlop on behalf of the Estate of Walter Henry Nelson.]

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