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June 13, 2011


Wow - love the stormy greys and splashyglo roses, what a marriage. The rose garden is magical, and I only discovered last week(from Dickon Edwards' blog)that there is a secret garden beside it(St. John's Lodge Gardens) which I didn't know existed. I'm going to seek it out this week on the way home - and probably talk to some strangers (will avoid passing them love notes though). Gary.

Love the contrasting dark sky on those photographs, it makes everything else stand out so wonderfully. And I can almost smell those roses.
I have never had an interesting brief encounter that I can recall, and as a writer of short stories, I am sure I would have used one as the basis for another story if I had. But any I have used have been made up.
Strange though, I write short stories but find them highly unsatisfactory to read, always want more.

I had the exact same stroll in Regent's Park on Thursday - the heavens decided to open then too. Didn't meet any interesting strangers though - just a horde of Japanese tourists. It's funny to see your pictures, I took a lot of the same snaps (the gate, the roses with droplets on). Love your blog!

Shame about mobile phones as these encounters seem less likely - often seen three people on a bench talking but not to each other...sad!

Sarah Garland! We found Coming to Tea in a discount book store in Dublin. I was pregnant and traveling with my husband and 18-month-old daughter. Our quiet trip to the Galway and Cork was interrupted by my husband's wanting to see an exhibit of paintings by J. P. Donleavy which was closing that weekend. We drove to Dublin, found the exhibit half dismantled, and got into the biggest traffic jam I have ever seen on the way back to Galway. That book was the only thing that kept Abigail happy.

Since then we have ordered several more of her books. I have never seen them on the shelves here in Massachusetts.

I bet I could still recite Coming to tea.

Do you ever read the little memorial plaques on the benches in Regent's Park? Some of them are so evocative that I could easily imagine them inspiring a short story.

At first I thought you were referring to an encounter with the roses, the rain and the fragrance. An encounter of another sort. Lovely, lovely.

Of course all of your pictures are lovely, but that last rose photograph is even more breathtaking.

Oh I don't know...you're pretty good at the unexpected ending. :)
Love the pictures!

I got to get me to England. But for now, I'm happy to borrow your vision.

I am sure your last proposition is the beginning of a novel! That way the story can turn out the way you want it to ...

Pomona x

My daughter, her friend and I all loved your story about love notes on a train!
Regent's Park is wonderful with all it's hidden gems.
Ingrid xx

I love the company of strangers. I talk in queues, which is a very northern thing to do. I got an umbrella with money off just for chatting up a father of two from America when he was buying Cabbage Patch dolls. Grab every brief encounter, that's what I say.

One of my favourite places! Didn't you make it to Primrose Hill? We lived there BC (Before Children) and for a while afterwards in a boho attic flat and I used to walk to Oxford Street and back with the double buggy, over Primrose Hill, through Regents Park and down Marylebone High Street. Good exercise .....
Off to watch Brief Encounter now!

what stunning photos - your words perfectly describe the scene, and i felt i was there with you! :) and is there anything better than passing the time in a cozy cafe??

It has to be asked: is the train story for real?!

Stunning photos, Jane! I have never come across that section of Regent's Park - something to look out for when I return. Oh, deckchairs! You won't find those in Central Park, will you?!

LOVE the story of the train - I get propositioned daily around here, though not the sort of propositions I would particularly want to treasure!

These are the most amazing pictures yet! That enormous urn filled with petunias (?) is breathtaking. Just more reasons to long for England!

As always, beautiful words and photos!! Im off to london in the next couple of days, im going to make sure i go to view those beautiful flowers!!!

You are still such a northener ! Brief encounters" " are happily still a large part of life here, an expected part of everyday life. In London I find most people think you are slightly crazy and even to be feared if you speak to them just to pass the time of day...
That said perhaps I look odd and scary !

Beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks.

I don't think talking to people is just a northern thing. I'm very definitely a southerner (Hampshire, Somerset, London) but I just can't keep my mouth shut. Only today i had a chat with a woman from Afghanistan (in thelibrary) and then on the bus with three young people who had just landed at Heathrow from California and were on their way to Epsom via Kingston.

Well I was going to say that I always thought the stereotype of Londoners not speaking was a myth because when I go to London I always end up striking up a conversation with random strangers.... but then I thought that might make me sound like a nutter! I don't think its something reserved for northeners (although mu husband, who thinks he's a northerner and is actually from the midlands would say differently1) as I have lived in the westcountry for most of my life and most people here are very friendly! Weirdest place I've had a brief encounter is at the swimming pool! Argh!

Oh and by the way I love the moody sky! Very dramatic!

Love the train story and especially your reaction to it.
I was in a cafe a couple of weekends ago waiting to order a take away coffee. The lady serving asked the cute guy next to me for his order but he turned to me and said "you were first". We smiled at each other, looked around the cafe, smiled at each other again and again until the coffees were ready. I walked out the door and laughed at the rain pouring down. He followed me out and said "bye, it was nice almost meeting you". My heart melted then I crossed the road, got into my car and drove home (to my husband and 3 boys)......... thinking that would be a good start to a book!

A brief encounter at Stansted recently opened up a whole world of opportunities when the lovely man I spoke to invited me to afternoon tea with his wife and children who were having a 2 year adventure in Rome from California. 2 trips to Rome later I have new but fast friends. Thanks for your lovely blog and pictures. Cheered me on a dismal day. xxx

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