Can't tell you how many times I've gone past the Osterley Park stop on the way from Heathrow.
I've talked so many times of visiting there. So finally last fall, I DID. It was a proper English afternoon.
The brief journey from the tube station takes you past a little parade of shops including a very intriguing book and vintage clothing source. It was closed when we went by so I couldn't tell you for certain if the designer bargains were the real thing.
The flora and fauna of Osterley House however were not kidding. What about this magnificent creature? The photo doesn't do him/her justice.
It's a lazy stroll walk along another parade - of trees.....
to a lovely farm shop, of the charming old school English kind.
"Marrows"? Otherwise possibly known as "zucchini" to you. Beautiful and perfectly fresh.
Oh look! Don't you just want to grab some handfuls and go home to a sizzling hot pan of chips?
Everyone can be accommodated, from horse fanciers to gardeners.
The Paradis family had to take a moment to count a few rings and pay our respects to a mammoth old ex-tree.
Osterley is a celebration of water and tree. A stream runs through the park.
And in the sky above, flights in and out of Heathrow. They never bother me, these planes over West London. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Don't ask me why. They are somehow more poetic than planes over Newark, or, LAX. Years ago it was always a festive moment when Concorde hurtled past.
The planes never seem to break the peace.
The beauty of an English wood endures. And lures. And welcomes.
Choose your fiction: Winnie the Pooh, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland....you can live them here.
Or you can just celebrate the usual and the routine. With one
or many. Of your very best friends. I won't tell you how long our mostly cat family, spent on a nearby bench enjoying OTHER PEOPLES' DOGS.
Yes, Osterley has a little of everything. Mushrooms, old tree trunks for fairies to hide in. I had to keep this post short-ish so I won't show you the ping-pong table we spent about 45 minutes at.
Of course there is a little tea shop at Osterley Park - or cafe - if you prefer. With all the requisites: scones and clotted cream. The perennial English COLD SANDWICH.
Ooooh a lovely bit of cheese and Branston pickle. Nothing makes Mr. Paradis a happier camper.
And speaking of camping? Why don't all American parks have picnic benches that look like this? Aren't the English genius at turning a homely, ordinary, supremely functional something into a comfy welcoming thing of beauty? Both futuristically geometric and sophisticated AND something your cuddly-plump-and-pink Auntie would love to plop her generous botty upon.
Now, there IS an Osterley House. But I was on vacation and did not want to rush. Next time I will dedicate my visit to the house.
But on that day, there were cork oaks waiting for me.
And little lichens.
And baby pine cones. To contemplate.
Could I interest you?