May 2019. There’s always something comforting about turning the corner onto Elmbourne Road and catching those first green flushes of Tooting Bec Common. After all, the common represents my London home now, for this is where I come to stay when I return to England’s capital from my latest foreign adventures. Not on the common itself under a tree I should hasten to add, but in the house across the road at my friend Henry’s place.
May 2019. Having Tooting Bec Common just across the road is good for the soul. If I get bogged down with writing it’s here I come to stick on a podcast and take a walk. On the rare occasions I’m disciplined enough to go jogging I’ve got the perfect place right on my doorstep and on the even rarer occasions when it’s sunny and hot I’ve been known to settle under a tree and pick off a few chapters of a book. Tooting Common won’t show up on any London parks best of lists, but it’s my favorite green spot in the city.
May 2019. For my latest Tooting Common visit I was accompanied by my friend The Fairy, who was over visiting from the southeast of China. So I made sure to give her the grand tour, which mostly involved lots of grass. Hoping she wouldn’t notice the drunken scallywags slurring among themselves by the wooden benches, I showed her the tennis courts, the kids play area and my favorite Tooting Common tree, which is unfeasibly large.
May 2019. Wisely I left the best for last, the highlight of any Tooting Common experience being its small but very pretty lake. I was very much hoping The Fairy would get the chance to see the lake’s resident turtles, or if you want to be fancy and technically correct, the red-eared terrapins. But they were sadly absent, which was surprising given the fine weather and the fact that they usually like sunning themselves on the rocks. The above photo was taken during a visit back in April 2017.
May 2019. With no turtle viewings to be had we had to make do with the age-old English tradition of feeding the ducks. Except we hadn’t actually brought anything, so it was a case of watching someone else feeding the ducks. Ah, Tooting Common.
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