Guido likes to go to the park on Sunday afternoons. I think this is because he spends all morning chopping, slicing, prepping and then cooking food for three hours during a busy lunch service. He orchestrates all of that cooped up from his kitchen which is the size of your average rabbit hutch. It can get particularly frantic on Sundays if his roast potatoes don’t golden and crisp up or his sage and onion stuffing balls go to mush. I stay upstairs until I hear the pans being washed up and figure the coast is clear. So to restore his sanity Guido likes to go to the park in the late afternoon and get out his Frisbee. Guido often goes to the park on his own on Sunday afternoons and then comes home and tells me he has made life long friends with very fit octogenarians who can do cartwheels or stand on their heads, all without the aid of oxygen or any medical intervention.
I hate the park. Well, perhaps I don’t hate it but I don’t like it as much as Guido does and he always has to try very hard to whip up my enthusiasm for it. It can get busy there. The ground is often damp from the rain the night before. There are ants lurking in the grass and almost certainly perverts flashing in the bushes. If you have ever been to Bermondsey you’ll also know it’s not exactly the greenest of places and the Spa Gardens don’t actually have a spa. I’ve certainly never been offered any kind of tantric massage there. Otherwise I have to tell you it’s a great day out.
“Let’s go to the park,” Guido said yesterday. He’d packed lots of random lunchtime left overs like chicken legs and asparagus tips neatly into his impressive collection of Tupperware. He was also carrying a big thick rug and a vat of bug spray which blew gaping holes in any excuses I had to be able to say no. I sensed he was daring me to try.
“What a terrific idea!” I said utterly confounding him.
“Really?” he said, “great!” and then spontaneously changed into his Maui shorts by way of a celebration.
When we got there the sun was shining. We played Frisbee. I bonded with some shih tzus and a couple from Bratislava. I met several octogenarians who looked about thirty years old. I wondered if there was a fountain of youth they routinely drank from which nobody had bothered to tell me about. Guido bought me the kind of ice cream I last ate when I was five years old. We sat on our big thick rug and I remained utterly dry and not one single ant tried to dine on my thighs. Unfortunately I was not molested by any perverts.
On the way home it began to thunder and rain. This is London you know. Both of us got completely soaked to the skin. When we got home we stripped off and got in the bath together. I was at the tap end and Guido sat on the plug.
“You kind of looked pretty hot wearing a wet tee-shirt,” said Guido.
Naturally hearing that was the perfect end to my trip to the park. I may even suggest going back there next week.