The weather, in London at least, was unseasonably good at the weekend. It's rare that I get to spend any more time than the odd day here and there in the capital, so it was a blessing that, apart from a dull Saturday morning, it was all warmth and sunshine.
Then again, we seem to get fine weather with sufficient regularity at this time of year, that it's perhaps no longer accurate to use terms such as "unseasonable". I remember being quite startled one afternoon in late October, back in the mid 90s (the decade, not the temperature), that it was warm enough not only to sit outside and have a pint, but that it was practically t-shirt weather as well, even as the sunlight was starting to fade.
That was during a weekend in London, coincidentally, and I remember thinking that being down south was surely a factor in the relative warmth so late in the year. These days - whether there or further north - it's a much more familiar, less startling scenario all round.
There could be (and probably are) any number of reasons why I was descending into such a rubbish mood as I strolled through Hyde Park last Saturday, but it wasn't due to the weather. A gorgeous, warm afternoon with bright sunlight, which began to gain a delightfully soft and hazy aspect as time wore on. Plenty of people were around but there was so much open space that it felt calm and quiet.
I strolled over to my destination, the Serpentine Gallery, and picked up a guide to the show of works by Anish Kapoor which are installed in nearby locations.
My mood quickly and definitely lifted as I spent a good chunk of time in apprehension of this piece, initially, and then pondered and explored the remaining three pieces. Their monumentality combined with their reflective (both literally and metaphorically) qualities drew me in, and I greatly enjoyed the adventure of heading from one to the next.I felt like I could have stayed for many more hours, not least since the slowly fading afternoon light imbued the whole place with a gentle, meditative atmosphere.
I had other things to do later on that evening, however, so with a mixture of anticipation tinged with slight reluctance, I headed out of Kensington Gardens. Needing a rest for a while, I had a very contented couple of pints at a pub across the road. It was still warm enough to sit outside and drink in the atmosphere as fully as possible, as afternoon slowly became evening.