Last week began with the sun shining splendidly the temperatures in London were in the low 30s C summer’s last flourish before autumn gets a grip.
The sun shone warmly though the leaves of trees are beginning to turn. Where else to go to bid summer a farewell than the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Located in West London the gardens are more much more than you see on the surface.
This brief note from London is not the place to explain all the institution achieves and supports suffice to say it’s well worth a personal visit at any time of the year. Right now and until the 26th October there is besides the world famed gardens and glasshouses the “Chihuly: Reflections on nature” an exhibition of stunning glass artworks and structures created by the renowned Chihuly Studio of iconic contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly. Objects that are quite unlike glasshouses; organic shapes in blazing colours placed within and without the glasshouses and among the avenues of specimen trees. Past ornamental Temples and the Pagoda though the Palm Glasshouse and the Temperate Glasshouse. We followed a trail of beauty, of plants and of glass objects. Stunning to see and in the last really warm days of the summer a sensational experience to see the summer season’s end.
The warmth started to drain from the Summer as temperatures dropped from 33c on Tuesday to a touch over 20c on Wednesday then the news began to break that Parliament had been Prorogued closing the longest session in 400 years. The news for the rest of the week was dominated by the incoherent rage expressed with intemperate language spewed across the many social media channels as politics, which had also largely been on holiday, resumed with what seemed a volcanic roar. Coming as surprising a development apparently to many. Though Prorogation has been usually an annual event that passed with barely a murmur with most eyes fixed on the coming Queen’s Speech. A Queen’s Speech marks the opening of a fresh session of Parliament. I suppose that, as most have little idea of the mechanics, laws and traditions of the country they live in, the clear and apparent surprise is understandable; though the insensate intemperate rage expressed by so many less so. In any case Parliament and the Brexit debate resumes ‘officially’ on Tuesday. No doubt this week will be exciting for those who take an interest though I am not convinced that many who purport to do so have any actual understanding of what they see, read and hear on the subject. The process of Brexit seems for some to be not unlike an ecstatic religious experience quite unconnected with the mundane earth of ordinary life.
Amongst us mere mortals the week drew to a close with a cooling breeze and expectation of useful rain though the sun was still making valiant appearances. Families made earnest and urgent preparations for the schools which resume during early September as indeed does Parliament. So as Mediterranean shores empty, tourists all head back to the daily grind. Princes, Members of Parliament as well as all of the rest; resume work. Except for some who are on strike from Friday till the end of Monday. No, not MP’s or even school children, though I suspect many would probably like to be on strike; rather elements of the railways around London. After a lovely summer break normality is as ever resuming. Nick Horne, London England.