Park Life

Parsloes Park was about a mile from the door step of 49. Straight down Ivyhouse and there it was.

Inside the black painted wrought iron gates you were greeted by a paddling pool, in the barmy days of summer it was packed, kids and adults splashing in the chlorine infested water. The playground lay to its left, with two slides and even a helter skeltor that burnt your arse with friction on heated alloy panels that were warmed by the sun.

I’d always walk to the park, mostly because we rode other people’s bike back….

There were swings, their seats rubberised and pastel coloured, they looked like Opal Fruits. The best bit was the sand pit, the sand was fine, and I’d imagine I was at a real beach.

There was always a Rossi ice cream van lurking by the gates, the hum of its generator struggling to keep the frozen dairy products chilled.

The other side of the park was a duck pond, and we even had flamingos. Real ones, no idea how or why.

The bowls green fascinated me, the OCD grass looked more like snooker table than a lawn. There were even two tennis courts. Other than Wimbledon fortnight they were always empty.

The summer acted like a magnet dragging us to the park life, winter was obviously less engaging, the pool was drained, the ice cream man absent and the Flamingos looked stupid.