square B4, the ornamental lake
Today, everywhere is a river

Well, it's raining and I'm standing at the Ornamental Lake. It's hard to see anything but water. That's all I see right now. It's sort of muddy green water. But I'm now facing the island that I used to think was mystical when I was little, maybe because it seemed a lot bigger and a lot further away. It was always something I'd dream about. Dream about one day going out onto the island. I never did.

A lot of work has been done to the lake in recent years, um, they had a contamination of toxic algae a while back which started killing off the fish and polluting the water. So I believe they drained it actually and then refilled it. So consequently, where they've been re-sculpting the land as well, it's really difficult for me to remember what's changed. I only have really clouded memories of what the lake looked like before.

I'm over behind the island. There's now this pool or rivulet or something that's quite wide and stretching out, stretching out behind it. It's maybe the length of the whole lake, no, about half the length. I have no idea whether that was there when I was a kid or not because the memories are really faded.

I'm standing on the other side of the lake now that I used to look across at and I don't think we ever walked over this side. It was always, it was always covered with people with big fishing umbrellas. Fathers with their sons...or daughters? Rods dangling in the water, rather hopefully. We never did that when I was a kid. Can't say I missed it really.

The water's quite clear, clear as in the colour, but rubbish wise, well, a lot of the lakes on the Common have just had stuff dumped into them. But this one looks pretty clear. The only thing I can see is this bottle with its neck sticking out the water like some kind of periscope. It's almost as though maybe there is some other rubbish, down underneath the surface but that's the one that has been chosen to look out. But other than that, it's fairly clear. In fact, it looks empty. Just [counting] 11 ducks out on the water? They keep swimming up to me whenever I get close to the edge, hopeful that I've got some bread for them.

It's funny that not matter what time of day I'm here, the roar of the traffic never seems to get any quieter or any louder. It's always just the same rumbling background noise. It never changes.

I've just come across three old picnic benches. Only they don't have benches, or anywhere to put your picnic anymore. But it looks as if someone has tried because one of them is surrounded by plastic cups and raisin packets and little plastic zippy baggies. [laughter]

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