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May 13, 2012 / mintcustard

Nonsuch Park

Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say. Now I am not contemptuous of Nonsuch Park in Cheam, just very, very familiar with it. Having spent seven years of my life being educated right on the edge of it, all I did was walk just on the periphery of it to get the bus home. Come to think of it we were positively discouraged from entering it. There were warnings to walk through in pairs, lest boys should bother us. We were given dire warnings to keep to the paths, as we might trample the crocus and enrage the locals. (I kid you not, this was an assembly topic once!) The park seemed to be populated too by men who lowered their trousers at the drop of a hat! Apparently being flashed at was far less traumatic than having to say the word “penis” in front of the head and deputy of my all girls school.

So I spent my youth skirting Nonsuch Park. We had no dog so my parents didn’t see why we would want to visit the park just to walk. Free time was for sitting down in front of the TV or for homework! To be honest I don’t think I pushed to go back to, what was in effect, school on a sixth day in the week.

What a pity. One of my teens now attends my old Alma Mater. The other day she had to be dropped off and picked up within about an hour and a half. Usually I’d go home, do a load of washing, put the dishwasher on and prep dinner but the sun was out for the first time in months. So, I went into the park. For a walk and a cup of tea.

Henry VIII built a hunting lodge in Nonsuch Park. It was by all accounts the most magnificent of buildings. It no longer stands. In the palace’s place is Nonsuch mansion, a Georgian building of some stature. My favourite place though are the formal gardens. When the teens were younger we’d walk through the gardens, visit the aviary, avoid the dogs and get an ice cream in the cafe. I did much the same last week. Except this time I had the paper and a book to read. I could have a cup of tea in peace and no one was scared of the peacocks.

The tea was just right, the little terrace outside The Nonsuch Pantry is a sun trap and the rhubarb cake was outstanding. I managed to read the paper and begin my book before heading back to taxi duty. That me time in the sunshine lifted my spirits no end. As Cheryl Cole would say, and she has been to Nonsuch Mansion so she knows, I can go again “because I’m worth it.”


Leave a Comment
  1. Beth Davies / May 13 2012 4:13 pm

    Gosh, brought back some memories!…The men who dropped their trousers mainly!
    Lovely piece!!! The rhubarb cake sounds very tempting. I absolutely love rhubarb in whatever form it comes….and gooseberries!(Just in case you were planning to bake me a cake!)

  2. mintcustard / May 13 2012 4:18 pm

    Beth, the next time you are over I’ll make a cake, or we could go hang out in the park and see if the flashers are just as laughable as they used to be!

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