Have reached the 5K target in my running schedule. The new longer route through Kensington Gardens across to Hyde Park and then back along the Serpentine passes the Peter Pan statue
which is in a lovely dingly dell spot hidden away from the main drag. Lots of things I didn't realise about this. That there were 2 Peter Pan books before the famous play, both set in Kensington Gardens. The statue was commissioned by J M Barrie and then placed there secretly one night with no pre-publicity or formal unveiling. Barrie simply placed this announcement in The Times:
"There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived."That this was the very spot where Peter Pan first landed after he flew out of the nursery in The Little White Bird makes it so much more interesting. Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens
says that Peter Pan still, in fact, lives there, on the island in the Serpentine. I took partner back there for a walk one sunny day in London last week (I know), before I knew all this. Walking back to the car park we came across a bird man with a bus conductor's hat and bag tweeting to a bush. Blue tits fed out of his hand and 2 jays, a squirrel and a brown rat hovered expectantly at his side. And today, after partner had taken this pic,
I read this:
'Now, except by flying, no one can reach the island in the Serpentine, for the boats of humans are forbidden to land there, and there are stakes round it, standing up in the water, on each of which a bird-sentinel sits by day and night."
J M Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens 1906
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.