London parks

‘Wild Chamber’ Is Out In Paperback Now

It got pleasing reviews in hardback* so here it is now in handy portable form. ‘Wild Chamber’ (hiding behind the new hardback out in three weeks) is the 15th Bryant & May mystery in a series I hope to get up to twenty (I’m currently working on the seventeenth). Here’s how I came to write […]

The Park Gates Are Open!

‘Bryant & May: Wild Chamber’ is here at last – it’s my biggest B&M novel and took a little longer to write than usual because of the huge amount of research I did. However I ended up discarding about 80% of it, something I nearly always do. Not every novel has a lot of research, […]

Parks Are Public: That Means Everyone

Two years ago new control orders were introduced in the UK aimed at removing ‘anti-social disorder’ from public spaces. Under the so-called ‘Busybodies Charter’ dogs have been banned from at least 2,205 public places along with cycling, gatherings, fitness trainers and other groups using the open spaces. And this week, councils are trying to swipe chunks […]

Greenery & Greed

Last year councils decided to start charging personal trainers who use parks for one-on-one sessions, a move 99% of the public is totally opposed to. They then hired spies to look out for trainers and fine them. The system is also in place in Australia. But that’s missing the point. In Australia it’s nice to […]

The ‘Wild Chamber’ of London parks

Certain geographical factors determine our creative lives. When you travel around Figueres in Northern Spain you quickly see why Salvador Dali painted in ambers and ochres; it’s in the landscape all over the area. Whole views look exactly like his paintings. Writers often explore the issues that surround staying or leaving a hometown to head […]

What Makes British Parks So Different?

British parks aren’t like ones in most other countries. They’re for reflection and thinking, not action and recreation. It’s a measure of Holland Park’s affluence that while other neighbourhood parks have bandstands, Holland Park has an opera company. The neighbourhood’s elegant centrepiece has landscaped gardens with statues and peacocks, an orangery and an ice house. […]

Why London’s Green Spaces Are Not All Equal

London remains the most verdant city of its size in the world. Its vast plane trees absorb C02 and every neighbourhood, no matter how small, has some kind of greenery in it. We have more open space than many in the countryside because much rural land is now in private hands. But London’s greenery is complicated; […]

It’s Time To Relax Rules In Parks

It started with a row over the hoverboard – it’s this year’s must-have, a silent gyroscopic skateboard operated by minute movements in your toes that works like a Segway without the huge wheels and arms. It’s already becoming popular in Europe, where people are always looking for new ways to travel short distances without the […]