Park Life.

The highlight of the weekend just gone has to be my Sunday afternoon in Queens Park. Unlike me, who was just about able to read the Sunday papers due to a horrendous hangover, QP was a hub of movement, entertainment and diversity. After I passed out in the heat and enjoyed a little nap, I woke up to what felt like a film set! It was as if a  director shouted ‘Right guys, Thalia is asleep, so cue the extras and featured performers.’ It was all very Truman Show. To my left was the liveliest game of rounders. I could hear proper belly laughs from someone called Rog! To my right was a chubster practicing Tai Chi and then in front of me was a French guy I have nicknamed, Pierre. Pierre was directly in front of me…tanned, topless, ripped and doing Capoeira. He was the main feature… I re-positioned myself. Well, the sun had moved… And with my sunglasses firmly in place, I admired his work.  He was bloody amazing. I knew I wasn’t alone in my observation – people, mainly women, began watching him. Maybe he was showing off, but who cares, he was a joy to watch. He seemed to be in his own little world, plugged into his ipod and demonstrating some serious moves.

Then things got a little more interesting. A group of teenagers rocked up to Pierre and said what I’m guessing we were all thinking ‘you are amazing! How do you do that?’ What unravelled from this encounter was a joyful interaction of male bonding and a genuine appreciation of what someone has learnt and passing that knowledge on. So just to keep you up to speed, we have Pierra and this other dude, we’ll call him Ash (also fit and topless), Ash’s 3 friends sitting and watching, the chubster trying his hand at Tai Chi and the rounders game. But the last two were no longer my focus. Although, the contrast between the impressive Pierre and then a pretty shit attempt at tai chi was a hilarious.

Ash was pretty good; he came from a B boy background and proceeded to show Pierre some break-dancing. Yes, I was close enough to hear everything!  For instance, Ash used to practice Capoeirer but stopped for various reasons, etc.  Not that interesting really! Two things may have been going through Pierre’s head; one might have been ‘dude, I was having a great practice session and now you are asking for a free lesson/showing me how you can kinda break-dance or secondly, ‘this is pretty cool.’ I decided that Pierre would say the latter. Particularly as there was about to be a third party involved in this capoeira master class. In the background I could see a father and a little boy, probably aged 7 years old, approaching Pierre and Ash. They were fairly sheepish but you could tell that the boy, let’s call him J, was dying to chat to the much older boys. But this little star didn’t need to say anything, he just starting busting out some capoeira shit! Suddenly, the whole park started clapping and encouraging little J to keep showing us what he could do! Without encouragement or prompting, J started running off into the distance and doing some crazy flips and then challenging the older boys to attempt what he just did! I could tell that they were totally enamoured by him, we all were. Pierre and Ash then showed J some moves and within seconds J just did it! I wish I had filmed the whole encounter, but I just got the last part of it, but you get the idea. I’m sure everyone who witnessed this friendly battle knew they had watched something special, although I really did feel like somewhere in the trees we were all being filmed!


NB/ Pierre is wearing the black pants and Ash is wearing the long orange trousers. The little boy is the little boy!

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