diamond geezer

 Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Some days I read back over what I've written and think I could have written it better. Some days you think that too, and tell me so.

So today I've only written part of a post, and I'm inviting readers to do better. Pedants, please tell me how the first three paragraphs could be improved. In the fourth paragraph I've been lazy and missed some words and phrases out - please tell me what they ought to be. And I couldn't be bothered to write the fifth paragraph at all, so please write me a good one, comprising somewhere between 150 and 250 words.

Noon update: Thanks! I've now added amended text (in red) based on everything you've pointed out. However, a substantial number of errors remain, and you might also want to pick fault with some of the changes I've made. Please, no more than one piece of pedantry per comment.

Midnight update: That's time up! Didn't you do well? The handful of errors I think you missed now appear in green.




Hyde Park is Londons largest park, stretching all the way from Kensington palace to Park Lane. It's also a Royal Park, one of a dozen in the capital, first granted public access by the Crown in 1853. Across its unnumbered acres, scores of Londoners come to play, relax and recreate, and to enjoy the vigourous debate at Speaker's Corner. Perhaps its finest feature is The Serpentine, a huge lake dammed by Queen Caroline in 1730 from the waters of the lost river Tyburn. Now home to swans and several heron, it broke the mould by being curved at a time when most artficial lakes were more geometric. The water is provided by three chalk boreholes, one of which could of been naturally occuring, and a small waterfall ornamentally tumbles above the sluice at the far end. A special area by the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain is cordoned off for use by swimmers, and it's here every New Years' Day that members of the Serpentine Swimming Club go for a freezing dip and always end up on the TV news.

Hyde Park is one of London's largest parks, which along with Kensington Gardens stretches all the way from Kensington Palace to Park Lane. It's also a Royal Park, one of eight in the capital, with public access first granted by King Charles I in 1637. Across its 350 acres, thousands of Londoners come to play, relax and stroll, and to enjoy the vigorous oratory at Speakers' Corner. Perhaps its finest feature is the Serpentine, a huge lake created in 1730 at the behest of Queen Caroline by damming the waters of the lost river Westbourne. Now home to swans and several herons, it broke the mould by being curved at a time when most artificial lakes were more rectilinear. The water is provided by three boreholes in the chalk, none of which could have been naturally occurring, and a small waterfall tumbles ornamentally beyond the sluice at the far end. A special area by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is cordoned off for use by swimmers, and it's here every Christmas Day that members of the Serpentine Swimming Club go for a chilly dip and often end up on the TV news.

It's certainly a historic park. Hundreds of prisoners have been hung at Tyburn Gallows in the northwestern corner, where Marble Arch now stands. When King William IV lived at Kensington Palace he laid a drive towards Whitehall, now called Rotten Row, which is the world's first artificially lit highway. The Great Exhibition of Crystal Palace entertained the world here in 1857, before burning down and being transferred to Sydenham. Since 1867 policing in Hyde Park has been the responsibility of the Royal Parks Constabulary, who arrested Bill Sykes for pickpocketing at one particularly virulent protest and locked him up in the Old Police House. The Peter Pan statue by the Serpentine inspired JM Barrie to write his eponymous book, the royalties of which is sadly out of copyright so no longer benefit Great Ormund Street Hospital. As far as 2012 is concerned, the London Olympics Tri-athlon was of course held in the Park and was famously won by the Brownlow brothers.

It's certainly a(n) historic park. Tens of thousands of prisoners have been hanged at Tyburn Tree in the north-eastern corner, near where Marble Arch now stands. When King William III lived at Kensington Palace he required a new link towards St James's Palace, a thoroughfare now called Rotten Row, which was England's first artificially lit highway. The Great Exhibition entertained the world here in 1851, before the Crystal Palace was transferred to Sydenham and subsequently burned down. Since 1867 (but excluding a period between 1993 and 2004) policing in Hyde Park has been the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police, who cannot have arrested the fictional character Bill Sikes for pickpocketing at one particularly virulent protest and locked him up in the Old Police House. The Peter Pan statue by the Long Water was paid for by JM Barrie, inspired by his famous play, which remains in copyright in perpetuity so the royalties continue to benefit Great Ormond Street Hospital. As for 2012, London's Olympic triathlon was of course held in the Park and was famously won by one of the Brownlee brothers.

I always enjoy to walk across Hyde Park. I usually enter from the bandstand at Hyde Park Corner, dodging the Santanders Bikes across Rotten Row, to take a seat in the medieval Rose Garden. For most visitors an important criteria is where to eat, but I'm disinterested in expensive beverages, and find the cafe ménus unexceptionable. Thankfully there are lots of drinking fountains if you know when to look, and a sheep trough too but that's not reccommended. Literally hundreds of ducks line the waters' edge, although be warned they may be reticent to eat any bread you've bought with you. Perhaps take out a pedalo, or hire a cruise ticket from the the boathouse, or join the noisome crowds splashing in the pool round the Albert memorial. Just be sure to be out off the park by dusk, the proscribed time when the gates are locked, although there is a turnstile entrance by Lancaster's Gate if you get trapped.

I always enjoy walking across Hyde Park. I often enter at Hyde Park Corner, dodging the Boris Bikes across Rotten Row, pausing before the bandstand to take a seat in the late 20th century Rose Garden. For most visitors an important criterion is where to eat and drink, but I'm uninterested in expensive beverages, and find the café menus unexceptional. Thankfully there are lots of drinking fountains, easily sampled if you know where to look, and a cattle trough too but that's not recommended. Hundreds of ducks line the water's edge, although be warned they may be reluctant to eat any bread you've brought with you. Perhaps take out a pedalo, or buy a cruise ticket from the boathouse, or join the noisy crowds splashing around the Diana Memorial Fountain. Just be sure to be out of the park by midnight, the prescribed time when the gates are locked, although there is a turnstile exit by Lancaster Gate if you get trapped.

Standing [adverb 1] by the lake, the panorama looks [adjective 1] and [adjective 2], and the sound of [adjective 3] [noun 1] can be heard. On a warm day the [collective noun 1] of visitors to the park [verb 1] and [adverb 2] [verb 2] like a [simile 1], or else [verb 3] in the shade to avoid [adjective 4] [noun 2]. A favourite story is that [interesting fact 1], and it's also said [insert weblink 1] that [interesting fact 2]. But there are worries that in the future [relevant issue 1], and there's always the threat that [relevant issue 2]. [short pithy concluding sentence]
Standing contemplatively by the lake, the panorama looks pellucid and [adjective 2], and the sound of [adjective 3] [noun 1] can be heard. On a warm day the plethora of visitors to the park [verb 1] and [adverb 2] [verb 2] like a junior school string quartet tuning up before launching into their version of the 1812 overture, or else [verb 3] in the shade to avoid swarming cyclists. A favourite story is that cycling is only permitted on roads and on specific paths, which are marked on maps at the entrances, and it's also said [insert weblink 1] that [interesting fact 2]. But there are worries that in the future there may be difficulties finding somewhere, unassociated with his ex-wife, to put a statue of heir apparent Prince Charles, and there's always the threat that the Royal Parks will follow the Green Belt in being nibbled away by 'strategically important infrastructure needs' which mysteriously morph into oh-so-urgently-required (but nevertheless empty) shoe-box investment flats. [short pithy concluding sentence]

<final paragraph>
(you write it)





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