Is it just me or does anyone else share my sense of despair when a substantial chunk of our beloved Hyde Park is yet again trashed and rendered unavailable?
We have to go through process this at least twice a year, during which time this jewel of our city resembles some giant prison camp, inaccessible to all those who might like to walk, run, exercise their dogs, do sport, or frankly, just breathe a little fresh air surrounded by trees, grass, open space and nature.
The latest horror is of course the ghastly Winter Wonderland. At a stroke when it started in November, it took out of action the biggest area of open green space in the centre of London. December passed and now towards the end of January as the barriers finally come down, we are greeted by the sight of countless acres of muddy wet wasteland, as the guys in hi-viz jackets prepare to fence it off yet again whilst is is reseeded, re-turfed, primped and preened.
If previous years are anything to go by, the whole process should just about be complete by the time they're ready to fence it off again for the summer concerts.
I realise I'm sounding like the archetypal grumpy old man, and don't get me wrong, I do love it when the sound of live music wafts across the park, and the Christmas lights do look lovely, BUT.... do we really have to go through this every time?
Who makes all the money out of all this? Maybe it's none of our business, what with it all being Royal Parks business, and of course they need to pull in some more cash, what with the Royalty being short of cash, but there's no doubt in my mind that some private individuals are likely to be making fat profits out of each event.
Just a shame for those who want to use Hyde Park as a park.