The light in my flat is really bad. Well, not everywhere, but it’s safe to say that any place that has a comfortable place to sit doesn’t get strong light. Overhead lights make a cozy glow. Usually it doesn’t bother me much, but it makes it harder to knit something fiddly, like laceweight yarn and beads. So I sometimes go in search of nice sunny places to knit.
There is a tiny neighbourhood park next to my building. On nice days I somtimes go and sit on a comfy bench and knit there. I pick benches that are isolated in the corners – not so distracting. And I’ve never gone to sit on the benches next to the little playground, which used to be filled with kids, moms, and strollers. But the city did renovations in the park recently, repaving the paths, putting in more benches. Today, after kidlet went out to hang with her friends, I headed over to the park to do some knitting in the sun. I went in through a different gate, near the playground, intending to go find a nice corner as usual.
Imagine my surprise to discover that the city removed the playground, and instead installed an outdoor gym for adults!
There’s a stationary bicycle, a rowing maching, some leg presses and a couple of contraptions for upper body/arm workouts. Signs announce that the equipment is for folks over the age of 14 only. (Not to worry, there’s still a much bigger playground for kids across the street.) Well, of course I tried everything out to check what would or would not hurt the hip. Was surprised to discover that the hip was just fine. The shoulder press machine was way too hard, and I couldn’t see any place to adjust the pressure. The chest press was much easier.
Well, colour me happy.
After trying everything out I sat on a bench to knit. Finished the second beaded I-cord, and worked on the lace & cable scarf for a while. Progress has been made!
Had some company for part of the time. A couple of elderly men came by and sat on one of the benches near me. One of the fellows pulled out some folded paper and began to sing to the other. Can’t tell you what he was singing, if you’re curious…it was in Russian. After a while of that, he went and worked on the chest press for a bit, then helped the other fellow up and they wandered off.
A woman and her granddaughter came into the park, wanting to see what the renovated playground looked like, and were as surprised as me to see the new equipment. The little girl insisted on trying everything anyway. Her grandmother came and sat with me and we chatted for a while, interspersed with her encouragement and instructions to the little one. Trying all the adult equipment was amusing to the girl, causing lots of giggles. I couldn’t tease her about it, as she only spoke Arabic, but we exchanged a few grins. It soon became pretty boring to her, so after saying goodbye she and her grandmother headed across the street.
I foresee that this little gem of a park is going to become much more a part of my routine. And yes, I carefully read all the warnings and instructions on the equipment.
(I especially like the part where it says that “The user does so at his/her own risk, peril & responsibility”. Guess the city needs to cover its behind if someone uses the equipment improperly or gets hurt…)
Hey! The city gets it right sometimes!