The sun beats a sultry rhythm into Hyde Park and the breeze whispers ‘slow down, easy does it’. Kids dance in the fountain and their delighted squeals sail over the flowering jacaranda and through a giant bubble, right now, emerging from the wand of the Giant Bubble Busker. This guy, dressed as a rainbow, holds children captive with his burgeoning creation: a shimmering oily translucent blob which wavers for a time, massaged into a huge colon by the breeze, before…pop! A sudden flash of sunshine-infused droplets patter on the children and they laugh like a bunch of kookaburras.

Down the steps, under the flexing branch of a banyan tree, I can see a checkerboard painted on the concrete. Large black and white squares alternate in rows of eight and provide refuge, for a time at least, for huge pawns, horses, castles and queens. A homeless genius in ripped jeans and an ancient leather jacket holds court. His opponent, a Dutch tourist, is first cornered, and then hoodwinked and soon his king is cowering. One more move and he admits defeat with a grin. The homeless genius looks around and shouts, “Who’s next?”

Sounds jostle for attention: “Weewaaweewaa” sings a police car as it hurtles past.

“Caw, caw, beep beep, screeeel,” say the lorikeets.

“Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex!” roars a wild-eyed drunk. Brown paper bag held aloft he stands in his underpants and a winter coat yelling until enough people stop and stare. The moral announcer then waggles his finger at the bemused crowd and shouts, “no sex before marriage naughty!”

Worker ants circle the scene. They provide an interesting contrast to the dirty rags of the homeless genius, the underpants of the moral announcer and the bright flowing get-up of the tourists. The worker ants are as clean as a whistle and squeezed into shape by all manner of strange devices. Ties, belts, laces and watches clutch at their curves. Eating hastily bought sandwiches they revel in this moment of freedom. They lose themselves in the game, captured, like the children by the bubble, until the bubble bursts, the king tumbles and their collective smile gallops into the world.

Beauty pervades the scene. I see it in a high five between the homeless genius and the moral announcer; I feel it in motion as the Dutch tourist swings his small daughter onto his shoulders; I sense it in a kissing couple, a smile between colleagues and the sun on my cheek. Beauty is everywhere when you take the trouble to look.