Yesterday was one of those glorious mid week days off. All due to the mayoral elections that swept the country in their trucks bedazzled in billboards and screens that showed highly contrived images of kindly middle-aged men willing to go that extra mile if you only give them a vote and flocks of sash wearing supporters that stood on street corners and waved at passing buses, cars, cyclists, pedestrians and excited pets with their white gloved hands and periodically burst into a song and dance routine that would have made Mick Jagger look like a ballerina.
And what does one do with a glorious mid week day off? One comes up with the glorious idea of fleeing the city in secret and finding an isolated spot amongst nature where you can sit and watch the bees buzzing and listen to the gentle babble of a fresh water stream as it bounces over sand coloured rocks. And proud of yourself for thinking of such an original glorious idea one jumps in the car and heads out onto the motorway only to discover that ten thousand other people were given the same thought. But still clinging to the slimmest of hopes you continue on you way and believe that once you get there you will find peace.
As the journey continues and the roads get narrower, giving way to a dirt track you finally admit to your partner that it doesn’t look like anyone else is going to change their mind and find someplace else. So you end up spending a glorious day in nature surrounded by the buzzing of bees, the babble of a childlike brook and the population of a small city.
Despite this our destination more than made up for the gaggle around us. A man made slice of nature filled with a variety of themed gardens nestled on the edge of a lush mountain range. 300 year old bonsai trees gave way to weeping willows and flowers of every shade including blue. A gnarled Juniper tree stood alone and drew the focus of couples wishing their photo taken beneath its wizened glare. Many areas were set aside in the shade of tall pines to enjoy the picnic we had brought with us but should we have wished we could have dined in the restaurant, café or traditional tea house. In this Garden of Morning Calm we found peace and serenity. Bizzzzzzzzzzz