Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nothing to do today but smile

My view

I had another happy-sigh-making day today, but closer to home than yesterday. I spent the afternoon in one of my favourites places - under a tree with a book in the Royal Botanic Gardens. The weather was a carbon copy of Saturday - hot in the sun but just perfect in the shade.

My first stop was the edge of the Ornamental Lake which was almost teeming with eels and turtles. It's unusual to see so many turtles so close to the water's edge there.

I also saw the cygnets. They're still cute, grey and fluffy but getting big.

I found myself a nice spot near a stand of bamboo and got out the bubble mix that I bought this morning when I did my grocery shopping. I blew bubbles into the sky and watched them carried away on the breeze, all rainbow-shiny in the sun. A lady laughed at me, but I didn't care. After a while I attracted the attention of a small boy, so I blew the bubbles and he chased them gleefully.

I nearly finished reading the book I bought yesterday and as expected, I'm enjoying it - the photographs (taken by the author on her travels around the world) are beautiful and I feel like she's talking directly to me. I found myself nodding in agreement quite often.  Isn't it wonderful when you find a book that connects with you and where you are right at the time you read it? It's given me some motivation and ideas for dragging myself out of my continuing glum phase...
We should be mucking about all the time, because mucking about is enjoying life for its own sake, now, and not in preparation for an imaginary future. It's obvious that the mirth-filled man, the cheerful soul, the childish adult [that's me!] is the one who has less to fear from life - Tom Hodgkinson, The Freedom Machine (quoted in One)

One of the little pockets with a removable quote on it

While reading I listened to Simon & Garfunkel, inspired by a snippet of Only Living Boy in New York that was featured in one of the stories on New York, I Love You, which I watched last night. Their poetic whimsy and beautiful harmonies suited my mood perfectly. I noted the irony of listening to Simon and Garfunkel sing 'I am a rock, I am an island' while reading a book about being on your own, which includes John Donne's famous quote, 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent'.

I got asked to move by the Moonlight Cinema people who were setting up for tonight's movie, so I went for my usual wander around the gardens, camera in hand. It was late afternoon by this stage, and the green grass and foliage were aglow in the golden light. The Ornamental Lake sparkled in the sun as dragonflies buzzed across the surface. I strolled through the Southern Chinese garden.

Ah, the gardens...a feast of shapes:

I think this is a New Zealand kauri tree

...and colours:

I'm so lucky to live so close.

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