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Where did the time go? plus Ideas for garden layouts

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Friday 22 July 1664   click to read.

….We walked to church with him, and then I left them without staying the sermon and straight home by water, and there find, as I expected, Mr. Hill, and Andrews, and one slovenly and ugly fellow, Seignor Pedro, who sings Italian songs to the theorbo most neatly, and they spent the whole evening in singing the best piece of musique counted of all hands in the world, made by Seignor Charissimi, the famous master in Rome. Fine it was, indeed…

We can say of Samuel Pepys that he worked hard and lived hard. I love the thought that 17th century London was already a place with a great mixture  of cultural and intellectual people and that cultural evenings as indicated above happen quite spontaneously.

I am stimulated to think of the whole question of the balance between work and play  and how we organise our lives in general. Comments are welcome by the way.

I feel a sense of frustration that so often the day has passed without my  apparently achieving anything. I look at the clock and it’s 5:30 PM or 6 PM, time for the news or preparing the evening meal and I have little to show for it. I’m not talking about days when I do gardening, but days where I am free to do what I please. The point is that as a semi retired person I don’t have to do anything, but I still feel the need for achievement.

Last evening we went to see on a whim the film “Manchester by the Sea”. I read that it narrowly missed getting an Oscar and in this respect I am not able to give an opinion because I walked out after the first 20 minutes. I do get slightly tired of seeing new erotic Americans not communicating, walking out on each other, and using the F word. Occasional use of this word  I can tolerate but time after time …. I do not regard this as self expression because it is basically an inability to express yourself in the very rich English language.

The previous evening, Friday, I took my friend to see a second viewing (for me) of Baby Driver which if anything I enjoyed more. Because I knew what was coming next I could concentrate on the detail and I noticed the meticulous lighting effects, the synchronisation of sound with the firing of the bullets and how much thought and effort must have gone into the making of this whole film which I believe was conceived 10 years before. if I recall correctly it took Richard Attenborough 20 years to  realise the film of Gandhi so this is clearly  a profession where patience counts.

So, back to the topic of time

Old Father Time – Sandringham estate

Time drags; time flies; time heals; time and tide time wait for nobody, we run out of time, time marches on all presided over by Old Father Time. it does seem to seize a variable commodity to say the least. If we are focused on something we don’t like, the minutes drag on. If we are talking to a loved one we look at our watch we find that four hours have passed. when wheel in love with someone on what we are doing, we go out of time and when we’re doing something we dislike, we are contained by time.

Maybe our natural state is to be timeless and eternal. Spiritual people tell us that the soul is eternal and we probably dismiss this without a second thought but maybe just maybe our natural state is just to be. as Shakespeare said, “to be or not to be, that is the question”. How we occupy ourselves and what we do is secondary two out of state of unity or chaos within.

Eckhart Tolle says that ” you are never more fully yourself than when you are still inside”. There is another clue here I think.

Anyway, off to Benter near Stratton on the Fosse where there is the National Gardens scheme open house for the first time. The garden had previously been a field so they have done a lot of very good work here. There are only about a dozen houses in this hamlet and all the roads leading to it are only suitable for one car at a time hence the excitement we had squeezing past other vehicles and learning to reverse in very narrow lanes. This must be one of the worst places to live for transport, getting the kids to school,  the complete absence of shops, and a nightmare for your friends to find in the dark.

However the garden had many interesting features which might intrigue garden designers and fans of the English garden.

unobtrusive bench
woodland background

However, it was worth it when we got there. The garden contains many good ideas. We met the  chap who I think was the owner, a young chap who was very keen about gardens.  I suggested to him that when long grass is concerned it is fun to create mazes. it’s a great feature that you can do practically no money and it adds enormously to the features of a bigger garden.

original feature for water plants
clever use of planks
planks interleaved with stones
a path and informal beds
a three stage compost heap made out of pallets
most of the winter’s worth of firewood
general view of Orchard area
works of art in the Tea garden
very unusual plants sorry I don’t know their name
general review of the tea garden with tent and people enjoying themselves
one very mossy tree trunk of a living tree
Medieval Forest leading down to a stream
the said stream which would have been lovely had the weather been better
part of the house frontage