Have you ever noticed how, when life keeps throwing things at you and you feel weighed down by the burdens you believe that you have, something pops up from nowhere and smacks you in the face to tell you to get over yourself? Or is that just me?
Today started out quite well really, the sun was shining, it was warm and I had an early start to the day. Well, it was hard not to as I was woken by the bells of St Paul’s ringing out the time just above the skylight window which is literally two feet above my current resting place. But I digress…………
……..there I was ambling to work when I came across a beautiful garden (yes another one) This is the Christchurch Greyfriars Garden and it covers what was the burial grounds of Christchurch Greyfriars. This part of the rose garden was laid in 1989 to match the floorplan of the former Wren Church. The central aisle of the garden is flanked on either side by box hedging to reflect where the pews used to be. The wooden structures supporting tumbling roses and climbing clematis copies the original wooden structures which decorated the original stone pillars.
It was a lovely oasis amongst the traffic and the grime and noise of the city.
Onwards to the office and I wandered past the London Museum but by now my head was down, I was carrying a heavy back pack filled with reading books, notebooks and cameras (why I have no idea because I didn’t open the pack once) and determined to make it to work in one piece I dug deep and strode out. I am not ready to admit that the Map my Walk app that I had just installed on my phone which was monitoring my pace had anything to do with keeping me going. What I will admit is that by the end of the day the back pack felt much lighter and I was not puffing quite so much.
The morning went well and I even managed to take a walk at lunchtime. After picking up a very healthy brown rice and halloumi salad I wandered into Finsbury Circle, another calm oasis for the city folks to take a rest
Unfortunately I was too late to grab a bench so I wandered on to a little courtyard further around and found the bandstand.
The afternoon brought with it a few challenges and a couple of shocks that I did not expect. Leaving me feeling rather sorry for myself and, I admit, sent me into wallowing mode. Now it is ok to wallow but I never feel better about the situation when I allow this to continue so a nice walk back to the accommodation was in order.
Having been brought up not far from Chester and making regular visits there to see my Great Auntie Annie (what a woman but I will save her for another tale) I loved the city walls and to this day if I visit Chester I always park the car away from the shops and walk into the city via the walls, imaging myself as a roman woman heading to the markets. Again, I digress. When my office moved into the city I was excited to discover that we were close to London Wall, that is until I was told that there was no such thing as London Wall anymore but just the name. I walk along the street most days wishing that I could have seen that wall. Tonight I took a different route back and imagine my glee when I passed a side street and discovered this
Only to be disappointed by this
After a few minutes of thinking about Chester and all it has to offer (for that read – feeling sorry for myself and not seeing what was in front of me) I wandered on in search of a place to buy food. As the Hobbit says “all who wander are not lost”. Well, I was at this point as I had been so engrossed in the real London Wall that I had wandered off course and lost my bearings but I wasn’t worried because how lost can you get in a small City? As long as I could see the Gherkin then I knew I could back track to the office (erm, I couldnt see the Gherkin at this point and talking to myself was becoming essential)
So, there I was a wandering wallowing waif when I stumbled upon yet another garden (there seems to be a pattern emerging here)
I sat a while and watched the koi. It reminded me of the time I kept koi myself and the pleasure that they brought to me, the beautiful garden that I had then, with my own roses and clematis, wisteria, ivy, and the shed, I loved my shed ………… you can see now how much I was wallowing, living in the past.
My stomach started to talk to me again so I decided I should press on and find food. As I headed across the park I came across this………….
It says “In commemoration of heroic self sacrifice. ”
And this is where my perspective came in
“The material prosperity of a nation is not an abiding possession: the deeds of it’s people are” GF WATTS, I would like to thank you for kicking me up the arse and telling me these stories.
These were just three of the stories, there were many, many more.
And so I pressed on, lighter of soul and very much reminded of what is important in life.
And this evening I am pleased to report that today I walked a total of 7.22 miles. Not a lot I know but a lot more than I have been doing recently. I feel lighter in body as well as soul as I settle down beneath my skylight and listen to the bells of St Pauls whilst gazing at the chimney pots waiting for the stars to shine.