Grapes

Spring flowers are blossoming everywhere lately. The Camilia at the front of Gnomepants Manor is a shock of pink and looks very pretty. Furthermore, the well tended gardens at the front of the town hall in Barnsley are awash with fragrance and colour. As the daffodils of March die back, the tulips of April thrust skywards bold and proud and here and there blue flowers mix with yellows and light reds. It’s such a lovely sight to see.

Such sights remind me of childhood haunts. One being the hidden garden in Reynolds Park, Liverpool. The garden is a walled enclosure which traps the variety of strong fragrances and the warmth of the Equinoxal sun. Paths lined with memorial benches twist and turn between the flower beds. The benches remind the living of those who have passed before and how much they too loved the area.

Indeed, the gardens in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, though a shadow of their former self, also pay tribute to those who seek sanctity and serenity in such locations. If you know where to look, there are walled gardens and forgotten Victorian hot houses brimming with fragrance and colour.

It should also be noted that at this time of year the colour green is a lot more vivid than at other times. The new leaves of the privet and yew hedges are striking and the twists and turns of climbing rose bushes ready themselves for their May blossoms.

Do you have a secret garden near you? Do you visit gardens such as these? If not why not? Simply saying “I don’t go to such places because there aren’t any near me” is just a cop out. Get out this weekend. Go see natures show. Rest a while in the sun, breathe in the scents and think momentarily, how people love these places.

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Stuart Hall

The Belgians!

I’ve never stole sausages from a supermarket though I once pinched a little rubber ring that holds a face mask to a snorkel from a French Hypermarché and had 8 years of conscience nag. Think that’s the only time I’ve ever nicked anything really. Oh apart from when I whizzed some of Neil (now a hairdresser for the famous) Chase’s Lego but he never missed it and often buried perfectly good pieces of Lego in his garden (yeah yeah he was weird) and I once “borrowed” a book on long term loan from the son of a friend of my mum’s but the man is dead now so I don’t think he’d be missing it really. But these minor transgressions of youth aside I’ve never pinched owt.

Well…I pinched some girls bum…but I got a slap for that.