Escape From Lockdown

Escape From Lockdown

Where shall I go?
I await inspiration.
Don’t fancy The Broads,
Try a brand new location.

The Weald is too flat,
The Highlands too high,
The Lowlands too low,
I’ll put them on standby.

The Gower is too near,
The Wirral too far,
The Pennines too high,
And too hard on my car.

I like the Welsh Marches,
But they don’t like me;
Of the Wolds and the Marshes
I’m no devotee.

But I do need a break,
An escape from this lockdown.
I’ve a yen for new vistas –
Corfe, Pwllheli or Plockton.

Coast, country or town,
I won’t be prescriptive;
Just find me a bolt-hole
And I’ll get descriptive.

Not foreign this time,
The risk is too great.
To be locked in on return
Is something I’d hate.

So let it be England,
‘The home of the free’,
Though where we get that from
Is a mystery to me.

I haven’t felt FREE
Since restricted in Spring.
I must get away,
Break my bonds, have a fling.

I could try the Dales,
The Downs or The Lakes,
The Peaks or the Fens,
I’ve got just what it takes.

For adventure, for risk,
I’m up for them all
So just hide my face mask
I’m no more in its thrall.

Yes, I’m off to Bognor,
That ‘Bugger’ of a town,
The best place to be
To end my lockdown. 

“Bugger Bognor!” were the alleged last words of King George V in 1936, in response to being told that he would soon be well enough to visit the seaside resort Bognor Regis on the south coast of England.

 

Westonbirt National Arboretum

[ Photo Blog #60 ]

Westonbirt Arboretum can be found near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England.  It is the UK’s National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, and is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom.  The arboretum’s 18,000 specimen trees and shrubs sourced from all over the globe provide a remarkable place for people to enjoy and learn about trees. It has 17 miles of marked paths which provide access to a wide variety of rare plants.

When I visited there in 2003 there happened to be an exhibition of what, only in the broadest sense, could be called ‘garden sculpture’.   I offer below some of my photographs taken at the time . . . 

 

Westonbirt00-Arboretum

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Westonbirt 01 (1)

Just taking a work break

Westonbirt 01 (3)

A pointed remark

Westonbirt 01 (4)

Tear-drop Tree

Westonbirt 01 (5)

All wired up …

Westonbirt 01 (6)

… and suitably pigeon-holed

Westonbirt 01 (7)

Water-glass

Westonbirt 01 (8)

A hairy situation

Westonbirt 01 (9)

‘The green trees transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap and almost mad with ecstasy.’

Westonbirt 01 (10)

Mirrored garden #1

Westonbirt 01 (11)

Mirrored garden #2

Westonbirt 01 (12)

Mirrored garden #3

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Ode To Mount Felix

(No.52 of my favourite short poems) 

WoT MtFelix2

A community stitch project has recently been completed and put on display to commemorate the centenary of the Mount Felix Hospital which, throughout World War 1 and afterwards for several years served, as a military hospital in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, for soldiers from New Zealand wounded at Gallipoli and in later battles.    The project is in the form of a tapestry of 44 panels stitched by community groups ranging from primary schools to experienced embroiderers.   By the end of WW1 the hospital, in conjunction with another nearby hospital, had nearly 1,900 beds and some 27,000 patients had been treated during the operational lives of these two hospitals.

One of the panels, pictured below, features a lovely poem composed during his time in this hospital by one of the patients, name unknown,  who was stunned by the beauty and tranquility of his surroundings after experiencing the horrors of war.  I give photographs above and below of the tapestry on which this verse has been embroidered.

WoT MtFelix1

 

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