Today, the day before the weather is set to turn from Mediterranean back to – well – Scottish, I feel it is important to share my liking for sitting in our garden. Someone gave us an outdoor sofa as a wedding present, a collapsible frame suspending a large oval (UFO-shaped) cushion into which I sink at the perfect angle for basking in the sun. I am sitting in it now, and this is the view.
Nothing special, you might think, but let me tell you what I see. The apple tree my sister gave us for our first Christmas in our home. The cheerful elephant who, despite coming from a local retail park, reminds me of our favourite holiday in India. One of our voluptuous camellia bushes. And the sun illuminating the leaves of next door’s lilac tree.
We live in a terrace of houses and the back is a pleasing patchwork of roof terraces and walled gardens. It allows me to feel connected to my neighbours by hearing what they are doing without feeling that we are intruding on each other. Right now, the boys from upstairs are out on their roof terrace with some friends drinking beer, chatting, while one of them quietly strums a guitar. It is a gentle, happy soundtrack to my daydreams. I could be in a street cafe in Madrid. But I am home.