Thursday 29 June
We have a sunken walled back garden which, now the children are grown up, I love dearly. Not sufficiently to work at it but more than enough to work in it. The children were great fun when rampant, but the fun was not conducive to a National Trust effect. It was difficult to have beautiful thoughts in an area comprising combat zone, splashing facility, mudbath and disco. In this so far beautiful summer, the garden seems to have finally decided those stressful days are over and has thrown everything it can into the air: every kind of vegetation, blossom and flowery thing.
This morning I had coffee out here. The energy of the universe was
expressed most of all by bees being busy doing their bee-loud humming and bumming around in flowers thing, a riotous pub crawl if ever I saw one. Coming out here again at 5pm, I find they're still at it. The bees love fox-glove, burrowing into the coloured trumpets like curious cats into carrier bags. But bees get nectar, what do cats get? At this moment our cat is beyond getting anything except sunburn, her upside down pose wanton in the extreme.
In winter it's sadder. All the slaters totter into my basement den
across there and line the skirting board to die. This mass Mahlerarian goodbye to the world lends a melancholy to the shadowy room so I put on the anglepoise and turn up Wagner loudly. But that's not yet. The soundtrack today mixes in those comfortably human sounds thrown up by summer: someone hammering somewhere, a little boy chortling, a bossy girl shouting 'stop that', and the long withdrawing roar of holiday traffic.
Ian Mackenzie was head of religious broadcasting at BBC Scotland. He died in 2006
Return to SR Monthly contents page