There are good days and bad days and those days that are, well, just downright irritating. Today was one of the latter. Itís been grimly predictable in some senses. Meetings where nothing gets decided, nothing happening as it should and a need for an eleventh hour sudden dash across the Surrey countryside to the venue of our forthcoming conference which has decided they canít do our needed ISDN lines in the room of our choice and would we accept another room?
I must confess to nearly weeping when I got to the venue. The room was grandly titled the ĎLibraryí and I expected books. What did I get instead? I got a room lined with 2Ē deep fake bookcases and fake book spines filling them. Now I canít see the point in that. Itís possible to buy old books for virtually no money and it couldnít have been cheaper to have these fake bookcases made than to have proper ones put in. Iím sure itís a question of standard sizes are cheaper than specially designed cosmetic ones. I accepted the change because I couldnít see a real business reason not to (and the ISDN lines are important to us) Ė the venue's management's complete lack of taste and discernment isnít a good enough reason to try to find an alternative venue at this stage.
After mulling over the business decisions I have to make (itís funny how so many of them rankle with my morals/beliefs) all the way home and feeling irritated and jaded, I pulled into the drive, stepped out of the car and was hit with the glorious scent of this amber coloured azalea thatís been in my front garden for ever. Well, it was massive when I came here so it must have been at least 15 years old then and itís now bigger still. When I had the front garden re-landscaped two years ago and the new drive built to replace a horrid old cracked concrete one, I insisted that the azalea stayed so the builders had to work around it. I lost two fantastic philadelphuses in the same work but have replanted young ones elsewhere. The azalea wasnít negotiable though.
When itís flowering there is no experience like coming home or going out of the front of our house. The colour is spectacular but the scent is just amazing. Itís so intoxicating that you see drunk bees flolloping around after its nectar in the evening and at night itís covered in moths. I think it gives people who come and go from here a real feeling of goodwill. Well, it does me anyway. I always feel privileged to walk past it and I spend hours pondering as to whether it would be possible to capture its essence in a bottle so I could have a quick sniff every time I get the blues. Somehow I see this sort of plant as a way of saying who we, the occupants of this home, are. It cries out Ďwelcomeí in the most joyous way possible to all that see it and as soon as the scent hits the senses it binds a spell of the most benign kind around the heart. Itís part of the very essence of this home, I hope it remains here in this garden for a long time yet.
Tonight, as I arrived home, the sun was setting behind it. I filled my nostrils and fed my soul on its scent then dashed in for my camera and my new gizmo to capture the shot. Iím well chuffed with the outcome.