“It is better to have your head in the clouds and know where you are- than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think you are in paradise.” – Thoreau
“The best moment in love is climbing the stairs to your beloved’s apartment” – French saying
You’re not allowed to use a mobile phone in a quiet coach because, as the Japanese say, “this may annoy the neighbours”, but what’s the etiquette about laughing out loud? I fear that I may have annoyed quite a few neighbours when reading Antony Woodward’s book “The Garden in the Clouds” because I couldn’t help bursting out laughing. At times it’s as funny as a P G Wodehouse, which may seem odd, as the book’s about making a garden on a remote Welsh hillside, and then opening it under the “Yellow Book” scheme. I would recommend the book to anyone, but particularly to some-one who is considering opening their garden to the public.
The story is about the author’s attempts to get the garden up to Yellow Book standards, for which he needs to convince the County Organiser, a formidable lady of the old school who he nicknames “The Dragon”. When The Dragon finally comes to assess the garden, the author’s 7 year old daughter is there to greet her and asks “Why do you call her a dragon daddy- she doesn’t look anything like a dragon?”.
This afternoon we opened our garden for one of our Yellow Book days and our County Organiser, who is tall and imposing but not at all dragon-like, came for a tour and some tea. We discussed “A Garden in the Clouds” and she listened politely while I raved about it, but she didn’t seem so keen on the book, which puzzled me. It was only after she had left that I remembered, with one of those acute spasms of embarrassment, the story-line about The Dragon.