Christmas Eve eve …

23 December 2022

Amidst the pre-Christmas bustle, a few hours out in the tranqility of the nearby RHS gardens is a lovely change of pace…

This oasis of woodland, lakes and gardens is actually on my doorstep so, ‘how have I not been before?‘ Perhaps it is not only pre-Christmas weeks that get clogged up with busyness and stress?

Take this Autumn term for example; such a demanding one for me! High levels of absenteeism at work have resulted in everyone else’s workload becoming … quite frankly overwhelming. I have also had worries about my mum and, like everyone else, about spiralling bills and static wages. The only reason that none of it has kept me awake at night is, I reason,because I am permanently shattered and could fall asleep ‘on a dime.’

So few hours away from: gift wrap, shopping lists, decorations and tannoys blaring out ‘All I want for Christmas …’ for a peaceful stroll through the winter gardens is ideal. Our countryside and green places play a pivotal role in the preservation of our wildlife and ecosystem but there is also evidence that they also promote a sense of wellbeing for humans too. Plants have a long history of association with medicines and healing. Furthermore, in our modern world, we also increasingly acknowledge that gardens and green spaces are also associated with better social and mental health. To quote British physician Sir Muir Gray,

“…everyone needs a ‘Natural Health Service’ as well as a National Health Service.”

Well the visit certainly puts a smile on my face. Great company; easy chat and lots of laughter. Plus natural beauty and nature’s might and elegance to soothe the spirits and clear the troubled mind. I can also give a shout out for the scones in the cafe, which I polish off enthusiastically with my usual crazed- calorie trio of cream, jam…and butter! Revived and refreshed, I am ready again for last-minute gifts, the great Christmas Dinner spreadsheet and, yes, even Mariah…

All in all, I have had a lovely first week of holidays. Roll on yuletide festivities and week 2…