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Like many, I have not been out-out for absolutely ages. The first tentative steps towards a social life was a Sunday to Birmingham catching up with friends. Both venues attended were outside plus the trains were fairly quiet. Restrictions were largely being observed so I felt comfortable, tick. Next time I could be tempted to go further afield.

The opportunity came with the end of May Bank Holiday, slightly bigger stakes with a day trip to London and a visit to Kew Gardens. Once I got over the fear of engaging with Londoners after over a year, the excitement of going to Kew Gardens started to build. By the time the actual day arrived I was fit to burst, like a child at Christmas.  

My favourite thing in life; is the anticipation that arises from experiencing a new place or activity for the first time. As an added bonus I could also tick something off my list of places to visit. That level of excitement is incomparable and it doesn’t happen very often which makes it extra special. It did not end there. The weather was glorious, again fewer people around, not much traffic and the buses were fine, though a little close.

It was a fantastic day with my lovely friend, who was good company, a great guide, also extremely patient with me oohing, ahhing, and taking copious photographs, until my phone battery died. I was properly ‘getting my nature on’ marvelling at the stunning beauty of the environment and how my humble ‘meal deal’ felt like a sumptuous picnic, sitting on a bench under a shady tree. I cannot recommend Kew Gardens enough. I felt truly blessed having this escapade and a dear friend to enjoy it with.

Later we watched the Friends Reunion with a Thai takeaway (my favourite cuisine) including soft shelf crab for the first time – delicious. I drove home peacefully, grinning like a Cheshire Cat and slept like a log, having clocked up over 17,000 steps. It was the perfect Bank Holiday.

Pre-pandemic it is quite possible this visit would have been completely different; we’ll never know. The crisis has presented several opportunities for personal growth. There is a new found appreciation for the simple things in life which in turn has bought tremendous joy. Lastly, there is faith that everything is going to play out and work out, somehow.

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