My capacity for ranting knows no bounds, and I find myself perturbed and thwarted with remarkable regularity.

As a lifelong, slightly narky, irritable ball of fire, I have occasionally sought a suitable salve to the vexation which lives just below the surface. At one point, this included a meditation tape.

It was with very real frustration that I waited for it to appear on the doorstep, which goes some way to prove how blindingly necessary it was.

I unwrapped it with extraordinary gusto, whacked it in the tape deck, crammed the earphones into my lugholes, lay down on the sofa and pressed ‘play’.

Within moments, I was almost in tears, laughing. The meditation guy had an accent better suited to a call centre than spiritual enlightenment. Still, after a suitable pause, I gathered my thoughts and tried again.

The chap sounded very calm (I swear I could almost hear the drool puddling), and he went into great detail in the description of a garden.

I was to picture myself in a garden, he explained. A beautiful garden on a summer’s day. There were tall, mature trees and the sunlight danced between the fresh green leaves. I was to imagine tufted and fragrant plants filling my senses with a dazzling array of colour and perfume.

Moving deeper into the grounds, he explained, I would see that the garden was on two levels; the higher level soaked in the scent of magnolia, peppered with laburnum and fuchsias, with blood-red roses encircling a greening gate, and rustic lawns, unfettered by scarifiers or deadened leaves.

On the lower level, there were fat, green bushes and a crisp, cool pond, filled with lilies, silently swimming fish and gentle pond skaters. And behind a row of tall, slim trees, which waved slowly in the warming breeze, was a stream; its water running quickly over fat-bottomed pebbles.

And perhaps I could learn to think of myself as one of those fat-bottomed pebbles (charming) and just let everything go over my head.
And then it hit me.

Mature trees? Magnolia? Two levels? Pond? Skinny trees and stream with pebbles?

That’s my cocking garden! It actually is. I’ve let it go a little further back to nature than would be ideal under other circumstances, but otherwise – that’s my garden.

If spiritual enlightenment was as easy as looking through my blasted back window, I think I would have got there by now.

I may have called him something less than complimentary, and then thrown the tape across the room. Having done all that, I must admit, I did feel better.