I once owned a meditation tape.

It was an error.

The chap started in a very strong Birmingham accent, “You’re in a beautiful garden, and the sun is lovely. The garden is split on two levels. On the upper level, there are mature trees, casting shadows across ground, and a light breeze lifts the leaves and the sunshine warms the earth below.


“There are many brightly-coloured flowers. Azaleas and hydrangeas, fuchsias and laburnum, magnolias and cherries. All manner of shades, pinks, purples, blues and yellows.


“Passing down a little pathway, you wander down to the lower garden. On the lower level, there’s a pond. Perhaps there are fish, and large lily pads, and a small fountain. The water dances on the surface and birds sing in the trees. Perhaps there are snowdrops.


“At the very bottom of the garden is a small, cool stream. The water is clear. It rushes over large, fat pebbles and you imagine yourself as a pebble, just letting everything rush in cool…”

And all I could think was: ‘That’s my garden.’

I may have thrown in a colourful adjective but that’s my garden. If inner peace and enlightenment was as simple as looking out of the window, I’d have worked it out for myself by then.

On the plus side, paying attention to life outside the window taught me one thing. Wood pigeons have been singing my name for years.