Earlier this week, the sun gave hope - a false hope as it turned out - that summer was upon us. My response was to rush up to the Clergy House terrace, where the flowers are starting to show forth in strength. Tuesday was a particularly glorious day, with a light breeze and cloudless sky. Whatever sanity remains to me is nourished here, the rigours of a busy day melting away as I set to, watering and weeding.
I love my olive trees; their language is mediterranean, and they match the exotic mood of the Cathedral architecture - and they even offer a little shade. In the early morning, they prove an enchanting and evocative spot to offer up prayers.
One of my most beloved spots is the herb garden, set around a fountain, and neatly disguising a conjunction of lightening conductors. The staple of any herb garden, in my book, has to be rosemary and basil - the former, by tradition, smells of the swaddling cloths of Our Lord, while the latter transports one in an instant to Tuscany, and is a longed-for summer treat. Basil, however, is fragile in our climate, and never lasts the winter. Alongside, the lavender is just about to break forth, while the spicy sage, with its Christmas memories, is thriving.