Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Cultivate your garden...

Kathmandu is perhaps one of the most romantic cities I've been too. Maybe it's the fact that I wake up to the patter of gentle rain on most mornings. Or that I'm staying at the Kathmandu Guest House, a historical colonial building and perhaps the most famous of guesthouses in this city. It's seen its fair share of intrepid adventurers.

Or maybe it's the fact that two of my most favourite people got engaged near here.

Or the fact that I can get lost in a rainbow frenzy of pashminas, and can think of Ben and Chris and Mia (because everytime I wear your shawl I feel like you are giving me a cuddle.)

Or that every bookstore has another version of the Karma Sutra - titillation for a girl who's missed her boy for the last two-and-a-bit months... oh la la!

And yet another surprise today: the Garden of Dreams. The Garden of Dreams is like something for Little Lord Faulteroy, a secret garden. It was commissioned more than 80 years ago by Keshar Shumsher Rama, the son of a Prime Minister of Nepal, a lover of art, architecture, history and gardens... many of the good things in life. He was inspired to develop his garden of the seasons after visiting an Edwardian garden in Britian. But it was forgotton after his death and became overgrown and untended. Only in 1996 did the Austrian government fund it's refurbishment and it's back to its former romantic glory.

This beautiful place, hidden by high walls, features six pavilions - one for each of the Nepalese seasons. A pair of irory-coloured elephants guard the entrance to the spring pavilion. A maple tree conceals a pond with lillies. Marigolds play sentinel to a moss pool, on which I wrote "Caz loves Richie" with twigs.

There are lovers seats set amongst long grass, like they have at the palace at Brighton. Plus, plaques around the garden feature inscriptions by poets and writers of times past; including a line by Voltaire... "cultivate your garden"... from Candide.

It was the setting for a wedding.

So, a little message for all of us.... cultivate your garden. Take care of the ones you love... and maybe one day you can show them how much you love them in the romantic city of Kathmandu.

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