A Squirrel @ Bunhill Cemetery

Phew! How busy Liverpool Station was!! The shops around Broadgate Centre were a brimful of Christmas paraphernalia. Colourful merchandise being wrapped up in ornate boxes and adorned with ribbons and gift tags were presented on equally decorative shelves in every shop front and screaming silently at passers-by, ‘Buy me!’

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At the Broadgate Square, I noticed the area normally dedicated to their annual ice rink was boarded up with scaffolding and black wall covering. Are the rink getting a revamp? I wondered.
After completing a few errands, I finally headed home via Moorgate around 3pm on foot. The blustery wind which brought us hailstones early on had vanished like a magic, leaving the sky cloudless with the sun shining brightly. I walked long City Road northwards up to Bunhill Field Burial Ground and turned into the cemetery.

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Urban noise was muffled as soon as I was under the canopy of mature trees. Yellowing fallen leaves carpeted the ground made a beautiful contrast with the greenness of the moss tinting old headstones…

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The colours were intensified by the dampness brought on by the earlier rain. Then, I heard the sound of soft rustling leaves. How come? There was no breeze…

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It was a squirrel, showing itself up between the headstones!

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While I stood there by the fence which divided the pavement and burial ground, with my breath held so I wouldn’t scare this adorable intruder away, the squirrel strutted along the base of headstone and looked up squarely. I could hear his/her imaginary voice, a little squeaky ‘Hello there!’…

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The squirrel seemed to have no fear of human. With its bushy tail wagging, it scurried towards me in a typical squirrel like way which resembled a stop motion animation…

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‘Did you bring any nut for me?’
Oh no, the only edible things in my bag were cough drops I bought at Holland & Barrett. The squirrel must have been used to be fed by the cemetery visitors.  ‘I am very sorry but I have nothing for you today’, I walked away from the fence quickly, feeling guilty for disappointing the squirrel.
Next time, I shall bring nuts with me so squirrels can store up their food bank for the winter…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Gray’s Inn Gardens @ Theobolds Road

Eventually, I managed to visit Gray’s Inn Gardens, the place which I had been looking on over its fence for many years.
It was one lunchtime before the weather turned autumny and  I was happened to be in the area, whereupon I decided to investigate it.

The entrance to the garden was located at the north end of Jockey’s Fields, by a traffic-control barrier.
A hand written notice was informing the users that the garden would be closed at 2:30pm.

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A narrow path leading up to the garden…

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And it suddenly opened up to the sea of lush green.
Behold the way this mature plane tree  soaring towards the sky!

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I lay myself down on the grass at once and looked up the green canopy which fanned out its lowest branches at the point as high as a three-storeyed building.
While a breeze caressed my fringe, I gazed at this magnificent specimen which stood on this ground for god knew how long. As long as 200 years? I felt immensely privileged to be so physically close to a living thing which managed to survive the waves of turbulence since it germinated in this world. I was enchanted.

The garden was a perfect location for a picnic lunch.
It was a shame that I already finished my lunch elsewhere…

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Just compare the size of the trunk against the man with a paper bag in hand!

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I felt like being a Hobbit in Fangorn Forest.
What a magical place Gray’s Inn Gardens was…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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