This morning while Lynne was at the gym I did one of my regular walks through Valley Gardens, the Pinewoods and up to Harlow Carr. I know what you are thinking? I bet he called into Bettys for a mocha and a fat rascal! No I didn't! The snowdrops and crocuses were all out in the lower gardens. I love this part of Valley Gardens next to the stream as there are many plants such as rhododendron and bamboo that remind me of valleys in the foothills of the Himalayas. I now call this part of the gardens 'Little Sikkim'!
We are so fortunate in the UK to have the beauty of the changing seasons. Each day on my walks, in recent days, I sense that Spring is just around the corner. We are all fed up of the amount of rain we have had over the Winter but there have been a few good days in-between. We had a lovely walk, bathed in Winter sunshine under clear blue sky, on Wednesday last week. We walked from Bilton to Ripley and back on the cycleway. The day before we had walked around Fewston Reservoir in a howling gale!
Our travels in the past have taken us to another country that enjoys the beauty of the changing seasons. We love Japan, especially the ancient city of Kyoto! We have been in the cold of Winter, enjoyed the cherry blossoms festivals in the Spring and the glorious colours of the Autumn foliage. Our first visit to Japan was in December 1983. We stayed in a traditional Japanese guesthouse called a 'ryokan'. At the time I was training for the Coast of China Marathon and did my best to get out in the evenings for a run. We were staying near the old Imperial Palace. Its perimeter grounds were perfect for training runs. One evening I was out running when heavy snow began to fall. It was magical!
So in the Travel Journal section of my website you will find a journal entry describing my experience of running in the snow at night around the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. Obviously while out running I didn't have my camera with me (smart phones hadn't been invented!) and so I have used a painting by Eiichi Kotozucha entitled 'Snow at the old Imperial Palace in Kyoto' as an accompanying illustration. I hope you enjoy reading it!
I have also uploaded some travel photos of Bhutan and Ladakh in the Photography section. These are new since my last blog at the end of January.