I was twirling and swirling, through the petals of painted roses rushing, falling, dancing and flying around my nimble body. The aromatic grass felt cool and soft under my toes, and at the same time, spiky and textural. My sense of the petals wrapping me as softly as clouds, made me feel safe. In this fantasy world, I was lost in the most wonderful way, amongst the colourful images and sensory surrounds of my home in the Gloucestershire countryside.
Roaming the extensive garden creating make believe miniature worlds was my escape from the austerity of a strict, controlling adult world. I secretly created fantastical imaginary theatres where the birds and insects metamorphosed into exotic forms of themselves: sparrows became parrots, worms were snakes, and insects the stars. The foliage and flowers became a stage and props. A big, green, shiny leaf for the stage and assorted flowers the props. I knew this garden intimately. I knew where the hedgehog lived. I knew where the cat found the skinks. I knew where the forget-me-nots would put themselves. This world of my imagination was all-absorbing.
I think I was lucky to have my creativity fostered by my precious Nana, my father’s mother. Her gift of the white linen circular skirt with the wild billowing, random flowers in crimson allowed me to go deeper and express myself more extravagantly and with abandon.
That skirt transformed me, it was the prettiest ever.