Celebrating the Joys of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Ah, January...that month of the year when I whine about the utter relentlessness of winter. I’m pretty much a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy, so I can usually talk myself out of a funk. And whining certainly helps. After all, I’ve been doing this winter survival thing for 75 years.
Which is why I find that extravagant displays of colour are so restorative and joyful at this time of year. The old Eaton’s stores – remember them? – knew that what Canadians desperately craved in the winter was a reassurance that there really was life beyond snow shovelling and slush. Their annual “Uncrate The Sun!” sales events were inspired. To walk into the flagship Eaton’s store on Queen Street in Toronto and see all the colourful decorations and sun-themed displays was absolutely restorative, especially when I was wearing sloshing galoshes, a heavy Hudson’s Bay parka, a hair-flattening ugly toque, and bulky gloves. Blessedly, Bill’s wondrous quilts have the same vibrant healing qualities for me.
Amongst my other winter coping strategies are grandchildren’s smiles. And Basset Hound cuddles. And model train magazines. And photography. And writing. And reading. And walking. And having a host of delicious projects to work on. And, of course, living with Bill. My list is impressive.
However, for three years – in 2017, 2018, and 2019 – my favourite coping strategy was planning our wintertime escapes to Australia. For those three glorious years, we left winter behind and let Air Canada gently deposit us in Australia’s glorious warmth and hospitality. Alas, we’ve not been able to do it in 2020, 2021, or 2022. But what I have been able to do is to look over the thousands of photographs I made on our trips. One of my favourite places to photograph was the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in the heart of that breathtaking city. I have curated a selection of twelve photographs in the hope that you will find them as healing and joyful as I do. Enjoy uncrating the sun!