14 Jul



“This book – as you may by now have gathered – is not really a book at all; it is only a long walk round a garden, in winter and summer, in rain and in sunshine; and if it bores you to walk round gardens you will long ago have chucked it aside. So neither of us need worry.”*




It is with sadness that I turned to page 317 last night. My visit with Mr. Nichols, Miss Emily and Oldfield has come to an end. As I turned the door knob and closed the door behind me for the last time, I lingered on the stoop and stared into empty ether. And like so many tendrils, I was drifting along in Merry Hall’s gardens. Walking slowly while One and Four (the cats) followed.

Now alas, Nichols’ book must slide into its proper space between other books in my library but the words will forever float about, beckoning me back. And I, with anticipation, will fervently accommodate, knowing full well that my second visit will be “….more startling and more rich in beauty that (sic) the one that preceded it.”**

Deft, slightly disarming, and absolutely unforgettable, that when you too have turned the last page, you will want nothing more than a patch of land for your very own.

(John) Beverley Nichols (1898–1983)


*Pg 132, Chapter VII – The Scholar and the Cats
**Pg 238, Chapter XIII – Encores
Merry Hall ~ Beverley Nichols


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