Sitting down for tea at a friend's house one day in an old neighborhood called Straits View, I took in the long expansive hillside views from her terrace. Apart from a single house below hers, the view rolled uninterrupted into the Sultan's palace grounds, an area that he has left as virgin forest. As far as the eye could see there was nothing to interrupt the vista of trees, clouds and sky, one that I was hard pressed to believe was still available in the urban sprawl that my hometown has become.
I was at the time beginning to look for a property so that I could have some studio space with maybe a small garden. Somewhere I could work from and and perhaps stay too, occasionally. This gorgeous view I was enjoying, was ruining the modest expectations I was harboring for this abode. This. This is what I really wanted, an old house with a garden with views. Ugh. I hate you I told my friend to which she chuckled.
The next morning she called, incredulous. You are never going to believe this, she spluttered. Someone who lives down the street had come to her gate asking if she knew of anyone who might be interested in renting his uncle's property - that single house below hers. Yes she said, I'll get him to call you.
If the universe had conspired to effortlessly put this into my lap, then it soon played hard to get as months of dialogue with the owners seemed to stall with a complicated set of family circumstances. Then it fell back on course and I held the keys in my hand, the keys to a house with a garden so large it has taken me the best part of a year to sink my teeth into and I am not including the part of the garden that I haven't even touched yet, the incredulous bonus part, an orchard with eight mature fruiting trees.
Apologies for the long silence, I am back and ready to tell you about how I have become somewhat more than an occasional gardener.