The Scent of Flowers

Nicholas Quirke was reflecting on his adventures on 31 March 2020, after reading that the British Government were providing charter flights for Britons stranded abroad. Of course, he felt far from stranded as every step he had taken since 12th January removed him from what he felt was for him a bleak outlook in the Uk after leaving Europe, and he had no intention at this time to return to a country already in the grip of the epidemic, to give up the relative freedom he was enjoying In this wonderful city. It was almost 3 months since he embarked on his latest odyssey but he had experienced so much, it seemed like a lot more time had passed, though the world had completely changed After his fast day, it was good to have something to placate his stomach, which was in riot by breakfast and a healthy detox Smoothie was just the thing he needed to give him some much needed energy. As he was going about his morning duties there was an unexpected visit from the the police and the neighbourhood officers. They wanted to know how long he was staying for, which information he was able to provide. The authorities are still very jumpy about foreigners, and it must be strange for them to understand why someone would stay when movement is restricted. They were trying to understand why and explaining he was hanging on till he could see more of China and the East, and not go home where at the moment Corona virus was rampant and his home was rented out, defeated them all and he was finally forced to get in touch with Peng. He naturally managed, once again, to put the world to rights and make a mild complaint to them at the same time for scaring his English friend. Not that Nicholas had been fazed by the disturbance, on the contrary it had been an intriguing situation to be in. Once his chores had been completed he had a tea, a snack and set of on the discovery he had set himself. Spring was in full flow, the trees in the neighbourhood were in bloom and the scent of honey and lilac filled the air and the famous Beihai Park lured him to its environs. Despite the overcast look to the day he was feeling a little over heated as he peddled to Jade Flower Island, the area of the Park open to the Public. He had to pay to get into the park, though a mere 5 Yuan, 60p and it was worth every penny. The park was stunning. Tress, and Magnolias and shrubs in bloom their scents filling the air. The views of the lake were beautiful and the island itself, with half glimpsed temples and and tableaux through trees and portals. Lava rock and stone steps opening onto images of trees and water and sweeping pillared walkways that hint at its imperial, languorous, indolent past. After a long walk and exploration he stopped at the gift shop, which also served tea and spotted a couple of hats he had his eye on but in the end, with the memory of his conversation with his sister and niece he purchased a pack of playing cards of emperors and concubines. His mouth was still sore and it made eating very difficult so he inadvertently found himself semi fasting again which meant supper for him was a smoothie as it was straight down the throat. Peng ordered some medication for him and hopefully the infection would be resolved. It had been a long day in the air and he was ready for bed when slumber called.


  1. Hi Nicholas – could you be a bit deficient in Vit B12 ?The park is beautiful – loving reading your blog – take care – Ollie

    1. I do take a b12 supplement Olly. Though it could be like my bones which were deficient in calcium as I was not getting enough. Thanks for the trip. Lovely to her from you.

  2. As ever, wonderfully edited and put together, flowing hypnotically with the music. Most enjoyable. You are really not missing a thing over here, so hope you continue to absorb Tianxia and living like a local.

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