Blossom Time

Nicholas Quirke was full of vitality when he got his day started on 7 April 2020. His stomach had settled, his sciatica was barely noticeable, mouth sores healed, feet ache free, weight down, fibromyalgia myalgia receding. The long list of minor ailments seemed to be abating and it felt like he could enjoy his time without a small and irritating complaint, the ravages of age, troubling him. Therefore, his morning, after finally tasting the cheesecake they had made, was taken up with his energy directed at the never ending cycle of of housework. Now he was settled in one place, maintaining an environment was back on the agenda and even in Beijing it was the same daily grind of cleaning, laundry, food prep and add onto that, preparing to go out in COVID-19 battle ready. Is plan for the day was to get to Jingshan Gardens, behind the Forbidden City and last visited in early February. It was now spring and he was looking forward to seeing the Blossom and trees in bloom in an imperial oriental setting. It was a good 6 km ride, though it ended up being longer as he was stopped from going down the road he wanted to and had to go back on himself. The route did take him past the ultra modern National Theatre in its impressive, moated landscape and he could not resist getting a couple of photos. By the time he got to the park the sun was blazing and he was energised by his cycle ride. At the ticket booth he was informed he had to book online. He felt disappointed and wanted to moan, though realised it would be a waste of time, but the operator continued and said if he was over 50 though, he could have a free ticket. Nicholas actually felt the day get brighter, the sun shine harder, in that moment. Here he was, now able to enjoy one’d of the joys of the city for nothing, he wondered if there were any other city delights he could make use of his age to enter. The park was in full bloom and the colours of the blossom on the various trees radiated warmth and spring. He was delighted to have the opportunity to see the park in full florescence and experience the vividness of the blossom against the rocks, the temples, the skylines which complemented each other to create a truly harmonious vision. He thoroughly enjoyed his wander through the gardens, lost again in time and in the imperial splendour, the views of the Forbidden City on this clear, smogless day were truly inspiring. He was full of brio and cycled the sim miles back. They needed some fresh spinach and he called in at the local supermarket where he bought a few items, which included nuts, spinach, mushrooms and asparagus, a bounty which would cost about £5 but in China cost him £1.62. That in itself was a small triumph fo the day. In the evening he wrestled once again with technical issues on his iPad which would drag into the next day and after a lovely exchange of words with Harvey he went to bed.


  1. What a beautiful day Nick. Spring has sprung. It is nice to see a picture of you without a mask. You look really well. You look like you have caught a bit of a tan; it”s probably just because of your healthy diet and all that excercise. It’s given you a healthy glow.

Leave a Reply