Was I ready for my house-warming and birthday party? It’s taken me nearly two years to be ready. For the first year I was publishing and selling a new book. Somehow I hadn’t become settled enough, and there was always more to do. One thing I’d planned was to create a flowering garden in pots on my balcony.

The white hyacinth was just beginning to push out of the soil and into bloom, and the freesias were hanging out their fragrant petals, but that was all – because I was stopped by a broken wrist. ‘Never mind, I’ll go ahead anyway, and just enjoy the afternoon,’ I decided.
But the garden appeared! Two friends, separately, had gone to the Eden Garden tulip day, and each brought me a pot of red tulips.

Another brought a gorgeous apricot begonia to sit inside.

 Others brought daffodils, and bunches of violets.
And cards with pictures of flowers, and a bunch of camellias . . .

And so the garden came to me. I’ve been drinking in the beauty ever since, and giving thanks for the way in which the presence of so many loving friends has blessed my home.
It’s so important to have a house warming. I know it took me a while to get it organised, but it turned out that it happened at the perfect time.
The Irish have a rather nice blessing for such an occasion:

May your home always
be too small
to hold all of your friends.

There was a moment in the middle of the afternoon when I felt that my home was about to burst with joy.