Books Magazine

Wonderland - My Happy Place

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Wonderland  -  My Happy Place

I’m privileged to be in my happy place in this season of Winter Wonderland and witness again the splendour of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.An ice-cream in August by the Solway Firth seems like a million moons ago to me now. Lush green has given way to shades of copper and rust in hedgerows and woodland and every view is simply stunning. It is nature at its best.

I was nine years old when my family and I moved into our pub on south promenade. During that first summer of settling in and exploring, we went to the Pleasure Beach. Candyfloss, rock, hot-dogs, fried onions, burgers and seafood. Imagine all these strong scents mingled together and this is the all-round smell I grew up with, including beer and tobacco closer to home, but this was my first impression of the Pleasure Beach. I remember going on the Alice in Wonderland ride and being scared. It was the falling down the rabbit hole bit. Very effective nearly sixty years ago and I can’t say if any changes have been made as I haven’t returned. In those days, there was no charge to walk round the Pleasure Beach and no such thing as wristbands.Rides were paid for individually.The current way of doing things and the costs prevent me from taking my grandchildren any time soon.

Snug in a cosy lodge, outside white with frost, I’ll make the most of the rest of our stay. I’ll top up the bird-feeders every day and enjoy watching them being emptied. Red kites are fascinating and entertaining, gracefully circling, looking for prey. This unspoilt simple life is my chosen wonderland.

My Haiku,

Surrounded by trees,

A cosy and peaceful lodge

Is my wonderland.

Beyond evergreens,

Rhododendrons, firs and pines,

Acres of farmland

Glisten in the frost

Of early winter morning,

Waiting for the sun

To rise above hills.

Gentle clouds streak a blue sky.

Beautiful daybreak.

Admiring redkites,

Gracefully soaring above,

A roost of hundreds

Watching and waiting

Whistling their high pitched shrill call,

Then swooping to feed.

A short drive away,

The quiet of the forest

Brings tranquillity.

PMW 2023

Thanks for reading, Pam x

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