‘Tranquil settings, the finest of surrounds within the peaceful and serene grounds complete with parklands and golf course.’ This all sounds absolutely superb but what the small print on the booklet didn’t tell me was that this would be, for me, a true bus-mans holiday.

It was a few weeks ago when invited away for a weekend to a wedding in the Irish countryside I and my partner tip-toed out of the entertainment to relax and walk the grounds for a little time and a quiet breath of fresh air in the outdoor suite know known to some as ‘The Michael Martin Lounge’. Although the overview of the mountain range was a picture post card to say the least, as we walked I found the intricate detailing of to be a little less than I would have got away with as a horticulturist and this be a contract of mine.

To analagise for the non-wedding fanatics; When asked to play golf, where on a very regular basis I decline every offer. I refuse on the basis that, possibly and extremely probably, standing at the tee-box waiting for my three companions to commence their four hours approximate non-perspirational sport – I find myself daydreaming, pondering, wondering and then examining (what some find as pure enjoyment) the ground beneath my feet, to the extent that my working mind overthrows the relaxation cells of my brain. When my good lady-on-arm asked what was wrong. (as if by chance the wedding had made me teary eyed and I, in the moment, fancied as a stroll up the aisle myself ?!!) To her dismay I pointed out that there seemed to be no evidence of any use of a semi selective translocated herbicide via a calibrated sprayer on the main lawns and that the rambling roses really could use a little systemic fungicide and insecticide. I don’t think she really wanted to hear the dilution rates in hindsight!

The thought crossed my mind that although I do sincerely love the trade that I am in, in order for me to attain the same overwhelming factor that my non-horticulturalised friends derive from their ‘getaways’ I would need to retire myself from the trade to ascertain the same procurement. Understand when I say that I truly do and have embraced my career but sometimes, just sometimes it’s nice to switch off. The question is how and where?

The reality I love every day of my working life and ‘switching off’ is not something I want to ever do.