My trip to London’s ‘The Garden at 120’
It was mid March. My Class 11 academic year and my younger sister’s Class 7 year had drawn to a close. My father works as a captain in merchant navy, and he returns to our Bengaluru home every year around this time for a month’s break. We had heard him speaking about London that he gets to see three to four times every year. We used to look at him with gaping eyes as he spoke about the many go-to places of this fashionable city. This year, he had returned with a fat bonus, and was in high spirits. My mother seized the opportunity to take us on holiday to London. We got the cue, and begged him to agree. He couldn’t break our hearts.
Our travel plans were drawn up hastily. Exactly, after ten days, we boarded a BA flight to London from Bangalore. My mother had did her schooling from London, so she was not the least awe-struck by the massive Heathrow airport, but my sister and I were clearly flummoxed. We drove to our hotel, and the same afternoon, we started our sightseeing. There was not much time let that evening, and my mother suggested we go to see the ‘Garden at 120’ that stood just two kilometers from our hotel. My mother had briefly told us about it.
When we got there, what we saw totally blew us off our feet. It was a massive rooftop garden situated in 120, Fenchurch Street. What it lacked in height, it made up in its vast spread. It was an architectural masterpiece. The lift took us to the 15th floor, and the picturesque sky garden unraveled before us. We got a 360 degree panoramic view of the bustling city. The evening lights were coming on, and since photography was allowed, we made generous use of our Apple phones, but my mom was peering into the manicured plants, all around. She is an avid terrace gardener, and the plants thrilled her immensely. She clicked their photos, spoke to the caretakers, and a few tourists from Thailand. Quite pleasantly for her, they too had similar interests.
We hung around that place till 9pm, when the PA system politely announced that the garden would soon close. My mother was still pouring over the plants, when my irate father asked all of us to head to the lift. Back in the hotel, my mother talked relentlessly about the ideas about terrace landscaping that she was carrying back, and her plans. We were too tired to hear her, and dozed off.
We say almost a quarter of London in that week-long trip, and begged our father to bring us the next year. He shrugged off the idea smilingly saying he does not get a fat bonus every year!