THE METEOROLOGICAL OFFICE weather forecasting app predicted a very rainy Sunday (23rd of April 2023). Despite this dire prediction, we headed out west from London to Henley-on-Thames. Not far from this charming riverside town is the estate of Greys Court, which we had visited several times before. We were lucky because the spring flowers in the gardens were in gloriously full bloom.
We found one part of the garden that we had not seen on earlier visits, probably because it is only open on Sundays. I believe that today was our first Sunday outing to the place. The section of the garden that is only open one day a week contains a circular maze. It consists of curving paths made of clay bricks set into the soil, and these are separated by low grassy ridges, In the centre of the maze there is a large spherical sundial, which was not working because the sky was overcast.
The maze was dedicated in 1981 by Robert Runcie (1921-2000), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980-1991. It was created for two purposes. One was to celebrate Runcie becoming Archbishop, and the other to create what a notice described as:
“… a space for reflection, exploring the idea that we should all help each other solve the mystery of the maze of life.”
Well, whatever its intention, it is an attractive garden feature.
As for the weather, we were out of the house for about five hours, and it only rained for less than 15 minutes whilst we were driving to Greys Court. The maze there might in some way solve the mystery of life, but the Met Office needs to do a lot more work on solving the mystery of weather forecasting.