Flashback Friday #20

Late September in 2009 I was fortunate to accompany my OH to a conference in Geneva. A place I once lived and worked in as an Au Pair way back in 1972. This post was written about a particularly lovely trip whilst exploring the area on my own.


A tale about getting lost might involve taking the wrong train, having a lousy navigator beside you, or leaving the compass at home. It could also mean losing one’s mind in the moment, being absorbed in a stunning painting or architectural style, momentarily forgetting who you are and where you are.

There have been many moments in my life when that is true.

Getting physically lost can be exciting, frightening or frustrating, but generally if you keep on going you always arrive somewhere.

Getting lost spiritually however can be a journey of discovery.

chateau and marina at Yvoire - France“It was hot. The last week in September, but feeling more like mid-summer with the sun kissing my skin and a soft breeze floating offshore. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and the boats bobbing in the little marina. The majority of the crowd disembarked from the ferry and made their way to one of the two nearby restaurants on the quayside. I watched them melt away before making my decision to explore first and eat later.

In immense anticipation I made my way through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval village to “Le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens,” (the Garden of Five Senses) and my “raison d’être” for visiting Yvoire.

astersIn an oasis of tranquillity you can smell, touch, contemplate, listen and taste.

The garden is divided into rooms where you can connect with flavours, fragrances and textures.

Gently touch the furry quince or spiky heads of the teasels; smell the chocolate cosmos and rub the apple-scented pelargonium leaves between your thumb and fingers; study the glacial-blue of a clematis, the considered planting of deep pink asters amongst paler pink Japanese anemones; nibble spearmint, chocolate mint or a sprig of rosemary and sit and listen to the birds splashing cheerfully in the bird bath in the centre of the maze of hornbeams.

Sparrows bathing

As I relaxed on a bench, undisturbed, the sun burning two copper discs onto my retina, I drifted into another world:

lost in the moment

My senses reaching out to the sensations around me, aware only of what I could hear and smell and feel – the babbling water and the incessant birdsong mingling in the background, the perfume of the flowers and the light soft breeze on my face.”

If you want to read more about this lovely garden then I have a longer post on my flower blog.

And this post is all about the village itself.

This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

26 thoughts on “Flashback Friday #20”

  1. I agree with Tish, your writing is captivating, Jude. It could have been the opening of a novel I’d love to read. Well done! And beautiful illustrated too! Xx

    1. Thank you Hanne. Have you read the post about the garden on my flower blog? That has many more photos.

    1. A true garden in which you could be ‘mindful’ Sue. One where you could immerse yourself in all your senses. Of course I was lucky in that I was practically the only person there at the time. I imagine at peak holiday season this garden would be full of visitors.

  2. Being lost ‘in the moment’ is definitely the best way to be lost. Nicely descibed, Jude. We can all piture that.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  3. I had to dig around for this one. Perhaps I need to refollow you? Scratches head… Anyway, it’s lovely. I’m drifting back in time with you 🙂 🙂

  4. I’ve read that in at least some native American languages the equivalent of “I’m lost” doesn’t make sense: a place may be lost, home may be lost, but a person’s self is always present.

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