I'd just popped into Doddington Hall farm shop for some cherries, organic beetroot and wild boar sausages . . .
. . . when I was seduced by a path leading into a Secret Garden . . .
. . . and at once found myself in a magical world. Imagining myself to be Peter Rabbit or Benjamin Bunny, I tiptoed past Mr McGregor's' greenhouse . . .
. . . and scurried between two bean rows . . .
. . . until I came to rest in the hollow of an ancient chestnut tree. I must have dozed off for a while, and when I came to . . .
. . . I could hardly believe my eyes. I felt like Alice after swallowing the shrinking potion, then meeting the White Rabbit or the March Hare . . .
. . . or like Peter Pan encountering the tick-tocking Crocodile . . .
The world had gone quite mad. A huge steel eye hovered in the air before me like a flying saucer . . .
. . . stone megaliths sprang out of the ground chiselled with ferns like bishops' croziers . . .
. . . and gigantic dragonflies darted over the pond like Biggles' biplanes. Things were becoming curiouser and curiouser.
I tried to rest my feverish gaze on this comfortingly normal-looking fountain for a moment (normal, that is, if you think it's normal for half-naked winged cherubs to offer you a drink) . . .
. . . but my sensitised ears soon picked up the faint trotting of ghostly hooves . . .
. . . and some heavy thuds as various strange objects fell from the trees onto the orchard grass.
So I'd got my cherries after all, but they were much too big to put in my carrier bag.
I'd already put on oversized pear in there and was walking lopsidedly enough already.
Half-intoxicated by the heady scent of fermented fruit I staggered drunkenly . .
. . . past two very still reclining ladies sharing some intimate secrets . . .
. . . and tried to find my way back to the door by which I'd entered, but unfortunately this maze had first to be negotiated . . .