It feels almost like summer, a day for throwing open the windows and revelling in the sun on your skin. I wore pale blue cotton trousers and a summer top and sat drinking a skinny cappuccino and reading my book feeling like a pampered princess. Bare feet and arms and the sun on my skin is enough to raise my happiness levels from 0 to 10 in the space of opening my eyes. Hearing the birds singing outside the window and the light filtering through the blinds as I wake is good for my soul.
Throwing off the blanket of winter and feeling myself begin to emerge from a long phase of being cocooned has been happening over the last months. Healing from any injury or illness is a slow process. As I am shedding some layers of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually it seems they are all tied together. No big revelation there, but the process is something to be treasured as well as the outcome. For after all, we are all in the process of becoming. The thing is, how to learn to just stay in the process whatever and wherever it takes me? That being in the moment thing.
The curse of depression is a dreadful sense of isolation and disconnection which comes with it. Some days it seems like a deep dark place that you just want to hide in for ever. Add to that any addiction and the sense of isolation and despair increases. Being grateful is a simple skill in theory and one to practice for the sense of hope it can give.
Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.
This weeks photo challenge is ‘colourful’. This shot is of the Kids Field at Glastonbury festival 2010. Both times I have been the Kids Field is one of my favourite places. It is full of magic, colour and play just as every childhood should be. It’s a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by, enjoy the crafts and play areas and watch shows designed for every age of child. As a 40 and 50 something the times I’ve been, my qualifications for entry are only that my inner child couldn’t resist.
I love this elephant, like all the best surprises we came across it unexpectedly in a walk through some gardens.
These gardens light up a busy road every Spring. The attention to detail and colour is awesome and traffic slows down every year to see them. The gardens and the gardener always seem to me like an act of altruism, they can be seen best by passers-by rather than the house owners. For a few weeks every year they are a source of utter joy.
Because it is a sign of Spring. Because it is beautiful. Because it is bright. And yellow as sunshine. Because it is.
Just a simple thing. Wild roses on the lakeside. Delicate pink touches the tips of petals. Joy in small everyday sights.
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View of the extended raised bed
Mary,Mary Quite contrary
How did your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.
I always loved that rhyme as a child. Our garden still aspires to be pretty as well as practical but the joy of seeing the vegetables coming up is just as much fun to see.
thought it was time for a vegetable garden update. After a very hot April and May we have returned to a more English summer of rain and warmth interspersed with days when you wish you’d worn that sweater. Its meant an end to daily watering and fears of the ever looming hose pipe ban and the garden has been very grateful.
Potatoes and carrots
The spring cabbage and potatoes are shooting up. The carrots are very pretty with their feathery tops and the onions are beginning to look a bit more sturdy. Somehow the days get away from me so the 2nd raised bed has been waiting to be ‘raised’ with the rhubarb plant I didn’t kill sitting proudly in the middle. This afternoon I resurrected my bricklaying skills ( see picture for evidence, and stop chortling at the back!) and added another few feet. I added some soil improver for our clay soil, lots of chicken poo and voila. Ready for the red cabbage which has to go in or it will start climbing out of its plug plant box all by itself.
Red cabbage plants
Every time I go in the garden I get lost in plans for the future. Sometimes just sitting there with a cup of tea counts as gardening. Honestly.
Greenhouse. Chickens. Flower beds. Less lawn ( or grass as it should be called, lawn implies something altogether more pristine and cared for).
And then there are the birds to watch. The big bully pigeons get on my nerves. They shove and throw their weight about . But today a robin sat on a stray basketball in the garden and hopped between that and the bench under the tree. I didn’t get a picture, maybe next time.
Spring cabbage and Potatoes in raised bed
salad leaves on their way
The vegetable patch is coming on, this year I’m growing some veg I haven’t tried before. Last year I grew in pots on the patio until I coud get a patch of land clear so this year we have space for potatoes, spring cabbage and onions in one plot. Some herbs in the smaller bit – feverfew, mint and chives so far. I have another big pot with potatoes, one with carrots and some salad leaves and beetroot in others. Still to be sown are yellow and green courgettes ( got to get going with them!) and some red cabbage plants all ready to grow on.
Spring cabbage, onions and potatoes and Mr Frog
I’ve been growing sunflower seeds on the windowsill just for fun, look how fast they grew! Now to find a nice sunny spot by the hedge for them to be planted out and hopefully wave their sunny faces at us. The seeds will be a treat for the birds later on.
Last years rhubarb plants which i thought would never take in our poor clay soil have got a new lease of life. I reckon next year we might have a nice crop from them. The ground has been treated to bags of organic soil improver and lashings of chicken and horse poo. I’m still ogling websites for chicken coops and chickens which I would love to have. Maybe next year?! One of my favourite sites is this one : http://www.bhwt.org.uk/
If you are in the UK check it out. The British Hen Welfare Trust re-home ex-battery hens and give them a whole new life. They may arrive looking tatty, feather-less and somewhat the worse for wear but they soon settle in, grow new plumage and become part of the famil. That is my plan anyway. I just have to sort a good home for them first. And just think of all that free chicken poo!
Rhubarb ( no custard)
And lastly – what is yet to come! There is the untamed wild / wildlife upper part of the garden. I didn’t get to the dandelion heads in time before the wind last weekend so we will have another bumper yellow crop in next years grass I’m sure 😦 Longer term we have plans to have a greenhouse on here. Not too big, but somewhere to grow seeds and tomatoes and maybe a few more exotic things like peppers and cucumber. We have a load of old paving stones which I will start putting down later in the summer as a hard standing base. Then all we have to do is ave up for the greenhouse or hopefully find one on freecycle!
There is something about being in the garden and growing things that gets under your skin and into your blood. My ‘gatherer’ nature emerges as I see the seeds begin to sprout and green shoots appear out of blank brown earth. It is good for the soul.
And here is froggy who is bouncing up and down and keeping a beady eye on my cabbages.