World Arthritis Day – my hand, his hand, our future

12 October 2016 – always holding my hand – sometimes metaphorically :-) 

My chap picks me up when I fall, holds my hand and is always by my side – my rock.  He’s always so positive, even when life throws up problems.

On #worldarthritisday I’m reaffirming a promise I made to myself – to keep going forwards.  

I was diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in my fingers and toes in Summer 2015 aged 48 – and in my lower back in September 2016. I’ve had chronic back pain for six years so I think the arthritis has been developing for a while.  It’s constant pain, every walking moment of every day – nothing stops the pain, painkillers aren’t a solution for me.  Mindfulness helps as does yoga and tail chi – it’s trying to manage my pain and stiffness. 

But, I carry on with life, doing as much as I can.

Sunshine and warm weather help me;  I’m having a good week as we are on holiday in Lisbon. I track my symptoms with the ‘cloudy with a change of pain’ App developed my researchers at the University of Manchester.  It’s a citizen scientist investigating if the weather affects peoples’ arthritis pain and other symptoms. anyone can get involved.  It’s really helped me. 

In a Vase on Monday – A change is as good as a rest

A change is a good as a rest – proverb

A change of work is the best rest. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four (1888) – 2nd Sherlock Holmes novel

The more regular readers of this blog will have noticed that MOST of my flowers vases contain purple, pinks, lilac and white flowers with red appearing now and again. So perhaps people might think that’s the only colour scheme in our garden – it’s not.  I walked round looking for flowers to pick, it was a very overcast day here in Manchester, a couple of different yellow flowers popped out from the gloom.

Definitely time for a change!  So this week’s In a Vase on Monday, in a milk bottle vase, has many yellow flowers and a bit of red too.

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea milk bottle vase

In a Vase on Monday – Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea – 26 September 2016

It looks so cheery, even though it’s feeling very Autumnal:

  • Coreopsis – sunfire – I really liked their raged edge.
  • Pansy🙂
  • Red dianthus –these flowers have appeared in ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before:
  • Achillea – it comes in many colours and sizes. This one starts as yellow and fades to pink/yellow.  It only grows about 18 inches high.  I don’t know its name as it was a gift.  Its common name is yarrow and it’s appeared in a vase before.
  • White sweetpea – this is the very last flower from the plant at the end of the garden.

Yellow is associated with happiness and joy especially for flower bouquets it represents new beginnings – so that seems appropriate too – since I’m about to enter a new decade.

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea milk bottle vase

Coreopsis – sunfire, red dianthus, Achillea, sweetpea – 26 September 2016

Do have a look at Cathy’s flowers over on ‘Rambling in the Garden’ – she has one vase with very architectural pink Nerine which look stunning.   She has another vase which has dahlias, zinnia and Persicaria amplexicaulis as well as foliage from oca –  It’s  a New Zealand yam – I’d never heard of this before.

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In a vase on Monday – keep calm and carry on

The future depends on what you do today.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) 

It’s been an incredibly busy Summer for us.  The organisation I work for has been through a complex restructure;  I’ve moved team, building and started in a brand new role – so there’s been alot of reading, meeting new people and setting up projects and activities.  I’m enjoying the new role and all the new challenges – rather tiring though and my arthritis and back pain have been giving me gip.   I feel like I’m trudging through treacle at the moment but I know all the knowledge and processes I’m setting up will help me later on.

I’ve been so busy, I’ve not contributed to the ‘In a Vase on Monday’ theme since June which I’ve missed very much. I’ve picked flowers fairly often, and even photographed them a few times but have always run out of time writing the ‘actual’ blog post.  I’ve been looking at everyone’s vases though – the vases and the people and their stories bring me much solace.

I’m hoping I’ll have a bit more time to blog as we head towards Christmas.  There’s less options for flowers/plants for vases but I’ll do my best.

Red keep calm and carry on sign pink vase flowers

Keep calm and carry on – it’s been hectic – In a vase on Monday – 21 September 2016

1. In a Vase on Monday

For this week’s vase, I picked some purple, lilac and pink ‘Spencer’ sweetpeas – they’ve from two different locations one at the front door (you can see them in the background) and the other near our decking at the bottom of the back garden.  The flowers have smelt wonderful. I didn’t fare quite so well with the dwarf sweetpeas – no flowers at all so I don’t think I’ll bother growing them again, I’ve tried growing them for three years but no success.  There’s so little space in our garden everything has to pull its weight.

There’s also some mini red dianthus, some white and red margarite flowers.  Also some pink Pelargonium from a huge plant which I’ve managed to overwinter three times.  There’s some purple wallflowers which survived our mild Mancunian winter – they’ve been flowering all summer too.  And of course, some lavender.  Lavender is one of my favourite plants, I adore the smell. I’ve got about 15 plants in the sunny front garden and a few in the sunniest part of the back garden.   Most of these plants have been flowering most of the summer and have bought us alot of pleasure. We eat out in the garden as much as we can – mind you the weather in Manchester this year has been very changeable (and wet alot of the time).

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Wordless Wednesday – man v moutain beaten – for the motor neurone disease association #RunMND

RunMND shirt motor neurone disease association medal Man v mountain 2016

Wordless Wednesday – Man v Mountain beaten raising money for Motor Neurone Disease association – 7 September 2016

I am so proud of My Chap. On Saturday, he ran from Caernafon up Snowdon and down again, climbing obstacles, abseiling and swimming though lakes. 21 miles mostly trail running – the event is Man vs Mountain, there were lots of women running too😉    It was brutal, the weather was horrible, wet and windy.  He was raising money, and awareness, for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, because his brother has this vile disease.  #RunMND #nofinishlineuntilacure