Monthly Archives: February 2016

In a vase on monday - daffodils, wallflowers, helicrysom, curry plant and rosemary - 22 February 2016

In a vase on Monday – daffodils and dreams

You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.
Alain De Botton – Philosopher

It’s been an eventful few weeks – all the changes at work are becoming very real now, and all the legal issues around my friend’s death are nearly done.   I’m recovering well mentally and physically, though there’s a while to go yet – I know I’ll get to where I want to be – and can regain my inner and outer calm soon 🙂

I’ve always loved Daffodils.   I lived in flats for many years and often had vases of daffs around the house.
Once I got a garden (with a house) they were the first things I planted – there are many species around by garden.  My tête a têtes are always the first to flower (in late January this year!) and when they do – I know Spring is on its way.   There’s a great show from my crocuses and irises so maybe they’ll be in the vase next week.

I’ve also got some wall flowers still flowering from last summer (in a very sheltered part of my garden) – so I wanted to showcase them too.

In a vase on monday - daffodils, wallflowers, helicrysom, curry plant and rosemary - 22 February 2016

In a Vase on Monday – tête a tête daffodils, wallflowers, helichrysum, curry plant and rosemary – 29 February 2016

I picked dark green rosemary and silver grey curry plant because, I liked the contrast of colours and textures.  I thought they all went well with the blooms and Vase.

Herbs and spices are a huge part of our cooking. We’ve got 10 different kinds of mint in pots so it doesn’t spread around the garden.    My chap has been taking care of me by cooking great food – it’s one of the ways he shows his love for me (and others).  I wrote about him and all the other ‘chefs’ in my life in December.

The helichrysum had very small yellow flowers, and it was only it seems appropriate, that it is used in  ‘Everlasting’ and ‘Immortal’ Essential Oils.

The Vase is actually a recycled glass tealight holder which I bought at The Eden Project in 2014.  It’s made an appearance before:

My Chap and I have been making plans – we’ve booked a holiday to Cornwall in May.  I’m sure we’ll be visiting The Eden Project again, Heligan, Caerhays and some of the other great gardens of Cornwall – we didn’t get to Lanhydrock last year but will go there definitely.   I think we’ll be spending alot of time by the sea too.

I’m hoping I can get some more garden ornaments on our trip.  I’ve got quite a few rusty iron flowers and other decorations around the garden.  I really must write about them in a blog – as they’re carefully chosen, with memories and love associated with each one.

Collage 2016-02-22 daffodils

In a Vase on Monday – 29 February 2016

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has a wonderful vase this week in a Japanese style and has written about weddings and promises.   Do have a look at everyone’s vases from around the world and join in if you can.   These vases and all the blog writers lift my mood and inspire my planting 🙂 Thank you so much everyone – I’m trying to comment more in 2016.

iron daffodils and tete a tete

tête a tête daffodils, helichrysum,  and a new variety of Daffodils 😉 – 29 February 2016

Today I am thinking of promises made both long ago, and more recently but most of all – promises for the future.   I’ve only ever tried to do my best – I hope I have.

It seems appropriate to dream on the ‘extra’ day we have this year.  My ideas about what to do this year are coming together – which is helping me feel more content, but it’s scary at the same time.   I just know I need to be brave – and take the first step.  I know I need to believe in myself and ‘seize the day’.

As ever,  My Chap is always holding my hand (sometimes metaphorically) through all of life’s adventures on the ‘nice, uneventful days’ as well as the most challenging days.   I would have been in a real pickle if he hadn’t been here in 2015.

I am dreaming of the sunsets by the sea in Cornwall.  I hope things will be clearer by then… and I’ll be feeling less ‘bashed about by life’.

Have a lovely week – what have you done with your extra day?

Carpe Diem

love
Bec xxx

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three measuring cups - 1 cup, half cup and quarter cup

In a Vase on Monday – hellebore, half cup full, afternoon tea at Tatton Park

Some people see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. The enlightened are simply grateful to have a glass. Mark Desvaux – Life Coach at 4000Saturdays.

For my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ this week, I decided to pick some of the first flowers that appear in my garden – Hellebores.  There were a couple of reasons for this which I’ll explain – a trip to Tatton Park inspired me.

In a Vase on Monday - Hellebore and half cup cooking measure

In a Vase on Monday – Hellebore and half cup cooking measure – 15 February 2016

Cathy hosts ‘In a vase on Monday’ at Rambling in the Garden; this week she has a collection of three vases with daffodils – a symbol of Spring and lovely, bright colours which lifted my mood.  Do have look and join in if you can.  I think my tête-à-têtes daffodils will be appearing in my vase soon.

Afternoon tea at the Gardener’s Cottage, Tatton Park

On Saturday, My Chap and I went to Tatton Park.   We go often, as it’s only about 45mins drive from our house, and there’s always something interesting to see. I love the Japanese Garden in particular, especially the colours of the acers in the Autumn.  Tatton Park, is owned by the National Trust and is, of course, home to the Royal Horticultuaral Society.

I wonder what will happen to the Tatton Park show when RHS Bridgewater garden opens in 2019? I am VERY excited about this garden coming to Salford – great for tourism, employment and encouraging horticultural and ecological knowledge for everyone .  It’s going to be 3 miles from my garden too!

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Happy 1st Birthday – views from my garden bench

Time moves in one direction, memory in another

William Gibson (novelist) b 1947

I won’t ever forget 2015 – the most physically and mentally demanding year of my life – it all changed in late April when my friend died.  I have so many good memories from our adventures together over 25 years – we remained friends to the end.  I’m glad he and my Chap were good pals too.

All that happened last year stretched my resilence to its limit, but I’ve come through the other side.  It’s reminded me to stick to my principles, take care of myself and that there’s always a way forward, even if it’s tiny steps.   Counselling, mindfulness, tai chi, yoga, and walking in the great outdoors, espccially time in my garden, have all helped me top up my resilence.   My Chap, my family, and my friends all helped too. It’s a long and complicated journey to recovery but I’ll get there.

I started my blog a year ago today – here’s my first post  – much of what I said I’d write about is still just as relevant now:

  • where we visit – I love history as well as time in the garden
  • what’s been happening in our lives
  • cooking and crafting too
  • my thoughts and dreams for the future
  • many pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot.
  • And maybe, just maybe, some campervan adventures…(well that didn’t happen – the campervan went on its way in July 2015)

William Ford Gibson coined the team ‘cyberspace’ in 1984 and wrote about the principles that govern how something like the world wide web might operate.   Tim Burners Lee ‘invented’ the internet in 1989 (at CERN).  Cyberspace has given me so much over the years, I’ve worked with academics, since the early 1990s so I was an ‘early adopter’ of email and the www – I’m fortunate.  Most of all the web has given me ways to stay in touch with my friends and make new ones – and I met my Chap on an internet dating site five years ago.

Alot of the time last year, I’ve really struggled to write, which is a bit of an issue when I write for a living.  But my blog has helped as I can write about things I love.   I’ve found a lovely, friendly and helpful blogging community too – especially all the gardening bloggers.   I’m still an amateur gardener compared to most of them but that doesn’t matter.

I’ve joined a few topics which have helped me in the dark times:

  • In a Vase on a Monday

I’ve really enjoyed contributing to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by Cathy from ‘Rambling in the Garden‘ which involves picking flowers and plants from your garden or the local area and putting them in a vase.   Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is – so do join in.

I love looking at everyones vases, from across the world.  It’s given me so many ideas what to plant in my garden too. The flowers and vases have lifted my spirits in the dark times.
Most of all, everyone is so lovely, friendly and supportive.  I’m going to try to comment more this year on people’s vases.  I’ve appreciated every single comment on my vases, and I hope my vases and flowers have lifted someones mood too.

in a vase in monday

In a vase on Monday

See more of my Vases – 2015

  • #100happydays

The #100happydays challenge has helped me look for positive things every day, even when I’m having an exhausting day. My favourite part of the 100happydays challenge was writing about Lisbon – a wonderful city which I know we’ll visit again.

lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

Castle de Pena (10/100), don't panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100)

Castle de Pena (10/100), don’t panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100) #100happydays

I’m a bit stuck with my updates from December for #100happydays  at the moment – as 7th December was a very, very tough day but I got through it.  And frankly, I was glad to see the back of 2015.   You can catch up with more of my #100happydays photos here

Life IS better in the Garden
My garden continues to be my solace.  I know it, my pals and family, but most of all my wonderful Chap will help me get to where I want to be.

yoda in the snow and plaque Life's better in the Garden - copyright R Jones 2016

yoda in the snow – Life IS better in the Garden taken 17 January 2016

I think yoda will be making a few more apprearances in 2016 too…

Happy 1st Birthday Cottonopolis Women’s Institute – January 2015

I’m a proud member; I’ve tried so many new things this year, met lots of new pals and had fun too.    I’m going to write more about my WI adventures in 2016 too.  If you’re local join us… if not have a look for a local group.  There are Men’s Sheds too.

#100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

#100happydays for 2016 from Coed-y-brenin mountain bike centre

Blogging in 2016… Carry on carrying on

There’s alot of changes ahead at work but I’m going to try to look for opportunities, be positive and try to make a difference – and give everything including my blog, my best efforts – as I continue my recovery.  In 2016 my blog will cover:

  • where we visit – I love history as well as gardening
  • what’s been happening in our lives – we’ve got a holiday planned in Cornwall in May
  • more cooking and ‘crap’ crafting too.
  • my thoughts and dreams for the future – and to be braver!
  • more  pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot
  • yoda
  • This year I promise to write a bit more often, improve my photography skills, answer ALL my blog comments but most of all ‘Have fun blogging

Thank you to everyone who’s read or commented on my blog – I appreciate it more than I can say = I’m still surprised where you all come from.

I hope you’ll all tag along with me – Life’s an adventure – Live it

And I’ll be ‘seizing the day’ this year for definite, once I can find some more energy…

Offically Spring is around the corner (even though the daffodils and crocuses are already flowering)

Love

Bec xx

 

Wordless Wednesday -My first Blackberry and Apple Jam

Collage of Blackberry and Apple Jam - Inc Jars and Toast

#100happydays – Blackberry and Apple Jam For Cottonopolis Women’s Institute – 3rd Feb 2016

My first ever home made jam – for Cottonopolis Women’s Institute meeting 3rd February 2016 – http://www.cottonopoliswi.com/

See my #100happydays photos here