Tag Archives: Loss

In a Vase in Monday – winter childhood memories (and fuchsia too)

“Hope”  Leia Organa in Rouge One (2016)

I’ve been thinking about Winter alot this week, it was the metrological start of Winter on last Friday, 1st December.   It’s been cold, but sunny in Manchester, we’ve had a couple of nights of frost so that’s finished off the final flowers – apart from the perennial wallflowers and some violas. Christmas is on everyone’s mind – trees and decorations going up, toy adverts everywhere.   I’m feeling fairly ambivalent about Christmas this year – despite looking forward to spending time with My Chap.  We had a wonderful wedding day, and we’re incredibly happy together. But this has been a truly dreadful year – we each lost a brother this year. Both incredibly loved and missed – I can’t express in words how devastated I am about my wonderful brother Matt – I think about him every day and I always will.

However, I know that we have to carry on with life. Christmas coming has got me thinking of childhood memories too. I did something I haven’t done for decades and bought an Advent Calendar.

4 December 2017 – climbing fuchsia ‘lady in black’ and Winter moons illustration with

But first, in this week’s In A Vase on Monday, I’ve picked Lady in Black which is a bit of an unusual fuchsia – it’s a hardy, climbing fuchsia. My mum, who loves fuchsias, bought it for me a couple of years ago.  it’s still getting established and is only about two foot high and not really filled out yet. It lives at the end of our garden on our decking, so it’s the very last fuchsia still flowering.  There were more flowers when I picked them but they fell off as I walked up the garden – typical.  I’m only a day late for this link up which makes a change 🙂

The fuchsia is displayed in a bud vase which has appeared in IAVOM regularly, as have fuchsias – including for the last two weeks

The print came from a magazine – it’s a picture of a Wolf along with the three moons associated with winter – Cold moon (December), Wolf moon (January) and Snow Moon (February). Most of these names originate from Native American or Celtic descriptions. There are three other prints, so I’m sure they’ll be appearing on the blog another time too.

4 December 2017 – Our bistro table on the decking Summer 2015 (with yoda too)

I’ve not got a picture of the decking in winter, but here’s a photo from a few years ago – it’s my sanctuary.  We spend alot of time, relaxing and thinking especially as it gets the last of the evening sun.  #dreamingofsummer.   You’ll also notice yoda peeking out from the fuchsias. He makes me smile every time I see him. He’s appeared on the blog many times too. check out #yoda

Advent Calendar 

It’s no ordinary Advent calendar it’s a Lego Star Wars one. I’ve thought about buying one for a couple of years but this year thought I’d buy it and think of all the happy times with Matt. We had a very large lego collection and spent hours playing with it.

Star Wars came out when I was 11 and my brother a year younger. We went to see it with our amazing Uncle Fred, who loved the theatre and films. We saw it in Leicester Square in the West End of London and I remember the crawler opening very clearly

‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ Star Wars – A New Hope (1976)

and ducking as the Imperial battle cruise passed over. We loved it, and watched the film three or four times that summer. And countless times since then.  We had lightsabers toys at Christmas – wish we’d kept them but I think they were in a right state. We were hooked on Star Wars and watched the subsequent films many, many times. I’ve written about Star Wars on the  blog too – it’s definitely a shared experience for people my age watching all three films at the cinema, waiting for the next instalment, and like many I wasn’t particularly impressed with all aspects of the prequals.

4 December 2017 – The Ghost, The Phantom and Sabine Lego Advent Calendar 2017

My Chap wasn’t much of a fan, as he’d only seen Phantom Menace (1999) and all he could remember was the jar jar binks character (not impressed). But he’s taken me to see Force Awakens (2015) and Rouge One (2016) and enjoyed them very much, so I think he’s slowly getting hooked. Only a minor eye roll when I bought home the calendar.  But, I’m looking forward to opening the doors, building the toys and thinking of my brother.  My favourite characters are Leia and yoda – there’s a lot of wise thinking in Star Wars including advice for managers 😉.

I really must read The Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher 🙂 although I’m so nackered I think I might need to get an audio book instead.  I read Postcards from the Edge many years ago and loved it. She’s a great loss to the world  and also taken far too young.

I’m so excited about The Last Jedi – fortunately I know quite a few geeky Star Wars fans so will have people to talk to about it with, but it won’t be the same not taking to my brother about it.

My Chap and I are both hoping that things will improve in 2018 – I’m doing my best with exercise, eating well, mindfulness, yoga but most of all being kind to myself and self-care too.  But time heals and helps – and hope helps too.

#365daysofselfcare this week involved:

  • Managing #anhouroutside everyday – I went for walks around the neighbourhood and at work, and gardening. One day it rained so persistently I was potting up in the porch.
  • Finding some new mindfulness articles and guided meditations about managing pain 🙂
  • Ordering the Christmas food so I don’t need to stress, running round to get it at the last minute. My Chap works ridiculously long hours in the run up to Christmas so can’t do much to help.
  • Getting out the Star Wars dvds 🙂
  • Booking a Christmas wreath making course. Cathy who hosts in a Vase on Monday over at Rambling in the Garden has her door wreath as her ‘Vase’. Do have a look 🙂

Are you a star wars fan or are you looking forward to another film over the Christmas Holidays? 

There’s a fuchsia called star wars but it’s stopped flowering in my garden now… But it will be back – it’s always here like The Force

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

P.S. I bought My Chap a Thornton’s chocolate Advent Calendar so he wasn’t left out 😉 I bought both items full price and wasn’t asked to write about them.

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In a Vase on Monday – sweetpeas (late but not forgotten) 

I’ve not been in the garden as much as I’d like this year, mainly lack of time, far too much going on.  Another devastating bereavement, my wonderful brother, I can’t express in words how much I miss him.   His death in March, led to major health relapse, my osteoarthritis went into meltdown. I’m much better now than I was, back at yoga, walking and feeling much more myself.  One of the reasons, I was so busy, was very good though – My Chap and I got married in September 🙂  more about that in other posts 🙂

It’s never too late to spend time in the garden though, so I’ve been out tidying up, and pruning.  I was at the bottom of the garden, and hidden behind a huge bush of purple perennial wallflower, I found some Spencer sweetpeas still flowering. I was gobsmacked,  as the sweetpeas at the back door, and front door, were over about a month ago.

Pink and purple sweetpeas in tall round glass vase

9 November 2017 – In a Vase on Monday – Spencer sweetpeas with lavender

Finding the sweetpeas reminded me that I’d not joined in with Cathy and her ‘In a Vase on Monday’ over on Rambling in the Garden for over six months.  I need to rectify that!  She’s got a Vase representing fireworks this week – it looks awesome.

So here’s more about the vase and the flowers:

  • these are Spencer sweetpeas,  they grow to over 6 foot, and I love the colour combinations, and of course, the smell. I buy them as small seedlings even though they’d be easy to grow from seed. We’ve only got small window sills and no room for a greenhouse – so needs must.
  • I’ve tried dwarf sweetpeas but the Spencer ones are definitely the most reliable in soggy Salford – if they avoid the slugs 😉
  • Sweet peas have appeared many times In a Vase on Monday over a couple of years – have a look on the #sweetpea hashtag
  • I love their scent – it still manages to waft around our tiny house days after they’ve been picked.
  • The lavender come from the newer plants we bought for our wedding, joining about 7 bushes dotted around our front garden. We’d planned to use them as centre pieces at our wedding but, due to a soggy September, most had gone over by our wedding day.  All wasn’t lost though – lots of lavender confetti.
  • The vase came from a local charity shop – a pound!

Near the wallflower is an offshoot of the honeysuckle, it’s rather taken advantage of one of our garden ‘sculptures’. It had the very last of the flowers. It’s made me smile watching it overtake the poll. And much like the sweetpeas, it’s found a way forward. Not the path it was expecting, but reaching for the light and flowering, despite obstacles – a bit like me.  It’s ‘supposed’ to be growing up the fence about four foot away.  I took a photo in May for #wordlesswednesday which shows how much it’s grown

9 November 2017 – errant honeysuckle and a watering can sculpture (and yoda too)

It’s been a very difficult few years but I am so fortunate to have my Chap holding my hand (sometimes metaphorically), my family and friends all around the world, by my side.  I know I need to take care of myself too.

An empty jug (or watering can) can’t pour – Anonymous

I’ll be paying attention to self-care – mindfulness, yoga, walks, fun, rest, Earl Grey tea – the smell of lavender. #365daysofselfcare

What I do know is Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. So on that note I plan more adventures in the across the North, the world, up a hill or two, buy the sea, drinking a Pimms,  eating a cake or just chilling in the garden.  I hope you’ll join us.

And as Yoda says,

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

Wordless Wednesday (not) – glorious birthday memories

Today would have been Steve’s 48th birthday, who died so suddenly in April this year. He was a kind, funny, smart man with many interests including hill walking, United, cooking, science, travel, music, tennis, cryptic puzzles, real ale and darts.  A proud Lancastrian too.

I did what we’d have done on such a glorious day and went for a walk in the hills.  I went on one of our favourite walks which brought back so many happy memories.

White Coppice Cricket Ground - 15 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Ground – 12 August 2015

He loved cricket too – and we’ve watched alot of cricket at Lancashire cricket ground. Today, I went to one of his favourite cricket grounds  – it combines his love of cricket and hill walking.

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion and the west pennine moors - 12 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion and the west pennine moors – 12 August 2015

I went to White Coppice Cricket Ground (which is near Chorley in Lancashire) and went for a walk up Great Hill which is part of the West Pennine Moor – it’s beautiful especially on a sunny, summer day – glorious 12th indeed – not that Steve thought grouse shooting was a good thing to do.

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion in the trees

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion in the trees – 12 August 2015

A favourite walk of ours which brought back so many happy memories – we’ve watched plenty of cricket at White Coppice and it has a fine tea shop (open at the weekend) if you’re in the area.

roller out at White Coppice Cricket ground

roller out at White Coppice Cricket ground – 12 August 2015

Steve is so missed by so many people, but especially me – we were together for 20 years, ever  since we met at University in Stirling, and although we split up amicably 7 years ago – we remained good friends.  He and my Chap we’re good pals too – and had much in common like cooking, hill walking, gardening, travel, history and very similar values in life.  My chap thinks cricket is the world’s dullest sport though!

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion - 15 August 2015

White Coppice Cricket Pavilion – 15 August 2015

The White Coppice Cricket Ground is mentioned in the 100 most picturesque cricket club’s in Wisden; it was founded in the 1870s.  I really love this place and it is just so quitessentially English.   The groundsman told me that White Coppice is where Sir Henry Tate was born, as in the Gallery. It’s a tiny place now but back in the 19th century there were tin mines and mills.

cottages at White Coppice Cricket Ground - copyright R Jones 12 August 2015

cottages at White Coppice Cricket Ground – 12 August 2015

I cannot express in words how much I miss Steve – but his wit, kindness and ‘joie de vivre’ is always with me. He is missed by so many people as he touched people’s lives and made a difference to everyone he met.  I am so fortunate that all our many friends, his work pals and old friends from University but especially my wonderful Chap are helping me with all the practical things as well as all the grief too – that and my garden, flowers and the beauty of Nature.

Public Footpath to Belmont and Brinscall - 12 August 2015

Public Footpath to Belmont and Brinscall – 12 August 2015

I had a lovely day on the hills and it lifted my soul… and the sheep didn’t eat my sandwishes – they nicked Steve’s ham butty once…didn’t do it again…

Rest in Peace – Gentle Giant

Carpe Diem

love

Bec xxx