So the hot, sunny weather is over for the moment. It’s been raining on or off in Manchester all day, so I ran out into the garden to pick some flowers for the vase, you can still see the raindrops on the fuchsias. It’s a good thing it’s been raining, as the reservoirs, the farms and the gardens need it. The drawback for me is that my arthritis starts aching again; it’s been glorious having three months pain-free. Continue reading
You are enough, just as you are, right now – Anonymous
It’s been minus four all day both today and yesterday in Manchester (Mon 11th/ Tue 12th December 2017), it’s been gloomy but a biting wind. For a change, we swerved the heavy snow, hitting the Midlands instead, there was some snow on the hills that ring the city on Friday Night and during Saturday. We rarely get much more than a smattering of snow, where we live in #Monton, as it’s very flat, near canals and rather built up (the ground is too warm for snow to settle). Not that I’ve seen much of any snow, as I’ve been wiped out by a cold and in bed – my arthritis pain was a bit full on too. As usual My Chap has been looking after me 🙂 Still it could be worse, Cathy who hosts In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in The Garden in the Garden has a Vase of snowdrops and rose hips among rather deep snow this week. There are Northern and Southern Hemisphere contrinbutions so there’s always something lovely.
Today (Tue) I felt a bit better, so I wrapped up well and dashed outside, as I could see pink flowers on a very well sheltered hanging basket, and snipped a few stems. It was the trailing pelargonium (pictured in my blog header), I’ve managed to ‘over winter’ for five years now, along with another pink standard (non trailing) pelargonium. Also I found some lavender and did a little pruning of the rosemary that grows in the front garden and my mini bouquet was ready. I picked one of my mini jugs, partly because it had lovely pink roses on it, but also because I bought it at Bodnant Garden in North Wales in summer 2016. We got engaged there in the Rose Garden 🙂 Reminding me of sunny summer days 🙂
The picture frame and quote ‘you are enough just as you are right now‘ were used as a photo prompt for an Instagram Challenge I’m following from the Blurt Foundation (www.blurtitout.org) for December #blurtmerrycalmness. As it was so cold I took the photo in the porch at the front door; it has been a popular spot for photos recently as it gets the best light and is dry 😉
The photoframe and card represents DAY 7: WORTHY. I think it’s difficult at times to believe you’re good enough, especially if you’re ill and have long term health conditions. I’ve been working on accepting I’m enough. Mindfulness and affirmations help with this too.
Today’s prompt is COMFORT (DAY 12); it’s a picture of our ramen soup we had for dinner but of course, comfort comes from many things, not just physical aspects of life. Ive spoken before about how much IAVOM helps me – how flowers, plants and the great outdoors lift me.
About the Blurt Foundation – INCREASING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF DEPRESSION
Blurt produce a range of resources for people with #anxiety and #depression including these Card Decks – 12 cards in each with affirmations (£8.95 if you buy them seperately). They suggest pulling them out, steadying your breath and reading the cards. These two cards ‘spoke’ to me today…
I received these cards as part of my monthly Buddy Box from Blurt. they describe the boxes as a Hug in Box. These can be ordered as a one off, monthly, for a friend or send a Random Act of Kindness (Blurt pick someone to receive a box who really needs it).
My December box is due this week – and it will contain The Selfcare Project written by Jayne Hardy, Blurt’s Founder and CEO. The book is published on 14th December and can be ordered on Amazon – Print, Audio and Kindle
I’m really looking forward to reading this book – the blog posts and resources from Blurt are excellent. I’ve written a few times about Blurt before – #blurtfoundation
I’ve got much ‘better’ at self-care over the last few years but there’s always new options and ideas. Selfcare, mindfulness, yoga, affirmations are part of my daily life now. I’m on a journey and I’m not at my destination yet.
Do you have favourite affirmations? What’s your #365daysofselfcare routine? Are you going to join in with #blurtmerrycalmness
By the way, I decided not to include any fuchsias in my vase to give you all a rest from them over the last few weeks, but there are a few flowers under the kitchen window sill. Have a look on #fuchsia to see more 🙂
I hope the weather is OK where you are 🙂
Love Bec xxx
*Note: I paid full price for the Buddy Boxes and haven’t been asked to write about them. I wanted tell my readers about the great work Blurt do – and see if anyone want to get involved in #blurtmerrycalmness
‘Hello, Hola, Ola, Bonjour, Hallo, Bongu, Ahoj, Namaste, G’day’ – International Hello Day 21 November was set up in 1973 to promote international peace after the Arab/Israeli conflict.
For this week’s vase, between heavy rain, I went looking for the hardy fuchsias in the garden, which have been pops of colour, amoung the greenery. It’s been raining on and off for most of the week. Though we did have a light frost on Sunday, which was just typical as The Chap was up early for a local, muddy, trail half marathon. He let me off going to watch 😉 as my arthritis was giving me gip. I’ve got all the gloves, hats, hand warmers, blankets and thick socks ready for the winter. A spot of Hygge and #selfcare needed.
Following on from last week’s post on International Kindness Day, I’m doing my best to be kind to people I know, those I don’t know and being kind to myself too. It can be really difficult to find the time and energy to do #selfcare but it’s worth finding the time even if it’s only a few minutes.
It’s International Hello Day (21 November) which stresses the value of communication in daily life, including saying hello to 10 people you don’t know. Its ideals are to encourage greater understanding and peace.
I found more than the hardy fuchsias flowering; the perennial wallflower is still going strong but there was a pink pelargonium flowering! The pink vase often has sweetpeas in it 🙂
- The three fuchsia are Son of Tom which grows about 3 foot high out side our kitchen window(small crimson flowers) Wharfdale (light pink and dark crimson centre) and is about 2 foot high, and the final one came from Morrisons – it might be Mrs Poppleton (crimson with a purple centre) it’s about 4 foot high at the moment. Fuchsias have appeared many times In a Vase on Monday – have a look at #fuchsia
- The pink pelargonium in a pot, in a sheltered spot in our garden for about five years. It’s appeared in IAVOM many times too. #pelargonium
- The perennial wallflower also appears often, most recently last week #wallflower
Picking my vase is definitely part of my #365daysofselfcare, it definitely helps me both choosing, photographing and writing about flowers but also it’s looking to see what Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and the people all around the world who join in. This week Cathy has got a vase entirely of green foliage which has got me thinking. In my head, I say hello to them every time I read a blog post, their pictures and words lift my soul. Maybe one day I’ll get to say hello to them face to face – I hope so. Their kind words have helped me though some tough times – so a Big Hello to everyone who’s reading my blog today 🙂
So my plans for #365daysofselfcare and #bekind this week are:
- #bekind especially to myself – and not to beat myself up about being late/disorganised.
- Doing some dream mapping from my Stigu Planner 2018 – I don’t do New Year resolutions, I do them in December instead.
- I love my Stigu planners, they’re in between a Planner and Mindfulness journal – I’ve had one for the last two years – you can follow them on Twitter too @SticktoStigu
- Finishing our thank you cards from our wedding. It was lovely catching up with people and I’m writing letters about what’s been happening and our plans for 2018 🙂 So many people have supported us though so much this year.
- Reading The Little Book of Kindness by Bernadette Russell* She suggests acts of kindness for yourself, friends, the environment, community, those you love and what to do for free…
- Shop less – use your money to DO stuff not have stuff – I was stuck by this but i’m hoping buying plants and bulbs doesn’t count 😉
- #bekind #thelittlebookofkindness I follow Bernadette on Twitter @betterussell
- I received the book as part of my Buddy Box for September from Blurt Foundation – www.blurtitout.org they describe them a hug in a box. The boxes are great and really lift me; there’s often books on self-care and mental health in the box.
- You can purchase them monthly, there’s the full version and a lite version. www.blurtitout.org/buddybox/
And in case you’re wondering the languages at the start are – Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Maltese, Czech, Hindi and Australian ;-). I can speak varying amount of these languages – but definitely Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank You 😉 I’ve visited all these wonderful countries and plan to visit again soon.
So who have you said ‘hello’ to today? And what about tomorrow? and how will you #bekind
Love Bec xxx xxx
*I paid full price for my Buddy Box from the Blurt Foundation and my Stigu Planner. I haven’t been asked to blog about them or been paid for this content.
The weather has been very wild, wet and windy here in Salford for the last few weeks. It’s been very mild so it’s rained ALOT and confused all the flowers. The River Irwell flooded on Boxing Day, in Kersley and Lower Broughton elsewhere in Salford (only a couple of miles from me) wrecking Christmas for hundreds; the clean up and repairs are still going on. Hebden Bridge, home to qwirky, independent businesses was flooded yet again, Todmorden just down the river in Calderdale. Cumbria and York, even though more flood defenses have been built. Good friends of mine in Scotland were flooded out in mid December, when the River Forth burst its banks in Stirling – their house is a real mess. Thousands of homes, businesses, schools, churches and other public buildings wreaked. I really feel for everyone affected and I’ve been doing my bit to help. Climate change is happening for sure.
It’s been incredibly mild here since the autumn – between 9 and 15C most of the time. Only one even vaguely frosty morning. Finally, we had some snow over Saturday night into Sunday morning – the first of the winter – only an inch or so. It lasted into the afternoon before it melted. Many of my friends who live in the hills around Manchester had quite a bit of snow – lots of happy kids sledging and building snowmen. As it’s been so mild many flowers in my garden have continued to flower way longer than they should have (and appeared in vases too) – dahlias into November, fuchsias into December and many of my bedding plants are still flowering a little.
This week, for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’, I went for a hunt around the garden – and I found some tiny flowers lurking. It was very sunny so I took these flowers on Sunday morning.
I want to tell you the pleasure, the sheer unbridled joy, of cooking without a recipe… In Truth good eating depends on nothing more than fine ingredients simply cooked. Nigel Slater Appetite (2000)
I’ve loved four men in my life; they all adore cooking, and believe that providing wonderful food is a way of expressing their love for the people they care about. They are my Dad J, my brother M who lives in Australia, my friend (and former partner of 20 years) Steve who died so suddenly in April and, of course, my wonderful Chap.
None of them followed recipes to the letter; unless it’s baking – that’s chemistry.
So I decided to celebrate their love of cooking in my vase today.
Our weekend was spent pottering around in the garden and house, apart from a trip to get bike parts from a shop in central Manchester on Sunday. There was a lovely market at Spinningfields (organised by Makers markets www.themakersmarket.co.uk/) next to John Rylands Library on Deansgate so we had a quick look around – as we only had an hour on our parking (£2.90) Manchester City Council really need to make parking in the City much cheaper or free all day on Sundays (as it used to be). The high cost doesn’t help the retail and entertainment sector – you’re charged 8am to 8pm every day – it’s ridiculous.
About John Rylands Library
The Library is my favourite building in Manchester, it was opened in 1900 in neo-gothic style and was one of the first buildings in the city to have electricity. It was built by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John, to house their extensive collection of books and ancient texts. It has an excellent café and truly outstanding historic toilets in the basement. It’s now part of the University of Manchester and is, therefore, part of the third largest academic library in the UK.
I really must go back again soon for a few reasons:
- Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic exhibition until 20 December 2015
- tour for photographers – I’ll have to go on this once I’ve sussed out how my camera works.
- to check out the cafe again – I heard it does a good afternoon tea at a sensible price.
John Rylands Library is a incredible building celebrating the glory of learning – do have a look inside if you’re in the area. ANYONE can go inside and have a look around and it’s FREE too. It really is worth it.
At the market
The sun was shining, live music was wafting across the square and there were plenty of people milling around looking at the stalls of food, drink, homewares, clothes and jewellery. My Chap and I had a wander around. We bought some coffee ground by Dex from Second City Coffee. Obviously, I bought the coffee named after Cottonopolis (my Women’s Institute – www.cottonopoliswi.com/). It’s a lovely coffee – citrus and nutty. And finally got to meet Dex who I’d chatted to via twitter – lovely chap.
We also saw some beautiful china made by Amy with modern flower patterns and colours. I couldn’t resist a new jug (mild mutterings from My Chap) – it’s about 5 inches high. I was good and picked a colour that would match our existing Boston Denby china (Blue) and our espresso cups (and not purple my favourite colour!). Green is My Chap’s favourite colour and he approved of this lovely aquamarine. Amy said she is based in Stoke so do check her out if you’re in the area and she often comes to the various Makers Markets in Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Knutsford, Sandbach, Middlewich and West Didsbury.
UPDATE – I heard from Markets Market that they are OPENING IN MONTON in October 2015 (I live in Monton so I am very excited about this.
The flowers I have chosen today are picked to go well with the beautiful jug I bought from Amy Helena Clarke ceramics www.ahclarke.com . They are:
- Lavender from the front garden – it’s two different kinds but I’ve no idea what variety. The scent is incredible, even the stems smell of lavender. I have about 20 different lavender in my front garden which seem very happy in full sunshine, on soil where we dig up alot of bricks. My house was built on the site of an 19th century mill which was knocked down in the 1980s.
- A white Pelagonium which was part of a mixed pack from a garden centre a couple of years ago. I’ve managed to overwinter it a couple of times – it’s appeared in ‘A Vase on Monday’ before for 4th July celebrations (Red, White and Blue and purple).
- Purple petunia – This variety grows in a couple of places around my garden including in hanging baskets – I don’t know it’s name though.
- Hydrangea paniculata – I think it might be ‘limelight’ as the flowers fade from light green, to white and then pink. This one came to the garden two years ago for £2 from a rather odd little garden centre – it was in a right state but it seems to have recovered now.
Hydrangeas originated in Japan, China and Taiwan and there are hundreds of different kinds.
I have a globe head one in a pot in the back garden which should be blue but is flowering pink at the moment. It has appeared ‘In a Vase on Monday’ before too – (Not blue anymore – 13 July 2015).
Do have a look at all the lovely vases hosted by Cathy over on www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com – glorious pinks and purples today with a wonderful antique quilt. People post vases from all across the world and it’s just amazing to see what grows where (and when too!). And I’m late with my post as usual – ho hum I’ll try harder next week.
Have a wonderful week everyone.
I think we are off to Southport flower show at the weekend. Have you been?
love Bec xx
p.s. this isn’t a sponsored post – I just really liked Amy’s china and I’ve been waiting a while to get some Cottonopolis coffee and I paid full price for everything 🙂
The sun has been out today in Manchester and I’ve been planting some of the plants we bought at Bodnant Gardens yesterday.
Here’s my ‘In a vase on Monday’ which is hosted every week by Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden. She’s got lovely roses and alot of pink and white in her vase today. I’m going to try growing sweet william next year. My sweet peas are nowhere near flowering but are growing well so fingers crossed.
Do have a look and join in if you can.
I enjoy everyone’s links and flowers so much – they are so creative.
This week, I’ve included:
- White Potentilla – Abbotswood (I saw the same bush at Bodnant so now I know it’s name). This was one of the few shrubs in the garden when I moved here five years ago.
- Pink Pelargonium (it’s survived being over wintered a couple of times so is quite big now)
- scabiosa – ‘Pincushion plant’ – it’s new this year and it’s loving it’s location in the shady border
- Anemone – another new arrival in the garden
- Purple wall flower – this and the amemone are in the new border my Chap built last year at the front of the decking. I think they both like the better quality soil.
- Pericallis ‘Senetti’ I buy one or two of these plants every spring – you get alot of flowers for your money but I can’t get them to over winter. Other colours include white/vivid pink, white/purple and various vivid pinks – don’t forget to dead head them for more flowers.
- The yellow flowers are from a purple curly leaved kale.
The vase is a small lead-crystal vase (about 10 inches high) which belonged to the mother of my good friend who died recently. She told me years ago it was a wedding present (1964) but I never saw flowers in it in all the time I knew her; just loose change. It has a smaller ‘sister’ vase which I found in a cupboard at my friends house. His Mum passed away about 18months ago and his Dad just three weeks later.
It’s good to use the vase for this arrangement as it would have been his mum’s birthday this week. I’ll be using both these vases regularly now and think of J and her lovely white country garden rose in her yard garden (just about the only plant there!). I took a picture of the vases as Cathy asked about my last vase. They’re really pretty but very heavy.
My orange rose in the front garden has one rose out and alot more buds, so fingers crossed it will feature next week.
What have you got flowering with you?