Tag Archives: yoda

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

 

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In a Vase on Monday – violas, primula and pelagoniums in the snow

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.

Pelagoniums, primula and viola 1

Pelagoniums, primula and viola 17 January 2016

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.

Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

It’s an exciting week for a couple of reasons, I noticed that some of my hardy fuchsias, in pots in the garage, are still flowering.  An obvious choice for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’. They made my day so are my #100happydays photo as well.  I’m not sure which ones they are as they’re gifts from my Mum – one is relative of Tom Thumb.   They really shouldn’t be flowering in December but it’s been very mild.   The fuchsias that are planted out in the garden have all gone over now as it’s been very wet and windy.

Star Wars – Force Awakens’ opens in the UK on Thursday. If you’re a regular reader you might have noticed Yoda appears on my blog now and again.  Continue reading

#100happydays challenge 21-28 friends, food, drink, flowers and yoda too

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief – Cicero

Here’s an update on the #100happydays challenge (from late October 2015) – you can see my latest photos on my twitter account (@becinmonton).

As usual, I seem to been busy but one or two things stand out for me; fun with friends, my love of sci-fi and also once again, how important my garden is to me.   I’m so fortunate that I’ve got lots of friends who I’ve met via work, studying and outdoor adventures.

I’ve made lots of new friends too, since I joined the Women’s Institute a few years ago.   I’m a proud member of Cottonopolis WI in Ancoats, Manchester. I guarantee the WI isn’t what you think it is and it’s not about Jam, Jerusalem or calendars either.

star wars cookie cutters, lunch at Kro, Batch Gin, suffragette film

21/100 star wars cookie cutters, 22/100 lunch at Kro, 23/100 Batch Gin, 24/100 suffragette film

21/100 A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

These are my favourite cookie cutters; my friend L bought them for me a few years ago; I tend to make ginger biscuits with them. We are both big Stars Wars fans. I was 10 in 1977 when the first film opened. I think we went to see it about six times that year, played with pretend light sabers in the playground. I think there were toys the following Christmas and I wish I’d kept the toys my Uncle gave me.  I think Princess Leia being a kick ass warrior helped my view of the world too. I’ve loved the films ever since (apart from Jar Jar Binks).  I am VERY excited for ‘Force Awakens’.

I had a good chat on the phone with my friend L who I’ve known for nearly 20 years. Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – Oranges and lemons – anyone for tennis?

rose, geum, hypericum, pontenilla

rose, geum, hypericum, potenilla – In a vase on Monday – 29 June 2015

Tennis: the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style, and wit. A beautiful game, but one so remorselessly travestied by the passage of time. – Martin Amis

As the weather warms up across the UK and the tennis at Wimbledon starts, it’s got me thinking of Robinson’s lemon squash. It’s still a part of the courtside scene, and is integral to the British summer. So today’s vase is reflecting the colours of oranges and lemons; I hope you like it.

I’ve been waiting a while to show the only rose I have in my garden.  It’s from my front garden and was in a very sorry state when I brought my house 6 years ago but some judicious pruning from my Chap has revived it.  I couldn’t include any of the open roses as they’d lost petals because of the winds we had at the weekend. It opens out into  much lighter orange petals – no scent though.

‘In a vase on Monday’ is hosted by Cathy over at www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ She’s got a really vibrant vase this week with her first sunflower.  It’s lovely – do have a look around everyone’s vases – I can’t tell you how much the vases brighten my day.

The other flowers are:
– Geum – Queen of Orange – this is new to the garden this year.  I’ve got a red/orange Geum which was planted last year but the flowers went over between Sunday and Monday – typical!
-a yellow hypericum – there were six bushes of this around my garden – two in the back garden and four (yes four round the lamppost in my front garden).  We’ve dug up, split and given way all but two plants in front garden and one in the back garden.  I like hypericum’s as you get a lot of plant, interesting leaves, pretty yellow flowers and then red/black berries right through until Autumn.
– Potentilla fruticosa – ‘Abbotswood’ another shrub which was in my garden when I arrived.  It’s on the edge of my patio and has a lot of pots sitting in front of it – and the white flowers set off my fuchsias very well.
The vase is just a plain glass one with a ‘clinched’ in middle.

close up - rose, hypericum, pontentilla, geum - In a vase on Monday

close up – rose, hypericum, pontentilla, geum – In a vase on Monday – 29 June 2015

My chap and I had our fifth anniversary  last week, and one of the gifts he gave me was this compass paving stone – he knows we plan so many of our adventures while sitting in our garden and it fits perfectly in the gap next to the decking.   It’s set to magnetic north and, as usual, yoda is overseeing things.  My Chap’s going to set it in gravel soon, as that end of the garden is very shady, so the grass is mostly moss and that’s why there are lots of dandelions too.

yoda compass adventures travel

yoda and the compass – 29 June 2015

I’m off to watch a bit more Wimbledon – I’m very happy because the wifi works throughout the garden so I’ll be sitting at the bistro table enjoying the view of the garden too.

I’ve always loved watching the tennis. My mum used to listen to it on the radio all day at work and as soon as we got home the TV would be on and we’d all be watching.  I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon with my mum in 1977 – Centre Court tickets too. We saw Ilie Năstase, Billy Jean King and an 18 year old John McEnroe  at his first Wimbledon (as an amateur too), he was grumpy but it was very clear he would be a great talent.   The strawberries were lovely, but expensive, so nothing much changes.  I’d love to go again but always forget to put in for the ballot.

1977 was a fine year as it’s also the being of my love of Star Wars – I think I saw the film three times at the cinema, and everyone wanted a light sabre for Christmas.  I was 11.

Fingers crossed for Andy Murray.   Are you watching the tennis too?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec

Xx

In a Vase on Monday: yellow and purple in bottles

Here is my ‘In a vase on Monday’ with tête a tête daffodils making a re-appearance;  this time with a pansy (with Yoda). I hope you like it?

Daffodils, mini milkbottles a pansy and Yoda too

Daffodils, mini milk bottles a pansy and Yoda too – 23 March 2015

Cathy over at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ hosts this weekly challenge to pick and display flowers from your garden in a vase.  This week she’s got sweet william, tulips and some aquilegia.  I think it’s a lovely natural posy and a great vase too.

I’d seen Gwirrel’s garden using mini milk bottles with crocuses and Cathy use mini milk bottles in a crate a couple of weeks ago – with Hellibores – Don’t they look great?

It was pouring with rain this morning in Manchester but I had my eye on a few flowers around the garden and was hopeful I could do something with my milk bottle set.  I nipped out when I got home from work and picked these flowers.   It was fairly sunny when I took these photos but I definitely needed the flash to see the colours properly.

Here’s the arrangement on my mantlepiece in my lounge.

Tete a tete daffodils, a pansy and mini milkbottles - 23 March 2015

Tete a tete daffodils, a pansy and mini milk bottles – 23 March 2015

It’s a great idea #In a vase on Monday and I hope I can find some flowers for next week – I don’t have a greenhouse so we’ll see what’s flowered.   It’s fascinating seeing which plants are flowering, who’s got flowers growing in their greenhouses and also who’s gardening in more extreme conditions than here in a small suburban garden in Manchester.

Have you had a go this week? I’d love to see what you’ve done.