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Monday, 30 May 2011

Maybe it's beacause I am English....

... that I love a drop of summer rain!

I have been speaking to a friend in France this morning and it seems they have had no rain for nearly 2 months there - I'd hate that!

I went outside to the garage this morning and noticed the fennel in my herb patch all glistening with raindrops - it is a beautiful delicate plant at the best of times but covered in diamonds like this it was ethereal and I just wish my photography could do it justice. I decided to stroll round the garden to see what other treasures there were .....

Here is the lilac all freshly washed and shining - it is just under an ash tree where the birds like to congregate before coming down for the seed I put out and consequently it is often covered in "white stuff" but not today!

How pretty the montbretia looks with its dusting of raindrops.

And the marigolds racing away in the new raised bed - thanks for the seeds

Isn't this beautiful? Brings a whole new meaning to the term rose water doesn't it? No loss of perfume either as I discovered when I sniffed it.

I am reminded of the childhood hymn - I wonder how many of you besides Jill will remember it

Daisies are our silver

Buttercups our gold

This is all the treasure

We can have or hold

Raindrops are our diamonds

And the morning dew

While for shining saphires

We've the speedwell blue

These shall be our emeralds

Leaves so new and green

Roses make the reddest

Rubies ever seen

God who gave these treasures

To your children small

Teach us how to love them

And grow like them all

Make us bright as silver

Make us good as gold

Warm as summer roses

Let our hearts unfold

Gay as leaves in April

Clear as drops of dew

God who made the speedwell

Keep us true to you

The new clematis planted on a trellis designed to hide the ugly green plastic water butt. I think it will do the job don't you?

Hope the weather will not spoil whatever you had planned for today - for me it is a welcome opportunity to give up on the gardening for a while and get on with some indoor things. Hadn't intended to take so long trying to get this post done though - this is my second attempt as the earlier one before lunch I deleted in the end as I just couldn't get Blogger to do the spacing and it was miles long and every time I did alter anything the fonts had all altered add to that the inadvertent deletion of photos and you can see why I deleted it and went to lunch instead!

PS I still can't get the spacing right but am going to leave it now and go and get a cuppa!

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Blogger will not let me sign out of my own blog so I can sign in to Postman's Knock so I can't post on that blog. So for the moment I will put my new postcard on here instead. I will try again later - I have not had any bother with doing it until this time but Blogger has been playing up lately so it must be something to do with that though why some of us can post and others can't I don't know!

Anyway here is my Coast/Seaside card number 5 which arrived from Jane (all these Janes it's confusing isn't it?!). The envelope was made from some paper with pictures of Blackpool Illuminations and I couldn't wait to open it and see what she had made for me.

I certainly wasn't disappointed when I discovered this lovely card inside which is a picture of a park in Richmond Yorkshire which is where Jane comes from apparently (Richmond not the park I mean!) and she has added cut outs of a seaside nature. As she says she imagined the seaside coming to Richmond - such a novel idea don't you think?

Thank you so much Jane

Monday, 23 May 2011

Monday Musings

Monday morning and yoga day - time for some musings along the way and indeed even whilst I am supposed to be relaxing and letting go (something I find really difficult!) at the end of the lesson! I became aware as I walked along that the summer flowers were in full bloom and the leaves had lost that wonderful soft Spring green and were now the full blown darker colour of summer - I wanted to shout "Stop!" things are going too fast and I fear it will be all over before I have actually become properly aware of it all.

These flowers will be blackberries before we know it and autumn will be just around the corner! Life seems to rush by ever faster and I wish I could slow it all down so as to really enjoy it all!

I thought of the 5 senses and how we take them so much for granted and yet how wonderful it is to be able to SEE such flowers as these beautiful dog roses which carried me back to childhood days when I used to have all the time in the world to appreciate the flowers in the hedgerows as I meandered along. Why not now? I have no job to go to, no children to care for, I am retired so one might think my time was in even more abundant supply but it certainly doesn't seem that way.

I resolved to try and slow my life down a little - to take time to literally SMELL the roses to appreciate the perfume of wild bluebells, the smell of freshly roasted coffee or of the earth after summer rain (something I noticed when we lived in France was that the earth didn't smell the same as English soil after rain - now why would that be I wonder?) I plan to try and notice and record the smells I come across each day - well the nice ones anyway!

Another childhood favourite and I was transported to the meadows of my childhood and the feeling of grass beneath my bare feet. Then I thought of other things which I love to feel - the softness of cashmere, the smooth hardness of glass or polished wood, the texture of silk, the velvety softness of a rose petal or the hairy stem of a daisy in my fingers and again thought perhaps I could spend some time noticing such things and noting them in a journal.

Then came TASTE - I don't know about you but I don't really taste my food. I eat it and enjoy it but I can't say I properly appreciate it and eat mindfully enjoying the textures and flavours of each mothful. Perhaps if I slowed down my eating I might eat less as I would really notice what I was eating and feel satisfied sooner? Maybe then I wouldn't have to sit waiting for my husband to finish his plateful before I can dash on to the next! The tastes I remember as a child seemed much more distinctive and the sense of taste sharper - was that because it was all so much newer then whereas now I have tasted it all before? Or do the tastebuds lose their ability to taste? Maybe it would be a good idea to try out new tastes and recipes - to cook things that required more love and attention occasionally and to really notice what they taste like.

Finally came the sense of HEARING. I have written before of the sound of birdsong but there are so many other sounds that I hear but how often do I really listen? The sound of water rippling over stones, of the wind in the trees (today was really windy) sounding for all the world like the sea, favourite music, church bells, the sound of a bee in the garden and so on and perhaps most of all the sound of a loved one's voice (I haven't been able to speak with my daughter for nearly 3 months now that she is travelling in South America and what I wouldn't give to hear her voice saying "Hiya Mum" across the miles - an e-mail isn't quite the same!)

Yes I think it is time to slow down my life a little, to truly appreciate each and every day - who knows whether I will get the chance to HEAR the cuckoo next year, to FEEL the breeze on my shoulders on a summer's day, to TASTE the first strawberry of the season again, to SEE the first spring green leaves beginning to unfurl or to SMELL the delicate perfume of primroses. At this stage in life (or at any stage really since we none of us know what might be round the corner) I should be thinking of each day as a blessed gift and really appreciating it for all it brings and not dashing faster towards my destiny busy doing things that in the greater scheme of things are of not much importance.. Several of my friends have died in recent years and it ought to be a reminder to me to Seize the day! I mean to try anyway.

PS Anyone know why when I try to post a comment on anyone's blog it now asks me to select a profile whereas it used to automatically come up with Marigold Jam? Have been to several blogs and can't post a comment until I know what my profile is!!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Cat + mint = catmint?

This is catmint (photo courtesy of Google images - hairy pot plants and it bears no resemblance to ordinary mint the sort I grow for mint sauce....

but Thomas has taken a sudden liking to the ordinary kind and is to be found rolling in it

rubbing it into his face

and generally going silly in it!! He has never done this before so I don't know what's got into him and his sister Bambi thinks he's gone mad but he is obviously enjoying himself and happily the mint seems to recover from his attentions and in any case I have plenty of it this year.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Welsh weekend

I wonder if you can guess where I went last weekend? The language on this rather eclectic group of signs might give you a clue! I had a lovely few days with my friend in West Wales. At least we had something to read whilst we waited for the red light to turn green!

My friend's garden was looking very lush and green...

After a welcome cup of tea we did a tour of the "estate" to see what had changed since my last visit - the banks and hedgerows forming their boundary were still carpeted with bluebells.....

The sheep in the neighbouring field were baa-ing and the birds singing - bliss!

As always a little posy awaited me in the bedroom - a tiny weeny little room with a sloping ceiling whose window sill is about 6 inches from the floor. Boy did I sleep well in there! (Apart from one morning when the cuckoo decided to wake up everyone at 5.00 am!)

On Friday we set of to visit a National Trust property and passed through a little town whose name I forget but this was the view.

Here is where we were headed. W
e were lucky in that although we had rain that day we seemed to be either in the house or in the coffee shop when it rained and wandering the grounds when it wasn't!

Pretty isn't it?

Like Cathy here I loved the kitchen - I know my place too Cathy and this reminded me of my growing up years below stairs whilst my mother worked in kitchens not unlike this one.

This Egg box took me back - anyone else remember these?! There was also a tin of Waterglass and a bucket ready to preserve the eggs for the winter months which I well remember from childhood. I am not sure I like the fact that so often these days the things in "museums" are things I remember but I guess age comes to us all eventually.

Even this wonderful old tree in the walled garden has aged and I bet it could tell some stories. I wonder if it has any fruit these days.

I returned from my few days of Welsh magic refreshed and revitalised as always (apart from the hour and a half it took me to get round Carmarthen due to road works!)