routine and habit …

I want to live simply.  I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on.  I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove.  I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to.  I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints than humanity imposes on itself.  I just want to be, boundless and infinite.

I copied this down in my notebook from somewhere but didn’t put who wrote it – could it be Thoreau? No, perhaps not – but whoever it was – thank you.

 

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bluebells and forget-me-not

There is a rhythm to my days ...just as there is a rhythm to the seasons. I  thrive on routine ... take my routine away and I flounder. I am not the free-spirit I hoped  I would be ... I need the security of knowing what the next day will bring and what I will bring to it. Does this make me boring and predictable ... maybe ... but I have to run my life the way it suits me ... I feel safer that way.

cherry petal confetti

cherry blossom

So, when my car decided enough was enough and the key in the starter produced nothing but a groan I was left wrong-footed ... it doesn't take much to put me off my stride. I had been dressed and ready to go shopping ... but now I had to wait for the breakdown service, then a trip to the garage ... and a wait of three days to get my car back in working order.

redcurrant flowers

redcurrant blossom

My routine had gone to pot and there was nothing I could do about it but wait.

apple blossom

apple blossom

Would we be able to manage without my regular Tuesday food shopping trip ... as it turns out ... we would. I tend to be an 'over-buyer' ... stocking up on supplies before they run out ... this week this system has served me well. I actually didn't need to go food shopping I had plenty in stock ... in the larder cupboard ... in the fridge ... in the freezer. We have managed fine. So why do I feel the need to food shop every week ... fill the cupboards … routine and habit - I guess.  

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erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

And how has it been without my car ... living out here, it is a comfort knowing it is there should the need arise. I look from the window and see an empty space and a small wave of panic rises. Silly I know. Without the car I feel trapped. Even if I don’t use it.  Call it a lifeline if you like.

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aquilegia (columbine)

My enjoyable weekly trawl of second-hand bookshops and charity shops had to be given a miss also ... I took my mind off it by gardening ... where would I be without my garden ... miserable that's where.

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cornflower (centaurea montana)

With a bit of luck I will be able to collect my car today (Friday) ... all mended and ready to go. Trauma over ... till the next time! (Since I drafted this post, the car has been collected, and back where it should be – phew).

Sunday

Me:  Just popping to the garden centre for some potting compost.

Him:  Oh right.  I’ll just carry on mowing the lawn then – see you later.

Later.

Me:  I’m back.

Carrying an armful of plants.

Him:  I thought you were just going for potting compost.

Me:  Didn’t you know – it’s against the law to visit a garden centre and not buy plants.

Him:  Oh right.  Whose law is that then?

Me:  Mine!

I’ve had a busy weekend in the garden – mainly with my nose two inches from the soil weeding in between new seedlings.  I had to re-sow some carrots and parsnips which seem to have disappeared since my last visit.  The frost the other night nipped the top of the potato plants – darn – will have to wait and see if they recover!  My neighbour lost all her french beans to the frost – I have offered her my spares.

Looking back at pictures of this time last year to the exact day – I can’t believe the difference there are still daffodils, the tulips are only just opening and the spring border looks incredibly bare

spring border

spring border 2013 05 05

What a difference a year makes.  This is a posy made on the 10th May 2013.  At least  three weeks behind this year.

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I love looking back through the photographs to see the differences in the garden from year to year.

‘Til next time – take care – and thanks for visiting.

Comments

  1. Those are such wise words by the unknown author. It's how I would love to live but sometimes life is not that simple! I'm glad your car has been sorted. That's a good rule with a visit to the garden centre! Sarah x

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    1. I agree Sarah the simple life is not always easy to achieve - we can but try.

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  2. Glad to hear that you have your car back Elaine. Although I'm not a driver I can understand how much people rely on them, especially if you live somewhere where there is no decent public transport. I like your logic when it comes to garden centre visits :) Fingers crossed that your spuds are ok - it was chilly here but fortunately there was no frost.

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    1. We have no bus service so I am reliant on the car - I have a bicycle but it is all uphill to the nearest shop - not sure my legs would make it.

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  3. Elaine, I spent some time searching around the internet, and could only come up with 'author unknown',. Thoreau's name did come up but only because he has some similar words in some poems. It's lovely - I hadn't heard it before.

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    1. Thanks for trying Diane - I think I found it on Pinterest.

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  4. First I must say that I just cracked up at that conversation you had with your husband! It is a conversation that is had many times in these parts too! And just look at all of your glorious blooms...love those cornflowers!! I was taken by that quote at the top of your post...I long to have days like that! I know that one day the beans will be more independent and I will but in the meantime I am on their schedule...which has left me a bit under the weather!! I am so glad that you managed without your car...and I so get needing that routine! Wishing you a lovely week ahead friend! Nicole xo

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    1. I can understand your being under the weather it must be such hard work with lively young beans. Enjoy your week too.

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  5. We were warned of possible frost for Saturday night, and last night, but we were OK. I'd covered all my tender vegs to no avail. Better safe, etc.

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    1. The manager of our local nursery said that a lot of his outdoor plants got hit - it must have been quite a frost.

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  6. Hello Elaine:

    We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, creatures of habit, sometimes of course unknowingly. Routine does give a structure and order to life which is, we believe, necessary if for no other reason than to live it to the full. That said, our own days, are very often unplanned and we enjoy all things spontaneous.

    Your garden, judging by what you show in your posts, is delightful and must give you both joy and satisfaction. We certainly used to find weeding the borders with a small hand fork and on our hands and knees totally therapeutic.

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    1. I do try and be flexible when the need arises.

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  7. That is a lovley quote and how wonderful to live by that but like you I need the security of knowing what each day will bring given of course that we can never really know but thinking we do brings that much needed security. We got back from our week away to find the perennial cornflowers a blaze of blue and the aquilegias all in flower so much earlier this year than last:)

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    1. I love the blue of the cornflowers they are doing much better this year than they usually do. We had overnight rain and morning sunshine perfect growing weather.

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  8. We are all different Elaine, you are not boring, you are 'you'
    I find your posts so pleasing to the mind......and visually appealing.

    I have learnt over the years to go with the flow....it has not been an easy journey, but as I age it has brought a calm to my world that I never had before.
    I tend to shop in the village now....I buy when I need it. It is a short drive......... I could walk, as long as I did not have too many heavy bags to carry back :)

    Love your posts......I feel as though I am reading an extract from a book.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl - a kind comment like that makes it all worthwhile.

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  9. I can understand you feeling vulnerable when your car was away. The "What if?" syndrome kicks in. As for routine I guess I do have one nut it is very loose and easily adapted when we want to do something different.

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    1. I'm not a slave to my routine but it does make sure everything gets done each week.

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  10. I need my car to hauled off to keep out of the thrift shops! We do become creatures of habit, don't we? Your gardening is always lovely. And your laws spot on. You can't just go get a bag of potting soil and not buy new plants. Law or none, it's against the law of Nature.

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    1. Husband took me to find a new greenhouse thermometer on Sunday - and guess what - more plants found their way into the basket.

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  11. That definitely does sounds like something Thoreau would write. I hope your car is in working order soon. But I must say it sounds as if this happened for a reason because it definitely led to a lot of introspection it appears.

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    1. The car is fine now thanks Keith - I am just happy that it happened at home and not in the supermarket car park.

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  12. A nice post and lovely photos. I can definitely identify with that first paragraph. Flighty xx

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    1. From reading your blog posts - I definitely see you as 'laid-back'

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  13. I actually thought you had written that first quote, it seems very you.
    Ah yes....to live simply, that's my eternal dream and as the years go by I seem to achieve a little more of that goal each year.
    I think we all depend on our cars, I'm the same, I feel helpless without one.
    I completely agree re the garden center....one simply has to bring a plant or two home!!!
    A lovely post......makes me feel all mellow and chilled.xxx

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    1. Perhaps that's why I was attracted to it - my life is much more uncomplicated than it used to be. I think garden centres should carry a health warning 'bad for the purse'

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  14. A lot of what you wrote resonates in my heart...lol. I think we are more than a little alike.

    Happy Spring,

    Jen

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  15. Those are great words to ponder Elaine, but it is curiosity that when we are thrown something unexpected which completely alters our routine, we just get on with it and cope.
    It is interesting looking back to the previous years flowers. I mentioned to H yesterday that I didn't think the daffodils were all done and dusted by this stage last year, and you have just confirmed it.

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    1. You're right of course - whatever changes life throws up - we adapt. We did have that lingering snow last year that held everything back - it seems so far away now.

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  16. Surely, your other half should know the garden centre law. Doesn't everyone? It would be impolite to return without an ESSENTIAL plant purchase. There's ALWAYS room to squeeze in just one more.

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    1. We have been together for long enough now - you'd have thought he knows how I work by now wouldn't you.

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  17. Living simply is a goal of mine, too. But too much routine doesn't work for me. As long as I can start my day with a cup of coffee and not be too rushed, I'm up for an adventure the rest of the day. I enjoy a bit of uncertainty. I like the potential for excitement of not knowing what I'm going to do all day. Sometimes, I just make it all up as I go. :o) But not having a car makes me feel trapped, too. I hate it!

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    1. I do sometimes yearn for a bit of excitement and adventure - but then I think 'be careful what you wish for'.

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  19. Sorry Nicola I some how removed your comment without meaning to.

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  20. Beautiful flowers Elaine and I love that quote at the beginning. I know what you mean about routine. I spent six years studying and reading virtually every afternoon with assignments to write in between but still managed to do other things - fitting them in where I could. Since I graduated last September I cannot get myself motivated and jobs, hobbies and even writing my blog are always going to be done 'tomorrow'. I work better under pressure and need routine in my life. Glad your car is back where it belongs.
    Patricia x

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    1. I know what you mean Patricia - when I was writing the draft novel last November I had a set time to do it and everything else fitted round it - when I had finished I was at a loss as to what to do with the spare time that I had.

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