Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Day in the Life …

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Do you wonder where the day goes?  Do you feel guilty if you don’t use every minute of it purposefully?  I used to.  Not any more.

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In the lighter months I wake early 5.30 – 5.45 – it is annoying; the morning chorus of birds is to blame although I guess it is a beautiful way to wake up – better than an alarm clock!  This is the best time – half awake, half asleep – lying in the dawn-light letting your mind wander – thinking of what you dreamt about or what you are going to wear today, what you will cook for dinner – the possibilities are endless.  But I don’t rush to get up – I take it slow and throw the covers back at  about 7.00.

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  There is no need for me to rush, no need to be busy, busy, busy – I can say this because I don’t have a job to get  out to on time, no bus to catch, no children to get ready for school – just 24 hours to pass in any way I wish – and it is surprising what can be achieved in those 24 hours – no matter how slow you go.

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  This is one of the joys of being retired – although some may find it hard to fill their days meaningfully – I enjoy the fact that I have time to take a nap after lunch if I want to (which I invariably do).  I find it gives me renewed energy to face whatever the afternoon may bring – more than likely this means putting in two or three  hours work in the garden.

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I may take a break outside with a cup of tea and a book for a while – if it is warm – or watch a film if it is cold or raining.  These are my guilty pleasures.  After a lifetime of working long and hard – I don’t begrudge myself anything that I regard as a bonus – a reward – for my diligence.

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I allow myself one morning a week to go mooching round the second-hand book shops – a particular pleasure, and invariably come home with three or four books that I doubt I will ever find time to read – and add them to the ever-growing pile by my bedside.

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So you see – I have no trouble filling my days – slowly rising; eating breakfast; bathing; getting dressed; a little housework; shopping; reading; drinking lots of cups of tea; gardening; cooking; walking; taking lots of photographs; taking a nap after a leisurely lunch; maybe writing a blog post; catching up with the blogs that I follow – watching a little tv in the evening – and so to bed – to repeat the whole process the next day – ain’t life grand!

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‘Til next time, remember

- the key to a life of pleasure, freedom and guilt-free lounging around rests in your hands ~ Tom Hodgkinson

Elaine

Friday, 24 April 2015

Distracted and Drifting …

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I do try to concentrate on one job at a time – I really do.  The trouble is – I get easily distracted – the garden is like a magnet to me.  I stand in the kitchen with the back door open and watch the sparrows bobbing about on the terrace collecting sticks, feathers and moss for their nest building – squabbling and twittering, taking sips of water from the pond – and I forget I am supposed to be washing the dishes.

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Or I find myself cloud watching and drift out in to the garden for a better view and before I know it I am planting out my tomatoes in the greenhouse – and suddenly remember that I was in the middle of sorting out the laundry and about to start the ironing.

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It is a perennial problem of mine – getting distracted and drifting when I should be concentrating on the job in hand.  Chores do get done – just not the ones I was supposed to be doing.

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But I take solace in the fact that I am getting to know my little space a bit better every day - mentally noting everything that is going on around me - perhaps watching the newly hatched tadpoles skittering around the edges of the wildlife pond – being drawn outside at every opportunity – the housework will still be there when I have finished wandering.

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And look – we have finished our Bug Hotel at last – collecting bits and bobs to fill it – cones, shells, drainage pipes filled with bamboo canes, sticks and hay – now let’s hope the insects appreciate a lovely new home and move in soon.

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Purpose is the great divider that separates those who are simply living, from those who are truly alive. ~ Alex Rogers

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The longer you drift – the more you will learn.

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I guess when it comes down to it I am just a flaneur – one who strolls round aimlessly but enjoyably, observing life and their surroundings.

‘Til next time.

Elaine

p.s. If you want to see what is going on in the veg garden pop over to A Woman of the Soil for the latest post.

Friday, 17 April 2015

April Breezes filled with fragrance …

 

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Spring has sprung in all its glory this week.  The sun  shone brightly.  Flowers  opened and fragrance fills the garden.  The farmer let the cows out into the back fields and they are as happy to be there as I am to see them.  Blackbirds flutter back and forth across the garden, their beaks filled with worms for their brood neatly hidden in some bush; and there are blue tits nesting in one of the boxes we have provided – what’s not to love about this time of year.

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Clouds of ornamental cherry blossom everywhere … trees that are dull and uninteresting for eleven months of the year … suddenly come alive … and are a sight to behold.

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The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years.  In their country the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life.  It is a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short ~ Homaru Cantu

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There is no glory in a star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye.  There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by ~ Wm. C. Bryant

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Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of Spring ~ Neltje Blanchan 

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I have just noticed that this is my 500th post in almost four years of blogging – where has the time gone!  Thanks to you my blogging friends for your kind comments which have kept me going when, at times, I have felt like giving up on the blog altogether.  I truly appreciate that you take the time to read what I have to say.

Elaine

Saturday, 11 April 2015

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together …

My gardening methods are pretty haphazard – but somewhere in amongst the chaos there is usually a plan of sorts.  When I buy and plant bulbs in the autumn I immediately forget what I have planted where.  So it comes as a lovely surprise when a border full of bulbs all bloom together to give the picture I had in my head at the time of planting.  I don’t know about you but at this time of year the pink part of the colour wheel seems a little out of place.  When there is lots of fresh green foliage beginning to show – there is nothing nicer in my mind than a selection of yellows and creams to go with it.

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In the front garden border I planted yellow and cream tulips together with yellow and cream narcissus.  The photos don’t do the border justice as we have had a heavy shower of rain this morning that flattened it all – nevertheless it is looking pretty and fresh and good to look at.

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So although my memory fails me (I have no ideas where I planted the dozens of tulips I bought) – it will come as another surprise when they all start to emerge – so maybe a bit of chaos is a good thing – even though at times I wish I was a little more organised!  Below is a collage of some of the other daffodils in the garden – captured on film before they all go over.

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Thank you for all your good wishes on my last post – I am happy to report I am back to full strength and anxious to put the nasty virus behind me and get on with living life to the full once more.

Have a great weekend and happy gardening!  My first walk around the village in three weeks today and noticing the hedgerows are greening up and celandine, daisy, dandelion and wild violets are gracing the verges.  Nature does it best!

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Monday, 6 April 2015

The Restorative Power of the Garden …

Since my return from the coast I have been in bed ill with a nasty virus.  It has laid me low – I have slept the clock round, not eating or thinking about blogland or how spring was rushing along without me.  I had nothing inside my head at all – just a desire to get through this and back to my normal self.

Easter Monday was my first day back to normality – almost – I am a little weak and tired, but have been out in the garden for the first time in two weeks – the sun shone specially for me, the wind dropped and I began to realise that nothing has the healing power of the outdoors and the garden for me.  Little jobs have been completed – little jobs that would still have been there whether I worried about getting them done or not.  As I moved my kneeling mat around the beds – pulling out old winter veg, weeding out those forget-me-nots that seem to get everywhere – it felt good, really good, to be out there – the sun on my back, the dirt in my nails once more. 

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And, although the holiday seems a long way off now – these are a few things I collected whilst walking the shoreline.

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‘Til next time enjoy the fine weather and the lovely flowers that are blooming right now.