Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My matchbox entry got chosen for the Curiovan matchbox gallery http://www.curiovan.org/. I've been waiting to know, waiting, and wishing. I'm very happy. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

I have lived in my home for some time, which means that both the garden and the house carry some personal history and memories. When my granny died, a fair few years ago, I transplanted a small clump of wild cyclamen from her beautiful, much loved garden into mine and these are now flowering. Seeing them makes me think of her, she was a very smart and charismatic woman, quite fierce but generally fair in her judgement. The flowers of these cyclamen are much smaller and more delicate than the cultivated ones that flower in the autumn which are from planted out pots bought from local market and plant stalls.


Saturday, 25 January 2014

I've just finished reading this wonderful book, "Strands - A Year of Discoveries on the Beach" by Jean Sprackland (pub Vintage Books). It is beautifully written and I hope I won't be breaching any copyright laws by quoting the last paragraph. I wanted to share, and to make a note of the book in case I should forget.

"Each tide brings in another cargo of mysteries; there's always something, once you get used to looking. But the real thrill is in the chance nature of these encounters. Like so many of our happiest meetings, they are coincidental. You happen to be walking along the right part of the shore, just as something is delivered there by the tide. The two of you are on separate journeys. You come from one direction, it comes from another, and your paths intersect"

Isn't that lovely ?

Friday, 17 January 2014

I also discovered a strawberry flower.

Gardening today, again. It's been a funny old week, too many dark spirits haunting my thoughts. Gardening is always tonic for my soul, and, as I've also had a plasterer in, skimming my new work space, it seemed like a good idea to get out of his way and make myself busy outside. 
I've mentioned my compost heap in other blogs. I sift the third bin, and then turn the other two into the bin to the left, leaving me with an empty bin ready and waiting to be filled. This time I used the twigs and clinker from the sifting to mulch the bed under the two redwoods. There is a sarcococca confusa is to one side, it is not a huge bush but it is thriving in the dry, and I imagine acid soil, under these trees. Apart from that there are bluebells, snowdrops and ramsons, all of which will look better for a dark background. 
The redwoods are in flower at the moment, so too is the sarcococca and the lonerica fragrantissima and the viburnum. They are all delicate and fragrant, their smell more obvious than their looks. 
I was joined by two robins today. Yesterday I was also sifting my compost and the same robins came to "help", their song is quite something on a chill january day. Though the morning chill soon passed and it has been quite springlike in the sunshine. 
I am still not through with sorting out my compost bins so tomorrow will be another day of sifting and shifting, I think.       

Thursday, 16 January 2014

A last email 

Avoiding deflected denied ignoring go away
I’m I’m I I’m I I
I I I’d you you I you we you me I you you’re you I You I
Not don’t can’t won’t want don’t 
nothing at all too much
I you your your I you 
we’d drift apart nobody gets hurt
I you myself

It's a form of poetry that I have been pondering since I came across it last autumn. The idea is that words are taken from a piece of prose to make a kind of poem. I don't know if it works but I suppose I am testing the water, seeing if it feels o.k to put scraps of writing on my blog. The original prose was not mine.   

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Yesterday I was sorting out my cellar. This is not half so nice as a day spent in the garden as it is grubby, low ceilinged, and not well lit. However, it's a job that has been needing to be done. I need to let go, to clear some space so that I can move on, and it was a day for doing that. It's an ongoing task, I have more stuff than I need and unfortunately I have a tendency to keep things - just in case. One thing I did discover though which is rather sweet is a prettily illustrated copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam - by Edward Fitzgerald with illustrations by Willy Pogany. For the time being this book is one to keep, it seems to be saying the right things.

Monday, 13 January 2014

I woke up tearful and mopey this morning and to be quite frank there is pretty much nothing that feels good about that mood. But, it is surprising what a day in the garden and a great yoga class can do.
The garden has been looking a bit uncared for over the past year or so. While I was studying I didn't seem to have much time for anything apart from studying. And even last autumn I couldn't muster the energy, or will, to get stuck in. But gardening is good for my blues. I potter about going from one job to another, and afterwards it generally looks hopeful. Hope is one of the things that gardening fosters in me. I cut something back, or plant something, or lay down a mulch, or claw back a bed that has got overwhelmed with the more vigorous plants, alkanet, ivy, stinging nettles, alexanders, cow parsley, brambles, the list goes on, and varies according to the season. Then I wait and watch. 
So today was largely spent on the last job on the list. Clearing up and rediscovering the earth and more delicate plants beneath the overgrowth, what did I find ? Snowdrops. Lots of snowdrops. And a few aconites, in bud. I have violets, which do well in my garden and spread into the area I would like to be grass, but is actually more moss and mud. And I have found a place to re-plant these violets where I hope they will thrive. The birds are in full song and the sun was shining so all in, I am not now feeling so out of sorts as I was twelve hours ago, thankfully. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Two trips this week, tho' sadly no photographs because the batteries in my camera ran out and I hadn't brought spares. On thursday I had a bit of an explore around Sheringham, ambling up from the station through a quiet housing estate to a piece of heathland then back down to Beeston common and Beeston Priory and then through the back streets of the town to the sea. 
Quite alot of the beach is still fenced off after the storm in December, and various locked up shop fronts on the promenade looked a little worse for wear. The tide was up, the waves quite high, it was cold, and the water was grey and forbidding, but the salt spray was exhilarating and I am always happiest by the sea.    
Then yesterday, saturday, I went with my friend, Janet Cranness http://www.janetcranness.co.uk/ to Cambridge, to see the ceramics by Edmund de Waal and some Japanese Prints http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/nightoflonging/. I hadn't been to the Fitzwilliam for ages but we both remembered a course trip we had taken when we were studying together some years ago with a teacher we both struggled to learn from. Although, retrospectively, I realise that she taught me alot, I never did manage to enjoy her classes.
The prints were Shunga, erotic, some explicit, some less so, but all beautiful, detailed yet spare and exquisitely coloured. It was a very inspiring exhibition. The Edmund de Waal was interesting and inspiring too. They were a good complement to each other and today, inspired by yesterday, I have been playing with print and paper-making.

Monday, 6 January 2014

I thought I'd have a look at what else was looking good and the viburnum and snowberries caught my eye. I'm looking forward this year to having more time to tend my garden, today was the first day in ages that I have given myself to just look, and listen, and feel, my small patch of land.

My garden is a little muddy and bleak at the moment, but the bulbs are beginning to push their way out of the ground. And today I noticed that the yellow winter jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum) and the honey suckle that I grew from a cutting a few years ago have finally got to that point where they have married together on the wall to create the picture I had hoped for. The honeysuckle has shiny black berries and is thick with leaf, the jasmine, has fragile, vivid yellow flowers. They look stunning together. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

On January 2nd there was a brief gap in the wet and windy wintry weather. The sun shone and it was almost warm. My good friend Sally and I took a trip to the coast to celebrate the new year and to loosen our limbs a little. We had intended to go to Winterton but ended up at Horsey from where we walked along the dunes passing the cordoned off beach where the seals are in pup, over the heath, to the far end of Winterton beach for a closer look at the seashore. 
These two beaches are rich in wildlife and I can remember coming to see the seal pups a few years ago when the ground was frozen solid. And also a summer or so back to see the little terns nesting. 
Some places hold stories. Those two visits were made with a loved but difficult, and now ex and incommunicado, boyfriend. Returning, I suppose, woke up old feelings which made me a little sad, but also gave me a chance to lay some of those old feelings to rest. Past is past, just another layer of life history. Living in the now I was able to enjoy the sunlight and sea, and to allow my nostalgia to drift into the past where it belongs. I don't need to hold fast to those memories, they were a part of my life but not the whole. Time passes I am part of an ongoing saga. And, as cloth fades so too do memories good and bad.