I remember someone pointng out that wherever you see an accident or disaster, you also see helpers. We may not be able most of the time to help the helpless, but we can usually help and support the helpers. The fundraisers, the charities, volunteers...
There have always been wars but we have not always watched then live in our homes. I dom't think humans were designed for this! Watching war as it happens, beaming it into our lives. Is this intelligent behsviour? Moreover is it helpful?
As well as helpers you will also see people at the scene of an accident who are there to simply gawp. Television footage from Ukraine makes me feel like one of those people. It's alsmst voyeuristic.
So I am switching off and switching my focus to helping the helpers. The florist who is selling sunflowers wrapped in black paper and tied with blue and yellow ribbons who has raised £400 so far (my sister). The busy woman who finds time to raise £20,000 to help settle refugee families in her community - a house ready and translators and English lessons lined up (my daughter). The child who donated his month's pocket money (my grandson).
The world is full of helpers. Maybe you are one. Courage, compassion, kindness and plain and simple goodness save us from despair, don't you think?
What helps you keep despair at bay?
I have just come across this wonderful phrase (which doesn't just mean living a quiet life in your garden as I first thought!...).
Focussing as I am on gardening, I found myself thinking 'Je dois cultiver mon jardin' as a kind of justification for ignoring the rest of the world for a bit. I knew it came from Voltaire's Candide but little else, so I spent an absorbing evening looking it up ('Google it Grandma' says my grandson if I ask him somehting he can't answer!)
I skimmed words by Julian Barnes, Thoreau, Wittgenstein and more, and landed on the site of Austin Klein who linked to The School Of Life. Scroll down to see the short video here. All well and good I thought, but didn't Plato say that if good people ignored public afffairs the price we would have to pay would be to be ruled by evil people?
Everything is about balance and the point of balance is different for every person. Maybe we all struggle to find our own place, our own opinion and our own way to do something good to counter the bad.
AND culitiver notre jardins.
I don't intend to write much about this topic here, but it seemed wrong not to acknwledge it, and writing helps me think thngs through. As do your always interesting comments which I really appreciate. Thank you so much for making the blog a conversation.
You may remember I decorated the litte 8 x 6 greenhouse for Midsummer laast year. See here.
I plan to do the same again and some of the gypsophila will be brought on in pots to add to the frothy pretty effect I am after. I will have schizanthus too , and perhaps gaura lindheimeri, and there is a tender euphorbia called frosted something that would look very dainty along the front edge of the staging. I will have candles and tiny lights and we will drink Bellinis......plans and dreams, I love both!
These were courtesy of M&S but it is even better for our spiritts to go out into nature, wrapped up and waterproofed if necessary, to observe nature's gifts with out own eyes and ears, to feel the wind and sun and rain on our skin, a balm for the soul, and a respite from the all too pervasive media.
Be sure to try it this weekend.
In her book Winterings Kathleen May says 'I had to find the most cmfortable way to get through till spring'.
This is what I am doing. Making plans and trying not to be too upset if they don't come to fruition!
There is a lot going on and I am taking a blog break for a bit and enjoying the small signs of spring approaching through the teeeth of gales and a lot of rain!
Stay well and I hope all your plans work out.
More here from Tattie Rose
Here we are in uk being told yet again to stay home! I have got off ligjtly this time with sleety snow in the morning and winds, but not too strong, so I have been enjoying looking up videos on gardens and gardening. I was pleased to see a stack of potting compost at the supermarket - it can't be too long mow before we can start sowing seeds in anticipation of the soil drying out.
In a way I am 'wintering' in the sense that Kathleen May uses the word in her book of the same name. Resting, recuperating, waiting till the time is right to get out into the world again and have a few adventures!
Are you wintering?
Valentines Day is tense on a personal and a global level...
Valentine Day and the anniversary of Barry's death come close together in February. It's an emotional time and tears were shed of course when I looked at the collection of lovely cards he sent me over the years. I found one, unsigned, after his death. Beautiful, sometimes funny, always with a thoughtful and loving handwritten message inside.
It felt like a small romantic gesture to tie them toghether today in a red ribbon. Precious memories. I am lucky to have them.
It is always a good thing to celebrate love.
Have you chosen a word, or a phrase for 2022? (Mine is Lovingly - see yesterdy's post.) A friend who longs to be lighter of heart after a difficult year has chosen Fun. Do share your word here!
York Minster was closed last week. I was disappointed as I like to light a candle for my husband Barry, who as a historian of the late medieval period, and volunteer in the Minster Library loved York and it's cathedral Next time...
Meanwhile I took a closer look at the doorway. So beautiful!
It's taken me some time to find my word for 2022. Decisiveness might have been a good one, but I have settled on Lovingly.
I have tried it on for size as it were for a few days and it gives me a good feeling. Doing some boring chore I asked myself How would it fel if I did this lovingly? Hmm. I notice it brings my stress level down a little every time I apply it, and of course it can be applied to pretty much any situation....
I chanced to look up in the waiting room in Waverley Station in Edinburgh and thought They don't make them like that anymore
Thank you all for the good wishes for the new year.
..to see different scenery, different faces, have different conversations, eat different food, wear different cloothes!
I realise how much I thrive on chnage and variety. It makes me feel alive, and feel ike myself.
My word for 2021 was Stretch (boy were we all stretched!) and I am considerng lighthearted, freedom, fun, chill, growth, forward....restore might be good word. What do you think?
I am taking a bit of a blog break now, but want to thank you for reading and for commenting. Above all I want you all to have a HEALTHY 2022
As the fox says in Charlie Mackesey's wonderful book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
To be honest, I often feel I haave nothing interesting to say. (To which the horse replies To be honest is always interesting.)
LIfe is very quiet of late. I am catching up with a backlog of papaerwork, have sold another painting, am thinking a lot about suspending judgement and wondering what on earth I will buy for Christmas presents this year...
What is happening with you?
Playing around with table decorations, listening to Tamsin Edwards climate scientist Ted Talk and reading her blog All Models Are Wrong, anything but housework!
One o the most interesting things abut COP26 I think, is that we have heard from some new voices - inventors, scientists, negotiators, investors and activists as well as the politicians and journalists. A more complex and nuanced picture emerges...
I am enjoying a very sociable time as friends and family come to visit and to see the exhibtion. My friend Ian and I took a walk along the main street reminiscing about childhood holidays 'Doon The Watter' as Glaswegians called the holiday resorts on the Clyde estuary.
The statue of Heilan' Mary, lover of Rabbie Burns, is a good viewpoint.
Please check my studio page for details of the exhibition.
back to health and back to basics. First cuppa, with a tiny homemade biscuit. I've not been eating much.
I was careful not to switch on to the outrage/scandal/hysteria and other media madness, but opened the bedroom window, listened to the wind and the birds and slowly sipped the tea and nibbled gently on the biscuit, savouring every crumb. So lovely! Some lightly cooked chicken and a little salad and lots of water. Some extreme self care is called for...
Any tips most welcome.
..the very very small things.
Like tiny seedlings of wnter saladseSomething I have not tried before, but feeling a bit down (still a bit unwell) it lifted my spirits to transplant some seedlings. We all need something to care for, whether it be people or pets or plants.
What lifts your spirits if you are low?
A walk through the Botanic Gardens, a meal sitting outside on a warm evening in Byer's Road, a visit to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery to view some of my favourite paintings, breakfast in their cafe which had just opened again that morning, and the purchase of a pair of cosy gloves from the museum shop.
It was only 24 hours but it felt like a long weekend and I enjoyed every minute!
Overstimulated by a trip to the city, I was grateful for a gentle start to today.
The mist was slow to rise and the morning air cool and moist. It's turning inot a beautiful sunny day, and I will be taking it easy. A little painting, a little housework and a little planning...No news today. I am looking after my mental health.
What are your plans for today?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)