A wave of gratitude swept over me as I lay on my back on the picnic quilt in hot sun today, gazing at this summery sky.
Like sweetness, we must take our delight where we find it and I am looking forward to reading J B Priestley's Delight which is new to me.
Can you think of something that delighted you today?
So says Alfie to Bella in my faourite happy film This Beautiful Fantastic. He also says You can speed read but you can't speed garden.
My minimum one hour a day through March is proving the point, but I am really pleased with the difference so far. I think I am happier because I have made a commitment to it. I feel less like I am in limbo.. And the date for the Stay At Home order to be lifted is now 2nd April, not the 5th. Little bits of good news and little bits of progress - all good.
Have you found ways of getting out of 'limbo'? If that's how you have been feeling...
..to spend a stormy evening than to plan and dream about the garden and listen to Rachmaninov on Radio 3?
Remarkably we had seven days in a row without rain and I've worked hard in the garden. The fun part is yet to come, but I have scrubbed and raked and edged paths, cut back and weeded the floor of the greenhouse and thrown away junk and rubbish. Tonight the weather has changed so for the next few days I will do what I can in the greenhouse and the shed.
I am eagerly awaiting seeds from Chiltern Seeds and summer plants from Sarah Raven - lime green and pale lilac petunias and nicotiana sylvestris for the black pots. I have a number of little pots of Fired Earth paints which I used for painting picture frames and I think I will paint the canes with the mix of subtle neutral colours I have left...
Are you making plans - gardening or otherwise?
I really enjoyed this article by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett. - We've been hibernating with our sorrow, but nature won't let us grieve forever. What do you think?
Better days are coming. On the 5th of April the Stay At Home order shuld be rescinded here in Scotland. 35 Days to the first steps to freedom!
Like you I expect, I am longing to take up the reins of my own life again.
So I will be crossing off the days. And using them to get the garden in order. And myself - I am so unfit! I worled for an hour today and was ridiculously tired. I cleaned the glass in the greenhouse (start and finish task), potted on ten white campion plants for my white border (job I wanted to do), raked up leaves from the path and said white border (ongoing job) and threw out some junk from the back of the shed (rescue job).
I hope to give it all I've got - its a while since I did that with anything. The writing didn't go too well this month. Concentration, motivation, will power - they've been a struggle. Is anyone else finding this?
Do you have a plan for the rest of lockdown or whatever stage you are where you are?
It's amazing what one springlike day can do to raise your spirits.
Some sunshine (though only 9 degrees here), a gentle breeze, a coffee outside and that green smell of new growth which is the first sign that spring is coming. A few tears let the sad out, and we can pick ourselves up and start over.
An hour in the greenhouse can set me to rights. I sowed Dahlia Bishop's Children and yellow rattle..
Other things which make me feel better - opening the back and front door and letting the air blow through, going for a walk, picking up the phone to a friend, doing something - anything, in the garden, decluttering a surface or a room..
What picks you up when you are down?
The five years since my husband's death can seem like five months. I am so sad for people who have been bereaved this past year. To be deprived of the comfort of family and friends, and the usual rituals must be heartbreaking and add immeasurably to the anguish.
I had family and friends close by me. They kept me company, had me for meals. took me on holiday with them and supported me in so many ways, both spiritually and practically..and I am so grateful. It means so much. They supported me today with mesages and cards and thoughtful gifts.
I was comforted by listening again to Charlie Mackesey reading The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. In the introduction he says life is 'sometimes frightening, but beautiful' and says he hopes the book helps us to live with courage.
You can listen to this on Audible free with a months trial and I enjoyed this video. I hope you do too, and that it comforts you.
I learned very early in my career that I couldn't take care of my baby daughter, my special needs pupils and my home if I didn't take care of myself (How did I do all that?!)
Rosemary in yesterday's comments must have picked up on the fact that I just re-ordered a book I found interesting some years ago - The Art Of Extreme Self Care by Life Coach Cheryl Richardson. I intend to read it as I did first time round, one chapter a month for the year. What better time? In the first chapter she has you ask what you feel deprived of - sleep, emotional support....and what you can do about it. The answers and solutions will be different during a pandemic - so that will be interesting!
Isn't it astonishing that these feeble looking little seedlings (sown in November) can produce such beauty and fragrance. I got the heated propagator out of the shed today and put it in the studio ...
(I may have used that line already!)
But where would we be without Zoom, WhatsApp and Facebook? Lonelier than we are already is where we would be. My social life is on devices- family, friends and book group, coffee mornings, crossword evenings, Saturday nights with my sisters....it's wonderful. Even if as it were, one step removed from reality. And you know how I like 'the real thing';.
Susan wonders if everyone feels they want people in their homes (yesterday's comments). I had not realised until lockdown that I am really a much more sociable person than I thought I was. I like my own company but not all the time! I really love having visitors - for coffee, to sit in the garden, for dinner - especially if they are staying over and we can sit and talk till late....maybe its the thing that most makes my house a home.
What about you? How is your social life?
I can't imagine the blog without images, but currently my photographs are in diarray
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)