bees · Flowers · Garden · Inspiration · Nature

Enjoying the Sunshine

When I started this blog I was determined it wouldn’t always be about sunshine. I would not only focus on the bright side but try to be realistic. After all, there have been dark days, there are dark days and there will be dark days.

I’ve written weekly over this past winter and scrolling back through the posts I see mostly sunshine.

Tulip – opening up for the sun

As I write this, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and spring has definitely arrived.It is hard on a day like this to think of the darkness, to admit it exists or to let it in.

Earlier, as I was hanging out the washing, this giant bee appeared.

Busy Bee!





Watching it, so busy, tumbling and bumbling over the bright orange petals I couldn’t help but be enchanted and inspired. What a work ethic!

I’ve mentioned before that this blog is a great place to put all the photos I take of the flowers in our garden. The things is, they look brighter, clearer in the sunshine. This means at odd moments I’ll find myself running out to take a picture while the sun is on the bloom.



Standing, kneeling, sitting, to find the right angle I am taking a moment to myself. Appreciating nature and its ever-changing beauty because after all, everything changes, including the dark to the light.




Daffodils – it has to be – Wordsworth!


I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

Thank you

Thank You!

I always enjoy a trip to the library. Now, mix that in with a Book Festival and I thought to myself, this is a winner. Well, I was right on more than one count!

With Dallas King receiving my prize.

Visiting the Central Library in Aberdeen for the Granite Noir Crime Fiction Festival recently I put my name in for the raffle and won!

Thanks to the staff at Central Library and to Bolinda Audio for the fantastic prize.  I am looking forward to listening to and sharing these super audiobooks!





Despite the cold weather – the tulips are coming through!






Flowers · Inspiration · Nature

Balancing Life


thumb_IMG_8729_1024Have you ever had the experience where all of a sudden your attention is drawn to something more than once over a short period of time?

When this happens it makes me sit up and take notice.

Recently while attending the Flourish workshops with Elaine Reid, I was introduced to the Five Ways to Better Wellbeing by the New Economics Forum then, flicking through a magazine for teachers I saw this:thumb_IMG_8739_1024


I think I’ve found another explanation for why this blog is ‘a little about a lot’, it’s because that’s life. It isn’t just one thing, it’s a balancing act of a whole lot of little actions.

While I think about this I am going to go for a walk with a friend, I’ll ask them how they are and try to take notice of the world around me!

Today, tomorrow, this week – how will you Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn or Give?


Happy Easter!







Nature · Poetry · Seasons

Springing into Life

This week we had the first day of spring so I had to take a photo of these beautiful crocuses. cropped-thumb_img_8697_1024.jpg

Last week I was asked  what I blog about  and my answer was ‘It’s a blog about well … a little bit of everything.’

I think this blog suits me, I really enjoy writing it, I’ve had some lovely responses and as a bonus, there is a use for all the photos I take of the flowers in my garden!

Over the years I’ve realised I am a ‘Jack of all trades’ – well a ‘Jill’ really.  I like to try things, I am a learner, I have many interests, I’m never bored.

However, things do not happen quickly in my world, I still think I am a bit of a tortoise and I plug away slowly trying to learn new skills, sometimes leaving them but then usually, going back to try, try again.

Recently  I heard a quote that struck a chord:

‘Nothing will come of nothing.’    Shakespeare, King Lear.

(Guess what play my daughter is studying!)

Well, isn’t that the truth? In fact I would like to add to that, ‘Something will come of little and often’. So it may be a very slow process, my writing this blog and sending it out to the world, but little by little, as the days grow longer, it is growing.




Books · Poetry

Laughter and Literature in Children’s Fiction

Set the scene, the Lady of Shalott floating gracefully down the river. All is calm.

Outside the isle a shallow boat 
Beneath a willow lay afloat, 
Below the carven stern she wrote, 

       The Lady of Shalott. 


The Lady of Shalott features in Anne of Green Gables

Now imagine Anne Shirley in the place of the great lady, one minute drifting along, the next her boat has sunk and she is clinging to a post in the river!

It could only happen to Anne of Green Gables. Even though I read this as a child, the thought of Anne’s escapade and its dramatic conclusion still makes me laugh today.  This was my first introduction to The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and I have remembered it ever since.

Perhaps it is one of the greatest compliments a writer can pay to another, to acknowledge and include the other’s work in their own with the hope of introducing it to a whole new audience.


After all isn’t it natural to want to share fiction we love?


Hellebores in the spring sunshine
Inspiration · Nature · Poetry

Looking Forward (2)

Sometimes we have an experience that is a wee nugget. Something to cherish.

In one of my first blog posts, back in September, I wrote about my time attending workshops at Woodend Barn in Banchory. As part of the ‘Flourish’ project, Elaine Reid used the wild garden to help inspire our group to write poetry.

This week an exhibition, created by Elaine about the whole ‘Flourish’ project is open to the public, for free, at the Barn.

The group poem we created in the Flourish workshop

So, yesterday I had a lovely afternoon wondering around the exhibition, reading the poem I had helped to create, walking a labyrinth and enjoying a delicious bowl of parsnip and carrot soup in Buchanan’s Bistro.

The whole experience of attending these workshops in the wild garden, meeting other writers, collaborating and sharing our work has been a joy.  I feel I have learnt so much and have certainly been inspired.


I am looking forward.


With poems from the workshops at the Flourish exhibition



Books · Inspiration · Trees

Naturally, Fiction.

If I go for a walk I look at the trees. Each one is so individual it seems to almost have its own personality. thumb_IMG_8593_1024

Reflecting on this I wanted to consider the role trees play in fiction for children.

For me it all began with The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I thought of trees as magical, kind, fun – after all wasn’t there a huge slide!

When I looked up trees in fiction I came across this article which suggested a couple of books I did know and some  more to add to my reading list, always a good thing!

It made me think, what did trees mean to me as a child?

Well, they were for:

playing on rope swings,
climbing or should I say scrambling,

using sticks and leaves for games and potions,
collecting conkers to play conkers,
tree bark rubbings,
gathering acorns, using the cups for fairy cups and
hiding behind for hide and seek. 

I’m sure others have many more things they could add to this list!

With all this in mind I hope I can include trees in my own writing. Like everything there are always two sides to a story so it may be that some of the trees behave like the Ents while others are more like Whomping Willows!

Have you taken a moment to look at the trees around you? What’s your favourite tree in fiction?


A Christmas card scene – in March!