Seasons · walking

Walking the dog

Pull on one layer, then another, just in case. Hat, scarf, definitely gloves.

Big brown eyes watch me. She circles impatiently. She knows. All the signs are there. Then yes! I pick up the lead. It can only mean one thing. Time for a walk.

I’m taking the dog out but the reality is, she’s taking me out.

Today, the coldest day in months. A grey, sullen sky hangs. There is none of the sharpness, the detail of a bright sunny, frosty morning. It is. Just. Cold.

But I am determined. This dog needs walked. If I don’t go now it will be worse later.

The mist is not just around me. It’s a fog in my head.thumb_IMG_0546_1024

Marching, moving fast, keeping warm. I have purpose. I’m on a mission. This dog will be walked and so will I.

I am not the only one wearing a big winter jacket. The horses in the field are newly dressed in clean, brightly coloured coats. They watch us with steady eyes as we pass.

A single leaf floats down in slow motion. Encouraging me to admire its colour, shape, pattern before it merges into the patchwork carpet before us.

An outsize crow caws. The wind sighs, travelling from tree to tree.

My eyes lift up. Maybe tomorrow will be the day of winter blue skies with marshmallow clouds?

Then it is here.

The clearing.

I am ready once again.

My steps, which have slowed down begin to speed up. Once again, determination, enthusiasm awakens within me.

I know what I must do.

My arms are swinging now, even the dog walks faster. She must know we’re on the way home. We both do.

 

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A welcome home – the Godetia is still flowering

 

There are too many quotes about walking to list so here are just a few.

Walking is man’s best medicine. Hippocrates

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. Barack Obama

This might be one of my favourites!

I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it. Olivia Newton-John

 

I’d like to add. Sometimes you just have to go for a walk.

Flowers · Garden · Seasons · Wildflowers

Sunbeams

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Sometimes I can’t see the grass for the leaves!

Yet the borage, geraniums and cornflowers are still blooming. They’re not giving in yet!

Many times over the past month I’ve walked into a room thinking I’ve left a light on only to find it’s the warm, golden sun streaming through the windows.

It may be starting to get colder but the beauty of the autumnal light and the bright burning colours of the leaves are a real gift.

thumb_IMG_0509_1024Mother Nature is teaching us again. Who else reminds us day by day, minute by minute to appreciate what we have before it is gone? Always with the reassurance that bright days will return.

For the cherry blossoms bursting forth are fleeting, the bright gaudy summer blooms will fade, the burnt reds and oranges of autumn leaves will fly away and the frost sketchings on our window panes will melt.

It’s in the name, seasons. Only there for a short time. Enjoy, revel, take time, notice, appreciate.

 

Do you have a favourite season and, if so, is it the one you were born in?

 

Flowers · Garden · Happy · Nature · Photography · Writing

Simply Not Perfect

Life isn’t perfect.

When I started writing this blog I was very aware I didn’t want it to be a relentless round of cheery posts with no indication of the reality of life.

On the way I’ve found it to be so much harder to write a blog post about sadness. I don’t want to be the person spreading sadness and yet there are always things that upset, worry and make me sad.

No one has fabulous days every day.

It’s the tough days that make me appreciate the good ones all the more

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Searching for the sun.

So if I post a photo of my garden, I’ll usually take it on a bright, sunny day. Sometimes I’ll have to wait for quite a few days for the sun to appear and when it does I’m out there,  really appreciating the light.

For every flower, fruit, vegetable and so on I’ve been proud of, there have been the plants I’ve put in the wrong position, or not fed correctly, or something (who knows what!) and they’ve not survived.

However, every seed, every bulb, every plant has been planted with optimism – I’m going for the cup is half full!

I guess there’s ups and downs in nature and in life but I’m going to keep on plugging away.

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A close up of  a murmuration of starlings at Aberdeen beach. (Not a very sunny day!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books · Nature · Thank you · walking

A Year of Writing

 

I set a target to write a blog for a year. Well, I did. Now …

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Eight reasons why writing a blog has been a good thing for me.

1. The discipline to write and post once a week

2.  To connect with new people

3.  To take time to reflect

4.  The garden, photos and writing all link together

5.  To join the Big Bee Count and the Big Butterfly Count and share

6.  To walk the dog – with purpose, giving me time to think about the blog post

7.  To learn eg. – about Lady Bird Johnston and her ‘Beautification Programme’

8.  To read and review books

 

Funnily enough, one of the things I had to learn was to give myself a holiday from the blog!

 

So, what next?

A new target.

This year I’d like to write a fortnightly blog and continue with the other types of writing I love;  writing for children, short stories, poems and so on.

I hope you’ll join me along the way and I’d welcome your feedback!

Time to switch the kettle on, love!

 

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Stunning Sweet Peas

 

Flowers · Garden · Vegetables

Fair Weather Gardening

I am a fair weather gardener – okay, pretty much a fair weather everything, but that is, as they say, another story!

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The bee and the Bird’s-foot trefoil

So the arrival of autumn brings with it a dilemma for me. I love being out in the garden but not on cold days so, will I plant winter crops? A nice dilemma to have, I admit.

This spring and summer has brought us fabulous weather and much bigger crops of fruit and vegetables than we’ve ever had before in our garden. So, maybe this is the year?

Normally I stick to planting bulbs hoping for my own mini Keukenhof! Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths and snakeshead fritillaries for outside and hyacinths for inside. This year though, I think it may be time to be brave and plant some winter crops.

The thought of trying out a new plant is exciting, a wee trip to the garden centre (always lovely!) will it be seeds, a small plant, or a splash out treat of a more fully grown one? Something to look forward to as the nights begin to draw in and the glove drawer is opened once again.

Of course, as I write this the sun is warming my hands on this keyboard, making me smile as I look out onto the crazy chaotic wilderness of our wildflower garden.

Still, a gardener must be an optomist, so, here goes.

 

 

This years’ produce has given me inspiration!

Friendship · Garden · Nature · Poetry · Seasons

Starting September

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September spiders, weaving webs from window to washing line.

A new academic year, time to refresh, rethink, reconsider.

Will we look at the web we’ve built for ourselves?

This is a new beginning, brighter, warmer, sunnier than January 1st. Life is full of hope and possibilities. New opportunities.

September sun shining after a cleansing downpour and it’s time to declutter. Do I need quite so many things? Can they be recycled, reused?

It’s the same with the garden. Time to tidy up, wash out all the pots ready for next year.

Amidst these thoughts for the future, I’m going to take a moment to think of all the good things. Yes, it’s exhilarating to plan new adventures but I think the starting point must be where I celebrate all the lovely people in my life and the successes, large and small.

Wishing you a happy, sunny and successful September! What will you celebrate?

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
–  Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885