butterflies · Fairies · Nature

Butterfies and Fairies

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Small Tortoiseshell

 

Do you ever just know you are in the right place at the right time? Sometimes you’re lucky.

This Small Tortoiseshell butterfly did a tour of my garden before settling down for a rest.

I’ve always been fascinated by the symmetry and beauty of butterflies. Maybe because as a child I loved stories about fairies. If you look closely at the depictions of a fairy’s wings then really they are the wings of a butterfly. And so, it always seems to me there is something magical, something of another world about them.

Perhaps seeing a butterfly reminds me of those childhood days, lost in a book of fairy stories, transported to another world.

Just for an instant as they grace our presence.

 

I recently read had the pleasure of reading a beautiful book, ‘Cicely Mary Barker and her Art’ by Jane Laing. I’ve posted my review on GoodReads.

Ever wished you could name the butterfly that is fluttering by you?

Well, the Big Butterfly Count  is on until the end of August. There is a handy App you can download.

Butterflies must flutter into my thoughts  more than I realise. One of my very first blog posts  was about butterflies and there have been more since!

A Butterfly Moment

A Kaleidescope of Butterfly Moments

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”  ~Hans Christian Andersen, The Complete Fairy Tales

Time for a short story? One of my favourites is The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link.

 

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Take some ‘thyme out’.
Flowers · Garden · Inspiration · Writing

Planting Patience

 

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First ever cornflower grown from seed.

Do you stop, hold your breath, count to ten, raise your eyes to the sky?

What helps you to be patient?

Do we have time for patience in this world?

At the graduation day of my nephew last week the speaker included this quote:

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Gardening and writing are both a game of patience.

Think of the countless authors who have folders full of rejection letters, think of the gardener planting seeds.

Patience and hope are needed. Will your writing develop into something truly worthwhile? Will the seed you planted or the cutting you took grow into something beautiful?

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Honeysuckle grown from a cutting

I have just been so delighted by this honeysuckle – I took a cutting from the one in my garden last year, dipped it in some rooting powder and stuck it in my raised bed.

Hey presto!

A beautiful flower and even better, I got to divide it in two; one for my garden and one to give to my parents.

 

Definitely a win for patience and hope.

Now just to keep on writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bees · Flowers · Happy

Bee Happy

I wrote a blog post last week and for some reason it didn’t save.

Not a great start to a Monday morning when I was hoping to just check it over and publish.

Still, oddly enough the post was about little things and how they can make you happy. In the scheme of things I decided, this was not a big thing and certainly wasn’t going to make me unhappy.

In fact, in a cup half full sort of way, perhaps it was a good thing? Maybe the post wasn’t that great anyway and now this was a chance to start afresh?

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Top 20 things to make you happy

A few years ago I cut out this clipping from a newspaper. For a while I hung it up in the kitchen and then I used it as a bookmark. I hadn’t seen it for sometime and had forgotten about it until thinking about this post.

On my way to try and find it amongst the mountain of books on my bedside table it was there; lying on the floor in front of me!

Somehow it must have blown off the table as I picked up a book that morning! Bizarre, definitely meant to be anyway!

 

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Taking part in the bee count makes me happy!

 

 

Taking part in the Great British Bee Count has made me really pay attention to the beauty and intricacy of flowers. I’ve spent a few moments each time watching the bee at work, an amazing sight and well worth taking the time to see. Definitely a small thing I would like to add to this top 20.

 

 

 

So, here we are, blog post written, photos included, a small thing but certainly one to make me happy – I could add it to the list above.

I’d love to know, what small thing makes you happy, is it on this list or something different? 

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The beauty of an allium.

 

bees · Books · Inspiration · Knitting · Libraries · Reading

Connections

Funny how little things link together throughout your life.

At the weekend I had a day of ‘connections’.

I was lucky enough to attend a writing course run by David Gray on behalf of the SCBWI.

What a treat, to take part in a writing course and be surrounded by books! The course took place in the fantastic setting of Dunfermline Carnegie Library, which, linked with the new museum, galleries, reading room, cafe and much more, looks out over Dunfermline Abbey.

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Wonderful view from the Carnegie Library

Afterwards we had a look at the super  ‘Blooming Marvellous’ family friendly gardening exhibition and it even had knitted flowers!

 

I grew up hearing the story of Andrew Carnegie and love the way his gift has just kept on giving. Dunfermline was the world’s first library to be funded by Andrew Carnegie and it opened in 1883.

The library was busy, even on a rainy day, and I’ll definitely be back to spend more time in Dunfermline.

So many things I love all together in one place; writing, reading, gardening, art, museums, knitting (and a cup of tea!) – truly a day of connections.

 

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Bee on the raspberries

 

Inspiration · Knitting · Poetry · stories

Writing, Weaving, Wishing

Knitting: the weaving of wool together into an intricate pattern, just as a writer combines the threads of a story.

Both have been a part of my story for as long as I can remember. The thrill of beginning a knitting or writing project is a moment full of hope.

Although, to be honest,  the final product is not often exactly as I imagined it would be!

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Three little snowmen

On examination there are usually sections I’m really proud of but also holes I know need fixed.

I’m comforted by the fact that at least I’ve given it a go.

Recently I entered a wee competition to say how I’d prepare for going to the Aberdeen Yarn Fest. This was my entry and I won a lovely totebag – which needless to say – I’m sure I’ll be filling with wool at the next Yarn Fest!

It’s Aberdeen’s Yarn Fest!

I’ve my needles counted
My patterns planned
Ready to be inspired.

I’m looking to spin a yarn
Weave a woollen tale
Hook a bag of hope.

 

I left the show inspired, I must do more knitting!

Before anything else I’m hoping to visit the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show (16th-24th June) and see the work of Laura Ukstina who is combining blocks of colourful knitting to create outfits you can change about and wear as you like. Sounds very environmentally friendly and they look amazing!

Now, if you don’t feel like knitting, how about having a wee look at Rae Cowie’s story in the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Rebel’ series all about a lovingly crafted jumper…

 

 

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Blueberry flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film · Inspiration

Nice Thoughts

 

Just a wee thought, nothing earth shattering or world changing butthumb_IMG_9185_1024 I reckon being nice is seriously underrated.

After all, is it the ‘nice’ characters we’re told we really remember from books, films etc?

And yet sometimes it’s hard to be nice, a real challenge, often your patience is stretched, you’re tired, hungry, cross.

Thankfully there are many people who I would always describe as nice and thank goodness they are.

With that thought, I reckon it’s time to watch a nice Doris Day film!

 

I’ve discovered trying to take photos of bees can be a bit tricky sometimes! Still taking part in The Great British Bee Count on until the 30th June.

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Bee on a Geranium 
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Bee on the raspberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And again!
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Missed it!
Books · Nature · Reading · walking

Restful Reading

Reading something you enjoy for just 6 minutes a day can reduce your stress levels by two thirds.

 

So I thought of a couple of suggestions, hope you enjoy them!

  • Read my blog post about Balancing Life  with the Five Ways to Better Wellbeing.

 

 

 

  • Take a moment to read a poem.

 

 

 

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Forget-Me-Nots planted from seed last year!