Books · Trees

Arborglyphs

I love how one thing leads to another.

Watching a documentary by the actress Dame Judi Dench, I heard her describe drawings on trees as arborglyphs. (What a fabulous word!)

On my regular walk I had already noticed some markings but dismissed them as a sort of vandalism. Then with this all in mind I noticed this:

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Is this smile natural or manmade?

Looking up arborglyphs I stumbled upon this blog, Arboroglyph. Might be one for me to follow.

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Couldn’t resist taking this photo – for some reason it reminds me of the Saucepan Man in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Faraway Tree’!

 

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Finished reading this book last week and would highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

Snowy Days

Books · Dogs · Inspiration · Trees

Inspiring Dog Days

Sometimes it’s dark, rainy, cold, dreich, miserable and you just don’t feel like going out for a walk.

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Molly and her new favourite toy.

Then again, if you’re a dog owner, you don’t have much choice! Maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, there is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes, I’ve heard it.

Still, say you do go out for a walk, there is beauty in the darkness.

Shape, form. Twisted trees, reaching on and up towards the light. Droplets balanced on pine needles. The surprise sighting of a heron crouched and tucked up tightly beside a nearly obscured pond.

 

Every time I go for a walk I find some different aspect of nature to think about. I want to learn more about the world around me. The birds I hear singing, what are they? The clouds, what type? Are they Altocumulus, Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulonimbus? Fabulous names to match stunning patterns.

I return home enthused, of course this is another excuse for me to indulge my love of learning and books!

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I hope you do get a chance to go for a walk today.

Then, when you come back home, switch the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa – here are a couple of book recommendations for all nature lovers, with links to my reviews on GoodReads.

 

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd    Findings by Kathleen Jamie

Books · Inspiration

Last Minute Gift Ideas – Books of Course!

A book is such a lovely gift to give and receive.

Just in case you’re looking for some inspiration, here is the link to my blog about ‘cup of tea’ books – recommendations from friends and readers of this blog.

I hear a lot these days about the Icelandic tradition of ‘jolabokafloo’ – where books are exchanged as gifts on Christmas Eve and the rest of the evening is spent reading. It sounds ideal to me!

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At the moment I am reading ‘Slipstream’ a memoir by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

It’s fascinating as it explains about the many characters and experiences in her own life which influenced her writing of the Cazalet Chronicles.

 

 

Well, it’s certainly time for a holiday.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – with lots of time for reading, hopefully!

 

 

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Winter skies with silver linings
Garden · Inspiration

Planting Seeds of Hope

 

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I bought cornflower seeds in the spring, planted them, was truly amazed when they grew so well and then continued to flower for weeks and weeks.

Now I know what they mean when authors write ‘eyes of cornflower blue’.

They reminded my Mum of when she was a child.

I took photos, lots of them.

Bees, butterflies, hoverflies all visited my little wildflower garden.

Finally I collected the seeds. Tiny little shaving brushes. I’d remembered what the seeds looked like from when I sowed them. Quite different to anything I’d seen before.

So all in all a real success. I’m very glad I bought that one little packet of seeds. It was quite relaxing, sitting at the kitchen table sorting them out. Now they’re carefully stored and I’m looking forward to planting them next year.

Those tiny little seeds, of hope.

Books · Inspiration

Drama

 

The leaves are collecting in the corners of the garden. The animals must be gathering their food for winter. Thoughts of hibernation arise but I am clearing out. If I am to hibernate then it is time for a sort out!

thumb_IMG_E0573_1024Helping to tidy up the shelves and shelves of books in my father-in-law’s house recently, we found a pile of Penguin paperbacks.

For some reason this one caught my eye. Perhaps because it has a play by J.M. Barrie and I keep meaning to visit Kirriemuir where he was born. Maybe it’s because I love the story of Peter Pan.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these. They are witty and clever, some sad, others funny. As John Ferguson says in his introduction, the plays are a ‘clear and precise study of some particular character, situation or problem.’ You can read my review on GoodReads here.

As I looked up the playwrights I stumbled upon the fact that M. Luce was in fact Margaret Luce, the grandmother of Miranda Hart. I’m a big fan of Miranda’s shows – they’re so cheery!

With drama on my mind and St Andrew’s day fast approaching (November the 30th) here’s a link to a great video to be found on the http://www.scotland.org website. (Did I mention the actress is my aunt! One very proud niece here!)

 

Wishing you all a very enjoyable time during Book Week Scotland!

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Cotoneaster in the sunlight.

 

 

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?