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 · 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!
Inspiration · Nature · Poetry

Nature’s Poetry

Magnolia Blooms 

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Manicured Magnolia

She stares angrily at the sky
Twisted, gnarled, old and cold.
Stark bare branches harsh
Against a winter landscape.

A slight warmth, she tingles inside.
Slowly her fingers start to unfurl
A new season, a new design.
French manicure on her fingertips.

Days of warmth, sharp, painted buds
Appear like a witch’s crimson talons.
Clawing their way free from slumber
Reaching for the sun, waving hands.

Suddenly perfect blooms burst forth,
Soft as sumptuous balls of ice cream.
She dances gently in the breeze wearing her
Meringue styled wedding dress for all to see.

We are all, she proclaims, let us be,
Old and twisted, soft and delightful. Let us
Be the old witch and the good fairy too
Let us show you, we are all, all women.

© SareenMcLay

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Magnolia Blooms
Garden · Inspiration · Nature

Hidden Gems

Hidden in the winter soil.

This Sedum, a gift,  from my parents’ garden.

Perhaps it hasn’t survived, I thought. Then, this.

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Sedum after the rain

Worth the wait!

So if a gardener can wait, patiently, for the gems hidden below the surface to emerge, can a writer too? Is the preparation and maintenance work the same for the gardener as for the writer?

Words don’t come from nowhere. As a friend of mine, Rae Cowie, writes in her blog, you have to ‘fill the creative well‘.

Water and nourish to flourish with books, discussion, observation, experiences, emotions and, of course, time.

There’s more to this writing lark than sitting at a desk so I’m off out – and then, I’ll be back!

Wishing you all a lovely week and the best of luck in finding your own ‘hidden gems’.

 

 

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Hellebores in flower

 

Flowers · Garden · Inspiration

Sowing Seeds

I wonder, is a gardener a secret optimist? I know gardening is supposed to be good for your mental health and I think it must be because it certainly gives us the gift of hope.

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Cornflower seeds

The very act of planting a seed, the mystery of opening the seed packet, tipping up the seeds – what will you find inside? Will they be fat beans, round nasturtiums, tiny poppy seeds or maybe the tiny shaving brushes of cornflower seeds?

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Delphiniums – grown from seed last year and actually survived the winter too

Scatter, place or drop, cover with soil. Water these presents of Nature, give the gift of life, clear, splashing, tumbling down onto the dark soil, ready for the magic to begin. 

Something will probably grow. Maybe not all the seeds you planted. Perhaps some will be eaten, some may wither if you forget to water them, but there is a chance. After all:

“Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”

(D. Everett, The Columbian Orator, 1797)

It’s a beginning, a start. What more could you ask for?

I wonder then, is a writer an optimist too? Seeds of ideas appear, you have to be brave enough to plant them, water them, feed them give them life. When you open up your mind to writing, what do the seeds look like? Will you allow them to open up to the world?

 

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Potatoes – hopefully!