I don’t know about you but 2022 , well, I can’t decide if it got off to a slow start or is just flying on through.
I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago but had a few technical issues (the format of the photos changed and I didn’t know what to do!), anyway, I decided just to post it. After all, so much of it can apply at anytime. Hope you have a good day!
Sometimes I think I have magpie tendencies. I like nothing better than to gather together bright shiny strands from all parts of my life. This then, helps me to build a sort of collage picture of hope.
I don’t think I’m alone in finding January and February a bit challenging but this is the recipe I’m using right at this very minute to help me and I hope that in some way it may help or inspire you too.
Taking a look around the garden and spotting this sedum popping through.
At times like these, when the dark winter days are slowly, slowly changing to the brighter days of spring I remind myself it can be a good thing to think small to get started with. Progress doesn’t have to be big to be effective. So it was interesting for me to read the title Anya Hindmarsh chose for her autobiography: ‘If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair’. In fact it made me laugh as, over the years, I’ve developed my own wee routine for those days of doubt.
So here it is, my six-step plan. For the days when I wake up and don’t know where to begin.
Brush my teeth
Have a shower
Go for a walk
Do the dishes
Make a pot of soup and then eat a big bowl of it!
Phone a friend/ family member.
Is there something you would add to make it super-duper seven step plan? (Or should that be ‘souper-duper’?)
Bonus soup recipe – with thanks to my Mum and most, likely, the Woman’s Weekly.
2 mugs red lentils – rinsed
1 onion – diced
5 carrots – peeled and diced
2 pints of water
2 tins of Heinz tomato soup
Optional: fennel seeds, celery – any old vegetables you have to hand.
Put everything in a large soup pot except for the tins of soup. Cook for 45 minutes, add in the tins of soup and heat through and it’s ready to serve! This also freezes very well.
Book: ‘Do One Thing Every Morning to Make Your Day’
Poem for Every Night of the Year’ Edited by Allie Esiri.
To see the iconic Marilyn Monroe images up close was an amazing experience and I was blown away by the gigantic ‘Vulcan’ sculpture by Paolozzi. Anyone who’s read Ted Hughes ‘The Iron Man’ will surely love it!
Having enjoyed the post on the Novel Points of View Blog about where writers write; I really appreciated seeing the studio of Paolozzi which had been gifted to the nation.
So what is the link to the Ali Smith book? Well, by reading it I learnt about the artist Pauline Boty who was the only female British painter who took part in the pop art movement.
How do I feel? I want to catch this moment! Paint it, sing it, tell it, share it!
The sun is warm – yes! – and blinding me as I write this.
Ten minutes in the garden, I’ve been telling myself. It’s a way to get started. Well, it always stretches, doesn’t it? That’s a good thing though.
So, today it was the turn of our ‘wildflower patch’. It was so successful last year but over the winter it had become covered in long grasses and piles of damp leaves.
I picked up the long handled rake ready to attack then suddenly noticed a fresh green shoot sticking up. Of course! I had planted some bulbs in the autumn. I’d nearly forgotten about them. What a gift!
With care, I raked away. More and more shoots began to appear and the ground cleared easily.
I’m a bit nervous, will the wildflower area be as good as last year with so many insects enjoying the flowers? Well, I guess only time will tell but now I feel at least we’re off to a good start.
So my thought for the day? Begin with ten minutes and scrape away carefully, let’s see what’s underneath. It’s a trick I’m trying with my writing.
Looking forward to using this – a gift from a lovely friend!
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
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.