Friday, April 27, 2007


My favourite small bird the European Goldfinch. I love to watch them play on thistle heads in the common land at the back of my cottage.

This is turning out to be a really busy week with everything geared towards the Local History Exhibtion on Saturday. Naturally, the sunny weather has returned, so yesterday I downed tools regarding the exhibition to spend a few hours in my garden potting on some plants that I have been hardening off.

More birds from the family of finches, such colourful cheerful looking birds, flashes of pure colour as they fly by you.

I did something this year about plants that I will never do again, unless someone in England can recommend a better supplier. Last year I bought my plants from a garden centre and my children bought me some lovely perennials for Mother's Day from a supplier called Crocus. They were really good plants. This year I bought a few more perennials by post and then decided to buy my bedding plants that way, although they come as plug plants you seemed to get a good quantity of them. Once again my children said they would buy me some for Mother's Day, so with their order and me ordering as well the firm J. Parker's has had a substantial order from us.

The Blue tit, I love watching them crawl up the wall of my barn and swing from its gutters, such entertaining acrobats.

I have not been at all happy with the way the plants are arriving, obviously they send them out as they are ready, but this means they come in small dribs and drabs, my bigger complaint is the state of some of these plants. They come in plugs of 66, which as soon as I get I have been opening and potting on before putting their permanent homes. I am beginning to notice the plants that are slightly more mature and are sent out in slightly larger cases, such as the Geraniums and ground cover plants are all doing well, but I have lost half of my petunias, and nearly all my trailing geraniums. I am feeling very disgruntled about these as I not used to plants dying on me. I think I have learnt my lesson with bedding plants, back to the garden centre.

The Mistle or Missel Thrush, they are becoming rare in England, but not if you know where to find them. There is a beautiful one visits my garden.

After doing some gardening yesterday, I sat in the garden, watching the birds, there is a tremendous amount of bird activity at the moment. Just sitting in my garden chair, I watched different types of the tit and finch family, plus of course, common or garden sparrows, blackbirds and thrushes, including the beautiful mistle thrush, my crows, who don't wish to be photographed, plus the collared doves and wood pigeons. I counted eighteen varieties of bird life in one half hour. Whilst I was sitting there drinking a cup of coffee, Mr Heron flew over my garden and I was fascinated to see he was carrying quite a large fish in his claws, he must have been taking it home to the heronry. A Rook was chasing him as he had flown too near the rookery, though, the rook seemed to think he was chasing the heron, I could see Mr. Heron, was treating the rook with distain. The Heron is marvellous to watch, those great wings that seem to go so far without flapping, he is a silent flyer. Magic.!

The wonderful mystical Mr. Heron, to see him fly across an early moon at twilight is an uplifting magical experience.

All my other endeavours are now geared towards my exhibition, I have had a constant stream of visitors from outlying hamlets and villages, asking if the History Lady lives here, and dropping off old photographs and old documents. I am scanning and reprinting a lot of the old photographs, for two reasons, one I wouldn't like anything to happen to someone's personal belongings, and two, you can clean up the quality slightly of the photographs and make them clearer, the same goes for the documents. I have had other members distributing flyers but there is just me and someone assisting me, very ably, organising everything. The manpower of the group will be put to use early tomorrow morning when the display boards arrive and need to be assembled and the tables and chairs set out. I also have got a tea rota going, and have made ID badges for the actual Group so visitors will know the people to ask questions of. I hope the weather says good, because if people are going out for the day, they probably could pop into the exhibition first. Keep your fingers crossed that it is a success and think of me and my modest exhibition tomorrow.

This is a painting of Sir Philip Howard, of Corby Castle, sitting very elegantly surveying his land. Great Corby is one of our next villages and that is my local river that is the backdrop to the painting. The Howards did own most of our village at one time. You can see their coat of arms and insignia on some of the houses in the village.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


These are the stained glass panels in St Martin's church in Brampton, my nearest small market town. These images were designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Oh dear, that is exactly how I felt yesterday. I awoke to a gloomy grey day complete with drizzle of rain, too many deadlines looming in my head. I definitely got out of the wrong side of the bed and I grumped around growling to myself as I went downstairs to make the breakfast. Too wet for the garden and plants waiting patiently to be planted before they give up hope and wither. My energy levels were plummeting as the day got greyer. Ready to pick a fight with myself, and here was the final blow, I had stupidly let myself run out of a couple of household items I needed. No way, could I face going into the town, then inspiration struck, I would go the other way to my nearest little market town Brampton. Then another light bulb in my head lit up, I had been thinking that I needed to do a tour of the small surrounding villages before the Local History Exhibition on Saturday, to note the differences to the old photos, on a rainy day what better way to do it than to catch the twisty turning backwards and forwards country bus that takes over an hour to take me what normally takes ten minutes.

This is the Market Square in Brampton, looking towards the Moot Hall.

Off I went and caught the direct bus to Brampton, this would give me half and hour or so before having to catch the slow-mo bus back. Off I went to the Post Office, the Baker's and the lovely local Butcher's. Then there was just time to visit two charity shops and the local Moot Hall which is the tourist information centre. Luck was with me, I bought a beautiful foot high bluestoneware flagon, with a stopper cork and a wooden tap, which will look beautiful in my kitchen. Only £1 incredible. Inside the tourist information office was a sale of bargain books, selling wonderfully cheaply, just found time to purchase three of them before heading back to the bus stop.

This is looking from the Moot Hall down the other way towards St Martin's church.

The little bus turned up and I was the only passenger, these little buses only have six double seats on each side, a long back seat and a space at the front for pushchairs and parcels. I was already a bit more cheerful with my unexpected purchases. Well that was the most wonderful hour's journey, up and down hill, turns to the left then back out again turns to the right and back out again, almost doing complete circles from where we had started until I was set down just over one hour later two door away from my front door. I had seen pheasants a plenty, some strange type of wild geese, a crow and a bird of prey fighting, tiny lambs tottering around and some beautiful leggy foals in the fields with their mothers. Not to mention some wonderful old building and countryside. The blues had been blown away and the grumpiness shaken and rattled out of me by the twisty roads, and as a plus some locally made Cumberland Sausages to make a casserole with for dinner.

A close up of the Moot Hall, which is the tourist information centre.

Today I had to go into town, to the library to do some extra large photocopying for the exhibition on Saturday. On my way to the library I noticed that a new remainder bookshop had opened this week all books £2. What! I checked that out twice, in I went like pooh bear to a honey pot. Unbelievable books all at £2, I was spoilt for choice, I picked a wonderful book all about jade, another one quilting round the world and a beautiful book full of botanical illustrations through the ages. Some of these books had been over £30. Added a few fiction, rushed to the till and paid, and got out the shop pronto before I was tempted to buy more. I did manage ascertain that the shop will be there for six months, ummmm I'll definitely be back if books stay at that price and it was just not an opening offer.

I must show you this cute little woodland sprite I received from Lila of Indigo Pears as part of the ongoing Hello Dolly swap. She is called Fern and she is carefully carrying a nest of eggs. Isn't she just delicious?
St Martin's church Brampton

Dear Mrs Nesbitt, has tagged me with the following 40 questions, so here goes, deep breath and off I go:-

1. What is your occupation? My degree is in History, I don't want to sound stuffy and say I am a Historian, so perhaps, Researcher of Social History might be better. I can also complicate the matter by admitting I have a Dip AD in art and design as well.

2. What color are your socks right now? Bare feet.

3. What are you listening to right now? Chopin's Nocturnes, though I love a varied selection of music, especially old hippie stuff.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Spring Vegetable Rolls

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Not quite sure what this means? Is it something to do with motorbikes?

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple Haze.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My daughter, Sweetpea.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes, or I wouldn't be doing it.

9. How old are you today? About seven

10. Favorite drink? Wine, red, white or rose.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Hah you know about me and sport!

12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, I'm not a true blonde.

13. Pets? Always, cats

14. Favorite food? At the moment, celery,nut and apple salad.

15. What was the last movie you watched? Howard's End.

16. What was the last book you read? Spirits in the Wires Charles de Lint.

17. What do you do to vent anger? Growl!

18. What was your favourite toy as a child? My doll's house.

19. What is your favourite, fall or spring? Spring because after that it's Summer and I have my garden.

20. Hugs or kisses? Depends who's doing the giving.

The interior of St Martin's Church Brampton showing the stained glass in situ.

21. Cherries or blueberries? Cherries.

22. Do you want your friends to leave you comments? Well that's what blogs are about.

23. Who is the most likely to comment? My little circle of regulars.

24. Who is least likely to comment? These people that visit everyday and just lurk, please try saying hello. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I could list you!

25. Living arrangements? An empty nest just my other half and I.

26. When was the last time you cried? Monday, just felt overwhelmed, see above.

27. What's on the floor of your closet? Handbags, shoes and of course, books.

28. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Pam

29. What did you do last night? Mounted photographs and cut out printed captions for them.

30. Favorite smells? Vanilla and Floral smells such as jasmine, lotus or rose.

Another of the stained glass panels designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

31. What inspires you? The countryside and books.

32. What are you afraid of? Heights, mainly, I was terrified crossing the railway bridge in the wind at Thirsk and didn't want to sound a wimp by saying I was scared of heights. I won't even climb a ladder.

33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Don't like hamburgers.

34. Favourite dog breed? greyhounds.

35. Number of keys on your key ring? Never carry a key ring or keys, I have ways and means.

36. Number of years at current job? Doesn't work like that, it's sporadic.

37. Favourite day of the week? Sunday for chilling.

38. How many states/countries have you lived in? One country, two counties.

39. Favourite holidays? Where else but Cornwall.

40. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? I can just see my other half shaking his head and he is now bend double with laughter!

Friday, April 20, 2007


I have been busy over the last couple of weeks, sorting out maps, photographs, and writings about my village and its environs. This is because a week tomorrow, my Local History Group is having a drop in event at the local community hall. People can either bring any documents etc they would like to show us or just come and have a look at the display boards to see what we have found out so far. It's free and you get a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits, so we are hoping it will be a success. This gave me the idea that it would be nice to share with you some of the old photographs I have found and tell you all about them.

The first photograph above, is my very favourite, it is taken in the next village to us about 2miles away. The road leads down to the river and there used to be a ferry there that would take you across the river. What fascinates me about this photograph is the lady standing outside her rather impressive ivy covered house. She is wearing an amazingly large crinoline, and has obviously just come out to see what is going on, another member of the household leans out of an upstairs window to watch the photographer. I love the fact it is not a posed family photograph but just someone standing in the type of clothing they wore everyday. The photo just has 1870 on it. I am not sure if this is correct due to the size of the crinoline. I think it is either slightly earlier or prehaps, fashions took a long time to reach our neck of the woods.

This photograph shows the same view, except it is further down the road, and we have moved into Edwardian times. The river and the woods of this village, Wetheral, were a Sunday or day off destination for people in this area. You could walk in the woods or take a picnic by the side of the river. Children would be taken there with their pace eggs at Easter for a treat. It was also a popular spot with the middle classes and their Botanical Societies etc, searching for plant specimens in the woods.

This is the other end of that village, note the unmade road, today this is a busy tarmac road. It looks so idyllic with all the hedges and bushes, you could wander down that road in quite a daydream, not likely to be able to do that with the cars that go hurtling through today.

This is the Wheatsheaf Inn, it is at the top left on the previous photograph, just before the road bends, hidden by greenery. This is also an Edwardian photograph. The Wheatsheaf is still there today, though that is now a busy traffic bend in the road. I love the staff standing outside the door and the man on horseback watching the photo being taken. I wonder who he is?

This engraving is from 1837 showing the large railway bridge over the river. What a wonderful feat of engineering. The Victorians certainly could build. The railway station at Wetheral is still open and trains do stop there. I love crossing this river in a train, on a return journey, to me it is always a sign that I am nearly home. You can walk across the railway bridge, there is a fenced off pathway along side the railway track and this leads you into the village of Great Corby. This is where years ago the ferry from Wetheral used to take you across to.

This tinted photograph is of the next village after Wetheral, Heads Nook. These are Railway Villas, someone did tell me that they used to belong to the railway and managers and clerical workers from the railway lived in them. They are very substantially built properties. Alas, the railway station at Heads Nook is no longer open.

Yesterday and today, I have had a stream of small white boxes containing my summer bedding plants through the post. It is total chaos, I am finding it hard to understand why these boxes are coming through individually when I put one order in. Yes, I understand they send the plants off when ready, but it looks like a certain amount of them must have been ready at the same time, why not put them in one container. There are nicely and safely packaged, one problem, though. The small perennials little plastic homes are labelled with names of plants inside but the trays of 66 plug plants give no indication of variety! hummm! Well some I could recognise by leaf, although they are still small plants, I could see which were going to be geraniums and which were petunias but one or two at the moment it's anybodies guess what they will become.

It is still slightly early to plant outside, although the days are warm, we are still experiencing ground frost at night occasionally. So, my day has been spent sitting in the kitchen potting on, goodness knows how many small plants, I lost count. Suffice to say that every windowsill in the cottage has been taken over by trays of young plants. Never mind that will give them a good start and they can go outside at the end of the month. It's certainly kept me busy today, but I got them all potted on, mainly because I know there is still a batch of them to arrive. Fortitious as well that they came just as the moon began to wax again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This is the Silver Birch tree that is in on the common ground behind my house and garden. This was taken in the early morning sunlight, which seems to be glinting on the new leaves which have just unfurled in the last couple of days. Look at that beautiful cloudless sky.

I was sitting in my workroom on Monday afternoon and looked out of the window across the street to my neighbour's yard and barn when suddenly a bird swooped and swerved in front of it, yes, it was a swallow, then another appeared and for some minutes they performed their acrobatic flight around the yard. Today, Tuesday, they are no where to be seen. I have noted this happens every year, the only thing I can think of is that a few swallows make up an advanced party fly ahead and check out their summer habitat then return to report to the rest of the group who are winging there way here. I am confident within the next day or so they will all be wheeling and diving in the sky. The weather has turned slightly chiller which reminded me of the above adage which I have used as a title.

This is the dove cote entrance to the barn that the crows are using, if you enlarge the photo you can see a large stick they have not been able to get inside, and it has got stuck behind the guttering.

I have been trying to photograph my crows, but they are such crafty birds. I got up early with the camera and went down into the garden as I noted from the bedroom window they were busy flying in and out the barn. I quietly positioned myself in the corner of the garden and waited, and waited and waited! I looked round over the common land behind and there were the cheeky birds just out of camera range sitting in a tree looking at me. So no luck yet, but I spent some time photographing various items which are illustrating this posting, explanations are underneath the photographs.

This is the ruin of an old forge [it has no proper roof just some corrugated iron thrown over some of it]. Inside, although the entrance is blocked up now, the forge fireplace is still in the corner. Look at the old wooden dovecote on the side. This is situated on the lane that leads away from the land behind my garden.

On Sunday we entered the fifth moon of the celtic year in which every month has a tree and I did promise to follow the months and tell you a little about the tree of the month. The tree is the Willow, also known as pussy willow or withey. In herbal lore the bark of the willow is used as a pain killer, it contains an ingredient that forms salicylylous acid which is actually the active ingredient in aspirin. Which shows there is a lot of truth in old time herbal lore. The Willow tree is connected to water and is also a tree of the moon. It is one of the traditional woods to be added to the bonfires on Mayday evening. It is said that if you sit under the Willow Tree and listen you will hear the voices of the fairies when the wind stirs the leaves. To plant a Willow tree near your home is to protect it and its branches make superb wands or dowsing tools. You can also carry a little piece of Willow with you to protect you when travelling. Folklore tells tales of Willows uprooting themselves by night and stalking travellers!

These three photographs were taken at Easter when the garden was just showing signs of Spring growth, the beds look sparse but beside some of the markers there are tiny plantlings coming up. The next task will be to put down a new layer of bark chippings.

This is my shrub corner, the lavender is sprouting new shoots and the broom is getting ready to flower and at the fore of the photograph my white lilac bush is showing off its new leaves.

This is the bed I was hoeing before I stopped to take photos. The honeysuckle is flourishing and the new growth of herbs has started in the pots.

Here is the Easter Branch I decorated for Easter, as I have said before, we don't really do decorations over here, but this was a late attempt at me doing some. I will be more organised next year and do more decorations. Unfortunately, by the time this photograph was taken the chocolate minature bunnies seem to have all been eaten.

Many thanks Pea, for telling me the name of the little girl in the red cloak in American comics, of course, it was Wendy the Little Witch. How could I have forgotten that.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Some more days of beautiful Spring weather with the birds singing and the trees now bursting into leaf. I thought we had collared doves or wood pigeons nesting in the upper storey of our barn using the square opening which is the dovecote entrance, that was until yesterday morning. I went down to have my early morning check on the garden for new growth, and found a trail of large [and I mean large] branches across the garden on the roofs of the two small outbuildings and actually one half sticking out the dovecote entrance[which is large enough for a cat to get in]. How strange I thought and sat down quietly at the garden table to wait. Then I was rewarded a large black crow with twigs in mouth swooped down and flew into the barn. Our barn residents are black crows, maybe hooded crows, I am still checking. How amazing is that? There I am, at the moment, working on the Chunky Crow Book, and suddenly Crows have decided to live with me. By chance or what?

There is a lull in the garden at the moment, yes the plants that are established are pushing up and growing, the magnolia is blooming and some beautiful tulips, weeds have been tackled but there is no actual planting to be done until my plant order arrives later this month, then it will be full speed ahead. So there is time for now to sit at the table working on various projects, enjoying the sunshine and just generally chilling out and being at one with the garden.

Also time to think about gardening in my childhood. I began to remember gardening at my grandparent's house in the Spring. I can remember sitting in the old shed with grandfather, the door would be thrown open to the mild weather and the air was permeated with the shed smells, linseed oil, potting compost and the heavy sweet aroma of my Grandfather's pipe its smoke twirling and swirling out towards the door. My Grandfather would sit at a makeshift bench glossy redbacked notebook and stubby pencil in hand making a list of needs for the garden that summer, grass seeds, seeds, bedding plants etc. He would then give this list to my Grandmother who would take it into the Seed Merchant's when she visited the town for Saturday shopping and the garden goods would be delivered in the Seed Merchant's van. How civilised!

The above memory of my Grandfather and his garden led me on to thinking about THE SATURDAY SHOPPING TRIP [yes, the capitals are because it was a most important day].
From when I was a small child until I was about ten years old, every Saturday, I remember we went into the town for the SATURDAY SHOP. This is how those childhood weekends went.
On a Friday, my Mother would go to the local grocery store with a handwritten list which she would hand over the counter.

This was before we had supermarkets in our area. Though I do remember when a supermarket did open in our area, opposite the local grocery store. I was so excited, I thought 'wow this must be like shopping in America'. Unfortunately, housewives did not have their own cars, or even drive, so it was soon discovered that the downside was having to carry your shopping home. As I was saying, before I got waylaid, on the Friday evening the door would ring and there would be a delivery boy with your box of weekly groceries where upon my Mum would get her purse and pay for the groceries. So that was all your dried goods etc so Saturday would be the weekend fresh food shop.

Entrance to covered market

Every Saturday my Mother and I would get the 8.30 bus into the town and we would meet my Grandmother outside of the covered market. Before we go into the covered market, let me tell you about the Seed Merchant's. At this time of year my Grandmother would drop my Grandfather's order off at this shop. To me it was a very boring shop, not a lot of stock, but bays full of various grass seeds with a large metal scoop and a huge set of scales. The grass seed would be weighed and put into a sturdy brown bag and marked with type. I used to love to look at the packets of seeds in the racks, lovely colourful packets promising such wonderous glories from such tiny hard objects. Only later in the season did the shop become interesting when the annual bedding plants filled the shop to the brim. There were also stacks of things such as onion sets, gladioli bulbs and seed potatoes. Then towards the back of the shop were the bays of fertilisers and potting composts a mixture of pungent musty smells, of fishand blood, bonemeal, and john innes compost. The items on the list would be picked out, weighed and then delivered later in the day to your home.

Down into the market

Then it was on to the covered market. On a Saturday morning huge trestle tables were put up in the aisles of the market and the country women straight from the farms would come in to sell their wares. Everyone seemed to have a favourite lady and if you were a regular anything she did not have a lot of would be kept under the trestle for you. These were no fay earth mothers but rough hewn ruddy cheeked farmer's wives with short sensible haircuts, rough hands, berets and sensible belted overcoats and laced up brogues who spoke with broad Cumbrian accents. I remember huge wicker baskets of eggs complete with the odd feathers, Madge the farmer's wife would sometimes pick an extra brown speckled egg out and say to me ..and here is an extra one for you tea missy. We would also buy in season freshly picked vegetables and in spring she would have newspaper wrapped plantlings for our gardens, such as calendula, nasturiums and bunches of yellow daffodils. There would be freshly churned butter and seasonal items, bunches of holly, and in February when you just began to think Winter would never end she would bring in bunches of beautiful white snowdrops, my Grandmother always bought me a bunch of the first snowdrops, and I loved to sit and look at them in a lovely topaz coloured bowl my Mother kept for snowdrops. After the farmer's wives it was straight to the butcher to pick up the Sunday joint to roast and some other cut of meat to keep going until the Tuesday, when my Mother would return to town again. We would finish off at the fruit stall and last of all the bakers, where I could choose a cake for tea.

When we returned home we would eat our lunch, my Father would get ready for an afternoon of sport and my Mother and I would return to the town, no sturdy shopping bags this time, this was a more genteel outing. This time we would meet my Grandmother and her sister, and her sister's step-grandson outside Marks and Spencers, which the adults browsed around while the boy and I became engrossed in one of our imaginery games, were we in a store, no way, we were superheros battling to save mankind amongst the racks of clothes. Then came the highlight of our afteroon, we would retire to a cafe for tea and toasted teacakes, though in our case, Lemonade and a chocolate biscuit or in summer ice-cream. The grownups would drone along gossiping whilst we brought out our treasures....American Comics, both D and I would avidly swap these, we were American Comic fanatics, he had many more than me, but apart from Superman and Batman I used to love Casper, Lulu, Little Richie and my favourite and I can't remember her name, she was a little witch with a red cloak. After the cafe there was more shop browsing whilst we resumed world saving, then the final highlight of the afternoon, a visit to the one newagents in town that stocked American comics. Should it be a Superman or a funny? What did that one say Superman's dying from Green Krytonite, it's got to be that one, yes! Oh the delicious agonising thrill of trying to decide which one to buy that week, it was almost, but not quite as good as my weekly visit on a Monday to the library. Then goodbyes were said and home we went for tea, me clutching my new comic. Those were the Saturday's of my childhood.

I note there is a challenge going around for an old photograph of yourself. Well here goes! Above is a photograph of my other half and myself in September 1977 [Yes it is another of those strange photos that have turned pinky brown over the years]. It is a momentous photograph, I think we have both just sold our souls and become part of the system, the hippy dream faded away. My husband no longer had very long hair and a beard, he just has normal length hair for the time [the moustache has long gone thank goodness]. I had just had my very nearly waist length hair cut and styled and I was pregnant with our son. That is our beautiful cat Jasper, who lived to a ripe old age of thirteen. We look as though we are taking life very seriously. I may publish some more photos next posting, to show how you can watch my hair grow bigger and bigger!

Monday, April 09, 2007


Sorry, just couldn't resist the above title. I would like to thank Lila of for nominating me for a Thinking Blogger Award and also my stylist, my personal trainer, my hairdresser, my driver, the man who counts my money, the man that punches the paps if they take a photo of me when I am tired and emotional lol! In turn, I would like to nominate these five people:-

1. Robyn of There is always plenty to mull over and think about here on Robyn's site. Robyn who is obviously a kindred spirit to me.

2.Tinker of It would be a much duller world without Tinker's rambling stories, funny, serious or just plaint scary they make my day no one, can ramble and go off on a tangent like Tinker.

3. Gemma of A quiet blog but one with a lady in charge who has done some deep thinking and knows some very deep knowledge I believe.

4. Nature Girl of For her poetry, thoughts and wonderful artistic photographs.

5. Janet of A lady who tries so hard to be true to herself and has refound her creativity mojo and has interesting points of view.

There you go those are my nominations for the Thinking Bloggers Award. I will wear my sidebar badge proudly.

I have recently added another sidebar badge that I found on Robyn's blog, which I believe originally came from this blog, I notice that more of us are using it and that Kai has talked about this issue on her blog . Basically, it is Blogging without Obligation, to me it means we are all busy people, we blog to put our thoughts down, to make friends with other bloggers and to receive and reply to comments. Now some people are lucky and can do this on a day to day basis, but some whether through family, jobs or just plain business doing things we enjoy, are not so on the ball as every day. Then that horrid sense of guilt and obligation creeps in, oh I better not go to bed until I have commented on so and so's blog, they might think I am not bothering anymore. This badge showing on my sidebar means, I am still visiting you and commenting, some days and weeks more than others, I work up my list and down my list of contacts, so not everyone gets a comment everyday. If I am busy I won't be around as much, but if it was anything drastic that was happening and I was not going to be around for a while I would somehow get a quick posting up to inform people. Let's keep blogging heartwarming and not let it descend into stress and disenchantment my motto will be WE LIVE FIRST, THEN WE BLOG, otherwise we would run out of things to blog about.

It is Easter Monday afternoon now, I don't know how many of you have an official or Bank Holiday added on to Easter, but now we are nearing the end of the Easter Holiday. I have had a fantastic time, well according to my idea of what I wanted to enjoy I have. Haven't been anywhere since Thursday, just in my cottage and garden. Two days of brilliant weather and two days of so so weather, so I managed to do a little bit of everything. How content I feel after allowing myself all this self indulgence. And what have I done over Easter? Well, the Easter type things first, cooked a delicious Easter Sunday Meal, drank wine, ate chocolate. Tidied round the garden, hoeing weed clearing checking up on new growth, chatting to neighbours, sitting in the sun finishing off one book I was reading and starting a Charles de Lint book I have been waiting to read. Read some delicious magazines and dreamt about owning the wonderful gardens and rooms shown in them. Watched a couple of dvds, including one of my favourite indulgent ones Practical Magic, from the book by Alice Hoffman, it never fails to cheer. Burnt some wonderful incense, the most fragrant I have had for ages. Brought a box of wonderfully illustrated children's books that were my kids and mine, out of the cupboard, as I have decided they need a bookshelf of their own so I can look at the illustrations and I can fill the cupboard up with some of the sorted boxes lying around. All in all a really good Easter, which I will finish off this afternoon, with a list making session for the garden, house and future projects. Oh, and I pulled off all the images I need for the Chunky Crow Book project I am in. I'll be assembling it this week, all 22 pages of it.

If the sun comes out again, I may return to the garden this afternoon, or if not, I will sort through the children's books and then tidy up my computer, its getting cluttered and untidy so I will start transfering things onto disc so I can empty up some more memory. I did sent out a lot of email easter cards, but I don't think you all will have got them I had some returned saying wrong email address, that was news to me, as my emails themselves have been getting through to you all. So I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter as I have had, but in your own special ways.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


April, above, in the words of Paul Simon. We have had a beautiful start to April, unseasonably warm sunny days without any wind, but still getting a strong frost at night. You really have to temper your planting of young plants, the warm days beguile you into thinking how much they will love to be planted out in the fresh air, then the cold night hits. I planted out some trailing verbena, which I have never tried before, yesterday and woke up this morning to see the frost on the grass. With heavy heart I made my way to the garden and looked, oh dear I thought I had lost them, but tonight after a good few hours soaking up the sunshine they look as though they have perked up. I do hope so, I must restrain from too much planting.

We have had wonderful Moons since the beginning of April, waxing, full and now waning, but brilliantly clear and a fantastic cool icy lemon colour, one night, in particular it had a wonderful hazy aura round it for part of the night. So four wonderful nights of sleep for me with the Moon shining in my bedroom window, and as Spring has arrived and the bedroom winter is open wider the night breeze was making the mirrored discs on my hanging window ornaments chase around the bedroom, a wonderful free light show. I love an ice cold bedroom, I usually have the radiator knocked off at night, and to be toasty and warm under a really thick duvet. It's the mixing of cold and hot, bliss, sort of like a sauna and cold plunges I suppose.

Speaking of the Moon, the photograph above is of the Moon Goddess doll that Robyn made for me as part of the Hello Dolly Swap. This is not a very good photo of it, and I will have to take some proper ones, but at least you can see it. She is all white with golden eyes and some glittery moon net. Her hands are above her head holding up a Full Moon. She is adorned with objects with meaning in moonlore. In her little bag she carries a silver coin, crystals and precious stones. She also carries a little scroll telling lots of things that are connected to the Moon, such as colours, herbs, flowers jewels etc. I just love her, she obviously sits in my bedroom window with my moonstones at Full Moon. Thank you Robyn.

Does anyone else smudge, or clear their house with incense. I am a great believer in it. I usually get my special incense from a little shop that does postal order in Glastonbury. They do two lovely ones, one for house protection and one for clearing away bad energy. Sometimes I think if unhappy things have been happening or you have a lot of unhappiness or sorrow it can cling to the atomsphere of the house sort of multiplying until you are caught in a spiral of unhappiness that, for want of a better word, 'feeds' upon the negativity creating more of the same. To get rid of it you need to open all the windows, light the incense in every room or alternatively go through the rooms with a smudge stick letting the bad vibes fly out through the window. Try doing this and at the same time thinking a happy thought or singing a happy song even. Spring, even if your house doesn't feel negative, is a great time to clear the house for the year like this. Sort of like mental, or mind spring cleaning.

I have been running my Local History Group tonight and I am pleased to report that it really is going from strength to strength, the idea of an illustrated lecture with a speaker one month and a meeting to discuss items the next seems to be bringing people in. Every time I learn something I didn't know, and someone usually tells me a snippet of history of the village history. We are having an open day at the end of the month, where people can come and see us informally, they can look at what we have researched and found and bring items to show us that could be of interest. It's free and there are coffee and biscuits, so I'm sure people will pop in and out.

Time now to start relaxing for Easter, forget about sorting, serious gardening, housework, just have an indulgent few days doing whatever takes my fancy, I mean if that happens to be gardening thats fine. Really though, I have got a pile of books that are just about tippling over that are waiting to be read, I really could do with sitting in the garden reading and whittling that pile down a bit.