Wednesday, 26 March 2014

More calligraphy

Just a couple more bits:  bookmarks for friends

Keith loves things medieval so inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels, came up with this one.

And with a bit of guilding and practice of my copperplate, came up with this one for my good friend Vicky who came to stay for the weekend...I am starting to collect little extracts and these words by Julian of Norwich's words seemed just right.


Conservatory Plants and Spring Garden

The winter has been kind, and with increasing light levels and warmth, the plants are shedding off their winter sleep


The snowdrops are over, but there is more and more colour from early spring flowers, even the rhubarb 'Early Timperley' adds a colourful contribution to the garden.


Blackbirds singing in the early mornin

Its starting to get light early...I just love the longer days.  A blackbird's song had been seeping into my early morning reveries.....

But it is Saturday morning, hubby a little poorly, wants to spend a little longer in bed...

I go downstairs, make a drink, go into the study, to sift through my books, to see which to send to Oxfam, for I have run out of bookshelf space a few books ago!

My hand strays to a very slender tome of old fashioned poems.  I brought this back from my mother's house.  It is by a 'Victorian American':  Ella Wheeler Wilcox, just what would it hold for me?  That can go...but I started to poke around and found these very apt lines, they are taken out of context from the poem 'A Song'..but its fine to pick and choose, to home in on lines, and ignore others...

I told the thrush, and we laughed together,
Laughed till the woods were all a-ring:
And he said to me, as he plumed each feather,
"Well, people must croak, if they cannot sing."

Up he flew, but his song, remaining,
Rang like a bell in my heart all day.......

Two things:
First I would have loved to have chatted to my mother about this, asked her how she acquired the book of poems, and which she liked, and maybe have read some to her when her macro degeneration left her unable to read, but she still had excellent hearing..

We would have laughed about my singing...mine would be on the 'croak' end of human singing, but I still do it, in the comfort and privacy of my home, or hidden amongst the voices of the WI Jerusalem.

As I pulled back the curtains in the bedroom, I stood for several minutes watching a pair of blackbirds 'courting', finding worms, and nesting material, a bit of singing, a bit of displaying...their song rang like a bell in my heart all day.

Sometimes it is the very small things which are the important ones....

Friday, 28 February 2014

February nearly gone

After a few days of tolerable weather, today it is cold, windy and with wintery precipitation...sometimes rain, sometimes sleet.  I am not feeling on top of the world!

I have lost my lovely brown gloves...we have turned the house upside down, mentally traced steps since last used, looking, and phoning up, etc.  I must now wait patiently and if they are to be found, they will be found! They will appear...

Meanwhile I have been trying to cheer myself up, looking at the photos I have taken so far this month.

A few remind me of the glad times...a nice chocolate cake for someone special:


A few days away at one of our favourite seaside places meant stopping en route at Anglesey Abbey.  This small area of Silver Birches is doing very well, the last time I saw these was over six years ago.
Their bark shimmered in the bright low winter sun.


A few bird pictures... the first was of the closed ferry crossing to Walberswick.


There were many gulls waiting on posts...so we walked down the working side to the old railway crossing and were rewarded this view of the Little Egret just a few meters from the path.


And at Blythburgh Church one of the Angles with bird like wings from the roof taken down and now above the entrance, all painted up.


I was doing my shopping for the cake etc on Valentine's eve, and looked at the beautiful roses, then wandered down the fruit isle...my mind wandering: roses.."Roses Lime Marmalade" came up just I was passing the limes, so a few nets went into my trolley...et Voila Valentine Marmalade made on Valentine's Day...

I took knitting, reading, and calligraphy to The Swan Hotel where we had an enormous room..Room 5, with a really wide super king size bed, no zips! and so much room otherwise too, a walk in cupboard, and two large armchairs, and a desk!  I finished my  Lime coloured potholders there.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Crassula Falcata Buddha's Temple

What a name, what a succulent...

I love and admire the beautiful patterns of nature, and I enjoy having a variety of succulents.  I prefer succulents as without their spines, they are much kinder on the hands.  They bring a little of the exotic to my indoor garden, and in the summer they stand nicely on my pebble garden.

When my friend Kevin mentioned this crassula to me, I knew I would love it, and also it reminds me of my sister...on account of its name.



It first came to me via Kevin as a small plant, well labelled, about as long and thick as my thumb.  It must be about three years ago.  When I first got it, I wondered how it was propagated etc.  Now it has grown long and is curling around an old paper knife which I had had since a girl.  Its end broke but it makes a lovely exotic stake!





It now looks as if it is going to flower, so I shall wait to see if it does.  Since last summer it has started to grow size shoots arising from the axil of a few leaves, so it is these which I shall slice off and try to get rooted.  The lower part of the main stem is growing bare as the very oldest leaves are shriveling and I cannot resist pulling them off to see whether there are any insects lurking.  I have very little knowledge in growing these plants, so maybe I have not been doing quite the right thing.

Needless to say, I was inspired to write this today, as I received an email from Kevin today mentioning another Crassula falcata with a completely different leaf form but with a good flower, known as airplane plant...is this another one to add to my collection?