Life is very hectic at the moment – in a good way. Various plans seem to be coming together but it is tough squeezing everything in – I feel like I’ve been chained to the laptop. Most things I’m writing are things I want to write about – so that helps. I’m working on various different projects and activities – some crafting projects and courses too. I’m hoping my plans are coming together and I’m remaining positive – carrying on with mindfulness, yoga and daily walking. This quote resonated with me – I’m keeping going…
‘One of the things I’ve learnt the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’
Lucille Ball (1911-1989) – actress, comedienne and producer. She was the first woman to run a Hollywood Studio in 1962.
My birthday is in October and My Chap’s a week later – these follow quickly from our first wedding anniversary – so there’s been plenty of adventures and weekends away as well – he’s been running for the motor neurone disease association at half marathons too.
One of the things, I’ve been doing is taking photographs when it is sunny – here’s my vase from Monday. The weather has been sunny and warm most days; even when it’s overcast it’s still too warm for the time of year. It was 22 degrees on my birthday last week. This vase looks like one from August, not mid-October.
pink pelargonium, purple and red saliva, purple wallflower and fuchsia in green/blue stoneware jug
Flowers in my Vase
pink edged pelargonium – Crimson Flame
purple perennial wallflower – this bush has been flowering continuously since about March – it’s appeared in the IAVOM often too.
fuchsia – it’s a hardy one, grows is about five foot high at the moment and flowering profusely – I think it’s magellania
Everything is going to work out just fine. Probably – Anonymous
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’d notice I like quotes nearly as much as I like taking photos, especially of flowers. One of the reasons, I take photos is to keep a record of things, what’s flowered when, whether it’s early or late, beautiful gardens and views, as well as nature in its widest sense. It helps me remember good times, and also reminds me where things are – literally like the bulbs, but also so I don’t have to remember things in my overloaded brain!
This week’s In A Vase on Monday old favourites which have good memories for us, including the vase and something new – the sign 🙂
A standard size Cerise pink dianthus and some pink and white dwarf dianthus.
lilac violas – these were part of our wedding centre pieces.
Fuchsia – this is a hardy one which grows outside our kitchen window – it was in a Vase last week.
The vase is recycled purple glass bought at the Eden Centre in Cornwall. It has appeared before, usually, with sweetpeas. Most recently was July 2016 (blissful), when I wrote about our engagement 🙂
The sign was given to me by a great friend. It also appeared in our wedding centre pieces. You ALL know how much I like being in the garden 🙂
Cathy, who hosts the meme over at Rambling in the Garden, has some stunning orange and white amaryllis this week. I’ve never grown Amaryllis. The idea of IAVOM is to pick, and display, flowers and plants from your garden or locality each Monday. The diversity of vases from across the world is staggering. It’s wonderful to see the Spring across the world in Australia and New Zealand. Just what I need on a freezing cold but sunny day in Manchester.
29 November 2017 – In a Vase on Monday purple vase with dwarf lilac violas, pink dianthus and hardy fuchsia
I take photographs of all sorts of other things too, receipts, recipes, books to read, useful websites, notes I’ve made, etc. I find it easier to have visual records and use journals and lists. I use Trello for electronic lists (I’ll write about that another time) and I’ve got a simple electronic diary shared with My Chap.
Writing things down, taking photos and also help with my planning, wellbeing and making memories, as well as self-care. I’ve tried out bullet journals but it doesn’t work for me; I think it’s the pressure to complete things every day.
So I thought I write about my daily planning and what journals/books I use. They definitely helps me with #365daysofselfare
My daily planning tools – journals, diaries and lists
Calm – CalmtheMind, Changetheworldby Michael Acton Smith
This is a lovely book – it explains mindfulness and meditation in a very straightforward, simple way and gives you ideas for activities in Nature, with Children, Food, Friends, etc. It has quotes and poems too. It’s a pretty book which is why I’m reluctant to write in it 😉
I’ve had it a couple of years, and I dip in and out, using it to inspire activities or self-care depending on what I’m doing. Often, I use the gratitude, highlights and what’s mademefeelcalmtoday? How and note these down in my It’s going to be OK journal.
I don’t use the app associated with Calm; mainly because I’ve never got around to downloading it 🙁 I’m using the Headspace app at the moment, guided meditations on YouTube, and in particular, guided body scans. These connect well with my yoga practice too.
29 November 2017 – Calm Journal, Weekly Planner and It’s Gonna be Okay journal
Stigu Journal – a rest and zest handbook
I’vewrittenaboutStigubefore (including last week) and I’m just starting to fill in my 2018 Stigu. It’s a mixture of a diary and a journal/notebook. Each month has a theme – Reflect is November’s theme. The left page is for notes and suggestions for activities.
This week’s suggestion resonated with me – a puddle reflecting only what’s above it, for example, clouds, and keeping no ‘memory’ of what’s passed. Stigu asks us to imagine what our minds would be like if we could practise this?
Weekly Planner – from Sainsburys!
It has days of the week, notes and to do list. This is where all the detailed, mind dump, boring lists like the shopping! reminders for bills, clothes for yoga, etc are recorded.
It’s Gonna be Okay – An inner truth journal
Asthephotosshow, thishasaquoteononeside, date, WhatI‘mhanginghopeontoday? the prevailingoutlookfortheday. I use this as a reminder of how my days gone, a narrative, notes – what’s gone well what hasn’t. The odd rant too. It’s very much my secret, private thoughts. It has a quote for every day and sometimes I just flick through it looking at the quotes.
29 November 2017 – It’s Gonna be OK journal inside layout
My Stigu journal and It‘sgoingtobeOKjournal also helps me record my symptoms too. I don’t really use paper symptom or habit trackers – pressure to fill in boxes (or not fill them in!). They’re a prompt to monitor my arthritis symptoms in a health app. I was part of a citizen scientist project, in 2017, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, whichmonitoredthe impact of the weather on arthritis and pain symptoms. The full results should be out next year.
So for my #365daysofselfcare today, I went for a walk around Monton. It was freezing, but sunny skies and I wandered around taking photos. I’m very grateful to live where I do, close to woods and a canal, yet only six miles to the centre of Manchester.
My self care plans this week include walking more and more gardening – #OneHourOutside and #bekind too
Do you use journals or diaries? Do you use them for self-care or recording gratitude / positive events? Let me know in the comments or any suggestions you have
You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.
Alain De Botton – Philosopher
It’s been an eventful few weeks – all the changes at work are becoming very real now, and all the legal issues around my friend’s death are nearly done. I’m recovering well mentally and physically, though there’s a while to go yet – I know I’ll get to where I want to be – and can regain my inner and outer calm soon 🙂
I’ve always loved Daffodils. I lived in flats for many years and often had vases of daffs around the house.
Once I got a garden (with a house) they were the first things I planted – there are many species around by garden. My tête a têtes are always the first to flower (in late January this year!) and when they do – I know Spring is on its way. There’s a great show from my crocuses and irises so maybe they’ll be in the vase next week.
I’ve also got some wall flowers still flowering from last summer (in a very sheltered part of my garden) – so I wanted to showcase them too.
In a Vase on Monday – tête a tête daffodils, wallflowers, helichrysum, curry plant and rosemary – 29 February 2016
I picked dark green rosemary and silver grey curry plant because, I liked the contrast of colours and textures. I thought they all went well with the blooms and Vase.
Herbs and spices are a huge part of our cooking. We’ve got 10 different kinds of mint in pots so it doesn’t spread around the garden. My chap has been taking care of me by cooking great food – it’s one of the ways he shows his love for me (and others). I wrote about him and all the other ‘chefs’ in my life in December.
My Chap and I have been making plans – we’ve booked a holiday to Cornwall in May. I’m sure we’ll be visiting The Eden Project again, Heligan, Caerhays and some of the other great gardens of Cornwall – we didn’t get to Lanhydrock last year but will go there definitely. I think we’ll be spending alot of time by the sea too.
I’m hoping I can get some more garden ornaments on our trip. I’ve got quite a few rusty iron flowers and other decorations around the garden. I really must write about them in a blog – as they’re carefully chosen, with memories and love associated with each one.
In a Vase on Monday – 29 February 2016
Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has a wonderful vase this week in a Japanese style and has written about weddings and promises. Do have a look at everyone’s vases from around the world and join in if you can. These vases and all the blog writers lift my mood and inspire my planting 🙂 Thank you so much everyone – I’m trying to comment more in 2016.
tête a tête daffodils, helichrysum, and a new variety of Daffodils 😉 – 29 February 2016
Today I am thinking of promises made both long ago, and more recently but most of all – promises for the future. I’ve only ever tried to do my best – I hope I have.
It seems appropriate to dream on the ‘extra’ day we have this year. My ideas about what to do this year are coming together – which is helping me feel more content, but it’s scary at the same time. I just know I need to be brave – and take the first step. I know I need to believe in myself and ‘seize the day’.
As ever, My Chap is always holding my hand (sometimes metaphorically) through all of life’s adventures on the ‘nice, uneventful days’ as well as the most challenging days. I would have been in a real pickle if he hadn’t been here in 2015.
I am dreaming of the sunsets by the sea in Cornwall. I hope things will be clearer by then… and I’ll be feeling less ‘bashed about by life’.
Have a lovely week – what have you done with your extra day?
I managed to dodge the torrential rain to get my contribution to ‘In a Vase on Monday’ – late as usual but I’ve got a very good excuse. I picked lilac from a dwarf tree my mum gave me last year, an anemone, the last purple tulip, some Scabiosa (often called pincushion plants), and the greenery is from a white potentilla which hasn’t started flowering yet.
In a vase on Monday – 18 May 2015
The vase is actually a tea light holder made from recycled glass with a little metal hook. I bought it at the Eden project a couple of weeks ago – as you can imagine they use a lot of recycled materials and there are some really lovely things on their website shop. I liked the colour combination of shades of purple/lilac and a bright green.
She’s got a rainbow of colours and ribbons this week – it really cheered me up – Thank you Cathy.
The lilac bush smells wonderful – it’s sitting next to my bistro table at the bottom of my garden – not that we’ve had much time to sit outside as it’s been very wet and windy.
dwarf lilac bush – May 2015
I haven’t been around much recently on the blog or in Manchester – we were in Cornwall ‘on holiday’ for a week which definitely wasn’t enough time. I fellt like I’d just skimmed the surface of Cornwall. We are already planning our next visit, probably in September.
Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been horrendously busy. Big life issues have got in the way to say the least – a very old, close friend of mine died very suddenly at the end of April; pals from University and I organised his funeral last week. We are all in a state of shock.
So we had a lovely, but very weird holiday to Cornwall, we were staying in beautiful cottage Charlestown with a view of the sea from the windows. Charlestown is an 18th century port (with its own tall ship) on the edge of St Austell with a couple of restaurants, pubs and a lot of craft/art shops. Good walks along the cliffs locally too. I’ll write in more detail about our holiday another time.
Life Guard Hut – St Ives – May 2015
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
I have wanted to go to Heligan for a very long time. The rhododendrons were out near the house; they were stunning and over 60 foot high; there is just so much to see there all year round.
The Eden Project This was our 2nd time – we visited September 2014 – this time the aerial walkway in the tropical dome was open and the view was stunning.
it has the national collection of magnolias but we went to see the camellias, rhodenendron and azaleas – There are miles of forest walks and we saw four people all day.
St Ives – wonderful place the sea was turquoise and the sand was white – it was very, very windy the day we went though. My Chap finally got to go inside the Tate Gallery – he was very happy.
Looe – the sea was out, so not a lot of fishing boat activity, but there were some great fishmongers.
Polperro – the archetypical 18/19th century Cornish fishing village but it seemed to be full of holiday cottages and v shabby.
And alot of walks along the sea and cliffs – throwing stones in the sea and listening to Ludovico Einaudi.
If you’re local – do to Caerhays and Heligan before the rhododendrons and azaelas go over. You won’t regret it.
It has been the hardest and weirdest few weeks of my life but I know I’ll get through this difficult time.
They say it’s better to bury your sadness … In a garden that waits for the Spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green. Conor oberst – musician – www.conoroberst.com/
I’ll do this though my sadness is very deep – I know gardening will help me. The Great Gardens of Cornwall helped to replenish my soul and my Chap, my friends, my garden, the hills and the sea will do the rest. That and the RHS Chelsea flower show on TV.