I’ve written many times about how much flowers, gardening and the great outdoors help my health and wellbeing – coupled with mindfulness and yoga help me every day. I think I’d be in a much tougher place without all these things. That and my ace family and friends. Not long after I started my blog, nearly four years ago, I came across a gardening blog called Rambling in the Garden (www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com), run by a lovely lady called Cathy. There was a link up every Monday involving picking flowers and plants from your garden (or locality) and placing them in in a vase – it was fascinating to see what she had grown in her garden, and what the other gardening bloggers around the world were growing. Today the meme has it’s fifth birthday.
I thought I need to get involved, as one of the reasons, I’d started the blog was to keep track of what is growing in the garden and when it flowers.
I learn so much from being involved in this meme – so much about gardening, what to plant and what not to plant, flower arranging and how to take ‘macro’ photography shots. But more than that Cathy has always written lovely supportive and caring comments on my posts, always has something constructive to say – and above all has always been kind. One day, I hope to meet Cathy face to face – probably when RHS Bridgewater opens – as I know she’d want to look around.
Keep on doing what your doing Cathy – it’s magical and wonderful.
Cathy says she had no idea what she’d started, but I know for sure it has a positive impact on so many people 🙂 xx
Gardeners join in from all around the world – On dark days in the middle of Winter, seeing the bright blooms from around the world have lifted my mood. They’ve helped me when I’ve been unwell too as it’s encouraged me to get out and take photos. It’s helped me to write better too – to find my voice. So thank you to every IAVOM blogger who’s picked and taken photos over the years – and an extra special thank you to everyone who’s ever commented on my vases. I’ve been rubbish at replying but I’ve read every comment. I rarely manage to post on a Monday either – mainly because it’s dark/wet in Manchester and life is full on. But, Cathy says that doesn’t matter… it’s the joining in that counts.
And sometimes pals in your phone/internet can help you more than they realise, help you find a way through, find a new perspective…
Today is the fifth birthday of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ hosted by wonderful Cathy. Here’s what she’s picked and written about – not a vase and some dried flowers – but much more than that it’s about kindness, friendship, help and support – Thank you, everyone 🙂
For this week’s contribution to IAVOM, Cathy suggested NOT using a Vase…. have a look 🙂
If you want to join in – have a go, it’s not massively complex – some people just post one photo and minimal words, others weave the photos into stories – others pick plants from holidays and trips. It’s a good way to see how your garden or locality changes, month to month and year to year – and you never know you might find a new pal or two on the internet.
five fuchsias in five bottles in a wicker basket with a Veronica Dearly quote.
‘Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. and the third is to be kind’Henry James (1843-1916) American Author
It’s been difficult times here recently; A few weeks ago, it would have been my wonderful brother’s 50th birthday, and the following day marked 18 years since my awesome Dad passed from cancer. Everyone who ever met either my brother or our Dad, would remember them, especially if they’d cooked for them. They touched people all around the world and are forever in my heart. My awesome sister in law and nieces, and his many friends, had a lovely celebration to remember my Brother in Australia. I can’t express how proud I am of them all, and how much love I have for them all – strong women. My Chap and I have been down to see My Mum too, and helped her buy more pots for her garden, and plant new birthday roses and fuchsias, for remembrance. It’s been SO tough for her too. It’s been SO tough for all of us.
There’s been some positives though, had some interesting news at work. I’m well into the swing of daily walks #onehouroutside, mindfulness and, at least, weekly yoga. We’ve been making plans too. I’ve been walking around Monton and Worsley with My Chap – it’s always lovely to watch the plants springing into action. I wrote about one of my favourite circular walks a couple of months ago:
Spring is coming 🙂 I was excited to see my first snowdrops, a dwarf Iris and crocus buds too. This was despite having two snow showers last Tuesday, it was minus 5 on Wed and more snow overnight on Sunday here in Manchester. The violas are still flowering from my last vase, and a few dwarf purple and yellow ones have appeared too, as well as crocus buds and daffodil spikes coming up. I wrote about violas, self care and there’s no such thing as Blue Monday in my last vase.
This week, I picked a snowdrop, a dwarf Iris and added them to some red Cotoneaster berries and leaves (possiblyamoenus?) and put it in a small earthenware vase about 4 inches high, that I bought about 30 years ago in Scotland while at University. It has no label and I don’t remember where exactly I bought it. I am sure this was my first vase purchase – though I’ve only rarely put flowers in it over the years. It has never appeared on in In a Vase on Monday before, but I’m sure you’ll see it again 🙂
Snowdrops represent Hope – this seems appropriate this week – Hope for the future
12 February 2018 – Iris, Snowdrop and Cotoneaster
I picked the cook books to represent where we live (Manchester), where my Brother lived (Melbourne), and a Rick Stein book (one of my Dad’s favourite chefs). All of us love fish, and time spent by the sea. The Mrs Beaton book was my gran’s (Dad’s mum – who was an excellent cook) but I think she must have had more than one copy as there are no notes or recipes scribbled in it. The red and white striped notebook my Dad gave to me, when I went to university in the mid 1980’s, with some useful recipes like boulognese, how to boil rice, and baking cakes. It’s very precious to me. My Brother Matt gave us the Melbourne cookbook and we’d given him, and his family in Australia, The Manchester Cookbook.
Cooking food represents our love for our family and friends.
All of us love fish and time spent by the sea.
12 February 2018 – dwarf Iris, Snowdrop and Cotoneaster in a blue and green earthen wear vase. With some of our favourite cookbooks
Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts In A Vase on a Monday – where gardening bloggers from around the world add links to their vases. Always beautiful, interesting or unusual – including plenty of southern hemisphere bloggers who brighten my days in the depths of Winter. This week Cathy has a Japanese Ikibana style black vase with a white Hyacinth.
Be Kind – #savouringJanuary2018
I’ve been reminded again this week of the need to #bekind to myself and do my favourite selfcare activities for me. The cold weather has been tough on my arthritic joints – painful and I’ve been wrapped up with thermal socks on and lots of layers – but moving helps especially something like sewing, crochet or knitting.
12 February 2018 – house filled with lavender, green heart for #showthelove and a candle because I love the scents.
There’s something incredibly relaxing about sewing, handling the soft material – creating something – this is a lavender filled ‘house’ I made. I need small, achievable projects like this and hearts. Sewing helps my #wellbeing and concentrating on the stitching ’empties’ your head so to speak. Yoga does this too.
Join us if you’re local – 1st Tuesday of the month, 730pm, George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester
Adventures around Manchester in the last month – Good food and good memories 🙂
My Chap and I decided to go for a meal at one of the place’s we’d taken my brother when he’d visited -Mr Thomas’s Chop House in Manchester. This venerable tiled green and white Mancunian institution was opened in 1870, serves classic British food, has an excellent selection of Lancashire real ales and an extensive wine list.
For starter, I had Tom’s cornbeef hash, with pickled red cabbage and poached egg. There is nothing in the world quite like this hash – it is awesome and so good I forgot to take any photos – oops 😉 Followed by steak and kidney pudding. My Chap had scallops and the hash for main course – we had no room for pudding.
We had a wonderful lunch, drank a glass of a very good red and then headed off to Manchester Art Gallery, another place we’d taken my Brother. Always great art to see, including Valette’s impressionist paintings of Manchester (he was Lowry’s tutor) as well as many Pre-raphaelite paintings, Victorian high art and regularly changing exhibitions.
Manchester Art Gallery – manchesterartgallery.org/ they run regular ‘Take Notice’ events where they use techniques of mindfulness to reflect on the art
The next day, Sunday (my Dad’s ‘anniversary’), My Chap cooked a 10/10 Sunday roast in commemoration of Jay. My Dad was famous for his roast dinners and mine and my brother’s pals would scrap over who could get an invite.
I’ve written a few times about the men in my life and how much they loved cooking including:
I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make.Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998) Professor University of Southern California and motivational speaker
I’ll be remembering darling My Dad, Uncle Fred, Steve and most of all my wonderful Brother Matt and I’ll continue to raise a glass of quality red, especially if My Chap and I are by the sea.
12 February 2018 – wedding gift wine glasses and Châteauneuf-du-Pape – lovely
It’s the third birthday of my blog today – Much has stayed the same and much has changed in that time… a bit like me….
Here’s my first few blog posts and the first appearance of ‘In A vase on Monday’ 🙂
‘Hello, Hola, Ola, Bonjour, Hallo, Bongu, Ahoj, Namaste, G’day’ – InternationalHelloDay21November was set up in 1973 to promote international peace after the Arab/Israeli conflict.
For this week’s vase, between heavy rain, I went looking for the hardy fuchsias in the garden, which have been pops of colour, amoung the greenery. It’s been raining on and off for most of the week. Though we did have a light frost on Sunday, which was just typical as The Chap was up early for a local, muddy, trail half marathon. He let me off going to watch 😉 as my arthritis was giving me gip. I’ve got all the gloves, hats, hand warmers, blankets and thick socks ready for the winter. A spot of Hygge and #selfcare needed.
Following on from last week’s post on International Kindness Day, I’m doing my best to be kind to people I know, those I don’t know and being kind to myself too. It can be really difficult to find the time and energy to do #selfcare but it’s worth finding the time even if it’s only a few minutes.
It’s 21s November, which stresses the value of communication in daily life, including saying hello to 10 people you don’t know. Its ideals are to encourage greater understanding and peace.
21 November 2017 – Three hardy fuchsias, purple wallflower and pink pelargonium
I found more than the hardy fuchsias flowering; the perennial wallflower is still going strong but there was a pink pelargonium flowering! The pink vase often has sweetpeas in it 🙂
The three fuchsia are Son of Tom which grows about 3 foot high outside our kitchen window(small crimson flowers) Wharfdale (lightpinkanddarkcrimsoncentre) and is about 2 foot high, and the final one came from Morrisons – it might be Mrs Poppleton (crimsonwithapurplecentre) it’s about 4 foot high at the moment. Fuchsias have appeared many times InaVaseonMonday – have a look at #fuchsia
The pink pelargonium in a pot, in a sheltered spot in our garden for about five years. It’s appeared in IAVOM many times too. #pelargonium
The perennial wallflower also appears often, most recently last week #wallflower
Picking my vase is definitely part of my #365daysofselfcare, it definitely helps me both choosing, photographing and writing about flowers but also it’s looking to see what Cathy at Rambling in the Gardenandthepeople all around the world who join in. This week Cathy has got a vase entirely of green foliage which has got me thinking. In my head, I say hello to them every time I read a blog post, their pictures and words lift my soul. Maybe one day I’ll get to say hello to them face to face – I hope so. Their kind words have helped me through some tough times – so a Big Hello to everyone who’s reading my blog today 🙂
23 November 2017 – Stigu planners 2017 and 2018 with The Little Book of Kindness
Plans for Self-care
So my plans for #365daysofselfcare and #bekind this week are:
#bekind especially to myself – and not to beat myself up about being late/disorganised.
Doing some dream mapping from my Stigu Planner 2018 – I don’t do New Year resolutions, I do them in December instead.
I love my Stigu planners, they’re in between a Planner and Mindfulness journal – I’ve had one for the last two years – you can follow them on Twitter too @SticktoStigu
Finishing our thank you cards from our wedding. It was lovely catching up with people and I’m writing letters about what’s been happening and our plans for 2018 🙂 So many people have supported us though so much this year.
Shop less – use your money to DO stuff not HAVE stuff – I was stuck by this but i’m hoping buying plants and bulbs doesn’t count 😉
#bekind #thelittlebookofkindness I follow Bernadette on Twitter @betterussell
I received the book as part of my Buddy Box for September from Blurt Foundation – www.blurtitout.org they describe them a hug in a box. The boxes are great and really lift me; there’s often books on self-care and mental health in the box.
And in case you’re wondering the languages at the start are – Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Maltese, Czech, Hindi and Australian ;-). I can speak varying amount of these languages – but definitely Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank You 😉 I’ve visited all these wonderful countries and plan to visit again soon.
So who have you said ‘hello’ to today? And what about tomorrow? and how will you #bekind
Love Bec xxx xxx
*I paid full price for my Buddy Box from the Blurt Foundation and my Stigu Planner. I haven’t been asked to blog about them or been paid for this content.
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. Annie Lennox – singer
If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet, or the news, today you can’t possibly have missed that it’s International Kindness Day. I don’t know about you but I try to be kind to people, ‘stand in their shoes’, ‘treat people as you’d like to be treated yourself’… I don’t always get kindness back, but hey that’s their problem NOT mine. But, what I do know is being kind, helps me be a better person. It also helps when the world around us looks dark, whether it’s Trump, Brexit or people breaking laws.
13 November 2017 – Spread kindness like confetti
One of the best things I found today was the 2017 Kindness Advent Calendar from Helen at Make Today Make Today Happy. Have a look!