Friday, 30 January 2009

Want a tidier shed?

I am about to sing my Hubby's praises yet again - please resist the urge to throw up - yes I adore him, but that aside this is quite clever......
I am 5 ft 2 on a good day, my Hubby is 5ft 10, therefore we are not exactly great at sharing benches - the one he wants is always to high for me to work on. When it came to the shed, we needed a bench that could work for us both and this arrangement is perfect, just something you may like to consider.
We bought one of those horrible industrial shelving kits with all the different slots in it and the brackets that fit in so you can have shelves at various heights. However, we saved money here - didn't buy any shelves; we had left over timber from making the rested beds - cheapskates or very sensible with our funds: you decide. We (by that I of course mean Andrew) put up the long white slotted supports at either side of the little shed window. Then using the adjustable brackets we can throw on 2 pieces of timber and have a bench of any height we need. Even as low as waist height for me when I want to plant seeds! Cool.



But, wait there is more.....When finished the bench all comes apart and can be stored away under the window giving back valuable space in the shed. Hoorah!!!!


We also hang up all our tools on the other side of the shed so as the floor space is as large as possible.
That is all, I'm uber tired today x

Thursday, 29 January 2009

green manure and a bug b&b

You know, the words aren't coming easily today, bare with me....

So, all the remaining Leeks are now either in our tummys or the fridge now; they really did us proud, we'll definitely be growing more 'Musselburgh' this year. The bed they where in only had leeks and green manure in it ~ the green manure was ready to be cut back, so Andrew did that and though it still needs dug in, it is great to see the new season taking shape on the plot.
I took on the bigger, full bed of Green Manure (B1) where the potatoes where last year but after cutting it all back, I couldn't face digging it in too. I had hurt my leg earlier in the week and the kneeling down was sore enough without getting to work with a spade! So all that will need doing the next time we're down (I now have a 'ladies spade'), so I've no excuses!


After cutting all that back I found an easy job to do ~ picking all the dead leaves off the Strawberry plants. And lo and behold who did I meet?? Mr/s Ladybird!!


This lead to a flurry of activity from me ~ I cut up lots of Bamboo canes and hollowed out the left over ends of the raspberry canes Andrew had just cut back and handed to me. And I made an insect hotel. Well, mine is more a Budget B&B for the student-y insect perhaps. It certainly is not anything like Donald's 4* Hotel and Spa in Field B, but I can work on it. Here it is both in all it's architectural glory and in-situ, under the shed. I hope to have some residents someday but I won't hold my breath ~ there are lots of bugs under the shed already though, we put loads of stones under there and saw lots of other ladybirds around that area in the Autumn.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Growing

I recently read that 'with each step we take, we arrive' [Paulo Coelho]. I thought it was a very beautiful way of looking at life's journey, however, I'm one of those people who likes to have a general knowledge of the direction they are going, with some reassuring road signs along the way.

On Saturday I think I received a little 'road sign' as it were, not pointing anywhere but just saying 'you are here'. It felt good at the time, that feeling is just confused now, lost in the very dense fog of depression. But here's how it happened...

I planted seeds on Saturday, my Sweet Pea seeds and then a tray of extra Garlic cloves 'Cristo' (BIG fellas) that Andrew had left over from planting out in the Lottie. We are not going to be short of Garlic my friends, not this year! Look at the amount already shooting up 'Solent Wight' and the load Andrew planted too! Anyway, apart from later finding out my Sweet Peas weren't pushed down far enough in the pots and will have to be re-done - I have successfully, on my own sown 2 crops, add the gorgeous broad beans to that and I have, this season planted 3 crops, myself, without help. That may sound odd to be boasting about, it sort of is odd, I'm an Allotmenteer, but until now I have stayed away from the practical stuff letting Andrew get on with it. I would only ruin it all. I've done weeding, cutting grass, harvesting, checking for aphids and the like and taking photos. Now I'm actually contributing to the whole reason we're there ~ to Grow Our Own.

Okay, so you can see that my journey has an extremely long way to go (and in my current state of mind this story sounds really stupid). Planting seeds in a tray, a healthy person does not make (especially when a load need done over again!) but I think and so does the Hubby that it's a little sign; I'm Growing too.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More Raspberries (Summer Fruiting ones this time)

We have a man over to give us a quote on double glazing and I really don't think he is a very nice man, unfortunately. I have left Andrew to it and to be honest I can hear everything that is going on and my Hubby is holding himself very well!

Now, anyway back to the wonderfully productive Saturday at the Lottie. In this bloggette, Andrew made a new planting of summer fruiting Raspberries - 6 canes in total. 3 of 'Glen Clova' and 3 of 'Tulameen'. We got a pretty good deal on them in a major DIY store a while back ~ 3 pots for £10 and in each pot there were 3 bare root canes. Not bad, eh?! So, I'm just thinking that means we have 3 canes left over (what are we doing with them Andy??).


After planting them Andrew cut them back just a little. We have 2 very large posts driven in at each side of the bed and have the materials to put up wires between the two, for the Canes to have some support. It's very scary holding those posts whilst your Hubby (as much as you love him) is flinging a big mallet around above your head and telling you to keep the post straight. I made the mistake of closing my eyes just the once and he very nearly got me on the arm!
*Warning to all Allotment owners, keep your body and head well back and look at the danger in the face, then you're prepared!!* However, don't blame me if you get nightmares!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Duality of a very busy Allotment

Saturday was a beautiful, bright, clear day; they told us it was going to be hailing but they were wrong (again!), though it was rather cold. Look at this sky. It brought out the Allotmenteer in a lot of people and the car park was full to overflowing when we arrived in the afternoon ~ it was even busier when we were leaving. This is fantastic news, utterly brilliant.


We saw some old faces that hadn't been around in a while, especially Gary our good friend and plot neighbour. He, who was supposed to have 'The Plan' implemented by Christmas! Why didn't I put money on that?!!! He says it will be ready by February now, we'll see. The problem is, when he does get a minute to do some work down there, he inevitably gets chatting; as with Andrew on Saturday, well they can natter on better than two old women!

In the space of their conversation, I had Spring cleaned the shed and planted all my sweet pea seeds! Oh, my Sweet Peas look lovely (at least on the packet), they're 'Cupani', the original one and I think the best. I soaked them overnight and then planted them into used toilet roll middles, which I have been saving for weeks now. I'll be doing the same with the Coriander we have yet to buy ~ it's a wonderful system for seedlings that hate to be moved ~ when the time comes, you plant out the whole kit and caboodle and the cardboard rots away. Perfect.
The other side to this very populated Allotment Gardens came in the form of my state of mind. I was panicked by the amount of people when it has been so quiet the last while. I became very introverted and spoke to no-one really all day. That includes Gary, who, as I said hasn't been down in ages and who I like chatting away to. This of course made me very upset and frustrated, but after a wee trip home and warm drink I was ready to go back. I knew that being there would be a benefit and you know, it was. I got loads done and have a packed wee week of blogging ahead of me.

I don't know how many times I can say it ~ "Ecotherapy is the way to go", albeit in combination with medication etc.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Reading frenzy

Last night I went a little overboard on the reading and wanted to know EVERYTHING about Allotmenteering, all before bed. It was nuts. I was reading the delightful Mr Middleton's book (which I asked Santa for, for Christmas), the chapter entitled 'January' aptly and trying to visualise his crop rotation plans, learn about the different nasties that attack Apple trees and how to prune Gooseberries, also laughing a little at the use of the lovely word 'sundriesman' and 'Petroleum Solution' and burning twigs in the same paragraph - danger!!

On top of this I had spent a while flicking through other books in the afternoon, desperately trying to retain everything I read (it's all gone now) so I could be 'the best'. Silly, I know that now. I ended up in a tizzy having to get up and drink a wee peppermint tea (the Hubby got up with me - what a darling).
One thing I did notice though, in the magazine Andrew had been reading in bed (yes, I was trying to glean information from that whilst reading Mr Middleton) was that our dear friend Alan Titchmarsh is releasing his own Dr Hessayon style books ~ you know special, smaller books on particular aspects of gardening so as to make it all that bit easier to get the information you need. You may remember my comments on these 2 wonderful men back in October. Here is the link: http://growourown.blogspot.com/2008/10/gardening-books.html

Well, now I just don't know what to think; I'm sure Alan's books will be exceptional but will they overtake the Dr?? We shall have to wait and see, they're supposed to be out in April and seemingly at a good price ~ around £7.
Oh, one thing I do remember, now is a great time to clean your tools and tidy the shed ~ see what you need for the coming weeks. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A Story about the Benefits and the Heartache of Potash

I simply know that Potash is great for you Strawberry plants (fruit bearing plants in general) and it is highly recommended that we get out there and give them a good feed of the stuff. I learnt that off the gardening calendar in the kitchen. However, I have since looked at Andi Clevely's book 'The Allotment Book ' (good title: concise) and a RHS 'Essential Gardening Techniques' book to find out why.

The Science is simple my friends ~ Potash (K2O) contains Potassium which boosts nitrogen making the plant stronger, hardier and more resistant to disease. It also helps make the yield greater and the plant doesn't get yellowing of the leaves. Okay, it's probably more difficult than that but I like to know the basics and then let Andrew (who reads all the books there are) tell when and where to put it out. For instance we were meant to put some in with the broad beans I planted out on Sunday, but forgot and it would have all just blown away anyway. (But, I hear me cry, broad beans aren't fruit, they're veg! See not so easy.)

Ah, the joy of Potash this year was that we made a large bag of our own. Down in Fermanagh we had the loveliest wood burning stove and used it everyday (Andrew is a bit of a pyromaniac - it's under control though, don't fear), saving up the ash to take home for our Lottie. Here is were the heartache of this story comes in. Yesterday, in his haste to facilitate a lift for some colleagues over to a meeting in the Titanic Quarter, he threw out said bag of glorious Potash. It's gone, for good, in the bin of all places ~ what good will it do there?? The Lottie is miles away from that blasted bin in Belfast. I was tempted to make him go back and get it but it'll be gone now, forever out of reach; our special bag of holiday fire ash.
Yes, anyway, Potash; organic (sometimes very easy to get hold off!) and what some of your plants are crying out for.
The End.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

My head is about to explode but....

I feel terrible today and these blasted headaches are not helping - argh! the weather is driving me bonkers. How are these cold, grey, windy and intermittently wet days supposed to make the Depressed person feel? It's not fair.

Anywho, thought I'd quickly write about Sunday as, at the time, it made me feel a bit happier. (Ecotherapy in action). That feeling has disappeared now, believe me ~ but let's try to recapture some of the joy of.....planting out our first new crop!

Yes, it happened. I planted out 8 beautiful Broad Bean plants ('Aquadulce Claudia') in A1. I admit they aren't planted in the most perfect lines, but I blame my Double Vision for that. The wee plants had the best root systems and were sturdy little things. I hope they survive; they're my wee babies. I have a cover ('sun tunnel' sounds so silly) over them, stuck firmly into the ground to give them the best chance in this awful weather. We'll be sowing more soon, a different variety 'The Sutton' I think, so we do have back up, but fingers crossed everyone for my babies.


I also planted my Hellebores into a long trough, but again the weather was so bad I just put them back in the cold frame for now. If I hadn't they'd probably be miles away up the Beltoy Road come the weekend! Hahahaha (maniacal laugh or cry moment). This weekend will be better!

I'm a messy planter, I know.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Yes, we can! (I hope)

The 44th President of America is now in office, today has been an important day in the world. Fingers crossed that Mr Barack Obama can lead the world to change. Let's face it, we need it! A bit of Peace and Stability around the Globe would be a dream come true.

Frosty Wind made Moan (a lot)

Oh my goodness! It was blowing a gale this weekend, never mind the nasty coldness and the downpours ~ not a good weekend to be an Allotmenteer. Though I have to say we did get some jobs done and saw quite a few others down at the plots over the period - we hardy perennials!

The wind was the worst however and things were all over the place when we visited, especially on Sunday. Apologies to: Myrtle as this is a photo of her shed on it's side and your cloches are in the hedge; the people at 15b in field C as this is their shed blown off its foundations; everyone at the Eden Allotment Gardens (in total) as this is our little port-a-loo, and to all those who have yet to find their compost bins - they're all over the place.


My sympathies to the man in Field A No. 12 ~ you're shed, as yet not fully erected and stabilised, is in a heap on the ground - too upsetting to put a photo of it here - there may be children reading this.

We (the Hubby and I) were very lucky, only our middle compost bin, from 'the Trinity', escaped. It left not only our plot but Field A altogether, past Field C and the Car park area and ended up as the furthest away bin in the whole place (up by the changing rooms!). We were fortunate to get it back! Andrew has it well and truly bolted to the ground now with canes and big rocks.

Maggie missed the carnage, as we left her at home on her blanket all cosy and sleepy. I don't think 'dog kites' would go down very well with the animal cruelty people! (note: cartoon pic not photo!)

Monday, 19 January 2009

A little moment of clarity

I don't work, study, have children or keep the best home; tidy and clean with dinner on the table every night for the hubby.

I am disabled, both mentally and physically. It pains me immensely to write that, to even admit it to myself, never mind anyone else.

But.

I have abilities too. I love my husband more than words can say, I care greatly for my friends, family and fellow man. I am passionate, empathic, sympathetic, keep trusted secrets and always try my best.

These things have no economic value therefore I believe they are not taken seriously. I certainly forget to list them in any description of myself (which are totally negative). But, surely they have meaning and are worth something - right? Surely I then have worth too?

Mindfulness is something I am trying to practice and looking back on the day I have fragmented it into moments, not minutes and hours. It makes the day seem longer (the bad parts and the good) but the outcome of this ~ I lived today. And I believe it was because I was in touch with nature, in touch with life itself.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Focus on ...Looking to the future

With great thanks to Mo, Irene and my darling Hubby (who I love more than words can say) I feel well enough now to write a quick blogette.

I am trying (with not a little difficulty) to look to the future and with that in mind I think it's apt to 'Focus on'... seeds. We were at a nursery both on Sunday and for a moment, yesterday. Everywhere you look there are seed stands and potatoes for the chittin', daffs and primroses. And quite frankly - Thank Goodness!

We have of course been looking at seed catalogues, seeds on the websites and in the magazines over the horrid winter period. Now, we are ready for a new growing year; Andrew even looked through the seed box to see what was viable for this year and we have a good lot that we're going to stick in a seed tray and see what happens.

(By the way that is Maggie's hotdog in amongst that pile - she was 'helping')

My only thought really for you today is... check what you have already, take time to look for the best offers on seeds (try Pound shops and big evil*DIY stores, honestly) and see if you can share seeds with friends/family. Let's face it, we're Allotmenteers ~quality and 'good value' (i.e. cheapness) is the key. Oh and I urge you to get flower seeds too, make those friendly insects welcome in your plot.

Speed is of the essence my friends ~ plan, go... and think of the long, fruitful days to come. (Hark at me, being all positive).

*tbc

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Plots Thicken

Okay, so really there is extremely little to tell you about what Andrew and I did at the Lottie. He dug over some soil and did a lot of looking, I did even less. Instead I dandered as I said in a previous blogette. So this blogette is about the hard work of some others about the plots.

First this plot. I have seen the gentleman who owns it working hard on this over the past few times I've been down. He has it looking great; edged raised beds, a compact cold frame and to add some (much needed) winter colour has planted pretty primroses all around the edge.
In Field B I spoke to Donald who had just finished equalling out the height of his plot by adding a thick mulch of medium sized gravel, with small drainage pipes underneath. Hopefully this will stop one side of his site from being just too soggy to work. Now he has lovely raised beds and a great looking (and sounding) path all around. His little alpine plant raised edge around the whole place is also starting to settle in , but I think the 'Little Critter Hotel and Spa' is still under booked.

Field C is a mass of new members getting to work, ah, the heady days of a brand new plot, the energy and excitement (before any blight and failed crop pain of the seasoned allotmenteer kick in)! I can just imagine the sore backs and hands, the all consuming nature of 'the plan' and the 100s of books being bought and the joy of ordering a shed. Good Luck to them all!!!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Field trip to Field D

So, I made it to the Lottie on Saturday for a wee while (about half and hour, before I had to go home) I'm sure you'll be glad to hear.

I headed off to see the new field ~ 'D', see if anything had started there. Remember I told you it was soon to be released and was going to be totally organic? Well here is how it looks now, this was where Maggie just to go for a run and chase and where I would lie down in the Summer and watch the clouds roll by. No one else ever seemed to go into it, I'll miss it when it all gets turned into Allotments. But one must not be selfish ~ think of the joy that will be in that field, the new adventures, the lovely food and flowers and the quirky individuality of new people's sheds and plots. Photo fodder if you will.

The only thing I noticed was a shuck had been dug around the bottom edge of the field (between it and Field B. And another, by the way, had been dug down the side of Field B, by the hedge, between that field and ours. I desperately hope that the drainage situation will get sorted out soon. It's such a squidgy mess there.
I suppose one good thing is that a large official sign has been erected in the car park, urging people not to use the paths with their cars between October and April. I hope that is just for now and in the future we will get proper roads laid down ~ only for the fact that, at times people will have to take their cars to their plots, to off-load large, heavy items, or indeed get a shed delivered. But patience is a virtue ~ we'll get there in the end.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Home from Home

A while back I mentioned that Andrew, Maggie and I were going off to Fermanagh for a week after Christmas. Well, I didn't get round to talking about it and it was great so ~ a quick blurb.

We stayed in a beautifully converted Stables behind a gorgeous Old Rectory House, near to Lisnaskea.


It backed on to a sweet little Church and had, virtually as an extension to the front garden, Killyfole Lough. This is the prefect place for a walk with the dog; so much effort has been applied in the making of a path around the circumference, wonderful boardwalks over the clear water, fishing jetties, a bird hide, plenty of benches, an artificial beach (which was frozen!) and a large family of ducks, oh and 2 serene Swans. I love it there.



On top off that the back gardens of the Rectory have a well established looking allotment!! Accessed (for us, staying in the Stables) through an old lean to greenhouse, complete with a massive grape vine. There are loads of soft fruits (including a golden raspberry and loganberries, which I have yet to taste), a large pond, an ancient looking apple tree, cleared out Brussel Sprout plants (Christmas Dinners?), cabbages and an old bath with leeks and young Asparagus in it. They grow a heck of a lot more but it was also winter remember.
(these pics do it NO justice)
Plus we were surrounded by fields which, let's face it are specialist crop Allotments on a grand scale. We were guilty of getting carried away and dreaming of renovating an abandoned farmhouse and setting up a small-holding, but we soon wised up, haha! I'm a town girl (can't be too far away from Belfast) but for a while having nothing but beautiful walks, a wood fire and little to do was wonderful (we also had the best bed ever, more than 1 bathroom and a dishwasher!). I took around 200 photos, eek!
I don't usually advertise but this was heavenly; the family that run it are so welcoming, friendly and have the sweetest children and they're Allotmenteers ~ fab!! (There are a lot more photos on my Flickr Account by the way).
P.S. Thanks for the homemade Apple Pie Caroline)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Just a wee "sorry" ~ no post today because I feel too bad.
Hugs, hope to write tomorrow.

Friday, 9 January 2009

A Delightful Blog!

You may notice that over on the right hand side of this humble blog there is a 'button' for Delightful Blogs. This is an on-line directory for blogs that are considered to be original, interesting and regularly up-dated. It's an American company which seems to be run by a lovely lady called Lynda. I attempted to put myself on this directory but with the meds etc I didn't have the concentration and messed it up. I wrote to Lynda and after checking 'Grow Our Own' out she included it in her directory and even waived the fee.

I have been crying again, for a change it is not out of depression but appreciation to a stranger who has reached out and shown kindness to me when , let's face it, I really need some.

As I predicted, yesterday's meeting with a member of my mental health team didn't really help much. Though I truly like my Social Worker, she has her hands tied and there is nothing out there. I am miserable and hopeless, but, I had a moment of joy there that has left me all shook up ~ thank you Lynda and 'Delightful Blogs'.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Eden Allotment Gardens gets Bigger!

We received a letter yesterday from the council to offically declare that we are to have a 4th field of Lotties, hoorah! This new one,(excitingly named 'Field D') is going to be completely organic which is pretty cool. We have been offered a position there in place of our present Lottie ~ but how could I leave A24a! She means so much and has offered such love and produce. I could never love another Lottie in the same way. Luckily Andrew feels the same.

Check out the new area map here>
http://www.carrickfergusinbloom.org/allotment-location-map.pdf
or indeed there is a handy link down the right hand side which updates itself as the Council updates its info. Ah, technology.

The letter came with a little Fact Sheet about Organic growing and it seems we're doing rather well at that anyway! We only use Slug Pellets (I hate slugs with a passion that cannot be expressed with out you seeing my 'angry face') and once the container we have is finished we're going to get Organic Slug Pellets ~ none of this wasting good beer on them or trespassing on the site at night with a miners' head lamp and catching the blighters at it.

So soon there will be even more Eden Allotmenteers (and we know the waiting list is huge too). Oh yeah, Allotmenteering Rocks!

P.S. I have a member of my mental health team coming to the house today, I may sound cynical but I suspect I'll hear the usual " I'm so sorry but there just isn't anything available, I can't think how to help you". God, I'm miserable :(

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A quick boast...

That Christmas Eve visit hasn't been fully blogged, as time was short. So I shall take this opportunity to boast a little about just how wonderful those Parsnips where! We grew 'Tender and True' in a brand new bed, which had organic matter etc in it, and they didn't fork ~ take that Mother Nature!!! The frosts beforehand has really helped with the flavour, they were truly scrumptious. On Christmas day, I ate all mine up off my dinner plate before I even attempted anything else, I love Parsnips, our Parsnips. And they were pretty darn big!!!



As well as that we harvested some more joyous Leeks (I'm allergic to Onions but can eat Leek). Look how HAPPY Andrew was with them ~ 'Ecotherpay in action' for him too!



Then, finally I checked on my Broad Bean seedlings in the Cold Frame ~ they are doing extremely well, possibly too well as they look like they are in need of planting out and it's not time yet! Eek. They're the first of our new year crops, so I hope they stay alive, not such a great way to start the year if they end up in the compost bin in the sky.

Boasting over.

The Plan (as it stands at the start of Jan 09)

I'm no garden designer or graphic designer, so you'll have to make do with my very low tech scribbles on good old paper with a pencil. :)

Below left we have the bare bones of the plot lay out: the beds, permanent structures and permanent fruit bushes and trees. On the right I have annotated a bit, I hope it is legible...

For the sake of clarity we call the beds on the left hand side column A and the right column B. Then they are numbered across as rows, as we move away from the bench. The larger square bed at the back is the permanent bed; on the right of the path we have a row of Strawberries and them by the edge there is a row of Raspberries. To the left of the path there will be Asparagus (some day!!)
Okay, this is the closest overview pic I have, time wise, taken the weekend before the apple arch went in. But that doesn't really matter as that particular arch is going to be moved and a more substantial one put in its place.
Hopefully this plan will make more sense as I talk about what is happening where in the plot.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A great website find

Still feeling terrible but I have to say a massive thank you to Michelle, allotofveg and Maureen for their very kind words of encouragement and support on yesterday's comments section. It was so appreciated, I can't tell you. Big hugs to you all.

Last night Andrew found a very absorbing website ~
http://www.rhs.org.uk/growyourown/index.asp
all about growing your own fruit and veg and as it's RHS, you know you can trust it like an online Allotmeentering Bible. He was on it for quite some time, as we are looking into more fruit trees and a new year of veg growing in general. So maybe you'd like it too.

Drawing up those plans of the Lottie when I have little bursts of energy, so they'll be up, hopefully, tomorrow.

Thanks again for the support, I need all I can get a the mo.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Hello,

Unfortunately I am going through a very difficult period; my depression and anxiety has really taken a turn for the worse and I have little energy or interest in anything at the moment and I am screaming inside.

I was too ill to make to the Lottie at the weekend (I did manage to reach the car park on Sunday but then totally panicked), even though it was the only place I wanted to be. I had plans, hopes of meeting new people and generally getting some Ecotherapy, as I have been slowly getting more ill for the past months. It was not to be. As blogging helps me to be cathartic I will continue to write this week about stuff, but please bare with me.

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Catharsis of Blogging

Back from Fermanagh now, I'll tell you all about it on Monday. For now I need to write just for me - no access to the Internet on hols and thus I need to be a little cathartic.

The winter of 08 was difficult for me. Coming down on my medication and quickly realising it was a mistake. The many recurring nervous breakdowns; the dark, damp, short days and the lack of Lottie time. All in all not so good really (by that read - 'terrible'). Even my holidays away didn't help as much, though the photography has been wonderful to get into again.

Now - 2009 (looks rather like POOS when seen from behind lit up in celebratory street lights, let's hope that isn't a sign!) is here. It comes with new hope, new adventures, longer days etc. The past is written, the future is a fresh page.

I wish you all a happy, healthy 2009, full of growth ~ the metaphysical and the Lottie type. Who knows what's in store!! This time last year we didn't even have a Lottie, a Blogger account or DSLR.

The only resolution ~ BE GOOD TO YOURSELF!
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