Friday, 26 November 2010

Thank you Nature

I am not religious, but I came across this Jewish song today and by replacing the words Lord and God with that of Nature it became so beautiful and as I read it my heart swole even in this day of hailstones and freezing winds. Nature leads us through these inhospitable times in order to show her beauty, power and prescence and in order to make the sweet spring all the more uplifting.

'I will extol Thee, O Nature, for Thou hast drawn me up, and have not allowed my foes to rejoice over me. O Nature, I cried out to Thee and Thou didst heal me. O Nature, Thou raised my soul from the grave, Thou kept me alive that I should not descend into the pit.'

At these times of poor weather, of cold and hard ground, this period were I can not be in touch with Nature She still gives me strength. My Depression is utterly woeful but I look to my photographs and try to remember the joy of seedlings, of much colour and fragrance and rich bounty from the soil. May you do the same.

My warmest wishes to you  all xxx

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Excerpt from my Dublin diary...

This has nothing to do with allotments, with buying seed or even thinking about garden design. However I have always wanted Grow Our Own to be about growth, growth of every kind and particualrily personal growth, also, I just wanted to share with you a bit from my wee trip to Dublin over the past 2 days.....

Dublin Nov '10

A melting pot, a cauldron of people, ideas, passions and fun - bag loads of fun. You come to Ireland, North or South and you will never be stuck for a conversation. Go into a bar, one that seems dark, old, dirty even and you walk into another world. Forget wanting everybody knowing your name - this is a place where a stranger is a friend you just haven't met yet. Honestly. There may be differences (political, religious, ideological) but damn it, that can be overlooked over the rim of a pint glass and for the duration of your stay you're with family. Better than that, you are with mates.

Craic can be summed up in 5mins of being in a good bar. Relaxed chat over nothing, nothing important, becomes the most pressing issue. Find something, a common ground of any sort and the relaxed (and sometimes passionate, beautifully passionate) talk and camaraderie flows - like the beer.

Sit alone and you are never alone. Conversations that you can't quite catch envelope you and the occasional burst of laughter, it all equals a comfort blanket where you are safe. You are Home.

I enoyed my time in Dublin and spent a good few hours alone when I just wrote and wrote in my trusty Moleskine. The weather was foul, utterly miserable and I have sore feet today but looking back at my little scribblings and the few photos I did manage to take, I know it won't be too long before I'm back there :)

Here is a vaguely gardeny, 'grow your own veg' related photo - barley (at the Gunniness Factory; but don't worry I didn't sully the next batch of the Black Stuff, this was for tourists to touch!) - see I do think of you when I am away xxxx

Friday, 19 November 2010

A beautiful Autumn day

I have been so busy this week, you simply must forgive me ;) I have my very 1st craft fair tomorrow, or rather, today as it is now way past my bedtime!! I am going to Cookstown (which has the longest street in Ireland, maybe even Europe - wow, I know) to try and ply my photographic and crafty wares. Please send all the most powerful and optimist vibes you can, I need them - eek!

So last weekend Andrew and I went for a lovely drive. We do happen to live in one of the most amazingly gorgeous places in the world - the Antrim Coast. So we drove and stopped for a beer and then went to Carnfunnock Country Park to revel in the beauty of the autumnal colours with our wee Maggie in tow. Here are a few (I think) delightful photographs to prove, if proof were needed, that Autumn, although often despressing can in fact be one of the most nautrally glorious times of the year.....

My love, as always...

Ummmmmmm, a collage would have been good here but I am far too sleepy...
Talk next week as we are off to Dublin for the weekend - yippppeeee!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

So who would live in a house like this? pt 2

Welcome to our kitchen/dining area. We haven't done anything in here yet bar bring in our furniture and I bought the funky new red clock. We have the tiles ordered for the rest of the room - the builders only did the 'kitchen' so we've had to get the dining area done ourselves. Lucky our builders are super nice and got us discount on the same tiles from their supplier - every little helps.
In the mean time we just cook in it (well Andrew does, I just don't cook) and Maggie sleeps over by the door, ha, there she is showing off her area of the house. We are (I say 'we' but I mean Andrew, as I am obviously sitting on my bum writing this) at the moment moving round our white bookcases tthat will go eaithher side of the red sofa and then we'll get the wall mounted long one to join them together above our heads. We have ssoooooo many books, we LOVE books. Once we get them all brought round I ought to take a photo of the garden ones we have in themselves - it would a good stack!

Anyway this room needs love and attention but not right now - we are burnt out! The french doors slide open unto the garden which is a sun trap and nice and seclued, but as yet only has mucky clay and 2 bins and 2 bamboos in pots, hahaha. Andrew is going insane with his desire to garden out there and always has his head over the squared drawing pad, designing everything to scale :) But more about that all in good time - I want you to be excited :)

Oh --- A few weeks ago I mentioned that Mamma G had gone to Italy and brought us back the largest lemon EVER. Even though this is a small one! Mamma had to bring it home, just so we could marvel in it's awsomeness - here beside a good sized 'normal lemon' :) The wine in the background is literally called 'The Tears of Christ' !! - it was lovely. And the freaky lemon is now yellow.....
 I'm off now, Andrew is working away, I'm exhausted and very thirsty and just want to rest! Darn it. Oh and there are Maltesers to eat and a 'Take That' documentary to watch xxxx

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

An Elbow epiphany

Another passion of mine is tapestry and embroidery. I started to do this when I found out I had permanent double vision - I'd had a vague interest in needlework and knitting before that but the knowledge that I shouldn't be able to do this made me want to prove science and my specialists wrong. (I'm a very stubborn girl.)

I recently came back to it with increased exposure to fellow artists on Etsy etc and this is some of what I have come up with so far, but it's much more than pretty threads and buttons.
I think too much, ask my Dr's, ask just about anyone :). But last night I was just laying in bed waiting for my hubby and thinking about what all I need to create and do for the upcoming Cookstown Winter Fair on the 19th of this month. I was having a mild panic attack and suddenly needed help to switch off. Beside me was my MP3 player  - Elbow was on when I pressed 'play', the song was 'weather to fly' and it really got me - right in the gut.

I have a desire to create, to make myself understood. As much as we all want to be individuals don't we all desperately hope to make that connection with others? Be it through art, writing, singing, music....we try to express our emotions and we long to know we aren't alone.

'...we decided instead we should pull out the thread that was stitching us into this tapestry vile' - these are lyrics in the song. They are also a wonderful, painful expression of the end of a relationship. Something which I have had to do in my life; end a painful, destructive union. It made me think, wouldn't it be so much easier if we could just rip out those stitches that bind us to the past, tie us to pain and confusion?? But we can't.

Instead we can pick up the needle, put a new thread through the eye and continue our life's tapestry with a different colour, a different pattern.

When I create - I grow.

My needlework shall now take on a different meaning, it may just be a personal thing and that's okay. But each stitch shall now be an affirmation of my choice to live a life that is not vile, to live in a world where I (up to a point) have the control to go in the direction I want and make new connections along the way. Possibly even making a life that is beautiful - a piece of art.

Elbow - 'weather to fly', on You tube

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

So, who would live in a house like this? pt1

Me - "Welcome to our living room, please do take a seat. :)"
"What? There aren't any, there isn't anything in this room at all, bar your lovely hubby!" - says you.
"Ah, ...yes" - says me, "okay come back in 6 weeks and we'll start over". *blush*

Yes there isn't any thing there to speak of, though we have got the general components (walls, ceiling, floor, windows) and a rather snazzy fireplace on the wall. If you just give us a load of time at the hardware shop and ikea and let us get our furniture from Mamma G's house oh and some new cushions and let Andrew lay a floor..........
You knock the we go are again.

"Hello" says I in my poshest accent, "please do come in and welcome back"


Now haven't we done well. The walls are painted in 'Dragon's Blood' and 'Regency Cream' - I love paint names :) All the furniture was ours, just stored in Mamma's house (poor lady, she has had so much clutter in her house - actually *blush* she still has...) apart from the table, which was Mamma's and I have stripped it, stained it and waxed it back to a new lease of life. I'm quite proud of it - it has an extendable top and when you pull the 2 halves apart the middle is tiled in delicious 60s/70s muted tiles in cream and well, darker cream. We now have another piece from a charity top which I intend to work on - it's fun :)

We finally got some of our art on the walls which feels wonderful and really makes it a home. That chair and those coaster don't belong in this room, they were taken from the kitchen. You see I took these photos on a night when we had friends coming and thus it was tidied up for a change, hahaha.

So there you go, I shall show you the kitchen/diner next time xxxxx

Monday, 8 November 2010

Blogging deliquent/ the prodigal daughter returns, with tales of pumpkins

Humbly I slink back to my laptop and actually click on my own blog to write a post instead of just reading all yours. I have been neglectful I know but I am here now to try and rectify that even though it is so NOISY OUTSIDE I CAN BARELY HEAR MYSELF THINK!!!

First off I found this delightful little photo of the last flowers to be cut from the allotment. They are sitting here on top of a bookcase which has a window on either side = lovely soft light streaming in. They look almost as if they are in a mist. That was a great bunch of flowers :)

Then we move on to Pumpkin season and what a joy it was this year - we planted some and they grew! Last year's crop was very upsetting but this year was fab, although not massive fruits boy they were tasty. Here's a few little ones just finished ripening up on the window sill. We still have some bigger green ones outside to eat - yum. I'll get the names of the different varieties we grew off Andrew tonight and then I'll up date this little post. I'm pretty sure one was 'Little Dumpling' and another was a Japanese variety and yet another was something like Jack O'lantern. But the expert is off at work so we shall have to wait and see ;)
Andrew made the most amazing Pumpkin and Jerusalem Artichoke soup and also carved this year's Halloween Pumpkin all by himself. I have a couple of photos of it - it was rather impressive looking (proud wife). The neighbours did have lots of carved ones on the doorstep area but we don't know each other yet and they may have been slightly miffed at me taking photos -haha.

Unlike last year, when the Halloween pumpkin was carved by yours truly at the lottie with a dirty penknife on a dirty bench - this year we were able to keep the seeds and clean them off, roast them, sprinkle them with some spices and have a delicious healthy jar of yummy snacking seeds. Oh they are so moreish - we have both been having to rein ourselves in and not eat them as much as we want or they'd all be gone way before now. It's well worth the effort though - unless you save yours for planting, then....well I don't know if a spice coated, roasted seed produces a spicy roasted flavoured pumpkin but...;)

More soon - I have finally taken some photos of the living room and kitchen, though now that I look at them, the rooms have further evolved since Saturday, haha :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hello lovelies

So I am finally writing from my own house, sitting on my sofa next to Andy (Maggie has her own sofa) with the dishwasher machine (eek! - yes we now have one) going on in the background and the lingering taste of pumpkin and jerusalem artichoke soup in my mouth. So things sound good, right?
In one sense, 'things' could not be better. This house is a joy and though I haven't been taking photos to share with you (slaps own wrist on your behalf) I shall remedy that soon. You see I haven't been well. As I always am honest here and share the ups and downs I shall just say the words Nervous Breakdown and leave it at that. It's really all too confusing and upsetting to try and even make sense off.

Andrew has been given time off to look after me and I must say I am very grateful to his place of work for their understanding. But you know what? This wonderful gift of the internet and all you darling people is really helping just as much. I thank you all for taking me away from my own life with your stories and gardens, your eloquent words and beautiful photography. If you ever doubt the reasons for keeping a blog - then remember me, sitting here, finding such comfort from your ramblings and sharing in your lives.

With love and thanks