Tuesday, 7 January 2014

looking both ways

I've been dragged through a hedge backwards, tangled up in the brambles, scratched and aching on this, the other side. Seems the Holidays have taken their toll once again on my mental health and winter has given me the beautiful gift of the cold and enough phlegm to fill a swimming pool (yes that is an utterly disgusting vision but true). All the begging in the world, all the fist shaking at the sky has been in vain as I have endeavoured to be cheery, to take many photos and make memories, share time with my friends and be present in the moment. This time of year and I simply don't get on.

I have a wonderously clear view of myself now, with all this...I'm a bulb. Well, at least I would like to be a bulb, hiding deep down (at least twice my height in depth) underground, warm and snug in the darkness whilst the rest of the world gets on with things, only ready to emerge after the winter. Rather like a poster I once saw ..'life begins after coffee', for me 'life seems to begin after winter' hahaa. My ability to live, write, create and fight my depression all comes with a dependency on Vitamin D (i.e.sunshine) accompanied by a free and easy approach to socialisation (no long, internal struggles with what I ought to be doing). 

However, we did have a lovely little Christmas, please don't get me all wrong. Yes, it was difficult and emotional and such like but Andrew and I spent it together and that was perfect. Breakfast was lingered over and consisted of cava with cranberry juice (and berries) in it and homemade pancakes with crispy pancetta = yum!

Parsnips have been the best thing about Christmas and the days after. Oh my! I knew the 'tender and true' wouldn't let us down even though they looked rather ugly; taste is what matters and they are bursting with parsnip-y goodness. We had them roasted and mashed with carrot, mashed with potato, mashed with carrot and potato and fried as little cakes...can't get enough. Somehow leftovers are even more enjoyable than the main meal itself and they go on for days, just add Cranberry sauce and away you go :)
Our Christmas Dinner - Grow Our Own
P.S. the stuffing balls had our own leeks in it, yep, proud veggie grower here :)

It's hilarious but I got a pink leather tool belt from Andrew as one of my presents! Funny how a man's mind works sometimes; I laughed until my throat ached but then saw that it wasn't a joke gift and he had actually thought I would get a lot of use out of it and love it. I shall use it on the plot but, well, you know...tool belts aren't famously a girls' best friend, hehehe. My dear friend also got me an allotment related gift in the shape of gorgeous hand knitted (and again, pink) wellie socks! I can't wait to use them, they are so warm and soft. I think both gifts would benefit from being shown off whilst in action...await further pictures ;)


So now we try to look to the future and the first of the seed catalogues has arrived :) The plot is soaked through which is kind of good - takes the guilt out of our hands as we can't do anything, rather than we can't be bothered to do anything. Oh we have plans, many plans and I am determined to be more of a fixture there this year, I think that and not being such a bully to myself are my only resolutions. Though they are ones I make every year...

Love and hugs to you all


  1. Couldn't you be a bear rather than a bulb? I don;t think winter does anyone's mental health any good. We are trying to force ourselves to get out rather than sitting stewing inside. As for Christmas we celebrate having got through to the other side with everyone on one piece as so often we have traumas at Christmas.

  2. You are having some fearsome weather. It's demoralising even from this distance. Contagious too, we are having a few grey days with thunder and rain ... but Friday the sun will be out again, and our garden is revelling in rain. We had none at all thru December.

    I do wish you happiness in this new year!

  3. Lovely to hear from you Carrie. Glad you got through Christmas okay, I know how you don't like this time of year. Take care of yourself, enjoy the seed catalogues and I do hope that 2014 is a good year for you and Andrew. CJ xx

  4. The holidays can be rough times. I struggle with them because I had someone significant in my life die around Christmas. It still makes me a wee bit sad during the holidays. But you got through them!!! That's something.

    I like your analogy of being a bulb in the ground, but must confess when you first said "bulb," I thought light bulb, but then got it:~)

    So, take it easy, rest in your warm soil, whatever it might be and then let the green pop up as the sun the earth:~)

    Loved the pictures. I still say you could easily get a job being a food photographer. It was great how you had the empty plate in the last frame. It made me chuckle.

  5. Winter is a tough time for anyone with mental issues. I wanted to stop taking my pills, but the doctor definitely said that winter is a bad time for that. I moved to a brighter room and I feel better... Pressure of forced social interactions during the holidays can also make things worse, plus the feeling that you HAVE to bake, HAVE to buy presents, HAVE to decorate the house... I believe you made your winter holiday the best it could be - the breakfast looks yummy and I hope the spring will bring you lots of sunshine and joy over the new seeds and seedlings brightening up your soil and soul :)

  6. OMG I think I'm a bulb too and how clever of you to think of the analogy.
    I'm jealous of your parsnips. I foolishly grew mine in home made compost which was far too rich and produced lots of top and tiddly roots. Another lesson learnt.
    Thanks for sharing. xx


    I am sorry you are sick (I started the end of the Holidays with a cold too, bummer :(

    Glad you had a lovely Xmas :)

    Yep, I would be a Bear and hibernate all winter if I could (but there would be a mass of laundry and bills to pay at the end, lol so I better stay awake :)

    Have a lovely week, cheers, T. :)

  8. Winter is tough...here in the NW coast of the United States our days are very short and since we have a lot of rain and overcast this time of the year..it is really depressing even for those without depression. I've tried to ignore the "should" of the Christmas season, but then I beat myself up because I didn't connect with people (no Christmas cards) or wrap beautiful presents or.....

    I'm glad to see you back and I, too, am trying to beat back my depression and as the seed and plant catalogs arrive I promise myself I will survive and plant a beautiful garden. Pray I don't let myself down. Peace and blessings, Kath

  9. I'm sure that there are far nicer things to be than a bulb!
    Good to see that you had a good Christmas. A pink leather tool belt sounds very fetching.
    Enjoy looking through the seed catalogues. Flighty xx

  10. Sorry haven't visited for a while. Great photos! We had homegrown parsnips, Brussels and roast potatoes for Christmas lunch which were amazing! Hope you feel better soon.


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