Monday, 20 March 2017

Spring Equinox

 For me, the first sign of Spring is when I see those tiny yellow star shaped celandine flowers appearing along the hedgerows, I noticed them for the first time last week.  Also the odd wild anemone was catching the breeze.

It is cold and grey here but the day can't pass without observing that it is  the vernal equinox, today is the first day of Spring in the UK if you observe the pagan calendar... a day that we have always looked forward to in my family and on which we would bring into the house lots of pussywillow and catkins in vases, my mother's way of welcoming Spring in.


 I had a few moments for a little painting today, to stop and observe Spring's arrival and to mark the occasion , there are plenty of signs of Spring in the woods, buds are forming and the birds are very busy.


For some who observe the Equinox, today is either spent Spring cleaning and/or planting seeds.  I did a bit of both and planted a few nasturium seeds. At the weekend I planted a new Jasmine too and some hebes into my tiny garden.  I do believe it's good for the soul to have these little rituals.

I am sure there will be beautiful wood anemone carpeting the woods any time now so will be visiting the woods very soon to see them.  In other years there has been a fabulous carpet of the little white star like flowers tinged with pink.....  The badgers might also be above ground now. 


Here's an old picture of the woods with the anemones this time last year to be going on with .
Happy First day of Spring!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Birds

It's Sunday, the skies are grey and there is a sleety hailstone downpour going on outside, inside it's warm and cosy and an ideal opportunity to have the paints out....





There are no birds today, they are hiding in the trees.  No morning cup of tea in the garden whilst Ambercat watches with me while the birds swoop in for bread and nuts .. too wet today... so here's a little robin and a blue tit to fill the emptiness while we wait for the weather to improve.... I think the robin needs a bit more work, he looks a bit angry.




There is a small nest box in the garden which teenage boy made years ago, a couple of blue tits have been investigating, with all the cats around it's unlikely they will stay - but it's fun watching them, and hoping...




This week I will try to paint every day that I am home, just a little at a time... I'm rusty and get bored quickly you see.

By the way my most favourite author and self taught artist, Susan Branch, took a peek in here and gave me some really kind advice about painting in reply to a comment I left on her blog.  She suggested using online tutorials from Youtube .  This is where the watercolour birds have originated from - tutorials, anyone can have a go and it's very helpful if, like me, you don't know which bits to fill in first or where shadow needs to go.



This is what I want the woods to look like - full of celandine and wood amenone, hints of bluebells - too early yet but it's nice to be reminded.... can't wait to walk through woods ankle deep in bluebells and smell their lovely perfume - is there such a thing bottled? I wish.... plenty of these at the moment - catkins, nodding away just behind my fence... buds on branches too.




Have you been out looking for signs of Spring?  It's muddy in the woods here and very little to see - although I was surprised by some snowdrops growing under the silver birch trees...




My birthday was good, having had a great day out in Brighton with my youngest brother, I went back and did it all again later that week with teenage boy who treated me to another lunch at Leon - I love their food.



I had lots of pressies, one of the best is these pretty knitting needles and soft merino wool in my favourite colour from my blogging buddy Nana this wool is all the way from New Zealand and has 15% possum fluff!  I think it will be just enough for a hat.  There was also lots of Irn Bru Crumble and Coconut Ice but it was swooped upon so I can't show you... I had wine and flowers, beautiful white orchids, a night out at an Indian restuarant... I was very spoilt and felt much loved and appreciated.


Do you bid or sell on EBay?  I do infrequently, I won an EBay bid for 'Along Came Betty' (Tesco/discontinued) and won the toiletries bag and contents (all sealed and brand new) for £6.50 including the postage.

source: Google
The contents were a bonus, it was the bag I wanted, for holiday packing... later this year we are going to Costa Rica, I will have to tell you all about it nearer the time, but there will be a trip to the Cloud Forest, volcano, hot springs, lots of exciting stuff... and a girl needs a decent waterproof travel bag for her things - so this is it :D


 I will be back later in the month - hope you have time to leave a comment so I know you passed this way, tell me a bit about where you live, the landscape, the wildflowers, the trees.  Make a cup of tea, help yourself to a biscuit and stay awhile.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

February

 Just a quick hello as time flies when you're enjoying yourself and I haven't been here for a while now.... I have been visiting other bloggers but not had much time to post - been decorating a bit and busy with family, work and life in general......

I had a lovely day out in Brighton with my youngest brother this week.  We were pre celebrating both our birthdays and this little day out has become a tradition for us....here are some pictures of the prettier side of town....


My brother pointed out the little black and white house with original windows, it was in a very nondescript side street and could easily have been missed, side by side with similar houses that had newer facades, some brightly painted and some very tatty with dusty grey curtains - this one stood out in all its simplicity like a tardist that had landed.


We ate at Leon fast food outlet right by the clocktower selling healthy (and quite a few vegetarian) meals and snacks.  I had sweet potato stew and my brother had the falafel lunchbox.  Their food is excellent - they also publish cook books available in their shops and online.  The decor is very ethnic, 70s and fun and it's one of the few places that you can help yourself to fresh cool water served in glass jugs!



the colourful falafel stand was closed, it's near the station but there's an even better place to buy falafel - Taj supermarket along the West end of the town have a take away counter and fill their breads with tahini, falafel and salad which is great to take to the beach for a picnic.

The beach was chilly so we stuck to The Lanes...



Khaki seems to be the trend in Brighton for both people and pets.  This owner was very pleased to scoop up his dog and pose for a picture of their matching camouflage jackets!


There are more modern vintage style shops appearing with a mixture of new and second hand clothes and jewellery.



A perfect end to a perfect day was this fabulous sunset which met me when I got off the train for the short walk home.

It's been a busy month, I hope in March to make time for some gardening and painting.  The woods are still very dormant although there are catkins nodding behind the fence.  We are expecting a strong storm over the UK today so I won't be venturing out!  Thank you for stopping by ......








Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January

First visit to the woods since before Christmas!


Isn't frost beautiful?  the ground around us was completely covered in this pretty pattern.


we walked across fields that looked like they were carpeted in icing sugar.





when we got home we made pizza :)



I finished my knitting (it's a hat!and will be worn by my friends little girl)



It was fun making this and I will knit again, I am lucky to have a friend to help me.  This was great for a first project although things went a bit wonky at times!

Here are some colourful snaps of the beautiful town of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, where we spent Christmas.  We took the local bus from the resort and explored, I loved the houses and buildings painted in bright colours, it had a 70s feel.  There was a shopping centre further away but we preferred this part as it had lots of character.





Our hotel was very comfortable, with beautiful landscaped gardens, swimming pools and sandy beach with fish swimming around us every day.



we all had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas.



Back soon.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Time

Happy New Year! did you know that we had a second suspended in space waiting to be claimed? And we did claim it.  It was to get our little planet back on track with our perception of time versus the solar system - well the solar system won - we had to add an extra second to the clock before midnight on 31/12/16 and I made sure that at one second to midnight a magic wish was made - secret of course.  Did you make a wish?


Permission of Google

An extra second has been added to 2016 on Dec 31. Summary: On December 31, 2016, a "leapsecond" will be added to the world's clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).(quoted from Science Daily)

Clock Torre dell'Orologio Venice (Wikemedia permissions)

Hearing about the extra second on the news made me think a lot about our perception of time and how our lives travel so fast  and furiously and we don't allow ourselves much time to ponder ... the meaning of life and so on .... I have been reading a superb book called The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben in which I learned how trees communicate with each other (and us?) ... oh yes.. .. they are very much alive and their body clock ticks a lot more slowly than ours... makes you think? it does indeed... makes you wonder what all the other living things on this planet did with their extra 'second of time'.



This year I will post on my blog when the Seasons dictate, so if Mother Nature's mantle changes then I will do a little post and hopefully capture the essence of something I am seeing in Nature with the odd sketch or watercolour or photo maybe, who knows.

watercolour
I am giving my silk paints to a friend who has yet to discover the way ink seeps and swirls and mixes on silk and they will have a lot of fun doing that ... I want to learn to paint in more detail, to see how watercolour works and maybe to do other creative pursuits - if I have any success I will do the odd post here.

silk painted


During the past year I have been so inspired by Susan Branch - if you haven't seen her blog you really are in for a treat... her books have been wonderful but it's her daily ramblings I like the best.   She had a moment where she lost it and gave her political views and some of her followers lost it even more and left some mean responses  - but she's back in fluffy mode now, with her Beatrix Potter ornaments lined up and her lovely illustrations and recipes, stories of recent trip to the UK -which sort of makes you feel you haven't seen much of your own country (if you live in the UK like I do that is).  Her enthusiasm for life, homeliness and gentleness are very therapeutic.  Personally I need to read blogs like this, they keep me calm and gentle - if you know of any more like her, please let me know.

painting is what I need to be doing more of in 2017!

 I have also been inspired by your blogs - lots of bloggers out there create the most beautiful art, words and photography, if you click on my followers icons you will see all those clever people hidden away in their own little worlds, some with a whole army of their own followers; many of them in far flung places.  That's what I like about blogging and is why my door was left open just a crack last year - so I could still nip in and see all those wonderful creative, inspiring people.  So glad I didn't close it completely.



This year let's be time travellers - yes, every little pocket of spare time can be used to transport ourselves somewhere lovely using imagination.  Starting with that extra second the Universe let us snatch back at midnight end of 2016.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve

There will be magic and sparkle this evening... New Year's Eve is full of anticipation, expectation and promise don't you think?  We look back over the year that has been before and appreciate the good things, acknowledge how we have got through the bad times and plan for the year ahead.

This was Christmas day in Mexico where we had a fabulous holiday --- the children at the resort let off hundreds of red and white balloons.  Father Christmas came in by parachute and then there was a spectacular thunderstorm, we went into the sea and swam with cornet fish and floated like starfish whilst watching lightening above - it was a wonderful day.


I was given a magic wand by a very special friend and neighbour - it's a wood fairy wand and unique, hand made for me by her father, the handle is hand carved and smoothed, glittery metal stem and sparkling star all shaped by gifted hands. .. a wand that is made specially for you is truly the best and most magical....




So with a sprinkle of fairy dust I am wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Safe New Year 2017 full of nice surprises, delightful treats and magic moments.  Thank you for following my blog, I will try to post seasonally in 2017 and will visit all of yours often.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!! 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas

wishing a very happy Christmas to all visitors to my blog. 

Tripadvisor

I am in Mexico, enjoying sunshine, swimming with beautiful fish and sunbathing under palm trees on a beautiful sandy beach. 


TripAdvisor

Don't forget to track santa at Norad from 1am UK time 24th December!
(noradsanta.org)
Back soon x