Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I haven't much to report, l haven't anything to write about
perhaps l am more chilled than l realize,
so all l can tell you is that l have been quietly doing things

... drinking tea, eating toast with Jeremy Vine
and fiddling in the front 'garden
an overgrown 12' x 4' frontage

being home means l have been able to create this... 
in what was an overgrown wasteland...

removing all the 'growth'
l found this rockery underneath 
which a neighbour tells me was a previous owners pride and joy             

                                               so four hours work. and this is more presentable...

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Summer song

l wonder if this will be the song of the summer 2010? The fabulous Scissor sisters...
Great mantra- Fight fire with fire....

Thursday, 24 June 2010

time out

I have some time on my hands,
  my doctor has signed me off work for 4 weeks 
and I am under instructions to relax, 
be kind to myself and to let things wash over me. 

In the last few months
I have probably done a little too much coping,
much hiding in my work and a bit too much overtime,
 now I find that l am facing an impenetrable brick wall

So I intend to do as l am told,
enjoy without guilt some morning lay ins,
some must do walking and cycling in the evenings, 
with a rest on my favourite bench,
breathing in deeply of my surroundings

(my bike resting in Rickerby Park, Carlisle)

I have organised my paints and pastels,
bought a couple of fresh canvases
and even had a stab at a large pastel landscape

I am all signed up on courses
including Tai Chi and Shiatsu
l intend to spend many hours in my healing place,
my new secret garden
literally smelling the old roses!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


a selection of trees
probably a century old or more
from within
my secret garden

l wonder 
how many trees can be named 
from this silhouette of leaves

 l love looking skyward 
and being under the canopy of branches

solid, old, strong, wise, dependable
is this the tree or what l'm looking for...

old trees bring out the hugs in me...

Monday, 21 June 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

as l stopped by the window
and filled the kettle for a brew
I was drawn to the symmetrical composition 
outside the kitchen window

twin parked
almost identical cars
made a strangely pleasing sight

Friday, 18 June 2010

What am I?

In an art gallery the other day, a canvas hung with text listing the roles in one persons life. Entitled. What am I? As opposed to, who am I?

I always wonder about that. Am I what l feel l am? What l think l am? Or what people perceive me to be? I believe l am all these things and more, much more. I'm not sure if l even wish to be defined. I certainly do not need to be. I know l am ever changing, never the same, inconsistent yet consistently true to myself.

Is it perception or reality? I feel there must be a constant, as it is innate. A shadow of love and life that connects to the family and friends way beyond any tag l could be given, any box into which l am placed.

I have had many roles, as myself and as other see me;in the workplace, in the home, friendships. I have always been in a front line... more by luck than judgement but there you are..

school girl, checkout girl, shampooist,
 hairdresser, shop girl
manager, area manager, fashion buyer
fundraiser, trainer, counselor
bookseller, market researcher,
school helper, charity worker.
dinner lady, volunteer, fundraiser,
gallery assistant, sales advisor
receptionist, exhibition installer,
student, reader, writer,
artist, blogger, book reviewer, museum worker,
art gallery assistant, receptionist,
friend, mother, wife, daughter...

would any define me... .the last four have the most value for me

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Where, when, what...

... blatantly taken from Expat mum, who in turn got it from London mum

Where were you 5 years ago?
We were living in an old farmhouse, on a working farm, deep in rural Cumbria. 3 miles from the nearest shop, with cows our nearest neighbours. Surrounded by fields, our kids played in the gardens, lanes and fields safely. I ran them to and from town, a 30 mile round trip once, twice, three times a day. manic by day, laconic by night. I didn't realise how good it all was. How simple.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Happier and pain free certainly.

5 snacks l like.
swizzels loillipops
strawberry shortcake Haagen Dazs

What is on your to do list today?
washing linens
lunch with french conversation
and any three of the above snacks

5 things to do if l become a billionaire (or millionaire, even thousandaire would be cool)
help children with facial disfigurements in third world countries
set up a trust to help cancer victims receive appropriate unavailable on nhs drugs
get myself a house, with library and garden
own a beach hut
buy some Art

Sunday, 13 June 2010

a key to the song of life

the doorbell rang
whilst England scored their first goal
and the treasurer from the 
Chatsworth Garden Residents' Committee
handed me this key... my key

I took leave from the football match 
and with camera in hand
to capture and share with you
my first moments discovering my secret garden

the dusty original 1855  iron locks 
on one of several gates

I am inside...

and locked the gate behind me...
l think l spy a clearing..

l do...and wow!

and l see another...

and another smaller one...
this one is 'only' 28 paces across


l am overwhelmed by its size
it makes me think of the tardis,
from the outside it appears smaller

another locked gate...

the light is amazing
and it is nearly 9pm

there are five grassed areas, separated by
a perimeter of bushes and trees...

this area is by far the largest...

old trees,  reach out high and over my head...

oh my!! tomorrow l shall go scouting for a couple of deckchairs...
and dust off my easel...
 a padlocked double gate
looking out to my street...

on thursday after a friend of  friend contacted me to tell me about access etc....
l phoned the council and got contact details for the private residents committee
-of course if figures that they all live right behind me!
on friday l wrote to the Treasurer asking if it were possible
for a very close by resident might apply for access
on saturday I received the application form and information,
which l returned immediately and two hours later,
 the kind man brought me my key...

ALL this for £10 a month..
I KNOW l'm worth it!

(all images enlarge)

next time -  the old trees from the garden

Saturday, 5 June 2010

small moments

... these are the forces
 which make up the power within the day
that sustain and keep us from the darkness in our lives...

yesterday as l walked away,
l had been draping the washing to dry 
at the bathroom window
full of  warm breezes,

l heard a tune
a light melodious picking
following me up through the hallway
l slowly stopped, carefully turned and retraced my steps
lest it stopped entirely...

out of the window l watched
amid the tangle of  fabric hung about ....
I was enchanted and l saw a  man

can you?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Secret Garden

As the weather gets better
and the sun shines through

As the evenings get longer 
and l struggle with the heat in the apartment
(and my own fluctuating temperatures)

I long to be sitting quietly
amongst the branches and the greenery
of my own secret garden

this is Chatsworth Square
a Victorian residential town square
designed for the great and the good of Victorian Carlisle
the garden is chained and locked,
there only for the residents of the square

my road runs behind the square and 
I can peek out over
to this greenery from my kitchen and bathroom windows
if l stretch and crane my neck

last week I wrote of the beckoning lilacs, 
and how l  poached a handful of blooms 

the lush square
offers four gates within its belt of  ironwork fencing
north, south, east and west facing

this is the south gate
... which l dream would be my gate!

l peer through and covet the space
seemingly unspoiled,
lightly maintained not highly manicured

it calls to me
l feel its pull,
a tension as l walk past

a healing place
to rest 
to mend
and take time

I want in, 
I need in...

(I have a plan...
no...l shall not climb nor trespass...
watch this space!)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I wait...

La joie venait toujours apres la peine. 
Joy always came after pain. 

G. Apollinaire

just dropped by...

...to visit Mum's blog and to say Hi to a few friends... I hope you know, you are all never very far from my thoughts. Many of whom I...