Flora #1 Ornamental Poppies


The other evening I was walking with my family and spotted some ornamental poppies growing in the front garden of an empty property.  Years ago, I attempted to grow some. I have tried to grow so many types of poppies over the years with varying success and currently only have yellow Icelandic ones.  I once had deep purple ones which were very beautiful and kept some of the seeds.  So I never miss the opportunity to collect the pods once the flowers have shown us their beauty.

Since the flowers had finished, as I often do I took some of the seeds from the flowers so that I may transplant them into our own garden once again. The rest I will scatter in the garden on the hill and give to friends and family.  That’s the thing with poppy seeds, there are so many that there are plenty to go around.

I took this particular photo when one once grew in our garden, it was a solitary red poppy. As though it was growing in memory of someone special, I hope that there will be many more, since we have lost many special people.

O Grande Amor, the song of stress.

Stan Getz

I simply cannot explain it.  It’s bizarre but I had to listen to this fantastic album again yesterday to find out that this is the name of the song which I have noticed that I hum to myself in times of stress.  I had mistakenly thought it was another on the album, which I catch myself humming when things are getting all too much.  It starts off as an unconscious thing, but then I realise and it is like an old friend, immediately calming.

I first recall the regularity of humming it whilst walking through the corridors of the cardiac unit with my father, when he returned to see the consultant after having a heart bypass. But it has been with me far longer than that, occasionally I attempt to sing parts of it too.  I have owned the album for many years, since 1998 when I began to buy CD’s more often than cassette tapes. I have also found that after arguments it also mysteriously appears.

I have no idea as to the why?  I am unable to shed any light upon why of all the music I have heard over the years and grown up with, this is the one which returns and why there is one at all. Perhaps there is some deep seated reason I have yet to find out, but  I do love the song and I know that I love listening to Jazz music.

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – O Grande Amor

If you don’t ask….


I am a firm believer of “If you don’t ask, you don’t receive” with some things, but torn slightly as there are other times when you just shouldn’t ask.  Generally though it has served me well over the years and worked on occasions where I have asked for a pay rise. If I have asked for someone’s help since I don’t make a habit of it, they are more inclined to assist me.  Of course I am happy to return the favour if at all possible and offer help in return.

This week, in practicing Gratitude for the good things which have been happening, even when they are few and far between.  I wanted to share with you all something that I am very grateful for.

As a keen recycler I have written about this previously in One Mans’ Waste is another Mans’ Treasure I do tend to search for items if there is something that I would really like, to see if it can be bought second hand or given freely if times are tough.  I don’t have a problem in having things which are pre-owned or preloved since they are often better made than new items.  I am also happy to donate to charity shops and buy from them as well as re-using what others may think of as waste items, so that as much as possible is kept out of landfill.

I have had a desire to get myself an old typewriter.  I wrote a while ago in  English Lessons, Touch Typing and Speed Tests about learning to type when I was at school and felt a little bit nostalgic about it. So I asked my father, since at the time when I studied, we had my grandmother’s typewriter.  I would have loved to have it and use it again and since I have not known him use it for years, he may want to pass on this heirloom. However he wasn’t ready to do that at this point and told me it has sentimental value and he is still using it.  It may be passed on to me one day, however in the meantime I thought I would search elsewhere.

So, a quick browse around the local charity shops proved fruitless although my partner asked them to call us if they get one in.  It really didn’t matter to me what it looked like, as long as it works.  But something vintage would suit my inspirational living and I do love old items. There is something about that Art Deco room in my imagination, where I can write wonderful stories at a big wooden desk, with old writing implements surrounded by beautiful things and peace and quiet.  I purchased an old ink well on the strength of that particular dream or goal. Alas at the moment we are lacking in space and it is resigned to the loft until I have this wonderful office one day.

My next stop was Freecyle where I have received some wonderful things in the past. So I posted a “Wanted” advert on there at the weekend.  Lo and behold, a rather nice email popped into my inbox on Monday from a lady, telling me that she had a portable typewriter which I could have.  I didn’t ask too many questions, just when I could pick it up and arranged this with her.  The thing about Freecycle is when you collect that you are not obliged to pay for it.  I feel that if someone is giving you something for free, then it is only fair that you show them a token, however small of your appreciation.  So I took her a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, when times are hard, you have to share what is available.  The lady asked what I wanted it for since she though that no-one uses them anymore. I told her that I wanted something to photograph and that I was in the process of writing a book and feel that it might bring inspiration in my moments of writing. It had been her Father’s, she was pleased that it would be used, but wasn’t sure if it still worked. I said that I would give it a clean up and if it didn’t then I would just photograph it.  I did not look into the box until I returned to my car, then sneaked a peak inside the dusty and slightly battered case which surrounded it.

On opening it, it took my breath away, I must admit that I squealed with excitement too at this point as my eyes met a possibly 1930’s Royal portable typewriter, a little dusty, but otherwise in good condition with a ribbon in place.  It is beautiful and I am feeling very lucky.  I cannot remove the smile from my face.

I found some paper and tried it out.  It all works perfectly, I sent the lady a message, letting her know and she sent one back and wishing me luck with my book.

If anyone had asked me what I could have hoped for in a typewriter, whilst living in a small space. I couldn’t have described it any better, this is one which I can put away, when not in use, but enjoy whenever I like.

Gratitude, Absolutely Yes.  I love it and I am thrilled with it. Share your Gratitude.



A Midsummer Night

The beautiful moon on Midsummer night
Watching as the clouds go on in flight,
Rushing under an enchanted full moon
Which passes us by all too soon.
I throw open the blinds and welcome the sight
To see the room bathed in its’ light.
Laying in a pool to feel its balm
Taking over that sense of calm.
Once in a lifetime. Gone too soon
As it’s beauty and light fills the room.
I’m so excited I cannot sleep,
Wondering what blessings we’ll reap
How our lives may change for the best,
And when I’ll enjoy peaceful rest.
So wrapped myself up in a blanket of white,
Watching their step as the angels alight.
They’ve come so far to visit me,
dancing around and setting me free.
As I tell them that I’m not ready to go,
Despite the battle of highs and low.
My work around here has only begun,
So I’m not content to skip and run.
Will they assist me as I prepare,
To cleanse and grow, my soul laid bare.
So as I watch the moon at its height.
Not thinking at all of my recent plight.
But of new things which may come our way,
As we dance headlong into the fray.
It is far better than counting sheep,
Watching the moon as you’re trying to sleep.
Watching the reflections starting to gleam,
A part of my own Midsummer Night’s dream
With her smiling down upon your face,
As you cherish living in this special place.
Laying awake and looking at stars,
Searching for planets, Jupiter, Mars.
There’s a wondrous world out there,
If you take just a moment to share
In the beauty that’s heaven sent.
As you watch the moons ascent.
The light is changing a new day has come,
As you drift into sleep with the rising sun.
It was a moment, so special and bright
Bathed by the moon on Midsummer night.


The Daily Post – Summer

Le Grand Plan

Le Grand Plan


There is a language barrier, but it is my saving grace.
So that when I want to visit France, I’m able to save face.
I try to speak the lingo and do what can be done.
But when faltering in conversation, I’m inclined to run.
The actions of our countrymen, can lead to embarrassment.
But that’s not what takes me there, its not why I’ve been sent.
See, I am after something else, which is different from the rest.
It’s a place to call our own, and searching is my quest.
I will enjoy the culture, the cuisine and the wine
And when I’ve actually found it, we’ll settle in just fine.
Not sure if farm or mill house, will suit our big grand plan.
Or whether a small cottage, will house our little clan.
But it will have some land and lots of greenery.
Somewhere with peace and quiet, with great scenery.
The climate will be lovely, where warm breezes blow.
It will be a place, where we’re happy when we go.
Perhaps there’ll be a place, where we’re looking out to sea.
Surrounded by trees and pasture, where animals run free.
Or in some darkened forest, or a wooded glade.
I simply do not know what decision will be made.
When we’ve finally found it, I’ll definitely need a hand
Strong people there to build on, or work our fields and land.
Friends might come and stay with us, plenty of room there.
If there’s lots of space, maybe a cabin or two to share?
Will there be an old house, filled with grace and charm.
Or ramshackle sheds and buildings, on a forty acre farm?
Wherever this can take me, I’m glad where it began.
I’ll call this little journey, the start of “Le Grand Plan”
It has some ten years, in which to grow and fruit.
Now there’s just the family, to entice and recruit.
When up mountains and through lakes we follow all the trails,
I’m sure they’ll be with me as we figure out details.


Images: Location Photographs byIndiaBlue. Food from morguefile.com