Friday, 15 February 2019

One thing I should realise by this stage in my life is that everything is always changing, nothing stays the same for long.

When I posted at the end of December I felt that my life had settled down and I might find more time for myself. Not so, when a week into the New Year my father died. It was completely unexpected and a huge shock.

Now a month on, I feel that life is settling down again but who knows what lies ahead?

As always walking in the countryside has been an important part of my days recently.

We are off for a short break soon, so I'll have some photographs from a bit further afield next time.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Hello, is anyone still there?

Its been a while.....

The past year or so has been full changes and blogging has fallen by the wayside but in this quiet period at the end of the year I thought I'd pop in and say hello.

We are all fine.

One of the two major changes is that my parents now both live in a residential home. My mother broke her hip (2nd one) in September 2017 and after several weeks in hospital we realised that she would not cope at home. My father lived on his own until the spring of this year when after two hospital stays himself, he decided that he didn't want to live on his own and was able to move into the same home as mum. Both suffer from dementia and it isn't an easy situation but we are happy that they are being looked after and are able to be together.

The second change is that we are both no longer working. I stopped in April. It was proving a struggle to organise mum and dad from a distance of over 150 miles without needing time off. Work were very understanding, I'd been there 17 years, but in the end I felt pulled in too many directions and decided to "retire" earlier than I would have expected. Then towards the end of the year my husband's work situation changed and he also gave up work. It still feels strange both being at home, especially as the decisions were made very quickly but we are getting used to it. It is much easier being able to spend time visiting my parents without having to rush up and down the motorway at weekends and to visit our youngest son in Edinburgh but day to day life is very different.

That is my 2018 in a nutshell. There have been lots of good times as well. A bucket list holiday to Norway and Svalbard in the summer, trips to the coast when visiting mum and dad in Devon and being able to go out for walks together while the rest of the world works!

I am hoping that life might be settled for a while and that I find the time to blog and reconnect again.

Happy New Year.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Edinburgh and the Titan Arum

I spent a few days in Edinburgh at the beginning of August staying with our youngest son. These are some photographs of the city taken from Calton Hill. On a clear day there are good views of the city and surroundings.

Below, looking North over the Firth of Forth

looking towards Leith

and a view of Arthurs Seat and the Crags.

While I was in Edinburgh, one of the world's biggest flowers was blooming in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Titan Arum, Amorphphallus titanum, first bloomed in the glasshouses in June 2015 and for the second time on the 1st August this year. It is also one of the smelliest flowers emitting the odour of rotting flesh to attract pollinators. Luckily for me, the smell is only present during the first day or so and when I saw it on August 4th there was no longer any smell.

A hole was cut in the base of the flower to allow it to be hand pollinated, hopefully some seeds will be produced.

While I was there the height of the flower was measured, the photograph gives some idea of the size.

An information board shows the rate of growth of the first bloom in 2015.

It was raining when I visited the botanic gardens this time so no photographs outside but the glasshouses proved to be a perfect place to spend a wet afternoon.

Monday, 4 September 2017

towards the end of summer

This summer has passed too quickly and September is here. I have been lucky to have had a couple of trips away and as often happens, when I arrive home even after only a few days,  I feel I  have jumped to a new season.

The late summer heather and gorse have been joined by a a few autumnal fungi, this was a striking specimen.

The garden has become untidy through lack of attention during the last few weeks but if you stand back and look from a distance it doesn't appear too bad. Crab apples, grapes and ornamental berries are ripening and with the sun lower in the sky there is a feeling of early autumn.

This little bench is a good place to catch the sun and the geraniums in pots have survived well considering they have missed out on regular watering while I was away.

I have lots of photographs of my holidays to sort out and a recently completed knitting project blocking on the living room floor, I hope to post pictures of both soon.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

summer evenings

We are having a mini heat-wave here with temperatures reaching 30ÂșC and my last post has pictures of a cold January Edinburgh day!

Today is the summer solstice (in the UK it was at 5:24 this morning) so I thought some seasonally appropriate photographs would be a good idea.

These pictures were taken  last week when we had a short walk and an evening picnic along the Wayfarers Path in North Hampshire.

I like to go at this time of the year to see the wild orchids. There were plenty to see this year.

A beautiful place for a picnic sitting in the sunshine among the wild flowers.

The path back went through fields of barley, gently moving in the breeze

and as the sun got lower in the sky the whole place took on a golden glow. A reminder to appreciate the long summer evenings.