Some more gratuitous sea thrift, this at Arisaig; sandwiched between Fort William (‘the outdoor capital of the Highlands’ and home to the mighty Ben Nevis) and Magnificent Morar - place of singing sands and miles and miles of peace.
Algy travelled on a little further, until he reached a spot overlooking the old castle in the great sea loch. Huge masses of golden gorse covered the headland, so he decided to make a bed out of the soft, perfumed flowers. That night Algy dreamed of a tropical island, full of the exotic fragrance of spiced coconut!
Oh Algy, you are a robust fellow to be among the prickly gorse!
If this bluetit’s behaviour is any indication, Spring is not far. There are no blue tits here to herald the coming of the warmth, no snowdrops nor bluebells in my garden. Instead the squirrels are the advance party, running back and forth along the overhead line.
My thoughts this weekend are circling around and down into the root of an idea, simple and known to us all. It’s to do with the recurrent problems we face in our lives, whether it be procrastination, avoidance of something, a need to change our lifestyle or some other challenge. Most people, myself included, weave around the issue trying different strategies that are largely superficial. I know a few people on a diet and this is a good example. They have all found diets that promise ‘to change their lives.’ Each one is spending a lot of time thinking about food, and planning, weighing and analysing through willing hardship. The more extreme the scheme, the more dramatic the deprivation, the happier they seem. It’s like they want to punish themselves. Not one of them has been compelled to dig deep and find out what lies at the root, the reason for their problem in the first place. I’m not purporting to have the answers to weight loss, but I am saying that treating anything superficially that is deeply rooted will only ever yield superficial results. Personally, I like digging, and seeking the ungarnished truth at the heart of a matter. Any gardener will tell you, it’s all about what lies in the soil.
Bog cotton, Isle of Skye. The strands of bog cotton are actually modified petals and with the help of the wind, carry the seeds far. It only grows in acidic boggy ground and is the flower of the Greater Manchester region in England. It’s also called ‘cotton grass’ or ‘hare’s tail’ for obvious reasons. In the past it was used for making candle wicks and for stuffing pillows, also for dressing wounds in World War I. I love the way it looks, so receptive to the slightest breeze and the soft way it feels.
(Credit to Frank Heumann, click on link for more.)
Hello ‘symptoms of eloquence’ - as we were talking roses, I thought I would try to show you my small, unimpressive specimens. I’m not over keen on roses, well I like them but they don’t move me like little wild flowers that grow in the grass between mowings (a lengthy time in our yard), nor as much as the small purpley blooms a rosemary bush produces but I like them nevertheless. I admire these because they’re stoic and ancient, they’ve been in the garden and withstood at least 6 occupants, have been here for over 40 years, get nothing from me other than the occasional trim and still valiantly bloom each year. They have the most delicate scent and their colour (not quite captured in this photo) is an antique shade of reddy-pink. I like to imagine the first couple in this home, planting these hopefully and nurturing them, sure that they would see them grow. I think they did and have a feeling they left in their older years when the house and garden became unmanageable. If flowers could talk, what stories would they tell? Prince Charles might be able to tell me something about that.
For Cheri who is sitting in the hall, in the hall for daring to comment that a plant may be less relevant than a person, for daring to speak up at all. Challenging the status quo has never been popular as William Wallace (1272-1305) Scottish rebel and freedom fighter discovered to his cost: He was hung, drawn and quartered, further unspeakable things done to him while still alive, his head to end up on a pike atop London Bridge.
So Cheri, we salute you and fight on; fight on for the waiting room people, fight for the plants (why not) and fight to quell tyrannical nurses who would silence your freedom, fight from your hall! Freeeeeeeedom!!!!!!
(Image via deviantart, click on link to view)
One of my tumblr friends, the very talented and big hearted Kitty of ‘ghostofthewind’ posted some things that make her happy today. In turn, I am posting some things that make me happy. My children come top of the list, and friends (one pictured with my kids), I love my books, bookcases and shelves are in every room in my home, cats (that’s my fiesty, opinionated tortoiseshell in an uncharacteristically docile pose - Sooty, we have 4 cats + 2 dogs) and cacti (this one bloomed for the first time recently). I would perish, just cease to exist if it weren’t for tea. I like a good mug (these are Scottish, “Highland Stoneware”) to wrap my hands around and when it’s empty, I hold it against my face for it’s comforting warmth. I prefer Dilmah and Twinings Lady Grey, always black tea for its vitality and body. The Isle of Skye makes me very happy. The shining pendant (a map of Skye) is a picture of a necklace I wear most days, given to me by dear friends when I left Scotland. That the island is seemingly illuminated is very fitting, as it is in my heart and in reality, a place of otherworldly light and beauty. Finally, my other favourite thing can’t be captured in an image - it’s freedom.