Alexander Averin

Monday, 21 May 2007

Monday Morning Musings

Dear Diary,

The eye by means of which God sees me is the same eye by means of which I see God.
Meister Eckhart

I have posted some more pics by a favourite artist, Paula Nightingale. I’ve just discovered she lives on the Suffolk coast, so some of you may know her? A lot of her paintings portray people reading, that I love too.

I am writing this sitting on my bed with one eye out the window watching all the birds coming and going. The dipper is busy by the river and the wagtails are all over the show, yesterday they were collecting nesting material from the back garden, not sure why as it is a bit late I would have thought. Molehills are popping up in odd places. I don’t mind, unlike M who gets rid of them, I like moles and the soil they push up is fantastic for potting purposes. As Horatio Clare said on Woman’s Hour, when he was growing up in the Welsh hills, all the indigenous wildlife became part of them and their family, he felt they shared the land with them. I feel just the same.

I read a quote recently that Daniel Day Lewis spends a lot of time ‘looking out of windows’. I know just what he means; it is a form of meditation really and I could write a book about the life I see from mine. I could spend all day (and all night with suitable lighting) and there would always be something to look at and comment upon. It would be better than the telly at the moment!

I had another weeding session yesterday; went out late afternoon and did a couple of hours. The weather was lovely all day and it was a pleasure to be outside. Only trouble was I had to come in and cook a meal, why can’t I be an organised, plan-ahead sort of person, the type who would have had something tasty bubbling away in the oven, something that I had made earlier :>)) I never was and never will be one of those, I am a last minute kind of girl.

Still when we finally sat down to eat I did get to watch the Chelsea Flower Show on the telly and St Alan was presenting (my friends and family think I am mad because I like Alan Titchmarsh). I know a lot of people can’t stand him but I have learned a lot of gardening tips from him.

I’ve still got the dreaded ground elder bed to face, when I am feeling strong. I too have the blue knapweed, thank you for telling me its name (forgive me I have forgotten who it was now). I love it as well. I saw one of those orange tip butterflies and there were loads of bees, the wild ones and the bumbley type as well. That was encouraging. They seem to like my ‘wild’ garden. (I call it that and it covers a multitude of sins).

My garden has too much lady’s mantle (alchemilla mollis). She spreads herself about a bit doesn’t she? But she makes up for it when the sparkling raindrops nestle in her leaves, then she is just magical. The other plants that are taking over are the hardy geraniums. I have a few different types and when in flower the beds can resemble an impressionist painting, very beautiful and a bonus is that they flower for months. Even I must admit that they are taking more than their fair share of space. But I find it hard to be ruthless and ’thin out’ any plant that is living, do you know what I mean? I have lots of aquilegia(e) too, (columbine or granny’s bonnets I love all their names); they also hop about which is good. They have grown so tall this year and unfortunately the strong winds which we have had recently have knocked them sideways. I have varying-shades-of-pink ones and PURPLE ones too, need I say which are my favourites?

My mint has also run riot and has taken over another bed in the back garden. I have so much I could almost sell it commercially! Drastic action called for I feel.

The Welsh poppies too have almost colonised the bed under the windows at the front of the cottage. It took so long to get them to grow in my garden but now they are popping up all over.

I just adore all types of poppies.

I can’t find Jane’s comments list on favourite plants so I will post mine here.


Fuchsias, especially the Irish hedge variety
Lilies of the valley (muguets de bois I like to call them)

Veg/herbs included

Runner beans
Watercress (I wish)

Aren’t I good Jane? It was difficult but I kept it to ten in each category!

The sheep have been taken from the field and so I took the dogs for what I thought would be a welcome racearound. However all they wanted to do was eat the sheep’s doings! I can train Katy not to do it but Finn, the cunning lurcher that he is, will do it behind my back. So I think I will leave it for a while; wait for the fertiliser to seep into the ground before I return.

Blessings today?

It’s a day off and I am going to make the most of it as I have a four day week this week. I have to go to an all day group meeting on Wednesday which will keep me from my garden and from you.

C, a dear lady who is the relief librarian for me. I am planning a few days off soon, probably at half term.

Meditation. I keep meaning to have a proper daily session.

The river is a form in itself as I often watch it flowing past. It reminds me of the ‘Tibetan logs’ method of meditation where you are meant to imagine logs flowing past in a river. I tend to try and visualise the river (which as I look at it from the cottage flows left to right), taking away all my worries or any negativity.

Geneaology contacts made through the net who have helped a lot in my family tree detective work.

One more? It has to be five.

The many artists of all persuasions who give so much to our lives.

So today before I go out for another weeding session I will make sure that the dinner is ‘in hand’ or is something quick and easy. Talking of which the fridge is empty and the freezer getting that way. ………

It will have to be a short poem.


Not everyone would choose her
She is a colour
A poppy in life’s garden
You have to seek her out
Not common, not bright yellow, but unusual
Softly, quietly and delicately mauve. So beautiful
A Paddy’s Pride? She’d flatter her own skin-tone

But I think she is a jewel
I love her
In a floaty dress, low-necked, short-sleeved and silky
Hard to imitate, she is so different
And worn in summer only

Cait O’Connor


Milkmaid said...

I'm glad you're a last minute girl, anything else is far too organised, loved the Daniel Day Lewis bit, I couldn't live in a house without something to look at out of the window, I'm looking at my washing on the line now, thinking that another load should be joining it


ah cait more beautiful paintings thank you.

Do you like Matisse?

Inthemud said...

What lovely paintings , glad you told us who the artist is.

I like plants that spread easily, rather them than all my annoying Ground Elder weeds!

Enjoy your day off!

Suffolkmum said...

Beautiful paintings again, I know of the artist but don't actually know her, unfortunately. I have a pretty similar list of favourite plants. THanks for the tips on Patrick Kavanagh, think I will mosey down to our local library.

Blossomcottage said...

Love the paintings very Dorothea Sharp, who is just my favourite painter. I spend ages looking out of the window too, at the moment there is a Blue Tit nesting in the lttle box I put out last year, and I keep going to see if they are popping in and out.I too have much too much Ladies Mantel but I do love it and its better than weeds.

muddyboots said...

l love staring out of windows, it is something l have always done, school windows, car windows, airplane windows, house windows, just can't resist. great pics too.

Anonymous said...

what lovley pitcures i love people watching out my window and wonder were they are going x jep

CAMILLA said...

Wonderful, I too have always adored Paula Nightingale's pictures, and she does a series of cards of her paintings I believe.
Achilla Mollis (Ladies Mantle), I have it growing in between various other plants.Do you like Renoir?

Pondside said...

Lovely paintings, Cait. Your garden sounds beautiful. I also love the purple Columbine - I have lost of wild yellow/red.

KittyB said...

Hello again Cait - thanks for your comments, and a couple of questions for me to answer. My name Kitty is a pseudonym, (sadly I'm called Caroline, hate it) but it came from my love of kitten heeled shoes - so I do get called it by some people, Kitty feels like an alter-ego! No Irish blood as far as I'm aware, Scots and Welsh in there somewhere and something swarthy on my Dad's side! We're all dark and small. Unlike my giant, strapping blonde husband and son. I'm like a hobbit compared to them!

I'm with Daniel Day Lewis on the staring out of windows thing. I daydream for England. Always have and I guess now I always will, but it stops me from getting too serious.

Keep up the beautiful, inspirational writing!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog. I also spend hours looking out of my window, it's so calming to the soul. It's quite idylic where I live but your place sounds incredibly so.

Eden said...

Oh windows. Whenever I get stuck on my writing I just go and stare out of our bedroom window onto the garden that was no garden three years ago and bingo, a few minutes (or however long) later the way through just comes to me. is it the window itself, some magic of glass? or the garden through it? or the time given over to nothing?
And rivers too. I love rivers, even more than the sea. Their stories, their music, their moods.

Verityx said...

It is my firm belief that moles do the same jobs as worms but on a grand scale! S and I saw such gorgeous soil in the form of mole hills that S wanted to go back with a bucket and collect it up!! Vx