Alexander Averin

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Country Mouse?

Dear Diary,

Awake. Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe.

It is a long time since my last blog. We have been away for a few days visiting family, old and new, in Surrey and Sussex and have had a very enjoyable time. We left the cottage and the animals in the care of a friend.

Dr Edward Bach's Cottage,

Travelling down I decided to go ‘the pretty way’ and avoid the motorways. I absolutely love driving and I don’t mind motorway driving at all, in fact I used to enjoy it, but since the invention of speed cameras I find it so hard to keep down to 70 mph and I do get bored with the landscape. So this time I planned for a leisurely journey and we stopped in Oxfordshire at Mount Vernon, Dr Edward Bach’s famous cottage in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell. I’ve had a book about the Bach remedies for years and have always longed to visit their birthplace.

The sun was shining full on and I had to dig out my pink straw hat bought from M & S last year. The village was off the main road, very picturesque, (well worth a visit) and we enjoyed a nice lunch at the Red Lion pub. Then we set off to try and find the Bach centre and eventually found it hidden away down one of the many twisty lanes. We rung the bell and the current owner appeared, welcomed us and showed us round the tiny cottage, There were two rooms downstairs and a kitchen on an extension at the back. (Offices only upstairs now). I loved all the rustic and very beautiful wooden furniture that had been handmade by Dr Bach as he was apparently poor when he first rented the cottage all those years ago. (He died in 1936).

Although it is obviously very much a commercial enterprise now, the place still retains its special aura of peace and tranquillity. They run practitioner courses which sound very interesting though one can teach oneself with the correct literature if prepared to study.

The remedies are still produced there from the wild flowers in the garden. A gardener is employed but her main job is weeding as everything is left to grow wild and free (just like mine at home!). Numerous cottage plants were to be seen and there was a little pond adorned with water lilies. Apparently visitors come from all over the world and many love to just sit in the garden and enjoy its peace. M and I sat on a bench by the pond and watched the bees buzzing from flower to flower. The energies were so good; I could have happily stayed there for the rest of the afternoon but we had to continue our journey. Before we left I stocked up with the old faithful, Rescue Remedy, I bought some for my sister who also uses it for those little ‘emergencies’.

There is a coincidental footnote to this little section - when I logged on to my previous blog that was written over a week ago I saw a comment from a fellow Welsh blogger, Preseli Mags, who was saying that she always uses the Bach remedy 'White Chestnut' for nightime insomnia and its accompanying black moods. So my last blog about sleeplessness and this one have sort of combined with her comment.

I am back home now and safely tucked up in our little valley by the river. Though I love to see my family in England I am always glad to return to the hills of Wales. I feel the real country bumpkin now when I go back to the Otherworld; I am out of place somehow. Also we are used to near-empty roads in Powys and can’t cope with the volume of traffic up there and also the number of people. We find it all quite stressful and I’m always reminded of the story of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.

But there is more joy now back at home. I have the week off work and can do just as I please. I am planning a trip to a local garden centre today as I am making a rose and lavender bed from an old herb bed that I had to clear as it had been completely taken over by mint. I’ve decided to confine all my herbs to pots from now on, except for the lavenders of course.

And even more joy! The telly digibox has died so we are without TV. The silence is deafening as they say. I love the radio anyway so we put that on occasionally and we can listen to music of course. But I am enjoying the lack of any noise at all, so relaxing after a busy weekend and not seeing the news is a real treat.

The paintings above are by an American artist called Jim Daly. Camilla asked me who painted the ‘Bedtime Story’ which can be seen on a previous blog. It is a picture I came across one night when I was unable to sleep and I was surfing around on the net. I loved its ‘cosiness’ and lots of people agreed with me so I have dug out some more of his work, just a few that hold particular appeal to me. I don’t like all his pics as I feel that some of them are a bit too ‘twee’ (there’s that damned 'T' word again!).

Well the day is beckoning and rainy or not I must get this show on the road. I hope you like the poem that I picked for you in the Small Hours.

Bedtime Story

The moon lies on the river
like a drop of oil.
The children come to the banks to be healed
of their wounds and bruises.
The fathers who gave them their wounds and bruises
come to be healed of their rage.
The mothers grow lovely; their faces soften,
the birds in their throats awake.
They all stand hand in hand
and the trees around them,
forever on the verge
of becoming one of them,
stop shuddering and speak their first word.

But that is not the beginning.
It is the end of the story,
and before we come to the end,
the mothers and fathers and children
must find their way to the river,
separately, with no one to guide them.
That is the long, pitiless part,
and it will scare you.

Lisel Mueller

Bye for now,


Grouse said...

I use Bach flower with great results but not heard of using that one for insomnia

CAMILLA said...

What a wonderful Diary Cait, I love all of them. Thank you for the information on the Artist Jim Daly, they are such GORGEOUS pictures.

Your holiday away sounds lovely, but I agree, love to be with the quiet, with no hustle and bustle, your cottage where you live sounds tranquil, and so lovely to have the River by you. Interesting thought about Bach Flower, can one purchase from Health Food Shop, not that I have Insomnia.


laurie said...

man, you have a storybook life. a rose and lavender bed sounds so gorgeous and fragrant.

i want one!

bach's rescue remedy does not help my nervous dog. nothing does. but i should get that white chestnut for the occasional sleeplessness of me.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Ah ha think I might need some of that remedy.

Lovely blog as always and I too love the pictures - something so homely about them.

Frances said...

Hello to you, Cait.

I do thank you for your comments, and do hope that your week "off" is as enjoyable as mine.

So far, just being able to make up each day's activities just as I wish is a holiday!

It is great to get caught up with old friends whom I have haven't seen in a while, and do some painting and see some art.

While visiting a gallery with some pals this afternoon, I heard from the distant office recesses of the gallery the familiar notes of ...
"Instant Karma." And of course, I thought of you, and thanked you for letting me hear that song whenever I would like.

One of the photos that I have on my blog is what some think of a collection of clutter on my mantelpiece. But. Since I do not have a fireplace in this little apartment, it is really a collection of clutter on top of an old oak cupboard. There is amongst the bits, a framed photo that a friend took outside the Dakota Apartments on the day after Mr. Lennon's death. The building is just a a few blocks from where I live and is right across the street from where I usually enter Central Park.

Many other famed folks have called the Dakota home, including Leonard Bernstein and current resident Lauren Bacall. It was the setting for the excellent film of the book "Rosemary's Baby."

I quite liked the photo that you took of Mr.Bach's house. I do know a bit about Mr. Bach and his flowers.

Anyhow, it is late so I will drift off, with just one more thank you for sharing the music.


sally's chateau said...

I love that book, Town Mouse, County Mouse, know exactly how you feel.

toady said...

Love that picture of the kitchen - I want one. Toady

Faith said...

Funny we can't seem to get mint to grow here - no question of it taking over. Its the purple sage that takes over! (well it would be in a purplecooers garden wouldnt it?!). Bach's garden sounds lovely. I have used rescue remedy but might try and see if there is one to help Em's night terrors.

FunkyMunky said...

It's strange. When my parents lived in England, one of their last houses was in a very small Cumbrian village ... whenever I visited from London, I felt like the town mouse!!

Loved reading your diary ... and those pictures are beautiful.

Pondside said...

Lovely diary entry, Cait - welcome back!
I've never heard of the Rescue Remedy,but will google it and see if anyone around here carries it. You have me intrigued!

Suffolkmum said...

Lovely to have you back Cait. I would love to see Dr Bach's garden. I love those products - haven't used the white chestnut but rock rose and star of bethlehem are great for shock/trauma - I swear it helped my children enormously when their beloved cat died. Really charming, homely pictures. I so know what you mean about being out of place in towns now - I feel like that whenever I return to the busy south east - where did all those people come from?! An assault on the senses. Your rose and lavendar bed sounds lovely. Yes, definitely keep your mint in pots - other common or garden herbs should be fine though, although I agree sage can get a bit dominant.

ChrisH said...

Fascinating to read about Dr Bach's cottage. Lovely, soothing blog too.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Cait...what exactly is in Rescue remedy and how does it work? Have heard it referred to so many times.
Loved the visit to Dr Bach's cottage. Have got our mint under control in a pot ...wish I could say the sme for the lemon balm...but it does keep bugs off roses!

Anonymous said...

What a pleasure Cait to read your diary, it is full of interesting subjects. I have tried Bach Remedies I found them very good..
The picures are so sweet, if only!!!eh.