Fuzzy Background

I love the fuzzy background you get from a narrow depth of field – it tells you look, this is the bit of the image I want you to focus on, the rest is just setting and context. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to see the bigger picture, to look at everything across the frame with equal concentration, but sometimes it’s just too much and distracts too much from the main subject.

Right now in life I feel like I need to focus in on the little bit of world right in front of me, and blur out all the rest into fuzzy obscurity. Not ignore it or pretend it’s not there, but just have it all sitting there blended softly into the background, allowing me to focus sharply on noticing and nurturing the immediate details of my everyday reality closer to home πŸ™‚

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Zz

Bed-Head Fern

According to the label, this indoor plant is a ‘Boston Fern’ although I’ve renamed it my Bed-Head Fern because with its tousled fronds it always looks like it’s jumped straight out of bed without checking the state of its hair! πŸ™‚

Flower of the Day

April A-Z: Z is for Zero Regrets

Z is always such a difficult letter for April A-Z, and this year is no exception, so I’m using a little creative artistic licence and going with β€˜Zero Regrets’.

Zero regrets for having persevered with my alphabetical posts throughout lockdown – 26 out of 26 in a timely manner is a decent achievement, and even though I had to change quite a few of my planned posts to fit my new restricted circumstances I stuck with my original topic.

Zero regrets for having moved back to Inverness at the end of last summer, and for having bought our lovely 1930s bungalow – it’s such a huge change from our little Victorian one-bed first-floor flat in London, but is all the more welcome due to the current stay-at-home strategy.

Zero regrets for the precious back garden view from our kitchen window, and for the peaceful enjoyment of sitting quietly in my plant-lined conservatory with a cup of tea and a good book, listening to the birds outside singing their hearts out for spring…

There are certainly a lot worse places to be stuck at home during a pandemic than here in Inverness πŸ™‚

For this year’s A-Z I’m going to take you on a photographic tour of My Inverness, Past and Present. I grew up in the local area, I went to school here and brought up my three children here, but I moved away to London for 18 years before returning home for good at the end of last summer.

P.S. My initial plan for my A-Z posts has necessarily been curtailed somewhat due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but we’ll get through the alphabet one way or another, however creative my use of subjects may have to be – so thank you for visiting Inverness with me, and I hope you enjoy our trip!

Home-Grown Hyacinths

There’s a lot of crappy stuff going on in the world right now and it’s a very stressful time for all of us, so I’m finding it’s necessary to focus on the little things in life to find my little moments of happiness…

Late last year I was given a pot and some dried compost cubes and three dormant hyacinth bulbs to try a grow-your-own kit thing, so starting early January I carefully followed the instructions and reconstituted the compost, planted the bulbs, gave them a good water and stuck the pot in the cold and dark under a bench in the garden shed for 10 weeks, checking it stayed damp but other than that, leaving it alone.

And to my surprise and delight, after the 10 weeks I found I had one little tiny nub of potential growth showing through the soil, so as instructed I placed the pot on the conservatory windowsill to get some sunshine. Another 10 days have passed since then, and look what I have now! Hopefully the plants will continue to grow and flower in the next few weeks – they should be a beautiful delft blue, so we’ll see what happens – fingers crossed!

So I’m really pleased to be learning to be a proper plant mummy at last, big smiles all round πŸ™‚

Weekly Smile

Orchids? Eek!

My sister has brought us a potted orchid as a house-warming present – eek!

I’ve never in my life looked after plants that need ‘proper’ care and attention to thrive, all my previous green-fingered experience (whether indoors or outdoors) has been with the kind of robust non-needy plants that require minimal intervention year in, year out, and not only survive by themselves but keep coming back all on their own. Independent plants that you need to be really, REALLY negligent to kill off.

Anyway, I’ve read up online ‘how to look after a potted orchid’ and have found some really good advice and tips on watering and light and warmth, so forewarned is forearmed… And I’m really keen to learn whatever new housewifery skills I may be required to get my head around in my new home plus conservatory and garden, so I may as well start now. All I can promise thus far is that I’ll do my very best to look after my new orchid, and see what happens…

We’ve also been given three dormant hyacinth bulbs and some dehydrated compost blocks in a pretty ceramic pot as another house-warming gift – a DIY grow your own kit – so apparently once I’ve reconstituted the compost and planted the bulbs they need to live in the cold garden shed for 10 weeks before coming in to the house… Hmmm… OK… I’ve never grown hyacinths before, either… Double eek!

Two brand-new-to-me indoor plant experiments in one fell swoop seems like a good challenging start to the new year in our new house – I already have a thriving potted basil growing on my kitchen windowsill and two schlumbergera, but I’ve had them before in the past (long ago, but it still counts) and know what I’m doing (there or thereabouts) so I’m not a complete novice to houseplant care…. Famous last words! Hopefully I can succeed in learning how NOT to kill potted orchids and hyacinths too… πŸ™‚

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Best

Weekly Prompt: Something New