My Quiet Place

I’m sure it will surprise no-one who follows my blog that my favourite quiet place is my garden. We live in a town and yet our back garden is surprisingly private, set slightly lower down than the house and with a high wall, a high fence, and a high hedge on the other three sides it’s easy to forget we’re in a busy built-up area. It’s like our own little secret haven, and because the back garden isn’t visible from the road visitors are always surprised to see how much of a sunken green space we have hidden behind the house. The front garden is inevitably much less private but I still love that it allows the house to be comfortably set back from the road, creating a satisfactory feeling of separation from the rest of the world we both truly appreciate ❀

Weekly Prompt: Quiet Places

Shadows

I was sitting having a cup of tea on the garden bench and couldn’t help but notice the beautiful shadows of the lavender on the arm – perfect for yesterday’s Weekly Prompt challenge of ‘shadows’ πŸ™‚

Guests

I forgot what it’s like to host guests

Clean the house so it looks at its best

Tidy up random stuff

Make it look good enough

Hide the worst of our everyday mess

I’d got used to our lock-down delays

Quiet living and insular days

Covid curses no more

Cast bad spells on my door

Feels so strange to return to old ways

So we welcome old friends with a smile

And remark that it’s been quite a while

With great caution we start

With new joy in our heart

To embrace this post-Covid lifestyle

Weekly Prompt: Visitors

Weekly Prompt: Garden

Two years ago we didn’t even have a garden, we were living in a one-bedroom first floor flat in London with no outside space at all.

And now here we are in a three bedroom bungalow in Inverness with garden front and back, and find ourselves slap bang in the middle of a pretty steep green-fingered learning curve. There are multiple really old rose bushes in the front garden just coming into bloom now, so I’m learning (generally by trial and error) how best to look after them and everything else plant-wise we inherited when we bought the house.

I’ve always loved spending time in nature and absolutely love having a garden, both in the passive and active sense, and our intention long-term is to grow some fruit and vegetables as well as flowers and shrubs so that our outdoor space can be practical as well as pretty. I’ve already added several herbs – lavender and thyme and rosemary and lemon balm – and intend to add a lot more scented plants as I go along.

Over this last year and a half since the Covid pandemic changed everything I’ve really appreciated having ready access to so much outdoor space, and my garden has become my little sanctuary in more precious ways than I could ever have imagined. I regularly cut the grass and pull the weeds and prune and dead-head and generally look after everything as best I can, only to find to my delight that as I nurture my garden it nurtures me in return.

British horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) said that ‘The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies’ and that’s exactly what I’m experiencing here – my plan for the future is I’m definitely going to become an old lady who potters in the garden, and I’m happy to report it’s a healthy habit I’m already starting to build now ❀

Weekly Prompt: Garden

Home

Home…

A nineteen thirties bungalow in style

Mock-Tudor boards on double-fronted bays

Old paint-peeled rendered walls that made me smile

And fall in love in oh-so-many ways

Its shabby chic and part-neglected air

Called out to me to make this house my own

Look far beyond its age without a care

Ignore its dated dΓ©cor overtone

And now we live together in this space

Eclectic symbiosis oft appears Β 

Where partial changes slowly taking place

Bring modern touches to the faded years

I love the way the blend of old and new

Creates a loving home for me and you… ❀

Weekly Prompts: Old and New

Both Weathered and Unexpected

It’s probably a bit late for both Weekly Prompt challenges but I only found this guy today and just had to share him – better late than never!

This is a sandstone effigy of a knight, and along with one small section of sandstone pillar still standing in a small, very old graveyard he is all that remains of a Dominican Friary built here in 1233. He has no arms any more, and his head and chest are extremely weathered, but if you look closely you can still see the design on his belt buckle holding his scabbard and long sword by his left hip. On his right side there is a shorter stabbing sword or big knife, and looking behind his shoulders there is still a hint of chain-mail patterning cut into the stone.

He’s maybe not the clearest of effigies to make out but the poor guy is just shy of 900 years old and sandstone is not the most hard-wearing substance on the planet, so I’d say he’s looking pretty good in the circumstances, even his knobbly knees. Especially as the friary itself was disbanded and destroyed during the reformation in the mid-16th Century, with many of the original stones being re-used for major buildings elsewhere in the town, so he’s lucky to have survived.

I’d decided today to explore two of the three old burial grounds within a stone’s throw of each other in the middle of Inverness – Blackfriars is the smallest and most hidden from view of them all, tucked in behind a rather ugly relatively modern telephone exchange building, and I’d never actually been there before so finding a 13th Century stone knight still standing strong was a pretty cool find. I imagine he’d be pretty spooky at night though, looming out of the wall like that πŸ™‚

Weekly Prompt: Unexpected

Weekly Prompt: Weathered