Writing 101 : Day 2 – Write a list

I  didn’t intended to play catch up and write two blog posts in one day.  The thing is you have to strike when inspiration comes your way.

Day 2 is Write a  List, and not being a list writer I hesitated over this prompt.  Those avid list writers will probably have found this easy and steamed ahead.

As I sat here with the radio on, I suddenly heard the announcer talking about lists of foolish things and he started to interview a lady who talked about the dormant things we keep, unable to throw out.   What a coincidence and how fortunate.  I immediately thought about my ‘useful/not so useful things’ aka ‘dumping’ kitchen drawer.  I expect we all have one, this is mine.

Here is my list of some of the dormant artefacts in my kitchen drawer:-

  1. Tea towel and a few dishcloths.
  2. Wooden corkscrew – I do use this frequently.
  3. A selection of batteries, some are loose rolling around in the drawer, I suspect they are used and just not thrown away.
  4. Wooden rolling pin – I’ve not made pastry or smashed biscuit crumbs for years!
  5. A variety of different sized ClipIts – but I can never find the right size when needed.
  6. A battery operated lid remover – very useful, especially as I have arthritic wrists.
  7. A Vacu Wine pump – not used very often  these days with the advent of screw tops.
  8. 4 plastic egg cup poachers – an impulse buy from Lakeland and not very practical.
  9. A little brown leather purse with a broken zip – why am I keeping that!?
  10. Rolls of cling film and tin foil.
  11.  Night lights and candles – in case of a power cut.
  12. Phone charger for a phone that has long gone.
  13. Bodum battery operated whisk.
  14. Packet of masonry nails!
  15. A door key on a blue plastic fob – goodness knows what that belongs to.
  16. A couple of spotlight bulbs.
  17. Finally, but by no means the last thing in the drawer, is a very peculiar rubber thing.  Any sensible and clean ideas would be welcome.  I think it’s for removing lids but can’t remember buying it, and it if did, whatever was I thinking!

Writing 101 – Day 1 : I Write Because…

Intrigued by the idea of receiving a daily writing prompt, I signed up at Writing101november2015.wordpress.com.  Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 have duly arrived in my inbox and three days into November I have now started.  Better late than never. I set a timer for 15 minutes,  put pen to paper and wrote the following:-

Photo courtesy of Bing.com images

Photo courtesy of Bing.com images

Day 1

I write because…

… since I was a small child I have talked to myself about ideas and feelings.  It is not a mad ‘voices in my head’ thing, but thoughts that swirl around my brain unvoiced.

Happy in my own company, I have always been a bit of a loner, with only a handful of close friends. At the age of 8 I had imaginary friends, as I grew older I would act out little plays and as a teenager I wrote short stories.

In my 40’s I signed up at the local adult education department for GCSE adult English.  I really looked forward to my once a week evening lessons and was completely absorbed with the prompts we were given by our charismatic tutor for written essays.  These ranged from writing down words whilst listening to music and turning them into a story, to writing about a recent event in history.  I wrote about Chernobyl from the eyes of a child, a piece I was particularly proud of.   I learned how to produce the myriad of words in my head on to paper and make sense to the reader.

These days I find writing is for sharing; it is cathartic and empties my busy brain as words pour out through my pen or via the keyboard.

Whilst I chatter away with friends, I am not a great conversationalist with people I don’t know and I am rubbish at making polite conversation.  I do, however, write as though I am talking to one specific person – that probably sounds a bit bizarre but it’s easier when it flies in one direction.   I write my blog with a view of someone special in mind and I think it makes it more personal.  Twitter is great, it focuses the mind, I have to think about condensing thoughts into 140 characters and still make sense.

When it comes to expounding upon my emotions or facing confrontation, my brain  doesn’t work fast enough for the correct words or argument to form vocally.  I can do this exceptionally well in writing, making it easier to send an email of complaint rather than make a phone call.  Maybe it is because I have time to think a bit more before committing myself.

Writing is like painting a picture.  I have always loved art and the act of using words to describe something is a way of painting a picture for the reader.  It is often more memorable than the spoken word.

I write because I love to write.


End of Month View : October 2015

I tend to lose interest in the garden at this time of year and I am ready to start to pull things up and have a general tidy session.

Also I have not had a lot of time to venture out into the garden to do the necessary jobs.   My mum, who is 96, had another chest infection in September and went downhill very fast, not eating or drinking.  We were told by the doctor not to expect her to live through this one.   I sat with her most days and spooned water into her mouth as she didn’t have the strength to sip through a straw.   We even arranged for a priest to give her Last Rites, for the second time this year.

On top of that I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.   Actually it is not as bad as it sounds.  They found a tiny little tumour on a mammogram, it had not even formed into a lump.  After a biopsy I was told it was grade one, and I had a lumpectomy and a lymph node removed from my armpit last week.   Mum has not quite bounced back, but is still very much with us and I am recovering well from my operation, with radiotherapy due after Christmas.  We are a family of tough women!!

Back to the garden; so you can see why it has taken backstage recently.

The leaves are falling fast from the trees and the lawn is becoming covered in leaves from the Sambucus.  When the muscles under my arm feel a little stronger, and the stitches have dissolved,  I will be out there with my rake.


The trouble with starting to clear away the detritus is due to the mild weather there are plants in the garden still flowering, such Cerinthe:



Hot Lips Salvia, Penstemon Garnet and even the roses are still in bloom.

image image



However, the majority of the garden really is now on its last legs and in the next week or so the majority will be slowly confined to the compost heap.  Leaving, of course, some plants for winter architecture, including the Sedum.



Before last week I made a start clearing the side patio and now the Japanese Anemones are over, I can cut them down, turn over the soil and plant daffodil bulbs.


I noticed the Pieris ‘Forest Flame’, which was looking a little worse for wear a few months ago, is producing lots of new shoots at the base.  It’s heartening when you think you may have lost a favourite plant  to see it rejuvenated.


I am not too sure if the old wives tale of lots of holly berries is an indication of a harsh winter.  My holly tree has more berries on it this year than I remember from last years, so we shall see.


There will not be so much to show when it comes to the November EOMV but I will take great pleasure in reading other contributors blogs from around the world who will be just starting their spring.   Thank you Helen from Patient Gardener https://patientgardener.wordpress.com for hosting this exceptionally useful monthly meme.

Tulip Bulbs Galore

I cannot resist the temptation of buying bulbs and I am sure you will all identify with that.   I thought I had already bought my full quota for next spring but emails with offers keep dropping into my inbox.   Last week I had an email from the RHS which included a beautiful tulip called “Golden Artist” a Veridiflora tulip with golden orange petals and a green stripe.

Photo courtesy of Crocus

Photo courtesy of Crocus – Golden Artist

Being a savvy shopper I took a look at other websites and found the same bulbs a lot cheaper on Crocus.  http://Www.crocus.co.uk.  Of course whilst there I had to look at the other bulbs, who wouldn’t!

Before I go any further let me stress that I am in no way a bulb expert.  The information about these bulbs is taken from the Crocus website.  I just thought if you were still looking to buy tulips bulbs for the spring you might find it interesting, and I wanted to share my purchases with you.

What I always find useful is suggestion planting, and ‘Golden Artist’ apparently goes well with red tulips.  I quite fancied a tub of bright red tulips so bought ‘Red Impression’, a Darwin Hybrid, which is lipstick coloured with a near black blotch at the base – sounds lovely doesn’t it.  My intention is to plant them in a separate pot next to the pot with ‘Golden Artist’ rather than put them in the same container.

Photograph courtesy of Crocus

Photograph courtesy of Crocus – Red Impression

There are a vast variety of tulips and some I don’t like, such as the Lily type tulip with their spiky petals, but then it’s all a matter of taste and a good thing we don’t always like the same things.

Whilst spring bulbs look good in flowerbeds, I am going to plant all of my tulips in pots.  I already have three pots planted up which include the frilled Parrot tulip in various dark burgundies through to a pale purple/blue.  These are sitting outside my kitchen so when the spring arrives I have lots of lovely colourful flowers to greet me when I step outside.

While browsing through the varieties I came across Fostariana, an early flowering tulip and added ‘Sweetheart’ to my shopping basket.  This is a lemon/yellow with a creamy band around the top, I thought they looked really pretty and would be a good contrast to the other coloured tulips.

Photograph courtesy of Crocus

Photograph courtesy of Crocus – Sweetheart

At this point, as difficult as it was,  I called a halt to my shopping spree and paid for my purchases, which arrived yesterday just a couple of days after placing my order.


This post reads as though I am plugging Crocus, which I am not, they just happen to be the website I bought my bulbs from. As they say on television, there are other websites available.

My next job is to clear out the pots containing summer plants way beyond the best, clean the pots and get planting.  Although it sometimes seem interminable, Winter doesn’t really last that long and I have something to look forward to in the spring.