Sunday, 3 January 2016

Comfort and Joy

Welcome and hello!
Happy New Year dear friends and visitors.
I have to say there's a certain kind of grand satisfaction in becoming a sassy menopausal woman.
I have been following my own rhythms of the season, saying no to that which is un-necessary or unappealing & since we are having a rather gentle coolish summer just presently, happily catching up on lots of my Hedge Fairy work right here in our secret garden...
There is so much to pay attention to, harvest at just the right moment, dry, sieve, label & store so that I can lay my hands on it all again when it comes time to sell or sow this year's round of seeds & plants & bulbs & corms. I am very found of this graceful wild flower-pink Canon Went linaria.
And I am thrilled with this little blue woodruff. And yes, dear Betty many seeds can be happily posted overseas. These were originally sent to me form Canada.
We have had so many lovely visitor ensembles come to tea in Lucy over the last few months.
Who would have thought when she first came all that way that she would become so much more than just a vintage caravan. I never dreamed that she would also become friend to many, healer, salve & sanctuary & bring us all so much joy!
Golly, there were 6 visitors this day, so we thought we'd better make "boy" seats & space outside, but as it was the two young girls just spent their time exploring all around the garden. Catherine's parents were out from England & her mum loved our garden as she is a guide at Kew Gardens. We sent her on her way with various seeds.
It works so well for visitor's to bring their own food with them...
although on this occasion two lovely ladies had come for a secret garden visit & just happened to stay for tea.
I have found a third pink enamel teapot. They work so well with roses & alstroemeria.

It's so nice to be able to create simple seasonal vignette's in Lucy. Our raspberries were so delicious too.
I found an idea much like this on Pinterest...
but haven't had the opportunity to use the concept just yet. Needs more than just the two of us to fill it up.
We've had a visit from a fairy princess where upon there was a fairy the party shared with Uncle Rob when he arrived home from work one afternoon.
Lilies are magnificent especially this double one & fill the air with their heady scent...where ever they are placed. Close Lucy up & in the morning she is drenched in loveliness.
I've been on the look out for Jesus for ages & ages. I found him one day along with his mum & dad in St Vinny's window but the lady from the Little Red Book shop had beaten me to it & nabbed them all, so I had to be content to visit them in her shop in town. But finally I found him at the market in Napier sitting on the end of the stall with all kinds of um-er-well junk. He's a little too perfect for my liking...needs to be a bit mussed up, perhaps. The elderly lady whose care he was released from evidently dusted & fussed over him a good deal, during his stay with her; same cannot be said for his mother...the stall owner's told me she was in a very batteredly, poorly way.
I am amazed that there is always more to learn; things that you never ever knew about before.
I didn't know about Linden trees until this Christmas. I had just been reading about harvesting Linden flowers from Susun Weed & how they are so fragrant & nourishing & anti-inflammatory & I had observed what the flowers looked like & so set about finding a tree. One day I was buying some organic veges from Clyde at the Farmer's Market when I looked up & saw an enormous linden tree in full flower right behind him. Clyde I's a Linden tree!! Yes..said he, rather nonchalantly, the streets of Berlin a lined with them. I soon returned one sunny afternoon to fill a little basket full.
But oh silly me...Linden trees are everywhere! I've walked past them in our own Cornwall Park a thousand times but never identified them. In the language of flowers Linden flowers represent peace, truth & justice....perfect that they are all flowering right on Christmas here in New Zealand! The dried flowers make a lovely gentle tea that is calming, may help with sleep issues & overcoming colds... they are also anti-inflammatory. Linden trees are now my dear friends & so is the Melia tree in the middle of our back lawn.
  I came across a nice looking recipe for raw strawberry macaroons last week & had a go & making them. They are delicious & so summery. You can find the recipe here.
As I mentioned a while back I have been doing some deep, necessary healing emotional work. It is the kind of work that rises unbidden & cannot be rushed. This is the peculiar nature of my life journey....light & dark, joy & struggle. Joy has been a fitting word for this passed year's journey...all the places of joy have made themselves fully known to me. There are so many joy-germs in my life & I am so grateful. They're rather obvious really. I'm sure that you can see them too.
The darkness, well that's another story...really, truly another story because the imprint & the impact  of the darkness happened to a small, innocent, sweet child a long time ago. I did not chose that story, nor did I have any hand in writing it....yet it has shaped my life profoundly; left an indelible mark like acid on skin. When I was five years old I came home from school with my father at lunch time, to find my mother had attempted to take her life. Panic, phone calls, ambulance, mother was taken away & I never saw her again....for a very long time. My father told me what I needed to know, that she was in the special part of the hospital & that children weren't allowed to visit, that she was very sick & eventually, that she would never be coming home. I felt sorry for my mother but I didn't grieve her departure. There was much going on that lead to all this....she was to go on to make another three suicide attempts, the last when she was 7 months pregnant with another child.
Through all these years no one talked to me about my losses or how these events made me feel. No one was there to share the sadness with me or help me make sense of the mess the adults had made.
I carried the weight of the secret on my little heart for always. I carried it for the adults because they were so busy fussing about themselves.
Then 50 years later, quite unexpectedly, I discovered that my mother doesn't believe or accept that any of this (suicide stuff) transpired. No, she is not fragile & broken.
 Now...the emotions finally crashed in on me.
I am telling this here because I am also choosing to take back my own find comfort in my joy life & all that I have that is so truly good. No longer will I carry the dark secrets that should have been shouldered by those who were entrusted with my well-being.
I have found comfort in SARK's illuminating words (from her book Bodacious Book of Succulence) our family you were not allowed to have your emotions in front of others without being shamed or ridiculed. I wasn't "allowed" any emotions at all, nor opinions. Certainly not unpleasant ones!
I have connected with my much rage!!!, in all of it's disguises.
This year I intend to live like I matter.
I am going to gather comfort, joy & nurture around me & wear them where-ever I go.
I am going to look for the sun shining through every prism of life & rest in being me.
(I found this chandelier in a secondhand shop for $35 a few weeks ago...I could hardly believe it!)

I am going to act like I am as valuable as these wee boys.
 And believe that I deserve tender care & protection & love too!
Look out...I am not just a menopausal woman 
I am a big cup of wonderful, covered in awesome sauce, with a splash of sassy & a dash of crazy!

Happy New Year dear friends!! 
Thank you for your visit & your kind thoughts.


  1. Another lovely visit to your gorgeous garden and of course the fabulous Lucy!I can see why other wish to visit. Glad you a planning of a 'new' you, you sassy thing!

  2. Hello and Happy New Year!
    I just stumbled across your delightful blog. You've reminded me how I miss blogging about some of my favorite things, faeries, gardens, roses and the like. Thank you for inspiring me.

  3. Beautiful...I've already commented on much of this on your Facebook page but I still want to say again how very much I appreciate everything you share. From sweet Lucy & all the beauty around her, beautiful baby faces & the good fun things to the hard dark parts of letting go & learning to embrace love & life in spite of it.....each is a treasure I'm honored to experience it with you through your friendship.

  4. Happy New Year Catherine. Your garden looks so beautiful. I would love to visit it and share a cup of tea in Lucy. So fresh and colourful.

  5. What an amazing post! Your childhood story touched my heart. I know that back in the day people did not talk about those kind of things. Everything was just hush hush. I can not imagine what you as a young child went through. I love your sweet Lucy! Sounds like maybe you rent her out. What a fun adventure. I have seen the Linden tree here in Ut on garden tours, but didn't realize they had that pretty bloom. I may need one in my garden. I love enamelware and your teapots full of flowers are just lovely. Yes, you are wonderful, sauce or no sauce! :)

  6. Another beautiful post to welcome in the New Year Catherine. I did not know about the Linden Tree but must tell you ... I asked Graham to "trim" my Melia tree a little bit & came back to a stick poking out of the ground. You would think I would know better than to have left him unsupervised!!! However, the stick is shooting away again. Lucy is looking particularly lovely in all her glory. I never tire of seeing pictures of her. That photo of you with the wee boys is gorgeous too .. look at the bigger one sitting in a wheelbarrow of leaves & things holding the Spotlight catalogue looking most happy. Just priceless. Hope the coming year brings much Joy to you my friend x x x x

  7. Hello Catherine,

    Happy New Year to you, hope this year brings lots of love and happiness. Your garden and Lucy is such a special place. I just love that pink enamel teapot.

    Happy days.

  8. Thank you for talking about your feelings. Most of us do not. I come from a family that was the same and have spent my life finding out how to express myself. Your childhood experiences so resonate with me. I wish you joy in your discoveries. Thank you for your blog. I always enjoy it.

  9. Hi Catherine,I had similar experiences as a child and it is very hard to let go.Thats the way it was then but you cant blame the adults in charge back then,that is all they knew.Slowly we improve in life and have lots of wisdom to pass on and hopefully improve our childrens lot. I think your blog is amazing and you are a very talented lady.Thankyou for sharing with us xx


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! ♥

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