Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Let's All Smell the Roses, shall we?

Hi, my mindfully dreaming friends from all over the world. How has your day been so far?
I am in my garden, under my umbrella, in a summer frock with a thick vest on... In other words, it is a typical Dutch late-Spring day, with a bit of everything: wind, sunshine, and huge sailing clouds.

I'm on my own; my family all had their own things to pursue, and that's fine by me. They'll all be back at some stage in the evening, demanding food and attention, so right now I'm enjoying my time by myself. And admiring my roses. The one above is a New Dawn.

I adore roses. And have tried to grow them ever since we bought our house in 1994. But our soil isn't quite right for them; and it has been mainly a big case of trial and error which species thrive and which do not (and that, unfortunately is most of them). The white one does okay. It is called Snow White.

This one, a small flowering kind with bright red blooms, is just about to spring into flower. And it has a story.

My Mum, knowing I love roses, bought it for me in the supermarket years ago, in a pot. It was just 15 cm high and had exactly 5 flowers. It was one of those supermarket plants that are supposed to look good for a week or so and then they expect you to throw it away and buy another one. I even scolded my Mum for spending her money on such a plant. So, when this rose had dropped her flowers, predictably after a week, I first wanted to throw it on the compost heap. But I changed my mind, for the leaves looked quite healthy. So I planted it outside our garden, underneath the elderberry tree, and told it to either live or give up the ghost, it was all the same to me.

Not only did it live, but it thrived. It is now huge, climbing all the way up into the elderberry and along our fence. It has hundreds and hundreds of flowers every year. It has survived the coldest winter we've experienced for years in 2012, whilst all our other roses died. I greet it every day. Admire its pluck and will to survive. And have have said sorry to it numerous times for showing it such indifference when I planted it.

(Yeah, yeah, I've warned you I'm one of those dotty women, haven't I?)
The gorgeous pink climbing rose above is another gift from my Mum. She had it on her balcony, where it suffered from the ever blowing Westerly winds we have over here near the sea. So she gave it to us, and it does well. It shall remain nameless, like the hardy little pot rose. But it is loved.

It is just coming into flower as well, as you can see in the very fashionable selfie :P

Here we are. At the end of this rosy blogpost.  I'm going to pour a glass of sherry for Mum (who will be arriving for dinner any minute) and a glass of red wine for myself, and smell the roses. That makes me very happy.
Enjoy your evening!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Equanimity - Balance Is All

Good evening! This is the 7th "ity" post. And one near and dear to my heart.

It is all about balance. And balance is something I've been trying (and sometimes straining) to achieve all my life.
When you are big on emotions, balance tends to get lost on the way.
My family used to mutter a German saying whenever I swayed hugely from one side of the emotional see-saw to the other: "Himmelhoch jauzend, zum Tode betrübt" (I hope I've spelled it correctly, if not, let me know? My German is strictly phonetic )
Exactly WHY they found it necessary to use a German saying, beats me, by the way.

These days I see the same thing in my daughter, and get reminded of how I must have appeared to the people I was living with when I was 17.

Thus, I have always greatly admired balanced people. I read articles about yoga, not practicing this myself. I can watch ice-skaters, tight-ropers, anything-using-balance-ers with baited breath, for hours. Joke.
Seriously, the Dalai Lama must be one of the most balanced people of the world. He oozes equanimity, to me.

This week Maya Angelou passed away. She strikes me as a very balanced person. I don't know if you have ever read her work. Truly, her death has robbed the world of a wonderful, extremely wise woman. I've linked one of her inspiring poems for you. Maya Angelou: And still I rise

Someone said this photo reminds her of a portal. How very apt! I like to imagine it is through a portal like this that Maya Angelou passed on her way to another dimension.

Oh...and about that balance? On a good day I seem to have found it. Until it gets lost again.

Good night.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Thank Frith for Small Mercies! And pupils...

Hi all!
As sad as I was yesterday, today I started the morning at work with a belly-laugh. Let me tell you what happened.

I arrived early at school, as usual. But, unusually, there were already two pupils (15-year olds) waiting outside my office. They turned out to be waiting for one of my colleagues, who would arrive in about 15 minutes time.
One of them took out a bottle from his backpack, and as it was an unusual shape, it caught my attention. He twisted off the cap, and took a healthy (and prohibited!) slug. 
Before I had the chance to scold him (no drinking in the corridors!) he spat out the liquid and held out the bottle to me, doing his utmost to keep himself from gagging.

"Miss! What is in this, can you tell me what this is?"
I took a good look at the bottle. And translated the English text for him that was printed underneath the cheerful lemon-in-the-sunshine.

" Lemon-oil salad dressing"

After the first shock he was able to laugh with me and his pal, who was practically rolling down the corridor. We all agreed his Mum could do with an English lesson.

And how is Life treating you today?

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sadness - such a secret emotion.

I am sad.
Hello, good evening to you all. I saw Ecuador has joined us. Bienvenudo!
Tonight I am going to bore you to tears. Or move you ... You take your pick!

I am sad.

Last Friday night (but I heard last night) a man passed away whom I looked up to, respected, liked immensely and was always happy to meet. He was the best friend of my step-father, so you could say I grew up with him around, from the time I was 9 years old.
He was charming. A clever businessman. Funny. Good-looking. Sometimes tormented, but he never talked about that with me.
And he was nearing 90, I  believe. So you could argue that he had a long life. 
Yes, he did.

And he lived most of this life very comfortably off. So I am trying my damnest to be philosophical about his passing away. Except it doesn't really work...Yet another one gone.
(How many people will I have to lose...the inner child in me wails)

The weather didn't help me at all today. It was grey, damp.

And being at school, teaching all those youngsters, doesn't allow for sadness. Sadness doesn't play a part in their school days. At least, not my sadness. (Many of them have plenty of sadness of their own)

So....what do you do...
I've decided I'll do what I always do in a secret sad mood: I look to music.