Monday, 2 October 2017

Autumn


It's important to remember we all have magic inside us
JK Rowling
I have read every Harry Potter book and seen every film
her stories fire the imagination
I decided to watch the films again throughout October
 

Hello folks, I am going to bombard you with Autumnal colour today.  In the woods and in our little garden we had some fabulous fallen leaves, too good to leave on the ground, they had to come home.  I could have taken sacks full, there were so many to choose from.  In the house we have brought out our green and red throws, our green squashy cushions and our homely lamps for darker evenings.
 


Isn't this lovely, a little peak into the field on our walk, Sunday.




We have had this pretty glass bowl a long time, we bought it in France, I like it full of bright green prickly chestnuts - must go and find some :).....

We brought out our gingerbread man mugs and teapot and my little wooden 
toadstools that I was gifted some years ago but treasure (thank you) ...




Remember that swap? a loooong time ago, hosted by Floss over in France, all about appreciating the things we already had around us ... I think that's what's going on here,a bit of gratitude.

Here's my little leaf brooch, beautifully hand dyed and stitched, I was a lucky winner of a blog giveaway.  Still treasure it.....



"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"
L M Montgomery
(Author of Anne of Green Gables, who probably almost invented Thankfulness!)



"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself
than be crowded on a velvet cushion"
Henry David Thoreaux
(philosopher, environmentalist and woodland dweller)




By the way, Pompom has started a nature journal and some other bloggers  have joined in, you might enjoy a visit.  I am joining  in, each Season I will do some painting... this is my little something for October, still adding to it as October has only just begun (in fact,I would like it to last much longer than a month) ....


I do like natural things, a tree made from real wood, what else?



 Whatever it is that stirs your soul, listen to that. Everything else is just noise.
 ~Nicole Lyons (poet)

 I do listen to things that stir my soul, don't you? my family, my cat, trees.
These hawthorn bushes needed further investigation, underneath, just out of sight and far too dark to show you, was a small and perfect space for a fairy grotto, or a den, or a fox to make his home... I wanted to be Alice and shrink so I could creep in, I was too big.



The little house below is on one of my regular walks, it's right in the woods, empty, I would quite like to have it.  I would call it Pumpkin Cottage, paint the door orange and fill that garden with vegetables and flowers - I hope someone does some day soon.





P.s. Today I went to the dentist and it struck me that having admired the lovely library I use, I had totally neglected the beauty of the dentists! I'm not kidding - it's really old with original wood beams, writing on the ceiling with numbers (that was how they put places together in the old days each piece cut by hand and numbered to help put it together), Number 13 was written on the post next to my seat in the waiting room and I thought, how very Halloween!  I am not superstitious, but my mother was, I feel another post coming on!......

original Tudor houses, history of town is here: http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/yoursay/schools/10981787.The__Partially__Hidden_Secret_of_Reigate/


It has the most delightful name too - Slipshoe Surgery .. you just image someone rushing out of there so fast their shoe slipped off!  Here's a picture displayed in the waiting room of what it was like 'in the old days'


and my seat in the waiting room with all that lovely wood and some old church pews to sit on:



I will leave you with one of my old silk paintings, I know it's years old, in a drawer somewhere languishing, but despite the ill treatment, it's my favourite.....



Footnote, I mention who the authors I quote are because before I use a quote I think I had better check that they are good people, then I get distracted and read more about them, before I know it time has slipped away! but I have learned something new so it wasn't wasted methinks.











Monday, 18 September 2017

Colour

Hello, did you stop in for a quick peek? I'm just having a cup of tea and stopped for a chat.  Do you get days when all you can think about is a particular colour? you want to wear it, eat it, do your home decor in it and then paint it?  well today's one of those days and for me it was orange....
There's a lot of orange around here, Amber the cat... who has just finished a spectacular moult and has a nice new coat, all white and stripey underneath and very much like a pumpkin up top.


I do love pumpkins, not just for halloween, they make such pretty decorations for Autumn. 


Flowers in my garden tubs, smiley faced pansies


and one of my favourites, nasturtium, which has climbed through bushes, over fences and along borders.


The creeper is turning red now, a sure sign Summer is over.


Just a few minutes to spare with my paintbox.  There is so much orange and brown around the woods and garden...




I am very rusty so a bit of doodling was fun today, I didn't get it finished but maybe will finish it another time.  There are a lot of conkers out in the woods, I have collected quite a few to deter spiders around the house.


I visited charity shops this morning and found the perfect length of beads for a holiday kaftan that was waiting to be dressed up... the beads are new, about 2 feet long and can be worn as a belt or a necklace... £2.40.




and a little chiffon scarf, have been looking out for one for ages £3.00




nb: I am a bit careful with things that are pre-loved so both have been soaked in sterilising solution and then washed.

p.s. I was at the recycling centre today and as I drove up a workman came up and said 'what are you smiling so much about' .. I honestly didn't know I was, but told him  'it's a new day, a clear sky, the World is still turning,   - doesn't that make you feel like smiling?'


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Flowers around town

Hi folks, thank you all so much for your beautiful comments on my last post, I wrote it for me really, so was surprised you enjoyed it and that it stirred your own memories, ...  Over the last few days I have been remembering so much more about Ivy and how she influenced my life.  I dug out some very old pictures I am caretaking for my brothers and found there are others in memory lane that are crowding in and asking to be remembered so I might do a few more posts.






snapped on a quick walk through a park in town on a short cut; I collected conkers along with the early morning school children.  Our local authority plant these displays for us and they change with the Season, it occurred to me that bloggers in very hot countries may not have displays like this as their climate won't allow, so these are for you.




*** ***The following pictures are from our local town website and newspaper and show blooms around town.




Source



There is a annual competition in town for best allotment, garden, etc.  Below is the winning garden entry this year - I wish I could get mine looking this good!


 Source


Source
town centre
We also have an amateur photographer competition (results later this month).


town allotment


We grew our own veg this year, however, the tomatos have taken ages to ripen due to the North facing garden.


These are a few corners of my own little garden, the nasturtiums have climbed up the fence (and scrambled into the neighbours garden, where they have a better display than me now!).

The hanging basket out front has just died off and I am planting
up for Autumn now with some new colours.


I think Autumn is my favourite season, in the woods the leaves around here are gold, russet and brown, I wish I could wear a coat of them! I can feel a little creativity seeping in with all this colour and beautiful light is around to inspire me, back soon with a few pics of what's happening out in the woods.


Thank you for following my blog, stopping by and leaving a comment if you have time, it's much appreciated and I look forward to visiting you too.



Monday, 4 September 2017

Ivy



She lived on Porlock Hill, Somerset; a tiny village at the very edge of Exmoor (Lorna Doone country) in a cottage half way up on the bend (which is known for its incredibly steep 1:4 gradient) a very hard climb on old legs to the land of heather and deer.  She knew the deer well, they would, when very hungry, stray down the hill when the cottage was snowed in during a bitter Winter, looking for food in gardens, foraging in the apple orchard that overlooked the back of the cottage and even venture into the village on the odd early morning when all was quiet, mist hung in the air and the ground was hard.   


source: Rightmove, granny's cottage, left of the hedge

In those days there was a blacksmith, grocery store that always had fresh clotted cream in stock, a post office that sold local honey and a sheepskin clothing store where only tourists shopped.  Everyone knew everyone - they all knew Ivy but she wasn't very approachable, so they made up their own ideas about her.

 source
She was eccentric;  only ever  wore purple, believed in fairies and talked to them out in her garden, came to the church sometimes but refused to participate, sitting at the back, walking out in the middle of the sermon.  She made some folk uneasy as she had her own beliefs.  She painted crows on silk with chinese black ink and local landscapes in oils, sometimes they were sold at the art gallery in a nearby town.

The cottage was dark at the back because the land behind sloped upwards into the orchard, there was no television or telephone, no fridge, no modern appliances at all in fact other than a radio and a rayburn oven that heated the water and kept the cottage warm and had an oven and a hob for cooking.  There were coal fires downstairs but no heating at all upstairs.  She welcomed unlikely residents; mice nesting in cupboards and very large spiders in every room, and a small girl who stayed a fortnight of every Season and then all Summer long.  They drank tea with tinned milk and made shadow figures on walls, read books to each other (The Water Babies, Lorna Doone, Heidi) and painted what they saw in the woods.



They had days out together on the little green country bus to the beach or walking through the woods and across fields to Porlock Weir where they would sit on the stone wall all day watching the birds feeding off the dried muscle shells littering the pebble beach until the same bus jerked into life and ambled back through the winding, country roads to the foot of the hill.  It was the closest stop to home unless they could wave down the occasional tourist bus that just might take them halfway up the hill (that would depend on goodwill and whether anyone felt it worth running a bus out to Exmoor.  Beyond was the pretty seaside town of Lynmouth with a cable lift up the cliff face to tiny Lynton village at the top for those who fancied a bit of excitement).



Dunster

Once a fortnight she spent the day at Dunster by the castle tending her husband's grave, ate a packed lunch there and talked to him.

She often walked in the woods with the small girl that visited. They  observed nature a great deal;  her favorite flower was the wild violet.  She shared her knowledge of how plants could be used for ailments and which ones were poisonous. Foxgloves were not to be touched without gloves in case they entered our skin and slowed our heartbeat, cotton gloves were always kept in pockets just in case .  Toadstools were not to be disturbed either as their poisonous spores could be inhaled, although giant puffballs were considered safe and they would both jump on them and watch them explode in a big cloud of white powder.  Every walk was different, there could be a carpet of red, yellow and brown leaves, the sighting of a red squirrel, a carpet of bluebells,  a ball of buzzing bees nesting high up in a tree,  the chance to hold a bright blue birds egg, throbbing with life, warm and alive, but always returning it to the nest.  She was always on the look out for adder snakes that basked in the late morning sun in the woods, finding one could mean a long detour as they were not to be disturbed.

source

This is the view from the apple orchards behind the cottage, she would help herself  and add blackberries from the woods to make fruit crumble with custard.

Shadows were very real to her - they had presence and could mean someone departed was passing by; best not to acknowledge them or they may linger.  Superstitions were  complicated and plentiful, crossed knives were a huge worry for her (a fight with someone), looking over her shoulder into a mirror very bad luck, if she put clothing on inside out she would have to wear it that way all day as it was lucky, but put it on back to front and she wasn't going anywhere that day as it was bad luck.  Tea leaves were read with great interest for signs of what the future held.




There were standing stones near the village, a small circle of them dating back to a time when people lived by the sun, moon and stsrs for guidance, made by a God they had yet to know.  Nobody ever went there except her...  and the small girl, a quiet place where you could wish for things to happen, and they would, if they were good things and you wished hard enough.   The girl wished for gossamer wings glinting gold and green like a dragonfly .  Ivy gave the girl her own secret name there, a magical name that nobody else knew, and she was given a circle of power that would stay around her and protect her forever.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porlock_Stone_Circle
Late neolithic 2350 to 701 bc

Ivy was my Granny and I expect you can guess the small girl was me.  The happiest times of my childhood were spent with her (although I missed my brothers a lot as they were never invited).  I was put on a coach that took half a day, Granny would meet me 'The Other End' (which I thought was a place for many years).  She taught me to paint, to see magic in everything in nature and assured me I was a fairy, I never stopped believing.


Source:
This beautiful fairy is a woolly aphid, (I hope I am notbreaching any copyright)

Sunday, 13 August 2017

worthy


after a little random visit to Mumblings blog I realised from her post 'Why do you blog?' that I should blog more about the things that interest me and stop trying to please/conform.



What does a wood fairy blog about? nature, wildlife on her doorstep? well I do genuinly live next to the woods and have got a very real wand made specially for me, I grew up believing I was a fairy and have never let anyone stop me believing.



But I do have worldly interests too, I would never blog about politics and have ceased with religion as I realised that some followers might be disappointed to learn that after 15 years in a very close church community (twice a week within a housegroup, with my children in a youth group that became too controlling), I no longer go to church, that doesn't mean I don't have faith - I do - and I still have a connection with that church, drop in socially ocassionally and have remained in contact with some of my friends; but I don't share all of their beliefs, don't conform and don't want a label any more thank you. 






















I don't silk paint any more,, it got boring, expensive and I felt I didn't always do well enough so it wasn't worthy to put on my blog so I just stopped all that and feel much better, I gave my inks to a friend who will have a lot of fun discovering what they can do.


I like painting, being spiritual and going to Brighton beach, I also like material things like shopping, holidays, home decor... I want to be creative but it comes in stops and starts - sewing this week maybe, watercolour occasionally, gardening, decorating my house, who knows.



me being me (and not holding my tummy in!)
Like you, I am just me, being me and my blog dwindled a bit because I couldn't keep up the posts that I felt fulfilled what followers wanted - I had run dry.  I now realise it really doesn't matter - follow me if you will, leave me (and some have) if you're bored - the reason I blog is to connect with  people in far flung places - I find your part of the World very, very interesting, dear follower.  I use my blog to express myself and to keep a sort of online diary of my life for posterity.  That's it - nothing more.


I should add that blogging has given me some long term fabulous penpals (thank you Nana and Pompom), a real life meet up (thank you Elizabethd) fun swaps  (remember secret postman?), the confidence to buy and wear vintage, second hand and non high street fashion clothing (thank you Vix), emails from blogging friends who give advice and help and lot of inspiration for being creative and adventurous (amongst many others Julie, Catherine, Nancy) .   All really good reasons to continue blogging.  So thank you to those that follow and those that post and long may it continue!


I will leave you with a picture of a rescue dog I used to walk, who knew life was short, for living and
totally enjoyed every moment of his weekly escapism - I hope to be more like him as time goes on.