Image

Winter is Coming (and why I’m not going to complain about it so much this year)

I hate Winter.  I have said this many, many times.  I hate it so much that now, when it is actually still Autumn, I am already complaining and wearing scarves and boots and generally walking around being miserable with a definite case of SAD.  I hate that I have to wear trousers and jeans – ugh!  I hate that my fingers ache and my nose is red and I can’t feel my toes.  I hate that my hair goes from being a bit mad, to downright mental and ridiculous.  I spend several months looking like a drowned, frizzy rat.

I hate that the mornings are so cold and dark, and getting up is not only miserable but confusing (Body : Why are we getting out of bed?  It’s pitch black outside – surely it is not morning yet, you stupid girl!). I hate that everyone else whinges about the heat in Summer (which lasts for about three seconds, as opposed to Winter which lasts FOREVER!!!) and “enjoys” the cooler days.  Bah humbug to them, I say!

But then, after the events of this week in Manchester,  I stopped hating Winter quite so much.  Because I’m sure that all of the parents that lost children in that attack would trek through snow and ice, in bare feet, carrying the weight of the world on their back, just to see their loved ones again.  I’m cold – they’ve lost a child.  There’s no contest there.  Teenagers and adults also lost their lives – they will never feel the sting of Winter again, never get to complain about cold feet or rain-frizzed hair, never get to snuggle up with the people they love and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

The world is so scary right now.  I don’t know how it will ever get better.  And, although we are all focused on Manchester right now, there are of course incidents like this happening all over the world, in many different countries, and we tend to become jaded and desensitised about it, especially when it isn’t happening in our own backyard.  People live with this kind of terror every single day, for years on end, and it barely gets reported or, if it does, it comes somewhere down the list below some football team winning a championship and Taylor Swift’s latest relationship.

I don’t claim to know anything about politics, religion, or world affairs, or much about anything, really.  I tend to not watch the news because it’s so dreadfully depressing and upsetting.  I find myself just NOT WANTING TO KNOW.  Which is bad, I know, but I feel helpless and sad and anxious when I see/hear things I can’t do anything about.  And nowhere feels safe anymore.  And I have little people in my life who are just starting out and I fear for them so much.  I just pray that they are the change the world needs to see.  I have to believe that their beautiful spirits and hearts can make things better.

I don’t know where I am going with this post.  My heart hurts and I am just feeling cold, inside and out, and Winter cannot be blamed this time.

Be kind to one another.  Be understanding.  Show tolerance and acceptance and empathy.  We have to stop this happening over and over again.

x

Advertisements
Image

Love for Orlando

I’m not going to get on my political high-horse and discuss my beliefs about gun control or sexuality or religion – that can wait for another time.  All I know is that innocent people have been murdered in Orlando.  At the end of the day, the reason for it doesn’t matter.  They were living breathing people, and now they are not.  Their families don’t get to hug them or say goodnight to them, tell them they love them or celebrate holidays with them.  The victims won’t get to tell their stories or share their lives or live their dreams.

It just makes me sad, that’s all.  The world is a dark place sometimes and seems to be getting darker all the time.  I want to believe that love conquers all, but I fear it is fighting a losing battle right now.

How do you bring up children in this world?  How do you plan or dream or hope and teach them to do the same?  How?

The only shining light right now is that there is outrage and sadness after this mass shooting.  There are still good people and people who care about the lives of others.  ALL hope is lost when we stop feeling and caring.
I am trying to remember that today, but it is hard.

Today I send love to the victim’s families, and to the victims themselves x

IMG_3578

Image

Quote (Lyric) for the Day : Beautiful Peace

Fly away where a new world waits for you
Always look back though
Not to cry, and not to regret
Just to help who’s left behind
Help us all to heal and understand
Cause we don’t know why you had to leave
I can only guess it was time for you to be free
To ascend to a broader more wonderful life than this
I believe you’re in a better place now
A place where only beautiful souls will hold you
Be sure to comfort, and protect your children
They need you now
Stand behind them
Rise within them
And love them

— Beautiful Peace by The Murmurs

IMG_2133

Amanda’s Garden

Amanda’s Garden

In 2010, I had the misfortune of falling prey to Meningococcal Meningitis with Septicaemia (read HERE if you want that long story!).  I was exceedingly ill, almost fatally so, and was lucky to survive.  Very lucky.  Most are not that fortunate and many people who do survive are left with life-long health issues, including brain damage, the loss of limbs or digits, vision impairment or total loss of sight, loss of hearing etc.

In 1997, Amanda Young died from this terrible illness, at the age of eighteen.  Her parents, Barry and Lorraine Young, were given roses as gifts of remembrance from Amanda’s classmates and friends.  From these roses, a beautiful garden bloomed and the Youngs decided to open their property each year to the public, to raise funds for research into meningococcal.

Mum and I visited the garden this weekend.  I hadn’t been before but Mum goes every year – she feels that she should (in fact she went twice this weekend, mostly so she could come back and buy more plants!).  I too should go regularly, being one of the lucky ones, so I am going to try and do so from now on.  There is only a small entry fee and then you can look through the gorgeous garden, buy plants, enjoy a Devonshire tea and just spend a few peaceful moments in this lovely setting.

IMG_0692

Every inch of space is lush and blooming, with roses, bulbs, cottage plants and annuals of every size and colour.  The weather on this day wasn’t fabulous – we narrowly missed getting rained on – but it didn’t matter. The place was packed with people but it was such a tranquil setting, you barely heard any noise.

IMG_0700

Mum and I made a beeline for the plants-for-sale section of the garden.  Pots and pots of all different kinds of plants were laid out for us to peruse.  We both bought a few specimens (and Mum had already bought a boxful the day before!) and were very happy with our purchases.  It’s not often you can buy an orchid for $4 and roses for $10 🙂

IMG_0710

IMG_0711

Some of the roses on display were just exquisite.  The colours were stunning and such variety!  You could smell their fragrance a mile away – not overpowering, just beautiful.  The “Amanda” Rose is the most gorgeous deep yellow.  So pretty.  I love yellow roses – they’ve always been my favourite.

IMG_0674

IMG_0702

IMG_0706

IMG_0704

The garden also featured dense, pond-like areas with water lillies and irises in many fabulous colours.  I could hear the chorusing of lots of happy little froggies 🙂

IMG_0698

IMG_0697

The entire property was like a little oasis.  I loved the more overgrown areas – it was like a proper Secret Garden. Just needed a few fawns or some robins, maybe a frolicking lamb or two 🙂

IMG_0709

 

I really liked this idea : using old garden solar lights for planting succulents!  How good do these Haworthias look?

IMG_0696

If nothing else, it was nice to spend some quality time with my Mum.  Time we might not have had if I had not been so lucky in 2010.  I think about it every day.  I’m sure Mum does too.  Giving a few dollars to the Amanda Young Foundation is the least we can do.  And if it means we get to add to our growing collection of plants in our own homes, well, that’s just a bonus! Neither of us needs an excuse, really.

IMG_0693

“Amanda’s Garden” is open to the public in October each year.  It is well worth a visit.  Lorraine and Barry have put their heart and soul into the property, turning their grief and loss into something worthwhile.  And while it will not bring their daughter back to them, it may help to prevent any future deaths from this awful illness.  To learn more about the Amanda Young Foundation, the garden and other facts about Meningitis, you can visit their website HERE.

IMG_0705

 

 

Festive & Frosty

Festive & Frosty

Sunday evening rolls around quicker than…well, something that rolls around quickly!  I don’t know where the year has gone – it’s flying by, and each week seems to go quicker than the last.

Still very sad about Boyo.  So I won’t make this a long post – I know I get overly dramatic at times and I don’t want to do him a disservice by doing that now.  We loved him very much and now he is gone, and we are so very sad.
That’s all there is to write.

I will say that being creative is as good a way as any to take your mind off sorrow and loss. Today I spent a day at home with Mum (she stayed with me all weekend so she wouldn’t have to be in an empty house) and we crafted and read, drank tea and spent time in the garden together.  I made a few more Christmas cards (trying desperately to get enough done for Christmas and my sale in a couple of weeks) and was fairly happy with the results.  It was nice to have someone with me to bounce ideas off.  Sometimes you just need another pair of eyes to tell you if the red button looks better than the green one, if  the card needs lace or ribbon, or if a background would be better in cream or white.

So here are a selection of some of the cards I created today.  What do you think? 🙂

IMG_6969 IMG_6956 IMG_6953 IMG_6950

Goodbye Sweet Boy(o)

Goodbye Sweet Boy(o)

A sad weekend this one.  My Mum and I had to make the difficult decision to have our beloved Alexander (Boyo) put to sleep.  He had developed cancer in the roof of his mouth which was spreading to his nasal passage and sinus area, and behind his eyes.  He also had a newly-diagnosed thyroid problem and a heart murmur.  It broke our hearts.  He has been such a special little man, seeing us through times of sorrow and stress, never bad-tempered or spiteful and always loving and gentle.  He has lived with my Mum for the past 7 years so, although he is technically “mine”, she is devastated to have lost her companion.  She stayed with me all weekend so she didn’t have to go home to an “empty” house.

Boyo’s health had declined quite rapidly over a short space of time and, although he was not depressed or miserable in himself, he had lost all his energy and “zest”.  He slept a lot and wasn’t eating, despite us buying him every tempting treat we could think of.  He had lost a lot of weight and, we believe, was starting to feel uncomfortable with the cancer (we imagine he was getting little feline headaches and at least feeling a pressure in his head and sinus).  Although we couldn’t bear to lose him, we couldn’t stand to see him suffer and would not allow that to happen.  We made the decision to say Goodbye to him on Friday night.  The vet was so good, quick and efficient but caring too.  She gave him a quick sedation to relax him and he basically fell asleep in our arms while she administered the fatal dose.  There was no pain or fear, no struggling or distress.  It all happened so quickly and quietly that it was almost a lovely experience.  I think it helped my Mum a lot, though she was absolutely distraught and guilt-ridden.  We stayed in the room with him, crying and cuddling him until we were ready to say Goodbye forever.  He looked so peaceful and serene and beautiful.  I am glad we chose to do it now, rather than allow him to carry on getting sicker and weaker, out of selfishness and inability to let go.  He had given us so much joy and love over his (almost) 18 years of life, the least we could do was release him from any further pain or suffering, allowing him to go peacefully and while he was still “himself”.

I will miss him so much – he was a truly special cat.  I had hand-reared him from a 4 day old kitten who had lost his mother, so I really do think of him as my baby.

We used to say he had invisible angel wings (because he was so graceful when he leapt and jumped) – now he has them for real.

RIP Boyo – we love you and will miss you forever, until we get to see you again x

IMG_6876  IMG_6875

Grief

Grief

I am still grieving over the loss of Roderick.  I feel sick with guilt and sorrow.  A million “what ifs” are going through my head.  Why didn’t I notice the lump sooner?  I pick him up most days and spend a lot of time with him – why didn’t I notice something wasn’t right?  I feel like I have let him down and every time someone says “No, you loved him so much and looked after him so well…” I feel like screaming.  There is a huge hole in my universe now and I don’t see how it will ever be mended.  It hurts every time I open the front door and I don’t hear him squeaking excitedly for his grass.  I have all his stuff everywhere – his hay bale wheel, his blankets and cuddle cups, his hutch and bags of shredded paper and hay.

I’ve lost pets before – I’ve always had a menagerie – and it never gets any easier.  But this time seems so much worse because he was just so young and I could have prevented what happened to him.  I should never have had him desexed.  I thought it was the right thing to do – I wanted to get a little friend for him so he wouldn’t be lonely.  But now he’s gone and I am the one who is lonely.  My heart hurts and I don’t know how to make it stop hurting.  There are suddenly large groups of crows surrounding our house, just standing around and cawing, like feathered undertakers or mourners.

I’m going to bury him at my cousin’s.  She has a large property and Roderick’s sisters live there.  We’ll bury him in the garden and I will plant a rosemary or lavender bush over him and I can visit him whenever I need to.

I’m sorry for this self-indulgence.  You didn’t come here to read about my despair.  I’ll be back soon with happier thoughts.  But for now, please understand how I am feeling.  Roderick was a precious little soul and the world is a darker place without him.