No Excuses…

Image by Eveline de Bruin from Pixabay

Yesterday was my best day so far this year.

The sun was out in full force, and a gentle breeze diluted the unexpected heat. The perfect time to catch up on all those jobs that have been waiting for me…

And best of all, working with my bonsai and the new seedlings really did me good. Somehow, I stopped worrying about everything, my mind freewheeled and I relaxed, probably for the first time in ages.

Consequently, I feel decidedly odd in the office today. I keep looking out of the window, knowing where I would rather be. But, there are jobs that need me indoors and there will be family cooking later on today.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday!


#SixOnSaturday… @cavershamjj

When someone suggested that I take a look at my own garden to see if I could find six signs of life, I hesitated. Surely it was still too early? I have been so busy trying to avoid all the recent misery and depression, I had assumed that the rest of the world was doing the same.

At first, I resisted the urge to step outside and head for the garden, but gradually, curiosity took over and I had to have a look. Right outside my front door, I spotted the small green spikes of the dwarf daffodils, bravely pushing their way through the dark purple leaves of the bugle.

Dwarf daffodils

Beginning to feel a little more optimistic, I walked to the bottom of the garden where one of my favourite plants lives. A purple rhododendron, probably older than I am judging by the ancient branches, was sprouting big fat flower buds. Another welcome sign of Spring!


Looking around, everything else looked dormant, and then I remembered the evergreen heather. Tucked away in one of the flower beds, hiding under the wisteria, it always seemed to be in flower. I hurried over to the spot, expecting to be disappointed only to be greeted by the usual display of the tiny lavender flowers. I was smiling now…


As I turned around not expecting to find anything else to smile at, I almost walked right the camelia. This has never managed to thrive but always flowers well with pale butter-yellow flowers. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait for the weather to warm up!


That was four signs of Spring, but I needed two more.

As I passed the shelves of sleeping bonsai, my ancient azalea almost waved at me. I stood and stared at it in astonishment. This plant has never bloomed at this time of year before, always preferring the run-up to Christmas. This is a very special double white azalea, donated to me years ago in a very bad condition, and I could definitely see the white flower buds. Spring or Christmas, this would be a wonderful welcome!


I still needed one more, and I racked my brains to think where any new growth could be hiding but came up empty. As I pondered, my gaze found my baby pine seedlings. Technically they are not brand new growth, having sprouted late last year but they have survived the frost and the bitter cold, so could I stretch a point and add them to the list?

Pine seedlings

I walked back indoors in a much better mood than before, and promptly turned my office into a battleground, achieving more progress in an hour than had been done in the last few weeks.

So thank you The Propagator Blog. for your suggestion…

A Very Happy Chinese New Year of the Tiger…

Image by JL G from Pixabay

The year of the Tiger brings bravery, wisdom and strength, all of the attributes I need right now.

I love tigers, so maybe this year will be wonderful after all…

(This post has been a long time coming, and at times I didn’t think I would be writing it)

Worry is a terrible thing, it steals the quality of life from right under your nose, reducing your world into a place of doom and gloom. We have been sitting on a massive worry these past six months and have refused to start the new year until we had good news.

I desperately tried to keep everything normal, finish my WIP and keep the website going, but I have to admit it was a poor imitation of the real thing, and I apologise for that.

I have not been sharing much of this with our friends and followers and this may seem strange after all your incredible support when Anita had that massive heart attack in 2020. Your love and good wishes pulled us through that terrible time, but when disaster struck again last year, it seemed far more serious, and we really felt that talking about it might make it worse.

Anita’s heart is still severely damaged, and despite having two stents and a pacemaker fitted, it only barely functions. When a series of lumps started to appear around her neck last year, the alarm bells started ringing again.

Because of the raging virus and all the hospital delays, it took months to have the lumps investigated. The consultant mentioned cancer and after deliberation, they finally decided to remove part of her thyroid. Surgery was a problem as they didn’t think her heart was strong enough, but they said that delaying it was not an option.

This was a nightmare time for all the family, especially Anita, for she can’t abide hospitals at the best of times. She has never been seriously ill and to be struck down by two life-threatening illnesses almost at the same time seems very unfair. She made it through this surgery without incident, but we had to wait two agonising weeks to get the results of the tests.

By this time, we were all terrified and sick with worry, dreading the news.

On the day of the appointment, I felt sick to my stomach but somehow kept a smile on my face. I think I held my breath when she was called into the consultant’s office, but five minutes later the door opened and she rushed out of the room, a massive smile on her face. We watched in amazement as she ran out of the ENT department to a standing ovation from the nurses.

By this time, we knew the news must be good, but I wanted to know how good. Just before we all reached the lifts, I caught her arm and made her stop walking. ‘Well,’, I said and waited.

She stood there laughing at me as if she just won the lottery, and I didn’t think she was going to say anything.

Quietly, and for the first time with a serious face, she looked at me and said, ‘there is no cancer…’

All the way home in the car, she kept repeating those words and her relief was wonderful to see. Despite the odds, her poor old ticker had survived the surgery and she was cancer-free.

But four days later, we had to rush to the hospital as she was having trouble breathing again. She is now back home, but it seems that worrying isn’t going anywhere after all.

She is looking better, although still very weak and breathless much of the time. The list of her medications grows ever longer, but … and you may have noticed this, none of what happened has stopped her writing her poetry.

Now all I have to do is get my own head back together!

A new post from Adam’s Art and Bonsai Blog…

Japanese Black Pine, a gift from an old friend

Here’s a humble little Pinus thunbergii, sitting on my work stand.

I’ve used this line before, but….That looks like the back…

My own black pine is still a seedling, even after four years of growing… but one day…

4 year old black pine ~ Jaye Marie 2022

Read the rest of Adam’s interesting post on his new black pine HERE

Ancient Love… Revisited… #Poetry

Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Sadness holds all
Grey eyes see the life below
Blowing time on those it finds
Dancing smiling faces
With life, they glow
Silver moon stands high above
The mountain screams of ancient love
Time to let them know
That love of a different kind
Is love after all...

©AnitaDawes 2020

Anita needs a rest, so I found one of my favourites from 2020…