This has been one of those weeks when you are glad to reach the end of it and hope that the next week will be better.
Unlike the majority of the UK here in Worcestershire we seem to have got away with only a small amount of snow, as you can see above, which is something to be grateful for after the weeks of snow we had at the beginning of the year. However like everyone else we have had very low temperatures and therefore the real problem has been icy driving conditions. I had a horrid journey home on Wednesday which was simply because we had a fall of icy sleety stuff (it wasnt snow, it wasnt sleet – somewhere in between) and the gritting lorries hadn’t managed to get round all the roads. I left work early got half way home quite happily turned into a major road and everything ground to a halt because the road was so icy and everyone was having to crawl. This was Ok until I was nearer home when I started to slide around all over the place and driving an automatic car is not a good thing in this situation. I managed to get the car over a small humped bridge and slide into our estate at which point I gave up, abandoned the car and walked the rest of the way. I was shaking for about an hour afterwards it was so scary. Luckily about 2 hours later the roads had been gritted and I could retrieve the car which was fine.
Apart from the weather causing chaos this week has been one of sad news. Thankfully none affects me personally but they do affect people I work closely with. On Monday we heard of 2 deaths, and another one today. Also a close work colleague has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and given 2 years if the cancer responds to chemo – so Monday was a horrid day. I then became completely neurotic as my youngest (18 year old) was complaining of headaches and a stiff neck. Having lost my sister to meningitis last year I am just a tad neurotic on the subject so ended up phoning the doctor who was fabulous and even came out just to double-check on him – he had a virus and is fine thankfully.
With so much bad news around I start desperately looking for something jolly and happy to cling to. Luckily, good news was hot on the heels of bad news and I was offered a second paid blog by Yell.com. I write a weekly post for them on gardening generally but with a focus on flowers. After a conversation with my contact there they asked me if I would be interested in writing a second post a week but on my experiences as a novice veg and fruit grower. I jumped at the chance but am secretly panicking! I don’t start the second post until January so plenty of time to plan posts. Not only will this be a welcome challenge, I thrive on challenges, but the little bit of extra money will come in useful.
Another thing that has made me smile is very small and to be honest quite insignificant. Some time ago I read on a blog on Blotanical that someone took Gaura cuttings by rooting them in water. This sounded very easy and I wondered if I could do the same so I took some small cuttings from my Gaura and popped them in a small bottle of water on the kitchen windowsill. A couple just died but one has a fantastic root system now and the other two are showing signs of roots breaking any day. This isn’t really an achievement as it didn’t involve much effort on my part but I do get a buzz out of propagating plants.
Another highlight this week was seeing a fox trotting down our road. I know many people see foxes regularly, particularly in the cities but we don’t often see them here. I suspect he was looking for food and you can see where he was wondering around my front garden if you look at the second pic above. Watching him made me forget my worries, albeit for only 5 minutes, but it was like taking a deep breath before carrying on. I also saw two Goldfinches in the garden for the first time in over a year which was a real treat. I do find nature so uplifting.
So all in all not a great week but I have always been a glass half full person so I try to see the best in things and the small triumphs more than make up for my horrid journey and worry about my son and take the edge of the sadness which is prevalent at work at the moment.