That was a week not to repeat

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.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. gardeningasylum says:

    Helen, I’ve been reading the U.K. newspapers online and it sounds as though many there are really suffering in this weather – isn’t it wonderful how a rooted cutting can really give you a lift in a very sad time? Congratulations on the paid gig – excellent!

  2. Martyn Cox says:

    I’ve had an exciting wildlife week as well – my garden was visited by a flock of long-tailed tits, twice. Well done on the paid blog and glad your son is OK.

  3. Jane Powers says:

    That was a sad and worrying week indeed! I admire your ability to find the happiness hiding in it all. Having said that, I think that we gardeners are lucky: there is always new life coming down the line for us, and the cyclical nature of life is demonstrated again and again in our gardening activities.

  4. hello Helen, life can only get better! thanks for the gaura tip, i will try that because they are delicate favourites of mine. sorry to hear of the death and sickness, we too are facing our own tragedies here so we grieve with you…

  5. Victoria says:

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a horrible week. But I’m delighted to hear about your commission and as for seeing bullfinches, that for me would be a real jumping-up-and-down thrill.
    I hate driving on icy roads too, and I know the received wisdom is to drive in a high gear, so the wheels will spin less. However, I find in an automatic that driving in second gear is quite good – it stops you going too fast but isn’t so powerful that you feel out of control. It’s a good gear to be in when you’re in heavy traffic too – it avoids that “nodding dog” syndrome you get in automatics from constantly braking and accelerating. (But remember to put it back into Drive once you’re out of the jam – I always forget and end up roaring along.)

  6. patientgardener says:

    Victoria – reading your comment made me realise I should have put Goldfinches not Bullfinches although both are rare in my garden. As for the low gears weirdly this automatic doesnt have that option though my old one did. Son been giving me lifts which is a whole other experience!

  7. patientgardener says:

    Gardeningalyssum – yes some parts of the UK are having a terrible time.Thanks for the congrats

    Martyn – long tailed tits are my favourites, we get them sometimes they seem to pass through

    Jane – I agree that gardeners have a more postive approach to life

    Michael – oh glad I might have shown you something new and I was sorry to hear you had had bad news too

  8. Congratulations on the paying gig. I haven’t seen our resident fox in quite a while. I hope it’s okay & still munching on bunnies. Foxes are such beautiful creatures. I believe the precip you experienced was freezing rain, the nastiest stuff.

  9. VP says:

    So sorry to hear your week has been a bad one – I’d totally missed the news about your son. Thank goodness it’s not as bad as you initially feared. Like you, I managed to slide my car yesterday – into a kerb. NAH drove it today and I’ve knackered the steering – full verdict on what that means in £ is due on Monday 😦

    Congratulations on your new paid blogging venture – you’ll have no excuse to give up now – not for a while at least!

    The birds have hoovered up all the rosehips in the garden this week. I’m on the lookout for waxwings – the rowans in our supermarket car park are usually a good bet…

  10. elizabethm says:

    Sorry things have been hard. Glad both you and your son ok.
    It is amazing how often the lift you are the small things: the cuttings that take, the scones that rise, and the family things. We have just had my SIL’s funeral today. The fact that all four of our children made the journey to be there in the midst of their busy lives and were so wonderful and even made me laugh has changed the shape of the day.
    Hope your weekend is a good one.

  11. Anna says:

    Your post certainly struck a chord with me Helen. Not long back after week with parents. Initially went to help Mum after minor medical procedure. Whilst there Dad became ill and was eventually admitted to hospital where he still is. Hospital relocation that very same week plus diabolical weather have resulted in even more grey hairs! Like you though trying to grasp the positives. So glad that son is ok – must have given you a real scare and many congratulations on the new blog platform.

  12. tina says:

    I sure hope next week is a much better week for you. We’ve been hearing about the European cold blast. Brrr! Stay safe and glad you made it home! The gaura a nice surprise indeed.

  13. So sorry to hear that your week was so tough Helen. How lovely that you’ve seen the bright side of things in the propagation of the guara, a visit from a fox and the health of your son. All things to be thankful for 😉 Many congrats to you on your new blog, that’s very exciting and I’m sure you’ll excel marvelously!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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