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If we were having tea right now there would of course be cake.  On a damp cold Saturday afternoon there needs to be afternoon tea with some treat.  My preference today would be a gooey Belgian Chocolate choux bun from my favourite local supermarket full of unctuous cream which squidgies out the sides as you bite into it

If we were having tea right now I would be telling you that I haven’t blogged for a week.  Now this might not sound that strange to you but I have been blogging at least 3 times a week since I started the blog 8 years ago, in fact 8 years on the 20th of this month.  The only times I have missed posting have been when I have been away.  But what is really strange, and also very liberating, is that I am OK with not having blogged which is a new phenomenon for me.  I have often told people that blogging had become a sort of habit, almost an addiction, and I couldn’t imagine not blogging.  I used to spend my time wondering what to write about and at its worse I used to go places just so I had something to blog about.  I know I am writing a post now but it’s because I wanted to share a few things and because I wanted something to do to justify not doing anything else on a wet afternoon!

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If we were having tea right now I would tell you how thrilled I was to receive my RHS Committee card in the post today. I am the recorder for the Symphyotrichum trial (that’s Asters to you and me).  The trial will last for three years and is being held just up the road from me at my friend Helen Picton’s nursery (Old Court Nursery). I am hoping to learn lots from the nurserymen and other experts involved in the trial.

If we were having tea right now I would tell you how I had spent the morning with  my mother at a stonemasons choosing a headstone for my sister’s grave.  She died in 2009 and her grave is marked by a wooden cross but now my brother-in-law has agreed to a more permanent marker and my Mum is on a mission to get it sorted and crossed off her bucket list.  It’s a strange thing choosing a headstone suddenly the smallest thing becomes incredibly important; what type of stone, how big, what design, what should it say.  This is something you only do once and you want it to be right.  My mother asks me “do you think your sister would like that stone”?  I want to answer “does it matter?”, but you stop yourself as it is important to my mother so you have these strange conversations about what someone who hasn’t been with us for 6 years would think.

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If we were having tea right now I would tell you that what I am really enjoying at the moment, instead of blogging, is my new cross stitch kit.  It was a Christmas present from my sons and has a lovely oriental feel about it.  I am currently working on the small bird and what you can see makes up about one fifth of the overall design – there are an awful lot of leaves and some big orange flowers which I have yet to identify.

If we were having tea right now I would tell you that unusually for me I have really retreated indoors and am struggling to engage with the garden at all even when it comes to ordering seeds etc.  I have decided I need to grow an ivy up the side of the house and I want to use the border along the front beech hedge for my ever expanding collection of ferns but ask me is I am going to grow dahlias, or cosmos or in fact anything from seed this year I will shrug and point at  a pile of seed catalogues with lots of ticks on them but no real decisions. But its January and there is plenty of time and maybe when the sun decides to reappear I will feel a little more inspired.  In the meantime I am relaxing and recharging, which is great.