Sunday, 27 June 2010

Catching up

It's been a busy time recently, as I'm sure it is for a lot of us with gardens to tend, although it's been such lovely weather it's been a joy to have a garden as well as a slight chore! Here is our bench which I've newly sanded and oiled for the first time in years, I must remember to take the time to actually sit on it now! I even have a few ripening strawberries in a hanging basket. The small white globes are IKEA solar powered lights which have been great, I ended up leaving them out all year and they even glowed gently in the winter!

And here is the best view of the vegetable patch:

from this angle it actually looks like I'm growing vegetables, because the runner beans are in the foreground, although a lot of it is just flowers. Of course flowers are very nice in a vegetable patch too and attract bees, it's just I didn't quite manage the amount of veg that I'd hoped for.
I'm trying to contend with the pigeons.

So far the score is me 2, pigeons 8 - that's how many purple sprouting brocolli plants they've stripped of leaves so far. In fact you may have to look hard to see the stripped stems on the left. I didn't realise how difficult pigeons were and am hoping to try and save the remaining plants with some netting.
Archie likes the vegetable patch too:

No prizes for guessing what he's up to here. As long as he's not doing it in the neighbours' garden I'm quite happy.

Archie has only just discovered catnip - he's literally turned his little nose up at it before but something must have clicked in his brain because yesterday he was rolling around and hugging it and squashing the little plants to pieces.

I re-planted three inside an upside-down hanging basket to protect the roots - we'll see who wins that one!

Lots to be thankful for, and yet I have to confess to struggling recently with keeping up with life in general. I have been functioning slowly but have been very, very anxious about everything and pretty low, in fact very low. There are particular reasons, but the reasons don't justify my reaction - I am one of those people who has spells of being unable to find a proper perspective on reality, cycling through anxiety and worst-case scenarios of things that probably will never happen - this is just the way some of us are I guess. I'm feeling a little better this week and am trying to take steps to keep calm, including herbal tablets which I think may be helping a bit. But a lot of us get these periods where everything is hard, I guess we must all find our way through in our own way and wise friends have advised me to use whatever 'tools' are necessary to help, even if that means seeking out a doctor's advice and possibly medication. I've fought against this a lot, as many of us do, but the sensible thing is to consider all options, you don't get a medal for struggling on, and life's too short to waste days if there's help out there. So I'll take it steady and see how it goes.

Frustratingly hard to create when you're low though - I've done bits and pieces of familiar designs but nothing new. But there will be time for that later.

Yesterday though I did do a craft fair - my first one outside - it was a good location in a local village square and they had live music and entertainment on all day so there was a very good atmosphere and thankfully lots of people. I was a bit stressed setting up because of course being in the open people just came early as there were no doors to open at a specific time!! But once I'd settled and contended with the wind lifting light felt things off my display, I did enjoy the day. This is the view I had - they even had the Town Crier ringing his bell and announcing things.

I don't know whether you can see the strange monsters opposite - you may be able to if you enlarge it -the man was selling his fantasy book and these must have been his creations, there were quite a few of them, rather odd to see a row of 6-foot aliens at a craft fair but all good fun.
Here is my stall:

lovely stripy cover and larger than I've been used to which was great. It's really nice to meet people and chat to them about felt - I was surprised that two of the most enthusiastic customers were men- one bought a felt bowl and the other was looking at things actually trying to persuade his wife she might like something (she didn't in the end but he did apologise to me and say he tried hard, which was lovely of him!)
And now onwards into another week. Hope you all have a good one.


  1. Your bench and arbour (is it called an arbour?) are lovely! Terrific job on that bench.

    The runner beans, at least, are doing well! Too bad about the pigeon problem. Archie needs to be on duty there. Pigeon for lunch.

    As for catnip, I do know some can take it and some can leave it. I don't think kittens/young cats respond to it--I read that not long ago, can't think where. I can see Archie has discovered its "joys," though. LOL. Silly boy!

    You don't get a medal for struggling on, you are so right. In the three years in-between taking meds, all I wanted was to wake up one morning and be fine, be "normal," be depression-free. It really took a long time for me to accept that wasn't going to happen and to say, "Enough is enough." Meds aren't for everyone, and they are only one tool, but if you get to the point where you start having visions of harming yourself/committing suicide, as I did, then don't hem and haw about it, get the help you need. As I've said to you off-list, I won't hesitate to go on meds again if/when I need them. I'm too old now to struggle every day. I have my ups and downs, exacerbated by sugar and alcohol and PMS, but that's part of my "normal." Anything beyond that requires pharmaceutical help--at least for me.

    I have to add that my mom has a good friend who struggled for decades with depression, trying *every* alternative therapy under the sun. Seriously. In the end, nothing worked for her and she chose to take meds. She's been on them for several years, at least, and life is good for her now. It's certainly not a decision to make lightly, IMO, but those little pills can be a life-saver for some people.

    That outdoor craft fair looked fun! And yes, I could see the "monsters."

    Your stall looked terrific, and I see you had "my" tea cosy there, the green one with the daisies. :-)

    Interesting that a couple of the men were enthusiastic. That's great!

    It's nice to read an update; I've been wondering how you are doing.

    Lots of cyber-hugs and Light to you!!!!

  2. What a fab stall - I do hope it did really well for you. Its good to show folks all your lovely stuff and the interest from nice folk boost your morale!! Hope you are feeling better - your garden is brill!

  3. Hello.

    Your words echoed my feeling so much a few months ago. I have been on my own for 3.5 years with two teenager, I have coped, got stressy, but in general carried on. The I lost Daz, my wonderful black Lab. My world fell apart. I just couldn't cope any more. I always believed in a good walk to shake off feeling down, but those feeling didn't shift, very tearful all the time, everything was just too much effort. The J's made life so hard, argued, just normal teenage things. I had no one to talk to, no one to confide in. I went to see my Dr about something else, fell apart and sobbed my heart out and came out of there with a form to fill in and an appointment to go back in a week. Needless to say she suggested meds and after a lot of soul searching I did start taking them. I think that just the fact that i was doing something about it made a difference. I think of it like I had 6 months help (I took my self off them not in the ideal way as my ex told Jasper then all my son did was take the pXXX out of me if I tried to tell him off) So i have been off them for 4 months now, and I know the signs when I start to feel that horrible glumness. They work for some, for some they don't. It was just long enough for me to learn to cope again, maybe i should have stayed on them a bit longer, who knows. Only you can tell if you need to take that one step further, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, no matter how happy our lives are we just can't cope. To accept a little bit of help doesn't mean that you will stay on them for ever. One thing that being single didn't affect me was that they do stamp out any sexual feeling I had, but then again so does being depressed. (sorry to waffel on so much!!)

    Take your time and your garden looks really lovely xx

  4. Hello!
    I love your garden, get some netting up to protect those veggies! Pigeons are a nightmare!
    Have you ever tried relaxation CD's they do wonders for me when I am at a low ebb, worth a try I say,
    Your stall looked great, and hope you feel brighter soon.

  5. Hi!!!!

    Your garden is truly amazing!! I love your bench area - you must set up home in it -seriously! You have shade, natural fragrance, solar light and strawberries to eat!! What more do you want?!?! LOL! It is a really lovely bench sanctuary - well done you!

    Great to see Archie giving his paws up to your veggie garden - hehehe! - particularly the catnip plant! Charlie is the same. He turned his nose up at catnip when he first moved in but now can't get enough of it! Archie is GORGEOUS as always! Your broccolli must have been yummy seeing as the pigeons have stripped them silly! I hope the netting works for your remaining ones though.

    I love your stall - I love what you make - I must treat myself to something esp with my b-day coming up - I must have something lovely and felty! :-) Those aliens were bizarre!! But strangely if I were there - I'd have bought the book - seriously - I get so sucked into things like that!

    I'm so so so sorry to hear about your emotional turmoil! I hope you do explore all avenues and options. I wish you lots and lots of luck with finding the right path for you to take to deal with this so you can just get on with enjoying life.

    Take care

  6. Archie, Archie...fertilizing the garden...I had to laugh!

    I struggled with depression from a small child on; at 30 I started on meds and at 48 continue to take them, with two (notably disastrous) breaks. All I can offer is they have literally saved my life. It's amazing to people who know me that I used to suffer so, but it's true.

    There's nothing to lose by trying except the depression.

    That said, I love your work and hope your creative juices start flowing again soon!

  7. I empathise with you as I have similar problems.
    I recently had almost 3 months off and did diddly squat, yet I fantsize about having so much time to 'just create'!
    I'm glad you had a good day with your craft stall.
    Best wishes,

    Sandie xx

  8. Oh pesky pigeons! My beans are draped in canes dangling with old CDs - seems to be working so far.
    Your felted things look gorgeous on your stall.
    Sorry to hear you are feeling low, lets hope this sunny weather helps.

  9. Goodness me those pigeons have been here too! We are battling no water and pigeons and onion fly - a learning curve it is :-) Sorry you have been low, I do get times like that and usually find that it is when I don't get enough sleep it gets worse. For me distraction technique works, I literally have to distract my brain if it starts going into that spiral. Yoga is also meant to be fab and I would love to try that in the future. I think I am just an over thinker who needs to learn to shut my brain off sometimes. Do go to the Drs if you need to as it may be a chemical inbalance, you wouldn't not go to the Drs if you broke your leg so do go if your emotions feel a bit broken. Take care xxx

  10. Sorry to hear your feeling low, its not much fun anxiety and depression. Don't try to be a hero if things don't pick up, go seek out some help.

    Give Archie lots of cuddles, I'm sure that will perk you up, even if only temporarily.

    Thinking of you and sending big hugs.


  11. Well you had great weather for your craft fair, albeit probably too hot? I'm sure you feel like it's raining pouring outside and in so the glorious weather doesn't really feature in a positive way. The fact that you've been able to blog about it is a good sign- if not for you, then for everyone else out there who feels similar small consolation that might be for you. At least you have enough insight to realise that you might be predisposed to feeling low- many people are but don't recognise that fact and think their lives will always be filled with desperation. It won't always feel so bad, but when you're in the depths it's hard to imagine that you will ever feel better. You will feel better eventually, whether with help or not; I'm here if and when you need me xxx

  12. Thank you everyone for such support, as always. I think losing Newton did start all this off, life hasn't seemed quite right since - all significant losses are very hard for us to deal with, but time does help us move on I know. I'm doing slightly better at the moment and have some orders for felt that will be good for me as I'll have to do them! But I will listen to my body as well and will seek help if I think I need it, thanks so much those of you who have shared your own experiences with me too, it always helps to know you're not alone!

  13. Hehe i had to giggle out loud at your cats antics, cheeky thing, love how he looks all adoringly at the camera :)
    That seat looks beautiful, i've been trying to find some nice solar garden lights for a while i didnt think to check out IKEA, thanks for the tip x

  14. Ah yes the combined joy and chore of the garden! Although, it’s not really a chore because once I’m out there I love it, but then … it’s another thing that takes me away from felting so sometimes it feels like a chore.

    Your garden looks lovely and your bench looks like such a peaceful place to sit and contemplate :)

    D’you know, I didn’t know pigeons would devour veg either? When ours started disappearing last year, M was blaming slugs but it didn’t look quite like their usual damage, then I found out about pigeon’s appetites! I’m now going for a balance (that word again!) in our garden, between the plants that we eat and enjoy and the ones that we share with the birds and the bugs.

    Archie just continues to get more and more adorable doesn’t he? How on earth did he get so big?!

    Well done on your craft fair, your stall looks lovely.

    Sorry to hear that you’re struggling at the moment, I really hope things turn around for you. I also struggle with bleak periods of low mood, anxiety, no motivation, in fact a general feeling of self-loathing and disconnection. In my head I know I have a lot I should be thankful for but sometimes I’m disconnected from that and I just don’t feel it. And I also struggle with perspective, little things provoke a hugely disproportionate reaction from me – really hard to deal with in my day job, I’m sure my colleagues think I’m mad hormonal! However, I know now that, for me, it tends to be cyclical and as time passes I return to myself. I’ve been thinking about what you said about creativity and mood and I’m starting to wonder if this is also part of that ‘package’ and perhaps I need to accept that I’ll have periods like this?

    I really hope that life is brightening for you again and you are getting back to being yourself, please don’t be too harsh on yourself, look after yourself as you would care for a really good friend who was going through the same thing.

    Love and hugs

  15. Sorry to hear you have been feeling so low. There is no shame in helping yourself to feel better. Lets hope you feel better very soon and are inspired yto make more of your beautiful creations xx


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