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A posy full of sunshine

July 17, 2014

Hello!

I am so sorry. I’ve been neglecting you, haven’t I? Hope you are having a good summer so far.

We’ve been pretty busy, from the run-up to end of terms (including our younger son reaching the milestone of leaving our local primary school, as he goes to join his brother at prep school in September) to the usual happy chaos of the summer holidays.

In addition, the wonderful course I took in June-July on book art/ creative writing kept my focus and inspiration away from blogging for its duration. It was so full of ideas: I am still working my way through them and it will continue to feed my imagination for months to come. However, it did mean that poor old Dancing Beastie fell by the wayside for a while.

Then there’s illness. I’m happy to say that my M.E. is still relatively mild, and indeed I feel better than I did a couple of months ago. It does continue to sap my energy, however, both physical and mental.

So there you go, three, count ’em, three excuses for a dearth of blogging. Enough! I’ll re-start small, with just a picture of flowers.

My younger son planted a small patch of his own in the garden in the spring. Returning from a few days away, we have found everything burgeoning after a hot week followed by heavy rain. The red currants and raspberries are ripe, the parsley is running to seed, tiny marigold plants have each become a shouty fistful of bright blooms and modestly sized clumps of nasturtiums are now a tangled mass of colour. Since everything in son’s patch is grown primarily to be eaten, he started gathering the biggest and most leathery of the nasturtium leaves, on the basis that we should eat those first before we start on the more tender ones.

‘You know what,’ I told him, ‘we have a whole garden to eat. Let’s just pick some of the nasturtiums to enjoy looking at.’

‘Oh. O.K., and then can we eat them?’

‘Weeell….how would it be if you let me pick a tiny bunch just to look at, and you pick as many as you want to put in a salad?’

Here is an essential difference between gardeners. Is it a male/ female thing, or just the pragmatist versus the aesthete? Whatever, he agreed; and so we had a very tasty salad for lunch, and I have a sun-bright posy of marigolds and nasturtiums to share with you. Consider it an apology for being such an erratic blogger this year, and a promise of more sunny days to come.

 

dancingbeastie.com,16.7.14

 

You might enjoy The very hungry caterpillar: a tragedy in three acts.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2014 12:14 am

    Lovely to see you back! I literally just thought to myself this evening…”hmm…DB has been quiet. I hope things are well!” So….very glad to hear that they are!

    • July 17, 2014 7:35 pm

      Thank you for thinking of me, and for the good wishes. Nice to know my absence was noted! 🙂

  2. Toffeeapple permalink
    July 17, 2014 10:05 am

    It is good to see you again, enjoy the summer and don’t worry about blogging!

  3. July 17, 2014 7:49 pm

    Oh, it’s summer – people wandering off and back. Your post are always like a bright flower popping up. So glad you are feeling better!
    The writing course sound wonderful – (now if only the luxury of time to write? That will come as the seasons change, perhaps) The garden still sound delightful – nothing better than a small pot of flowers!

    • July 17, 2014 8:06 pm

      Hi, Philosophermouse! Thanks for being so understanding. I have snatched the odd moment to write and craft – in fact I get twitchy if I go a couple of days without managing it. The trick is to slip a notebook and pen in a bag wherever you go. 🙂

  4. Maia T. permalink
    July 18, 2014 12:45 am

    Michael Pollan writes about that difference among gardeners in The Botany of Desire (which is a marvelous book). He also frames it in terms of parents who like flowers for their own sake and their son who likes an edible and practical garden. He suggests, though doesn’t quite outright say, that an appreciation of beauty purely for its own sake comes with age.

    • July 21, 2014 7:07 pm

      That is fascinating, Maia. Thank you for bringing the book to my attention. I suppose I have vaguely assumed that I’d always had a love of beauty for its own sake: but now I remember how my brother and I used to laugh at the predictability of our mum telling us to ‘look at the wonderful view’ when we went somewhere. Now I tell my boys the same…and get the same reaction!

  5. July 18, 2014 4:17 pm

    An interesting reflection on differing attitudes towards gardening. My father is completely baffled by my no longer growing anything to eat (he wouldn’t count nasturtiums) in my garden – what a waste! he thinks. Whereas I get the hugest pleasure out of my flowers, especially knowing that I could never procure them any other way. I leave the growing of edibles to the professionals (though if I had heaps more space I would do both).

    Glad to hear you are enjoying this beautiful summer!

    • July 21, 2014 7:11 pm

      There is a particular satisfaction, I find, in eating things out of my own garden. A garden without flowers, however, would to my mind be a sad place. The concept of companion planting is an excellent way to justify both: marigolds next to carrots to deter carrot fly, for example. Though I must admit that, perhaps like you, I just love my scented flowers for their own sake.

  6. July 22, 2014 1:49 am

    Good to hear from you! I, too, am having trouble keeping up with my blog. Perhaps I should take Toffeeapple’s advice above and not fret about it. Thanks for the lovely picture! Enjoy your summer, blogging or not.

  7. July 24, 2014 9:19 pm

    No apology needed, DB. What with family, summer and your fascinating course and your need to conserve your energy I’m not surprised the weeks have flown by. I always find I blog less in summer too, as it seems such a shame to not to take full advantage of good weather when we get it.

    I love the conversation between you and your son. A boy with a healthy appetite and his own priorities. 🙂 The aesthetics will come…

    • July 27, 2014 8:30 pm

      Thank you. Yes, I think we all feel pulled away from the screen in the longer, warmer days. I hope your summer is going well.

      Nobody could accuse my younger son of not knowing his own mind! One of the joys of parenthood is seeing how the children’s personalities develop as they grow.

  8. July 30, 2014 9:42 pm

    Wonderful to read a new posting from you! Over here the school holidays just begun, and will continue well into September, which is always glorious and sunny in Bavaria. An extensive visit to the home country is also planned, as well as checking out, if the snails have left anything worthwhile in our Austrian garden…
    Well, at least we harvested the elderflowers, and red currants, and we will hopefully also have some nasturtiums to look at and then eat….
    I wish you a beautiful remaining summer and hope you can keep the ME at bay as much as possible.

    • July 31, 2014 11:18 pm

      Hello Diana! Your school holidays begin late by British standards, especially compared to Scotland where the state schools break up at the end of June. I can certainly imagine, however, how lovely Bavaria must be in September. It would be a shame to go back to the classroom then. 🙂

      I have just been harvesting red currants today. Decisions: do I make them into jelly, or vodka, or summer puddings? All the fruit seems to need attention at once – and I have spent the evening shelling a mountain of peas, but then that is a lovely job, which everyone is happy to help with, even the dogs!

      Thank you for your good wishes. I wish you well on your travels and hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday.

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