Monday 22nd July
Some coastal winds have washed the island today making it feel a little fresher than the last few days. I have tried to use this natural momentum to get as much done as possible and I am quite pleased. Home school was a delight as we worked on our spring/summer journals and began the process of pulling this project to its natural conclusion. Come September George will be working through his level 2 qualifications and so this type of activity is coming to an end. When Molly and then Harry left general home school to concentrate on their qualifications we missed them and it will be the same with George. Home school will feel very different with just Max but I also think he will benefit from some one to one. Things have a way of working out.
I have been rather scratching my head for a way of celebrating reaching 20,000 page views and then it came all in a rush. George had done a watercolour painting of some summer cut flowers today and one of them looked a bit like a ladybird and so we worked up an idea. We probably all have fridges with magnets or notice boards in our home. We want everyone to print off this picture that George then created asking us all to grow wildflowers. You will see that instead of blooms on top of stems he has drawn insects. Our insects desperately need wildflowers which are often easier to feed from than cultivated flowers. If all our readers printed off the picture and pinned it somewhere as a reminder then next year we might see more wildflower growing. If you can manage to do that you can even send through a picture of his picture on your notice board and we can share some on the blog. It is such a simple idea but some of the best ideas are simple. We can also all thank George for his picture. Do send through your pics if you can.
Creating lovely things continued and today was back to candle making with my own floral recipe made with a secret blend of essential oils. This fragrance is our best seller so I am taking the recipe to my grave. Floral fragrance is at its height towards the end of July and as I was making up more posies for the local shop this morning I realised how the flowers change week by week as the season progresses. Today we had very fragrant posies with a blend of cut flowers and herbs. Mint is in flower all over the smallholding and so incredibly fragrant. Oregano is also in flower so that graduated into the posies today. I have a slight dilemma here though as I have a limited stock and I dry flowering oregano for my winter wreaths as it holds its plum colour once dried. I was just careful how much I harvested. Calendula made it into the posies alongside sweet peas, snapdragons and lavender. The scent of summer spread through the house as I tied each posy ready for delivery.
I promised you a little peek at my mood board for next season. It isn't finished but you can see the general direction on my Pinterest board. We are moving away from selling potted herbs so all our herbs are being planted out for inclusion in the cut flower business which is taking off all by itself. Fragrance and seasonality will be at the heart of all we do and we are excited about the future.
You will remember me talking about my long lost friend Di who I finally reconnected with after a 13 year old gap when I was down in Portsmouth. I think we now chat most days via email and facebook and we have lots of plans brewing. I simply adore Di's writing as it captures the way she sees the world. I had quite forgotten how much Di and I used to laugh and now she is back in my life that lady is never leaving it again. I want you all to meet Di and enjoy her writing so I delighted to announce that her first piece of writing will be published here this coming Friday. Make a date with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and your lap top so that you can enjoy her work and begin to get to know her. She has one of the warmest souls I know and you will all fall in love with her. You will get to know her well over the coming months as she is doing more and more writing and then there are the joints projects.......more to come on those later.
I have some lovely people in my life and most of us use facebook to chat on a regular basis. I sometimes share things that I see that inspire me or make me stop and think. I shared this picture and quote today put up by two women and a hoe which is a fabulous site. I agreed with the sentiment but others didn't and a wonderfully reflective debate began in the comments. So I thought I would share it with you to see what you make of it. The main objection to it seemed to be that it suggests that forgiveness is automatic and therefore without understanding. I didn't read it like that though. I read it that the violet was ready to forgive and that that is a state of being. Another friend then made the point that it may depend on the state of our own mind when reading the sentiment that affects how we interpret it and I think this is true. I have spent a very long time on issues of forgiveness born out of compassion which, in turn, comes from an open heart. This has come through my Buddhist teachings and I now find myself in a different place that a few years ago. I find that my heart is, indeed, open and I am far more compassionate towards others and, perhaps, ready to forgive. However, I do not do that without understanding. It is simply that I weave that understanding into a compassionate outlook. If I had to choose one text that has guided me the most in developing an open heart it would be the book edited by Nicholas Vreland following the visit of the Dalai Lama to New York some years ago. Much of the book entitled 'An open heart - practising compassion in everyday life' is lifted from speeches made by the Dalai Lama. For me the book teaches us ways of opening our minds up and training them to see the world in ways that lead to greater inner peace and happiness. Compassion and forgiveness are absolutely central to that goal.
I would be really interested to hear from any of you about how you interpret the sentiment of the crushed violet. Do comment below or message me and I will feed that back in my next blog post. I do like a thoughtful and reflective debate because I think we will all benefit from listening to the views of others.
I am off to water in the tunnel and then down to the beach to see the sand sculptures. Enjoy your evening.
Until tomorrow. xx