I want to see sunshine after the rain, I want to see bluebirds flying…

Today the sun was most definitely shining, the birds were singing their hearts out – the wood pigeon in next doors mahooosive tree, the blackbird sipping from my birdbath and goodness knows what others perched in hedge! – it was a day for pottering, and where better but around my garden…

The recent rain has certainly perked up the plants and my rambling rose has blossomed again and smells oh so sweeeeet!! The Coleus has sprouted something tall & spiky – I wasn't expecting that but okay let's see what it turns in to – and my lovely orange bush rose has several buds either open or ready to burst.

The fuchsias are still little fiery pops of colour in my window box and my chillis are starting to look rather plump – my mouth is already tingling…can't wait to try them out!

Only slight marring of my little colourful spot of joy is my Gladioli which have fallen over – I am off to purchase some string and stakes, hopefully I'll have them upright again soon.

In the meantime I'm sharing another pic of my delightful Dahlias – I really do think they're the prettiest flowers I've ever grown.

Wishing you a peaceful evening; I hope you find your sunshine after the rain xx

Bon Voyage!…and don’t forget your parapluies

Wow! What a day…it's been a long ol' one but so much fun!
'Pour quoi?' I hear you ask, well you see today we went to France – oui oui! Off we went for a day of relaxation sailing across the English channel, taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful quirky Cherbourg.

We arrived at the port at 'sparrows fart' as the fella INSISTS on being mega early for everything, so we were 45mins early (but hey it gave us a chance for a rather lush coffee at Harry Rocks Cafe so I won't complain) and we were not put off by the grey skies – oh no! We'd been reliably informed the bad weather was going to touch us but pass quickly so we weren't too worried, indeed the seagulls were more of a concern!!

To begin with all went without a hitch…(well with only a mild panic moment when my underwired bra set off the metal detector – I offered to take it off but apparently that wasn't needed) and soon we were part of the mad dash to deck 7, to find a table and set up base for the next 4hrs…that achieved we settled in for some croissants and crosswords, a few games of rummy (the fella can count cards better than me so needless to say I lose most of the time) and a bit of light reading…niiice

Of course the weather didn't want to play the game by the rules…nope, that would be far too simple. Instead, the rain swept in and the sea heaved to and fro…my gills went a tad green and I gave in to a light snooze to avoid the nausea (but good news I did NOT snore!) and by all accounts I missed the worst of the rolling around – so all was well.

Coming into the harbour is always a great moment; I love seeing the land rise up from the horizon and the blurred shapes become buildings, cranes and the like. On a sunny day Cherbourg is part of quite a sweet coast line but today it was shrouded in mist…but we stood on the deck anyway and were buffeted by the wind and rain – we were probably a crazy sight but we had fun!

We got dropped off 'centre ville' and headed for the Musee de la Liberation…it was about a 30 minute walk along the waterfront and through a beautiful public garden – well I say beautiful as that's what I'm sure it is when you can actually open your eyes and see it – today the rain was lashing down so hard we could barely look out from under our hoods! Disappointingly we found the museum closed so headed back to centre ville, splashing in the deepening puddles as we went.

We wandered the cobbled streets and found a lovely old theatre and courtyard with a massive fountain before spotting a red cafe 'Cafe de l'etoile' which had a big canopy outside sheltering seats and tables…which were crammed full of people sipping their bieres, vin rouge and cafe au lait – I always think it's a good sign if a cafe is full so we snuck a table and ordered our own vin rouge – it was joyous! We were wet through but there were heaters which warmed and dried us a little; we sat listening to music, chattered and people watched…

It was a day of umbrellas – it's amazing how many different shapes, colours and sizes there are – qui savait?! qui savait?! – although it appeared the majority of the residents were proudly using umbrellas from the local designer Le Veritable Cherbourg – beautifully crafted umbrellas, discreetly logo'd, all sorts of colours and sturdy against the whipping wind! (Can you tell I really want one!?! This is now top of my Christmas list!!)

Umbrellas are definitely a 'thing' in Cherbourg…I think there's been a movie and in one courtyard there's lots strung up on high…whatever the reason, it's awfully pretty and fun!

We visited La Cave a Fromages (I did rather love the cow) which had the most amazing array of cheeses ever and I was very chuffed that my attempts at ordering cheese and butter seemed to be understood as we got exactly what I thought I'd asked for – hurrah!!

After that we just had time to grab some bread and a crepe au caramel from the local boulangerie before we splishsplashsploshed our way back to the ferry.

The crossing back was calm and by the time we got back to good ol' Blighty the weather had improved so we could stand out on deck and see the twinkling lights of the harbour.

Ahh what a day…perfick! Or as Del Boy might also say: "mangetout Rodney, mangetout"

PG Wodehouse was a wise fellow – flowers are indeed happy things…

YESSSS the Gladioli have finally blossomed and in a beautiful purple…my favourite colour!

The colour in my garden is fabulous at the moment, I planted marigolds this year – never tried them before as always been put off by their magnetic draw for slugs, but I gave in this year and wow! The vibrancy of the yellow and orange is amazing…planted alongside a purple/green Coleus they are stunning.

I've a flower (to my shame I don't know what it is…if you do please let me know) in my garden which is passionately red and, with the shockingly pink Hydrangea and the dashing Dahlias now in full bloom, I do believe my garden is getting more and more pretty every day …yes, yes, I know I'm bias!!

I planted out my wheelbarrow last weekend, the ivy was already growing well and I found some lovely different alpines which I hope will fill the space and look good all year…

I try to mix up the planting so there's interesting contrast between each plant even in a small area. I think this has gone okay…time will tell and of course I'm not at all impatient for this to happen!!

In the meantime, the rain's pouring again so I've retreated inside for a cuppa and maybe a biscuit or two.

Happy happy days…

Patience? I don’t have time for that, unless you’re a plant…

I like things to be done now please, thank you everso much.

If I order something off the Internet I'd like it within the stated timeframe or I'm gonna get start getting annoyed (last time I ordered kinesiology tape for my knee it should have arrived in 6 days, it took 3 months – 3 months!!! I was climbing the walls…or I would have been if my knee had not been giving out on me!)

If I'm ordering takeout – it better be here within the hour or it's not only my tummy that'll be growling.

Oh and don't even get me started on queuing…I'm quite happy to queue, in fact I've had many an enjoyable conversation with some rather interesting people when I've been queuing, but I'm not going to be happy queuing just because the person I'm waiting to see is having a good old natter with their colleague – that will just bug the &@*$ out of me – AND if you try and cut in the queue…well, they'll hear my 'tut' in the outer Hebrides!!

I admit it, I'm 'high maintenance' in the patience department.

That's one of the wonders of gardening – it's teaching me patience. There's no deadline for a plant to grow by, no set number of days before a flower will bloom and no guarantee that they'll bloom at all actually – sometimes they just sit there and no matter what you do they say 'no, nope, non, nein, just not gonna happen my friend'.

So all I can do is plant, weed, prune, clip and potter about with the vague hope that Mother Nature will take pity on me and something will grow!

For 3 months I have patiently tended a small patch of dirt; I've planted two bulbs, watered and fed them and weeded the patch. I've watched with anticipation to see if these plants will grow and oh how the patience has paid off!! These Dahlias have bloomed the most beautiful flowers and there's more to come out…I am so thrilled it's untrue!

The Gladioli I planted around the same time have yet to blossom and although the Sweet Williams have grown massively and look a luscious green they have no flowers as yet – but I'm learning to wait…I just wish they'd hurry up!

Every colour of the rainbow and all the rest too…


Isn’t colour just amazing? Black and white, red and green, pink and blue and everything between and beyond…just fabulous!

As humans we’re pretty obsessed with the concept – Picasso had his preoccupation with blue, Chanel had her little black dress and where would Wimbledon be without its purple and green theme?

Ferrari Red, The White House and Dorothy’s yellow brick road… just about every aspect of our lives is intrinsically linked to colour.

The right colour can lighten your mood, can energise and fill you with positivity; the wrong colour can irritate, bring you down and make you sad…and its different for everyone – my happy colours are yellow and purple, whilst my boys love red and blue; mustard yellow irritates my mother something chronic (I had a mustard coloured shirt when I was young and I swear I only got into trouble when I wore it – of course nothing WHATSOEVER to do with me being a pain in the posterior) and my Nan never wore black – the same colours affect different people differently and I just think ‘how amazing is that?!’

I love my garden, with its multitude of colours; this year my hydrangea is bigger and a brighter pink than ever before and the wildflowers my sister gave me are a riot of yellows, blues and purple – that’s even before the cosmos bloom! I am never happier than when surrounded by such a vibrancy of colours.

I therefore find it so hard to imagine a world without colour, or a world where colour doesn’t perhaps have the same energy. Recently, I came across a video that was doing the rounds on Facebook and realised that this is what many people who are colour blind experience.

The video has tinges of regret for those concerned that they had spent the past not seeing the true beauty of colours, but for me it is full of joy as they come to see the world in all its glorious technicolour and reminds those of us, who are lucky enough to already view the world this way, not to take it for granted.

So, I’ll say good evening all, I’m off to sit in my garden…