This is what happens when your brain is bursting with Open University STM Access Course study material and your one day off is at your grandson’s 8th Birthday Party! I see science everywhere. In this case, balloons filled with glitter and a disco light.
Am I going slightly mad?
Anyway, I shall wish our wonderful Callum a very HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY again! He and all the other children were just as fascinated by the patterns they could make in these balloons as I was. It was a great party!
I usually keep Sundays silent but today would have been my dear friend, Lou’s forty fifth birthday. I like to celebrate her life and the time I had with her, as my friend and my housemate, with flowers! This year I have some beautiful peonies to share and a little quote about the etymology of their name:
The Peony is best known by its scientific name, Paeonia. This is only the name of the genus – individual varieties of Peony feature different individual Latin names. The Peony takes its name from the mythological Greek character Paeon, who studied with the god of medicine known as Asclepius. Zeus had to transform the student into a beautiful flower when he showed more promise than his teacher and incurred his wrath.
Peonies originate from China, as do so many of our favourite blooms. The translation, from the Chinese names this flower “most beautiful”. It really is and so was Lou, especially when she laughed.
The apple of my eye is my goddaughter Rosie! Today is her eleventh birthday but she won’t get to see my Happy Birthday post for a week as she’s spread her wings, like the birds and butterflies, and flown (well ferried, but that doesn’t fit my photos!) over the English Chanel to France on a school trip. The girls weren’t allowed to take anything with a WiFi or Network Data connection, probably so they actually focus on getting to know France rather than their phones. I can see a certain amount of sense to this but the internet can also be such a useful tool when traveling! So I can’t send her a Birthday email but we did all gather together yesterday for a lovely birthday lunch! These photos were all taken at a visit to RHS Wisley Gardens during the February half-term holiday.
I was so happy that the storms blew through over the night and this morning, enabling a small group of my family and friends to join me for a birthday celebration at RHS Wisley Gardens! It was a really lovely day and I managed to process a few of the fabulous blues that we saw whilst wandering around the gardens.
Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of Sam’s birth. She continues to brighten the world and the lives of her family and friends with her beauty, both inside and out; her strength of will; consideration and empathy; love and understanding. Thank you for being a part of our lives! Much love from your Wicked Step Step Mother 😉
Aglow with the warmth of the
Love still felt for you
A sunset frozen
In time, forever shining
On those left behind
The sun can never
Set on our friendship, dear friend
You live in our hearts
Louise Wood-Roe, my friend and once housemate, would have been 44 today. The memory of her is everywhere and in everything! This sunset image was taken in Kos a week before my wedding. She was with me, a bridesmaid smiling down on us with the warmth and love of the sun that she had always worshipped herself.
As has become my tradition, I remember Lou in flowers every year and I know that she would have delighted in these blooms that I saw in sunny Hyde Park, London, yesterday. I’m sure she would have pulled up a deckchair, poured the Pimms and soaked up the summer vibes.
Today’s Birthday Bouquet is for my lovely parents. Yes, that’s right, BOTH of them! Yesterday’s flowers were for my gorgeous sister. My family certainly know how to make my life interesting 😉 As a child growing up I actually thought that it was normal for mummies and daddies to have the same birthday. I can’t remember exactly when that bubble broke. Possibly around the time my sister, Helen, and I caught my Dad out pretending to be Father Christmas by tripping him up, or when my Mum had to explain to Helen that the mosquitoes she was talking to weren’t fairies! Many happy returns to three members of my wonderfully, wacky family 🙂
Every year I remember my friend and former housemate, Lou, with flowers for her birthday. I saw these wonderful burgundy lilies at RHS Wisley Gardens on Sunday and instantly thought of her! Lilies were another of Lou’s favourites and she had a number of them growing in the garden. Lou just loved this time of year for the abundance of flowers. She may be lost to us but she’s not really gone from this world or our lives.
She’s by my side when I’m in the gardens, if I see a black and white cat, when the tennis is on, when I see a yacht, watching the rugby, drinking pimms or rosé, when I see one of her favourite films, listening to 80’s rock music, eating tiramisu, loading the dishwasher (she never could get it right!), if I see a frog (she was terrified of them but Smudge, the cat, used to bring them in as gifts for her) and whenever I pick up the car keys! I was always loosing my keys so Lou brought me a Nemo key ring from Euro Disney. Now I’m always Finding Nemo 😉
Lou is always in my heart and on my mind. I have so many wonderful memories of a very special person!
The Royal Horticultural Society is 210 years old today! The RHS has had such an impact on my life, not only in developing my love and knowledge of flora but in providing wonderful habitats for our native wildlife that I treasure so much.
As a child, my parents instilled in me a lasting love for nature. We were fortunate to live in the beautiful Surrey countryside, with a garden full of wildlife and space for us children to have our own little garden patches, where we could grow our own vegetables and flowers.
Family portrait with our dog, William, my baby brother, Robin, my sister, Helen, with myself at the back
My sister, Helen, and I in Devon
Our visits to nearby RHS Wisley Gardens were always treasured! Over the years I’ve spent many precious days with friends and family in these glorious gardens.
Rachel and I at Wisley in 2007
Rachel and Joe in the Pinetum at Wisley
And now I get to share my passions with future generations on our trips to Wisley! It brings me such hope and joy.
Rosie enjoying the Surrey Sculpture Society Trail
Rosie by the rock garden
James in the educational garden
Singing in the rain – Mylie and Zach
Callum and Maya watching the robins hopping around under the bench
Mum with Freya, Callum, Maya and Eva in The Glasshouse
I look forward to many more years of enjoying the wonderful work of the RHS! Happy Birthday and thank you for the memories 🙂