This was the first common blue butterfly that I found this season. Late and few in numbers! It’s a worrying year for many of our insects after the late wintry weather. To make matters worse grassland, verges, parks and gardens are being cut back far too early and too frequently. There’s absolutely no need for this cutting, there’s a very important need for grasses and wildflowers. My dear friend Lou always understood the importance of letting the grasses grow and flowers bloom. The little garden that I shared with her as her lodger was a haven for wildlife. Dear Lou was terrified of frogs though, which were numerous around the garden pond! Her cat, Smudge, regularly brought frogs into the house as a gift 😂 I often came to the rescue after one of these presentations, rescuing Lou, that is, from the poor little amphibians! I still miss Lou so much but, as ever, she is still with me in my heart and memories. She used to laugh at me chasing butterflies around! She would be very amused watching me over here in Kos chasing blues and coppers around the ancient ruins. She loved coming to the Greek Islands herself so I always feel close to her here. Today is her birthday and my little blue is dedicated to her life, spirit, energy and compassion. In many cultures around the world butterflies, particularly blues, are revered as the returning spirit of a departed loved one. Save butterflies and save souls 💙
Before I sign off for the night I have one last post in remembrance of my dear friend Lou. Today was her birthday. She would have enjoyed the sunshine but, like me, struggled with the humidity! I suspect that if she’d not been working we would have just headed off to Guildford Lido for the day and kept cool in the water. No swimming for me this week as we’re off on our holiday to Kos tomorrow. Last Tuesday this incredible sight of meadow flowers, particularly lots of birds-foot trefoil, greeted mum and I as we arrived at Thorpe Open Water Swimming Lake! Well, Lou would have just loved this too. Completely perfect for a picnic with plenty of Pimms! So this wonderful, golden sight is for you, my dear friend. I know you’d be wishing you were coming with us to Kos tomorrow and I wish we could have taken you. In so many ways you’re with me wherever I go anyway! One of these years a dolphin will finally come to greet us in the Mediterranean waters and I will know that you have sent it to me. Love always xxx
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.
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.
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!
Today is my friend Lou’s birthday. Sadly she is no longer with us to celebrate.
If she had been, then today we would have sat in the garden, drinking Rosé or Pimms, enjoying the sun and admiring the flowers 🙂 And laughing! There was always lots of laughter.
She’d be 43 today so, Lou, here are 43 roses, photographed today, from me to you. Thank you for being such a special part of my life. I miss you and I cherish the wonderful memories that I hold in my heart.