The ‘C’ word.

My subconscious mind believes we are still at the start of summer, with just a fresh hatchling baby. It had a rude awakening on bonfire night when I realised baby Wilf had turned 5 months old that day- five months? you’ve got to be kidding me.

Summer gets shorter every year that I get older, I swear. I then came to realise not only had the light half of the year passed in a flash, it’s friggin’ Christmas next month.

Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth 5,4,3,2,1, and relax.

It is the season to hibernate, but man does it drag. I could happily be packed in a cardboard box all snug, like a tortoise until March, but life has to go on and I haven’t learnt the art of earning enough money to hibernate or jet off to a sunny side of the world for winter. I find that celebrating the seasons, and living as closely to nature as I can helps my soul and spirit through the dark months.

I will providing a series of natural crafting workshops, free for the local (Banburyshire) community to attend. A chance for people to come together, take a bit of time to slow down, and be creative with nature in an creatively inspiring atmosphere. These sessions are taking place in the Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury, just next door to the Oxford canal which has been our home for the past 4 years on board our narrowboat.

Come and find me at “The Imagination Station” in castle quay shopping centre on Saturday the 16th November 10am-3pm for my first day of activities guiding you through making orange and clove pomander balls, to give your home a wonderful festive fragrance for the upcoming months.

On the 10th & 11th December come along and learn how to make your own natural Christmas wreath. More details will be given soon! All workshops are free of charge .

About

My brother died seven years ago. We discovered the last song he had listened to was ‘Wildflowers’ by Tom Petty and this notion of resting among the wildflowers led us towards a natural burial in a beautiful setting.
When we came to look of suitable flower arrangements though, it was difficult to find anything that was really…him. Everything was a little too formal, or too ‘generic’. It was the only part of the day that didn’t feel quite right. Pondering this  problem in my garden one morning, my heart heavy with sadness, I noticed that  while we had been busy with all those things that follow the death of a loved one, the first tangle of phacelia, red campion and rambling roses had appeared. I cut a few to arrange in a vase and realised these were exactly what I needed to make something beautiful.
The whole process of doing this for him helped settle something inside myself. I loved the natural simplicity of the arrangement, the riot of colours and the idea that they had grown locally rather than having been transported thousands of miles.
I discovered that other people were facing the same problem of finding the ‘right’ flowers so I started helping them. After all, you don’t need to be ‘into flowers’ to enjoy seeing cornflowers scattered in the field when you walk the dog, or crocus unfurling their vibrant petals in early spring?
Now, I sow, cultivate and create all the arrangements myself so I can take care of the whole cycle and my experience as a horticulturalist means I can supply an arrangement throughout the year.
Somehow, in all that sadness, having my brother rest among the wildflowers seemed to help us to celebrate him and his life and now when I see red campion, I think of him close to me.