Friday, 27 February 2009

Gypsy Caravan

I wish I had had the camera with me today. I had dropped Himself off at a meeting at his head office and when he called me two hours later to say that he was going to be in meetings all day - well what was I to do with myself but find a garden centre or two to visit......

I went over to a garden centre that I used to visit about three years ago when Himself was building houses near Horsham. On the way there, parked on a wide grass verge, right next to heavy passing traffic was a green gypsy caravan. A proper one, the sort that you see in old films and in magazines. Tied to it by a long robe was a black collie cross dog and a horse was tethered by a peg in the middle of the grass and was quite contentedly munching away. Walking a little way away from the caravan was a man whom I guessed was the owner. He had a bow saw in his hand and was heading towards an area where there are lots of over grown sapplings.

When I came back the same way after going to the garden centre, the man had got a small fire lit on the grass near the van, with a tripod arrangement over it with a hanging pot over the fire. He was sat near the van and it looked like he was skinning a rabbit. He, the horse and dog all seemed totally unbotherd by the traffic whizzing past - they were just getting on with life. Their way,

The scene I have just described got me thinking on the drive back to collect a very tired and stressed husband up. We (the supposedly civilized human race) are so stressed, so worn down, so damn worried about our lives and the credit crunch, lack of money, losing our homes, not having the latest this and that and here was was this man and his 'family' not appearing to care about anything, just going abut their lives 'their way.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying his way is right and our way is wrong, or vice versa, or that morally or legally we should all throw caution to the wind and go and live where ever we choose without a care for anybody else in this muddled up world of ours. But it did make me think. Who has got the better way of life, who has got less stress, who probably give less of a damn for the bankers who have gotten us into our current crisis than we do? Its quite possible he may not even have a bank account to worry about

And at the end of the day who maybe has the better life? Us with our debts, fast cars, holidays abroad, over priced houses, latest mobile phone or ipods. Or him with his what appears to be a simpler life. I'm not sure I know any more.

But I do know two things for sure. His heavy horse was beautiful and if I could have stopped safely on the busy road I would have stopped and collected the horse muck for my deep beds. :-)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Mixed Up

I feel really mixed up today. My head is all over the place and I feel confused and irritable. The reason? Well its a reason that I suppose really I should be pleased about. But I'm not. And I'm angry with myself because I'm not.

Does any of that make any sense? Probably not.

I have a second interview for a job on Monday. The first interview was this week and seems it went quite well, otherwise they wouldn't have called me back again to have the second interview next Monday.

The job is pretty well paid, I know what I would be doing - have done it before so that's nothing new, but, and here is the 'BUT' that I think is at the root cause of what is causing me the mixed up feeling, I would be doing an almighty amount of travelling again - up and out at 5 most mornings, not back much before 8 at night and possibly away from home a couple of nights a week. Its nothing new - I worked this way for several years, but I was younger then, my home circumstances were different and I had more energy......

More importantly and I think this is the real thing which is getting to me, I am already 'away from home' living with Himself most of the week in a caravan on the building site where he is based. So in effect I will be 'away from home ' twice over. Does that make any sense???

I am already missing home, my garden, my dog and my sons (one is 24 so he's not a baby, but he does still live at home, the other is to become a dad for the first time in August )and the thought of being away more is making me feel really down this morning.

I know, I know, I know that I should be eternally grateful that I have this opportunity of a second interview and the possibility of a paid job. I know that I should be viewing this as the opportunity to help get rid of this debt burden which is dragging us down. I know that I should be seeing this as a positive time in which I can help Himself move towards getting out of the job he is in, I know, I know, I know I should be looking at this positively, but this morning I feel down and mixed up but angry with myself for feeling like this. I also know that the company Himself works for have no intention of employing any labourers, so the work that I have been helping him with will have to be done by him somehow. That in itself adds more to his working day, but I cant continue indefinitely being an unpaid employee for a big company that has no consideration for their managers and thinks that 7 day week working should be 'normal' for them......

I'm probably being totally selfish and maybe I just need to give myself a good talking to and kick myself up the arse.......

I hate feeling confused.......

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Mother Nature's Sense of Humour

Mother Nature certainly has a very funny sense of humour!

Why on earth did she make West Highland Terriers white, when their sole purpose in life seems to be to get as black as possible, as quickly as possible !

Grow Your Own Drugs

Has anybody seen the trailer for this new series coming on BBC2?

It starts on the 2nd of March and is presented by James Wong. Its all about using herbal and natural remedies for treating ourselves.

As somebody who already uses quite a few natural and herbal remedies I am really looking forward to this show - should be really interesting. I cant find out if there is going to be a book to accompany the programs yet, but there will be a BBC website available nearer the time of the first program.

Its time for sowing.....

My fingers are itching to be opening the seed packets, but I am still away from home most of the week. For a compulsive gardener like me this is torture! I want, I NEED to be in the greenhouse right now. I need to feel the compost, I need to lay out trays, I need to sprinkle seeds and cover them over, I need to clean and switch on the propagators........

Being stuck on a building site in a small caravan is not where I want to be.

Hubbies job seems to be safe, for now....but because the company in its wisdom has not decided to get rid all its labourers, forklift truck drivers, banksmen and assistant managers, the managers that are left (only 12 out of 38 who were employed before xmas) are having to cover everybody else's jobs. I know, I know we should be grateful that Himself is still employed, but this is really difficult and I know I am going to be spending far more time down here than I usually do.

I wont be working myself in my own capacity for another month, so I wont be at home much.......and I wont be in my beloved garden and greenhouse. And even though I am getting to visit quite a few garden centre's (am not spending though as have more than enough seeds, trays ect to set up my own shop!) its more frustrating than anything else.......

Ho hum......moan over. Need to find away to feed my gardening needs. Only another gardener will understand this :-)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I am a very lucky lady. Truly I am.

I grew up on a smallholding, with parents who had coped well with wartime shortages, who knew how to make just about anything from anything.

We had chicken, pigs, the occasional duck (another story there for another day, rabbits and just about every vegetable and fruit that could be grown then (many of the so called tropical or more exotic fruit weren't grown as they just weren't available over here then - it would have been unthinkable to try to grow kiwi fruit when I was little !

My mom cooked everyday from scratch, she made jams, pickles, chutneys. She bottled fruit and vegetables, she dried pulses, she preserved in salt, she sewed, crocheted, and knitted pretty much everything that we wore. She decorated, she looked after the animals and she helped with the vegetable garden which was mostly under Dad's control. She also grew flowers to sell at the front gate - lupins, hollyhocks, gladioli, lillies and many more.

Dad had two huge greenhouses, both built by himself. One was always full of tomatoes, the other, red geraniums. I cant to this day look at a potted geranium and not think of him. The smell in the two greenhouses used to hit you as you walked in the door - fresh ripening tomatoes and the unique smell of the geranium leaves.

Dad was like Mom, he could turn his hand to anything and in fact had built the brick bungalow where we lived, by himself. He bought a set of drawings, found the acre of land and built our house, the pig stys, the sheds, the chicken house, the two huge green houses and the rabbit sheds all himself. His original idea had been to be as self sufficient as possible, but apparently swine fever hit his pigs early on the venture and he had to go out and get a full time job to rebuild the herd and supply an income to keep the family going.

I came into the equation very late in the proceedings. Mom was 44 and thought she was going through the change of life. To her understandable horror, she found out that she was five months pregnant! Dad was 50. My two sisters were 18 and 20 when I arrived on the scene, and as she had had what was known as 'white leg' after my next sister was born (thrombosis) and had spent most of my sister's first year in hospital, at 44, she was not very impressed to find out that she was going to be a mother again. (I do believe my father was threatened with castration round about this time.......)

Anyway, I appeared on the scene on my mothers birthday, a mere scragbag at five pounds in weight (damn well made up for it since ) and grew up with two of the most wonderful parents a girl could wish for. They were very different in personalities and seemed terribly 'old' to a child to a girl who's friends all had very young parents, but I loved them with all my heart and I know I was loved too - the little mistake who should never have been.

I don't think there is a day that goes by when I ask my self,what would Mom do with this, or how would Dad do that. I watched and I learned so much, without ever realising I was learning - everything was just ' how it was'. What is also so great is that I use so many of the skills I learnt then, every single day.

How lucky am I? SO LUCKY.

I had wonderful parents and I learned so much. I have two wonderful sons who are also my best friends and I have a wonderful soul mate in my husband who I get to spend a great deal of time with everyday.

Am I lucky? You bet your bottom dollar I think I am, and I count my blessings everyday !!!