Wednesday, 21 August 2013


The last week has been pretty good, mostly at work gardening. Friday night we had the grandkids Joshua and Ella for the night, and so while Amanda had stuff to do at home, I took them down to Bournemouth beach for the late night Friday firework display. It was great fun watching them play in the waters edge in the darkness, before finally getting dried off, fed and settled for the display. Once over, we made the long uphill climb back to the car, and arrived home at around 10.45pm. They slept well that night. Family were coming around for lunch the next day, and so while Amanda started to get things ready, I headed with Josh and Ella first to the shops for some more supplies, and then to the allotment to pick some veg. Not quite sure what the hand signals were about, a sort of Winston Churchill meets Spock I think. The time with kids and grandkids was really nice. It does sometimes feel strange though to be in the place that my own parents used to be. They are gone now, and it's my turn at the top of the ladder.
On Sunday we woke up really quite late, and had planned to head out to Stourhead House and Gardens. We spent a lovely day a while back just going around the gardens, and this time wanted to see inside the house, and so after a quick turnaround at home, set off on the forty mile drive.
It was forecast rain, hence the house visit, and so we had dressed accordingly, and upon arrival we waited in the van while the torrential rain calmed down a bit, and then made our way to the house. As sods law would have it though, it turned out sunny and blisteringly hot, and so jeans and jumpers and a huge multi-coloured umbrella weren't really ideal things to have on you. It was cool in the house though, and we had a great time learning about the family who lived there. As fate would have it, we even met one of our customers there, who kindly introduced us to her daughter and grandkid.
Monday came and went at work, and youngest daughter Bex had kindly offered up one of her days off to come out with me gardening. As with the rest of us, she finds it good for thinking through lifes challenges, of which there are always many for all of us.
We met residents on our visits, and they reflected on how much she had grown up. Both daughters used to come out with us and help in the business from about eight years old, and so can grab a mower like a pro even now. As I watched her throughout the day, I thought about how time had flown by for all of us, and how much all our lives have changed since those early days of Four Seasons. This place we have been looking after since the start some sixteen years ago. The shrubs in the background were one big rectangular block at first, but over the years I have worked towards a more contemporary abstract look.
I was really thankful for her help, as there was a lot to get through that day, and it was once again really hot and sunny. But we did it, and after she was dropped off back at her place for a well deserved bath and a glass of wine, I fell asleep on the sofa at home like an old duffer. Not for too long thankfully, as Amanda wanted to head down to the Haven Ferry to watch the sunset and fishermen over a cup of tea. The sunlight dazzled on the sea, and the reflections were really quite something. I haven't done any fishing so far this year. I have just bought a new rod, and am just about to get a different reel, and so hopefully get out there myself really soon. It's very calming to just watch the guys in the meantime though.
Yes, it's been a week of reflections in several different ways, and I'm about to start my next book. 'Essays of Travel' by R L Stevenson. He lived near us, but I have never read any of his work, and so here goes. At the end of this post is a quote from him, which is how I feel when in the forest.
"It is not so much for it's beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit"


  1. Good morning Gary ~ Your grandkids are cute and it's good that you had some time together.

    Nice that your daughter helped you with one of your jobs too.

    I love that quote as it describes how I feel any time I am in the woods. I really felt it when we were up north. The scent of ancient earth, the coolness, the decay underfoot. All definitely renews a weary spirit.

    Reflection at any time and anywhere in our lives is good for our souls.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and blessings to you and Amanda.


  2. Hi Lorraine,
    Thanks for your kind comments. The weekend was great, if a little tiring. I used to wild caqmp in the forest loads when I was younger, with my brother or mates, and really miss it.

  3. Strange to think about time passing and being at the "top of the ladder" Where does that time go? But the best part is reflecting. I had this happen last year. Every time I visit my family back home(2000 miles away), I see change but the one thing that brings me comfort is the forest nearby. So many memories of those present and past. And I am thankful for those places. Lovely write.

    PS. It's also great to watch your work over the years in the garden:)

  4. You certainly had a full and rewarding week. So nice to spend time with family. Thanks for sharing those adorable grand kids with us.

  5. Hi Chris,
    It's when in the forest that I find the best 'head space' to reflect on life and family in general. It must be tricky to have your family 2000 miles away though.

  6. Hi Sherlock,
    They are of cute aren't they?