Friday, 17 May 2013

Taking a Bluebell Break...

Dear blog readers,

Sometimes, when the rain finally holds back for a brief moment, 
the clouds part long enough for the sun to caress our skin and souls for a few precious minutes...

... we ought to find our own little bluebell spot and allow ourselves to sit down, 
breathe slowly and gather our thoughts...

With a feverish little fellow at home from school today, my planned morning walk had to be abandoned and I found myself rushing around doing laundry with one hand and lunch preparations with the other...

... whilst also making a few fish-shaped biscuits to cheer up the little man...

But then I saw them.
And I heard them.
Those seductive, cajoling rays that chanted 'come out, come out, enjoy us while we last'...

So I did.
A few moments of time out in the garden.
In the very wild garden in bad need of a haircut, a shave and a general face lift...

I hope this weekend you find your own bluebell spot and the time to enjoy it!
All the best,

Ps. Thank you so much for all your kind comments. I appreciate every word.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Feeling flowery...

 Dear readers,

Not much new to report from the Swenglish abode. The temptation of summer that was offered to us just over a week ago, has been exchanged for a much colder, rainier shade of grey. So, what to do to push away the clouds in sky and mind? Flower picking, of course! Inside, I become seven again, remembering how I used to walk to my grandparents, picking flowers for my grandmother on the way.

So I pick. Whites and blues and any perky petal that smiles a little extra at me as I walk past. Instant colour therapy. Did you hear that, oh great grey clouds in the sky, you have not defeated me yet! 'Flower power' will go a long way...!

Wishing you all a lovely mid-May week, and may your days be lined with petals.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Roma, per favore...!

Today, I am sitting by the pond in the garden, listening to silence. Well, I can, of course, hear the birds tweeting their joyous spring hymns, the faint sound of a lawn-mower in the distance, and every now and then a bee buzzing by my head, inebriated by a greedy dose of nectar...

Yesterday, however, was a very different story. It was the story of crowds, chaos and cream. Cream as in ICE cream. And, at times, as in I Scream. The former as in the staggeringly delicious Italian gelato, the latter because of the insufferable number of people in the Vatican museum, making it very hard to have that special tête-à-tête with Michelangelo that one had envisioned...

I confess, I am in love with the amazing, beautiful, interesting, overwhelming, hot, busy and more than a little chaotic city that is Rome. The mother of all capitals, the queen of ancient marvels. The majestic churches, the lively markets, the wooden shutters on the old houses lining the cobbled, narrow little streets...I could go on and on... I first visited Rome around twenty years ago, and I did actually not fall in love then.

But this time.

Oh my.

Perhaps it had something to do with watching my sons enjoy it so much, being blown away by the ruins at Forum, the pasta that made all other pasta pale in comparison and simply the feel of this jewel of Italian culture.

The Villa Borghese park is a wonderful breathing hole in the busy city, and perfect place for a mental and visual time-out. Although there is still beauty to behold, but of the visually calming kind, like in the photo above.

The photo above I have borrowed from Airbnb's website, the agent through which we rented a flat in the centre of Rome. Having compared prices with various hotel rooms, we realised that we could rent a fully equipped flat at the same expense, and it turned out to be a very lucky move. This flat is simply stunning! Its location is superb, only a short stroll away from the Spanish Steps and within easy reach of all the other sights. The owner of the flat, Luigi, made us feel so welcome and made sure we felt well looked after throughout our stay. To anyone heading for Rome, I can highly recommend renting this flat, and you will get some good exercise too after all the wonderful pasta and gelato you will have had, as it is several floors up with no lift... You can see more photos and information here.

Arrivederci for now. See you soon again!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Green fuel...

Now... you may think that a blog post with this heading might throw itself into a debate on environmentally-friendly fuel, with great insights from the latest research in the energy sector. Perhaps a thought-provoking exposé on bio fuel. 
Alas, it is not. 
As much as I am very positive to any form of renewable energy source and every attempt to save the planet our children will inherit, my 'Green fuel' heading was hinting at a more spiritual form of green soul food. The one where Mother Nature is the guru and generous provider of fuel ...

On a walk yesterday, I simply had to slow down when I saw these forget-me-nots on the side of the road. A true spring sign that to me even carries a few fingerprints of summer. I just could not help myself... the flower picking season has started!

There is something so special about the many shades of green that are the signature of spring. Leaves uncurling, buds pushing their way out into the sunlight. Vibrant, almost trembling with excitement, light green little leafy loveliness.

Green that has gone a little feral is something the strict gardener might sniff at, but to which I am drawn like a moth to the light. I mean just look at the old stone steps above... does not the green carpet runner make these steps completely irresistible? Does it not make you want to climb these steps immediately to explore what fairy tale world lies beyond?

The forget-me-nots in this photo knocked me out in all their pretty, petite glory, when I stumbled upon them on our c-o-l-d Cornwall excursion over Easter. How could they possibly survive in a climate that made this reasonably hardy Swede shiver to the bone? Inspiring!

Even though I may flirt with the various shades of springy greens, my heart will always stay true to my special green sweetheart, green the shade of MOSS.

Remember this stunning spot from one of my posts from Cornwall? I can't seem to get it out of my head. The ultimate spot for some soul searching and contemplation, where the cob webs of the mind can be cleared and new thoughts be born, all the while one  is being gently fanned by the gorgeous ferns...

Thank you for visiting my blog and a special thank you to all of you kind readers who take the time to leave a little message, even though I am very invisible on your blogs. I read all your words and appreciate every one.
Thank you.

Green greetings and may the beginning of May bring magic to you all!