Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Storms and Splendour

From a few$2.99 seed packages in May, these delights: Nasturtiums in a swath across the front bed for end-of-summer glory, and Shirley Poppies that have bloomed for weeks, silken and lovely.

And I am enamoured of my pear tree, only a couple of months ago in blossom...

and now laden with ripening fruit.

Alice in Wonderland-like, one idea threads unexpectedly but logically to another. "Creative re-purposing" leads to fine china being stuffed with pencils and paintbrushes, and vessels re-purposed leads to domestic economies. Not the economies of nations, but of one household, in the spirit of environmental conscience. Leading to the concept of Magic Thinking, which is not generally considered to be a compliment to anyone's intelligence.

It began with wanting to continue to enjoy a nice deep relaxing bath every day, but not wanting to waste water. How about having the baths and saving the water to pour on the garden, which has to be watered anyway? One could use the plastic jugs that otherwise go to recycling - the kitty-litter and liquid laundry soap containers. The benefits immediately presented themselves to be listed on a satisfying check-list -
bath (check)
wise water management (check)
flowers watered! (check)
nice arm muscles from carrying jugs up and down stairs (check)
who needs a Stairmaster! (check)
and so on, virtue upon virtue.
In June I started saving the plastic jugs instead of sending them to be recycled. I filled up about 10 of them after a bath, ran out of jugs and there was still water in the tub. Tsk, tsk, the waste. The next morning I carried the jugs downstairs and emptied them over the flowers. Very hot day, with thunderstorms in the evening. Flowers very well watered indeed.
Ran not such a very deep bath the next night, saved the water afterwards, and carried the jugs downstairs. The flowers didn't need watering, they were well soaked from the previous night
and the next band of thunderstorms was on the move. The full vessels sat there on the front deck, and so the pattern continued through July.
Now for the "magic thinking": I didn't even have to fill up the jugs any more, I just stood them at the front door and uttered my intentions to the sky. It has rained almost every day and the garden is very green indeed.
Ah well, I don't need the exercise after all. I am supposed to Do Nothing for two weeks after next week's surgery, then the summer will be over. The lawns and gardens are marvellously green and the pear tree is heavy with fruit, faintly gold (delicious pear-tart recipe here).
I have nearly finished up the next fairy book, helped by the memory of the little fairies who came to visit earlier in the summer at Sovereign House:

the stylish,

the small

and best friends,

observing every detail,

and undeterred by weather.

Best wishes, fairy followers all.


  1. Oh, this is a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading about how you followed the trail of the collected water, while keeping an eye on the clouds above that wanted to donate more water for your garden.

    And then, to see all those children who obviously still do want to engage in the belief of fairy magic. All just wonderful

    Looking forward to seeing what watercolor magic will be produced.


  2. Thank you Frances, weren't they beautiful! Fairy believers come in all ages of course, but the little ones in pink and tinsel are reassurance that little girls don't change that much, even in an increasingly technological age.
    (hasn't it been a wet, wet summer)

  3. Your water conservation efforts are very worthy so well done you. It seems a shame that so many areas get more than their fair share of rain, Britain included!

    The little fairies look so sweet, I am sure you will have lots of inspiration and eager models for your paintings.

  4. We haven't watered our garden once this summer. Although Linda takes care to water the plants in containers regularly. That's where maybe we could use recycled bathwater.

    Or maybe those little fairies could help.

  5. Lovely flowers and your fairy-dressed up girls are precious. Thanks for commenting on Oasis Writing Link. I've visited you before but I think it would be wonderful to follow each other so we can find our way back to each other's blogs. You're a painter, right? I think I remember a gorgeous painting of fairies posted here. Have a lovely weekend...the little girl is so light and happy!

  6. May your surgery be easy and your healing be quick. My daughter is 'going green' and I'm trying to get the hang of recycling here in PR. What a chore! It's one of the problems with living in another country. Congradulations on finishing (nearly) your new book. I love your style...magic-al thinking in a good way!

  7. Thank you Valerie, the visiting fairies certainly brightened up the succession of very rainy days. Britain was having actual floods in 07 when we last visited, I hope it's not that severe this year.

    Dear Barry, "Magic thinking" continued: If it rains like this when I merely collect the water, what would happen if I ran a hose from the tub and out the window? Something to ponder on sleepless nights, along with the true nature of fairies, "if you believe in magic".

  8. Dear Cynthia, thank you for kind words and thoughts. My water-bearer efforts were pretty effectively rained out this summer, but I felt quite virtuous (and hot) lugging the jugs out to the garden. Martha Stewart would probably have a more elegant way of doing it!
    I loved your "retro" look, very chic.