Life lately: April

I thought I’d do a little post about what I’ve been up to during the past few weeks. Amy Antoinette often writes little round-up posts and they are always nice to read. Besides it’s been a weird time getting back into things after our little holiday, especially after Phil’s grandmother passed away shortly after we returned. She would have been 99 next month and although she was a grand old age, her death still came as a surprise to us. We had been staying with her while our barn was being built and were busy decorating the attics. The idea being that one day she might need a carer on more of a full time basis. I guess that was never going to be part of the master plan and she was so fiercely independent really. I don’t think she would have wanted anyone staying in her home on a full time basis.

roses and eucalyptus in an old metal pot

A rare character who did everything from Cordon Bleu demonstrations to captaining the ladies cricket team. She even decorated her house from top to bottom doing all the wallpapering herself. She was a frugal lady too and loved to make and create soups and pickles using leftover items from her garden. We always joked that she would freeze everything in sight. She even froze a picnic I made her once – much to our amusement.

About three weeks before she died she plucked and dressed a pheasant. I quite fancied the feathers for button holes, but decided I wasn’t brave enough to get involved with plucking. She on the other hand was in her element. I guess it reminded her of the old days and the things she got up to during her youth.

I loved to listen to her tales about the things she’d done over the years. My favourite was the one about her house and how she came to be living there. Phil’s Grandfather had said it was a big house so she must never complain about all the work to be done. In actual fact I think she embraced the work and enjoyed to be busy. There’s a lot to be said about having an attitude like that. I fear life can quickly pass you by if you don’t get out there and make your mark.

You can probably work out for yourself the kind of impact she had on our life and I suppose I am very fortunate in that my husband carries many of her qualities. He isn’t afraid of hard work and has run a successful business since he was in his mind twenties. Both of them encouraged me to push outside my comfort zone and do things which were a bit scary. I suppose that’s why I am doing so many things now, I’m certain I haven’t always been this brave.

We laid Phil’s grandmother, or Addie as she was affectionally known, to rest on 7th April. It was rather fitting really as she was born on 7th May and married on 7th December. You could say 7 was her lucky number and I’m sure she would have been pleased to keep the sequence going right until her final days.

For her funeral I created a number of floral arrangements using as much foliage from her gardens as I could. Her favourite plum tree was covered in blossom so I used that in the church along with some deep red/pink roses, some beautiful big peach and pink roses, plus some thistles and pretty eucalyptus. I think she would have been very pleased to think she pushed me out of my comfort zone to create her funeral flowers. It’s not something I had ever done before, but it felt right to do them for her.

I’ve posted some photos below so you can have a look. I think she would have liked that too.

A modern pedestal using wild foliage, roses and blossom

A wooden crate with roses, eucalyptus, thistles and tulips. Perfect for spring

Roses, thistles, berries, tulips and dill


Wooden crate with roses, thistles and eucalyptus

Lunch in Ludlow

It was my Father-in-laws birthday yesterday so we packed up the car and headed over to Ludlow for the day. Shropshire has always held a special place in my heart, so we like to go back there whenever the opportunity arises. As luck would have it Ludlow really isn’t so far from where I’m living these days, so I don’t need much of an excuse to pay the old town a visit. My grandparents owned a small-holding on the Shropshire and Welsh borders so I spent many a summer holiday driving around pretty villages and enjoying picnics in the hills. It was my idea of perfect and a tonic to the monotony of school and homework.

Ludlow High Street, Shropshire

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