The theme for April Squares is ‘top‘. This caught my eye up above me in the Cambridge Botanical Garden glasshouses.
There is nothing I love more than a stroll in the Botanical Gardens. I count myself lucky to have a free pass from my work and I often wander there during my lunch break.
At the moment we are in lockdown in the UK so I am not venturing out much, apart from a walk in our local neighbourhood, or a trip to the supermarket to get groceries.
Thursday morning was a stressful one, I got up extra early so I could do a weekly food shop and be back in time to log on to my computer (as I am working from home.) My heart sunk when I saw the long queue snaking from the front of Tescos supermarket around the car park and then turning back on itself, a human chain of disgruntled shoppers. I added myself to the back of the queue and waited.
My shop took two hours – it would normally have taken no more than an hour.
What I couldn’t get my head around was the number of shoppers who came in twos.
Why would you do that during a pandemic?
My anxiety levels cranked up even more as the girl in front of me kept glancing back at me with this glare as if to say stay back. I was staying well away from her but her over zealous attitude only served to make me more anxious.
So, after my Easter shopping food trip complete with chocolate Easter eggs I need another treat, the chocolate alone will not suffice – I needed a floral treat.
Here’s one of my recent flower photos taken at the Botanical gardens in Cambridge. A purple one!
If you’d like to join in Terri’s fantastic photography challenges here’s the link:
Also I’m sharing some wonderful links about pandemic anxiety busters from talented photographer Cindy Knoke:
While you’re in the mood why not pop over to Send Sunshine blog for some uplifting quotes and images: Uplifting Quotes Daily.
Before I go I thought I’d recommend my latest release to you: a book of poetry, prose and photography, with lots of photos of Cambridge Botanical Gardens. It’s fairly new and receiving 5 star reviews, perfect lockdown reading!
Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It’s nice to welcome Colleen back after her break finding and settling in to her new home in Arizona. I’ve missed writing poetry but I’ve been super busy getting feedback back from my early readers and beta readers on my WIP: The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer.
The synonyms I’ve chosen for beginning are dawn, and for consume – exhausted.
The tulips are from my recent trip to Montreal, Canada – Botanic Gardens. I had a wonderful time there on holiday with my two daughters.
This is inspired by my frequent visits to the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge. It truly is a magical place.
I know I am dying so I have come to bid all my loves and especially my dearest orchid a final farewell. I pray I will surrender my soul to a place that will be as sweet as this hot house garden. I have a bequest in my pocket. It includes a generous sum of money for a park bench in honour of this magnificent garden. I will ask for a few simple words to be engraved on my bench when I pass to the garden of death.
It will say:
Mr Sagitarrius Died This Day in This Snow Drop Garden.
Forgive me – I am ninety two,
I forgot all but two of my loves’ names,
My first and my last.
But I remember my orchid.
Love is a garden.
It is divine.
Everyday my old limbs pay a visit to the Botanic Garden in Cambridge. I hate routine, but my aching joints oblige when my lonely soul is in need of feminine company. It is winter and in this season of chills, chilblains, snow and ice my favourite haunt is the glasshouses. There my ancient heart is warmed and I reminisce about… LOVE.
My eyes begin a familiar journey. First alighting on one of many beauties, my first love! The bird of paradise flower which I stumbled across in Papua New Guinea when I was an innocent. I was an adventurer, then. But, once awakened by the attentions of Ruth I became a Casanova! I fell in love, or perhaps in lust with Ruth – a dark-skinned beauty. I still remember the curve of her youthful skin and the way she used to gyrate her hips to entice me to join her in bed.
I linger in silent contemplation remembering Ruth and our amorous nights. Oh, what regrets followed the sudden demise of our fiery liaison. The never-ending jealousies were a sign of my Sagittarius failings, and my dare I say it?
Inability to commit.
Here I go again. Even at my advanced age my old knees fight the urge to rest and move on… longing to see… my next conquest.
There she is! Oh sigh. What a divine creature. Twirling on tiptoe, my ballerina flower. Yes, how you could dance, pirouetting on pointe. I remember you in Swan Lake. How perfect you were, your tutu twirling around as your hair remained still. Such a picture of perfection characterised by that tight bun. How I relished swiftly untwirling your hair and removing all of your clothing the very same night. And dare I say it? There was an encore! But even you could not keep my attention for long. Not when there was such a fire in my belly.
There she is! Wicked creature, I blame this red glory for breaking us up.
She rose up to demand my attention like a pompon ablaze, sharp-witted with spikes of outrageous character. Oh, how this strange flower reminds me of her. She had bright red hair, and such a quirky personality. I was hooked and yet, I regret, her true name escapes me, so I nickname you Calliandra. My mind is not as sharp as it used to be. Please forgive me, my beautiful red bonnet.
If by any chance we ever meet again I would rest my head on your shoulder. I’d begin by stroking your hair to get close to you. I’d caress you until intoxicated by your scent I would trace tiny trails of tender kisses down your perfect body. Sigh, the memory of this is almost too much for me. I feel quite giddy. Let me rest for a moment in a quiet corner. Or, I fear that some well-meaning but overzealous first aider will attach that defibrillator to me! Please don’t bother. It’s not needed.
I should have known you wouldn’t let me rest you selfish wench!
Narcissus, my daffodil.
You command attention and I obey. Your beauty is cunning and without compare and yet I sense there is something lacking.
You are too selfish.
You cannot love.
I should have visited you first. Please forgive me dearest sweetheart. You were the most exquisite of them all. My last, my first true love, an oriental flower, slender, graceful, full of charm, but, oh so fragile. I should have known. Oh, how I miss you. Now I am a ghost and lost without you. I settled for you, forgetting all others. Now I, this ghost of regret, understands the true nature of love. And now you pay me back for my thoughtlessness – your cruel ghost avoids me.
I didn’t know if I would find a photo for Hugh’s Weekly Photo prompt- distance – but it’s strange how sometimes distant things can literally be on your doorstep. Yesterday a flower peeped out from above me as I walked home from work. I saw a tempting triangle of sky – a promise of a mysterious place beyond it to explore. This little piece of sky is my distance shot, it leads to the river pathway that exists in my novel The Curse of Time, which is currently with beta readers awaiting critique. So distance can sometimes refer to something within your grasp which still seems far away like my intention to publish. Both that piece of sky and my goals are a step away but if I try really hard, and believe in myself I will get there!
In Hugh’s words: For this week’s photo challenge take or choose a photo that shows an object that is in the distance. Maybe it’s a building or a wonderful view that contains an interesting object or scene that, although it is in the distance, shows up really well in the photo? Maybe you can spot where you are headed to from a plane or train and you’ve managed to capture it?
Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken which defines Distance. 2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 26 – ‘Distance’ 3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing. 4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section so other participants can view the post.
Not sure how to create a pingback? Click herefor a step by step guide on how to create one.
Hope you like my distance shot. Have a lovely week…
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo.
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters.
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...
This week I thought I’d have a go at Hugh’s Photo Challenge – the prompt word this week is Fresh. I had just the photo in mind, flowers….. I like to photograph flowers.
The bouquet below was a gift from my friend who came to mine for dinner a while ago. I like to photograph flowers when they’re still fresh and beautiful. I always think it’s sad when they die so this is my way to preserve them, and keep them fresh for me to remember them at their very best. That way when I look at them I remember the occasion too, which is always nice, a lovely memory to retain.
My friend and her daughter came round one evening for a meal, I went all Jame Oliver on them and made lots of fresh Italian food from scratch with fresh herbs, salad, and pasta!
It was a blast. Loved the company, the food and of course the beautiful flowers!
Here’s the photo of the salad (to the left,) it was so fresh, and inviting: peppers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, oregano, cucumber, and Greek feta…. It had a very fancy name:
To the right is my photo of the sauce. I’m afraid the photo didn’t quite do it justice. It was yum.
Enjoy!! There’s nothing quite like sharing home cooked food made with fresh herbs and love.
Oh, before I go I have some news for you. I’ve been particularly inspired recently and have been editing my WIP. (So I haven’t had so much time for blogging, apologies if I haven’t been taking part in all of my usual weekly activities. I’m really missing my haiku, writer’s quotes, blog battle, etc…… So I’m trying to do what I can when I can….)
Amazingly my WIP now stands at 84,338 words!! My baby has grown so much! It’s putting on weight, getting plump. I’m getting it ready for the final read with beta readers…. And I’m so much more confident with its progress…..
It’s now on Wattpad, and I’ve decided on a title. Doing a happy dance…
This is a lovely Christmas wreath that my sister in law Lorraine Mallon made for me, and below is the table top arrangement that she made too. Isn’t it lovely? She’s branching out into creative endeavours, and this is a small sample of the sort of thing she hopes to do in terms of floral arrangement, and well as this she intends to make jewellery, and paint too. So good luck to her, I wish her all the very best.
My daughter also had a go at some floral vase arrangement too:
I finished work at 6pm on Christmas Eve so I have been super busy, retail is such hard work! I’m now looking forward to two days off to rest my weary bones. My husband is cooking, (luckily he loves to cook!) so Lorraine and I are going to be sous chefs peeling the spuds.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family.
All the best for 2016.
Bye for now, this is what I’d like to be doing….. you can dream …. No snow here, and no hot tub, sigh….!!
I have a fondness for Cacti and Bonsai. So, I thought I’d share with you some really gorgeous examples of Cactii Heaven. Will be doing a similar blog post for Bonsai soon. Hope you enjoy my Cacti Heaven.
My search for Cacti Heaven took me to Thailand. Only kidding. I wish. I was in my little office in Cambridge, googling cactii. These whoppers are from Nang Nooch in Thailand, and kind of look like giant melons with spiky intruder alarms.
This one’s extra precious so it needs three alarms!
Its protecting its little pot plant neighbours.
A close up please.
Then this cactus caught my eye with its stack of colourful toes.
Lots of them!
Here’s more from the beautiful Nong Nooch Gardens in Thailand
What a serious collection of owls!
Take A Look At These
Cactus Flowers Are So Beautiful
Keep On Going The Best Is Still To Come
Or Make A Cup of Coffee
There’s Blue Treasure At The End!
Blue Treasure! It’s bluer than the sky above.
It kind of resembles a giant Sea Urchin that’s lost in the Desert!
There are 2,000 species of our cacti friends which make their homes in deserts and bone dry climates. They are found in the Americas, from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, commonly known as the Mistletoe cactus, which grows in the Caribbean, Florida, Africa and Sri Lanka.
So our Cacti friends have to be great water conservers to survive. Cacti don’t like animals munching on their leaves or people touching, so they have sharp spines which aren’t fun to eat if you’re an animal, and cause pain to touch if you’re a human. Been there done that! These spines also act as a way for the plant to gather much needed water. Watervapor in theaircondenses on those pricklyspinesandthendrips to theground,where the roots thirstily suck, and slurp it in.Their ingenuity doesn’t stop there, theroots are smart too, they areshallowandwidelyspreadout to make the most of condensationandtheraredesertrainshowers. Did you know that a cactuscan be between 80 and 90 percentwater? The thick walls of this clever plant keepitswaterfromevaporating. In fact, a cactuscan be a thousandtimesbetter at water conservation than a differentkind of plant of thesameweight. Given these abilities it isn’t surprising that cacti are found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth.
Do you like Cacti too? Or maybe Japanese Bonsai? If so do drop a comment in my box and let me know, or else I might just:
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Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of this wonderful encyclopaedia in exchange for my honest review, celebrating Flower remedies which have been used “for hundreds possibly thousands of years.”
The Encyclopaedia attracted me as in the past I qualified in Aromatherapy and Reflexology, and worked for a while as a therapist. I have always been interested in the use of natural remedies in the treatment of illnesses, both of the physical and indeed the psychological kind. Flowers are so beautiful, and exist in an abundance of different shapes, colours, and aromas to entice us. As individuals we often have a preference for a favourite flower. It may attract us because it reminds us of our childhood, or a special place. I particularly like the flowers associated with the orient, Frangipani, Orchids, and Hibiscus.
I adore the orchids of Singapore. possibly because I was born there and love hot climates. “The Flowers of the Orient have a special energy appropriate for women.” The Orchid essences tap into the higher chakras, (knowledge) and I love to study and learn new things! Also I keep cactuses, again a plant that survives with little water, and minimal attention. So, our choice of flowers tell us a lot about the kind of person we are. As do our choice of pets. Dogs require more attention, Cats less. There is a psychology of flowers, so much to discover! Flowers of all kinds enchant me especially those with warm colours, and intoxicating scents.
This is one of my favourite bouquets. I now take a photo of all my flower gifts. I feel sad when they die and like to keep a visual image of them to remind me of the beauty of the flowers whilst in bloom, and the sentiments at the time. This is a stunning bouquet from my mother in law!
The Practitioner’s Encyclopaedia of Flower Remedies by Clare Harvey is an updated edition of the The New Enclopedia of Flower Remedies originally published in 2007. With an engaging Foreward by Richard Gerber, MD, exploring the role of vibrational medicine in modern world, Dr Bach’s contribution as one of “the first modern pioneers of healing with flower essences,” and the development of flowers essences “all over the world, from England and North America to the outback of Australia.’ A preface by Dr George Lewith which states that “it provides an up-to-date, thorough, exceptionally well-researched resource for those practitioners who are interested in flower essences.” I would totally agree. Clare Harvey has collaborated with numerous practitioners and introduced the reader to a whole host of flower remedies which I have not heard of or come across before. There are informative sections on how to use, store and produce the remedies. Her section on the natural power of flowers from diverse, unspoilt regions of the world is fascinating, documenting the aborigines of Australia, ancient Egyptians, Minoans of Crete, Native Americans, as well as the “Science of life”, Ayurveda, the Russian medicine men, apparently even Genghis Khan “reputedly prescribed them to his men to give them strength for battle.”
I loved this quote from the language of flowers chapter about the mighty power of the much loved rose: “Cleopatra places such faith in its romantic charm that she reputedly carpeted her bedroom with millions of fresh rose petals to help her seduction of Marc Anthony!’
Being a bit of a fan of gods, and goddesses, this appealed to me too: “Many of the classical gods, goddesses and nympths such as Hyacinthus, Narcissus and Iris are remembered today because they gave their name to flowers.”
A section on Flowers and the signs of the zodiac also charmed me: I’m a Scorpio, so the flowers suggested to me are Gentian, and Hyacinth.
Clare Harvey suggests that Flowers are a “kind of liquid energy.” She explains the various methods used to capture their energy. This truly definitive guide goes into great depth and explains the role of The Meridian Systems, The Chakras, The Auras, and the Subtle Bodies. The effects of shock, stress and pollution are also well documented, as are social poisons, such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and social drugs, their misuse and effect on the body.
Traditional medicine obviously has its place in the treatment of serious illnesses as many lives are saved but she discusses the “undesirable side effects” and drug-resistant infections which are all too common nowadays. Could flower remedies give an alternative in some cases? Especially, when the root of the illness may be brought about, and intensified by life’s modern stressers.
I was very interested to read her suggested flower remedies for those of us about to be admitted into hospital for operations, she recommends rescue remedies such as Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Obviously as a recent patient to Addenbrookes for my Gallbladder operation this is undoubtedly invaluable advice.
There is a great section on choosing and prescribing essences, using case histories, intuition, and other more unusual tools such as a pendulum, muscle testing, and pulse testing.
Many common ailments are covered in the Case history section such as ME, Digestion Problems, Arthritis, Insomnia, Anorexia Nervosa, Eczema, Swollen Glands, Hay Fever, Sinusitis, Circulatory Problems, Diabetes, Hip Replacement, Stress, Shock, Migraines, Women’s Problems such as: Premenstrual Tension, The Problems of Pregnancy, Menopause, etc.
Animal lovers will love her advice on choosing remedies for their pets. Mothers can give the remedies to their children and babies safely as the flower remedies are gentle, and free from harmful side effects.
But, “Flower essences are not magical bullets – they are subtle remedies which act as catalysts for change.” Like all alternative remedies use them with respect, and understanding and they will serve you well.
The remedies combine well with other therapies such as Aromatherapy, Floral acupressure using acupressure points, Nutritional support, Psychotherapy, and Orthodox medicine.
A cancer study by Dr Judy Griffin using the Petit Fleur range has documented “some of the most powerful transformations with cancer, in particular Lilac flower essences, which she has found released self-healing.”
There are remedies for all sorts of personality traits, health problems and learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Remedies can be taken as creams if the remedy is to be applied topically, e.g. arthritis, first aid, moisturisers, cleansers, pain relieving lotions, or if swallowing is a problem, e.g. if the patient is unconscious. Sprays and mists are also available too, as are Combination remedies for common ailments.
Wildflower essences closer to home are also available here in England: “Paul Strode started making wildflower essences in 1999 in response to the urgent need to preserve our English wildflower heritage and with the aim of bringing plant energy medicine to a wider audience.”
Clare Harvey takes us on a trip of discovery through the flowers of Europe, the Channel islands, the Netherlands, Africa, Australia and the Far East, New Zealand, India, Russia, Alaska, USA, South America, Canada, the Desert, to the tropical rainforest, of the Amazon. So be prepared for a colourful and interesting ride!
More unusual essences are also harvested such as Mushroom, Gem essences, Nettle, Fern, Moss, Cactus, Fruits, Tree, Mountain Grasses, Shamanic and Dolphin essences! So there is definitely something for everyone.
There is a useful list of addresses, suppliers and suggested further reading in the Appendix. There is a local supplier here in Cambridge: Revital Health, 5 Bridge Street, Cambridge, no doubt I will be paying them a visit.
Information about the author:
Clare G. Harvey is an internationally recognised authority on flower essences. She was originally trained by her grandmother, who was taught by Dr Edward Bach and Nora Weeks. Clare has been a Flower Essence Consultant since the 1990’s, first at The Hale Clinic, London, and now in her own clinic at 103-105 Harley Street. A teacher and lecturer, Clare started the first International Flower Essence School for Practitioners, The International Federation for Vibrational Medicine, in 1988 which runs introductory and professional training courses. She is the founder of Floweressence CGH, which has been instrumental in establishing flower essences in the practitioner and retail market and is one of the major UK distributors of flower essences. Clare is also on the London Nutricentre’s advisory board as their flower essence expert.