chelsea flower show

what a beautiful day for a flower show – debra and i walked most of the way from her house in maida vale, along the canal and through to hyde park – london is wonderful to get around via canal towpaths and through its many parks!   its all sold out now, but you could go to one of the many events coming up around the country, such as hampton court or tatton park.   sadly i came back to my own little garden thinking that i needed to spend more time, money and effort on it!  its a great event to not only feel inspired by the wonderful gardens, but also to choose the actual flowers and shrubs that you like and source where to get them from.  you know its not just for the ladies, we took debra’s brother who absolutely loved it !

mediterranean flowers

the flowers in my spanish courtyard garden are all in bloom – the bird of paradise is almost prehistoric with its black beaks.

whereas the flowers in my london courtyard garden are all pale and delicate.  i am off to chelsea this afternoon, can’t wait to see all the inspirational gardens.


Chiringuitos, are small bars or stands that can be seen the length of the Spanish coast, usually on the beachfront they open up during the busier holiday times and are much more affordable.  There are different types, some selling cold beverages and others that are much more elaborate and may serve meals. Some of the most typical treats on offer are paella and sardines, although the variety depends on the place . last summer we frequented .gurugu , just past la chanca restaurant –  a vibrant pop up restaurant/bar, serving more modern food – not too pricey, the food was quite good, especially the noodles with vegetables, this only pops up during the summer months.   at the other end a very good value restaurant is el Cortijiyo – great grilled sardines and this is a more permanent shack.   another fun vibrant chiringuita is tangana on valdequeros beach – very close to the dunes just outside of tarifa.  we now have pop up vans and trucks which is the english equivalent to the chiringuita.

sweet sixteen

cant believe that my little girl will be 16 today!  its beautiful and sad – a passing of time, a transition into womanhood, a progression, a growing, its everything and yet there is so much for her to do and look forward to in the future – its the taste of being an adult, officially she can get married! always my inspiration, my model,  my pride and joy,  my beautiful maude – i thank you for all the times you have patiently sat, ran, walked, poised for my photos!

She was only sixteen, only sixteen I loved her so But she was too young to fall in love And I was too young to know We’d laugh and we’d sing And do the little things That made my heart glow But she was too young to fall in love And I was too young to know Why did I give my heart so fast It never will happen again But I was a mere lad of sixteen I’ve aged a year since then She was only sixteen, only sixteen With eyes that would glow But she was too young to fall in love And I was too young to know (Then why did you give your heart so fast) Oh, it never will happen again (But you were a mere lad of sixteen) I’ve aged a year since then She was only sixteen, only sixteen With eyes that would glow But she was too young to fall in love And I was too young to know But she was too young to fall in love And I was too young to know Sam Cooke

chamomile in vit e for lips

there is nothing worse than chapped lips – i have tried so many products, but my favourite that seems to work is a beeswax based cream, rather than one with petroleum,  with a drop of the essential oil of chamomile plus a drop of vitamin e oil – works a treat especially for cracked lips and for healing a cold sore.  if you buy a tin, such as the comvita one, its easy to just add the drops and let it infuse into the blend – top up when necessary.  never use the essential oils neat though.

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i just love spring at the moment – well i am not liking the rain and grey, but at least the blossom and spring flowers adds some glimmer of prettiness. the beautiful fragrant hanging grey lilac flowers of the climbing wisterias are so beautiful and melancholic – there is an elegance and dreamy quality to the flowers.

this particular wisteria is in Kew Gardens, one of my favourite day trips out in London.
Bred in China and Japan for more than 2000 years, wisteria arrived in the United States in the 1830s as an ornamental vine. This hardy plant can thrive as far north as New England.
Wisteria is a symbol of humility and reflection in Shin Buddhism. The Jodo Shinshu sect uses two intertwined, upside-down wisteria flowers as its crest.
Japanese Interpretation
In the 1820s, Kabuki drama Fuji Musume, “The Wisteria Maiden,” a young woman waits under a wisteria vine for her lover. In this context, the durable, long-living wisteria vine lends a meaning of endurance in the face of heartache.
Victorian Interpretation
According to the Victorian language of flowers, wisteria represents a warning against over-passionate love or obsession, a reference to the choking nature of the vine.

wisteria in my garden
wisteria in my garden