Hints of gladness


I’ve been composing several blog posts as I’ve walked the dog this week. This is generally when I have my best thoughts but sometimes there is too much whizzing around my head to distil into something coherent and worth sharing. It’s been a random sort of week and so I’m borrowing an idea of Annie’s and I offer you this random list:

  1. Blogging – I love writing my blog and taking photographs to use in it. It’s a hugely satisfying creative process and wonderful to have a record of the garden (mostly so we can cheer ourselves up and see what progress we’ve made) and some of what goes on in my life. The icing on the cake is that people read it and leave comments. Making connections with others has been the most surprisingly lovely part of this process. And it’s been a revelation to find some wonderful blogs out there. I don’t want to be cheesy but it really has enriched my life and broadened my mind. Occasionally I’ll come across a blog that is too slick, too calculated and not for me but mostly they are a joy. One that I particularly love is Alice’s (I pinched this post’s title from her’s).
  2. School –My eldest has had a week of mock-GCSEs, which are a practise run for the real thing next May. I’d say he’s done moderate revising; he’d probably disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in all-out, working-yourself-silly revision. It certainly isn’t the end of the world if he doesn’t do himself justice this time – it will give him a good idea of how much work he needs to put in before the exams that count. Even then, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t achieve top marks. I did rather badly at school (I like to think I was a late developer!) and so I’m thrilled that my children seem to be taking after their father.
  3. Hospital – My mum had one of her hips replaced on Tuesday and she came home last night. How amazing is that?! We were all rather anxious beforehand and now we are all very relieved. It is such a privilege to live in a country that provides such high-quality health care to its citizens. The busy hospital staff were fantastic and they looked after her very well but she is delighted to be home. Home is the best place to recover.
  4. Fat – Did you know that fat is back? I knew that olive oil was good for me but lard, dripping and butter? Yep. Apparently so. Proper science has proved it. Avoid sunflower oil and corn oil if you can. This BBC Radio 4 Food Programme will tell you more. Oh, and keep your oils in a dark cupboard. Heat and sunlight change their composition and release bad karma, or something…
  5. Adverts – It’s the time of year when Christmas tv adverts are ‘released’. Since when did this become an event? These ads have become mini-art forms. Having said that, I did watch the John Lewis one this morning and it brought a lump to my throat. It is quite beautiful – child notices lonely man in the moon and tries to get in touch – do watch it. It’s no bad thing for a major retailer to have a conscience and raise awareness for a charity campaign and it certainly made me wonder whether there is anyone near me who feels such loneliness. Human contact is so essential to our wellbeing. That and a good cup of tea.

On that note, I’m off to put the kettle on. Have a lovely weekend.



26 thoughts on “Hints of gladness

  1. Random responses:

    1. I started a blog to record our travels on a year-long RV trip around the U.S. At first, I had mixed feelings about blogging. Sometimes it seemed to take over the experience–“wait, I have to take pictures for the blog …” I also was somewhat uncomfortable putting my life out there for the public. After the trip, I didn’t think I would continue blogging. But, as you so beautifully said, I find it a “hugely satisfying creative process,” and I missed that process. Making connections with bloggers around the world has been an unexpected and delightful bonus.

    3. My 92-year-old mother also broke her hip recently and had a partial hip replacement. She was up and walking a bit the next day. Her rapid recovery really has been remarkable and a tribute to modern medicine. I would love to be able to say that we are privileged to have universal health care here in the US, but we are still muddling through our antiquated maze of health insurance coverage. Maybe someday.

    4. Fat is good!



  2. You are very kind! The feeling is reciprocated although I always feel a bit shy in the presence of real gardeners.

    The Queen Mother had a hip replacement at the age of 98 and was up and about almost immediately. I think that she attributed her good health to regular consumption of gin.

    I am rather horrified to discover that sunflower oil is bad for us but will carrying on using it until new research proves I am right. On the plus side I can take the dripping out of the place where I hide it from the fat fascists.


  3. I have a book titled “fat” and retread it after listening to the radio programme. I love following different blogs; as you say, some aren’t for me but others inspire me and have widened my outlook on so many things.


    1. There is always so much conflicting advice regarding foodstuffs. I think that having big pharma companies involved in food production and ready meals was where it all started to go wrong. We were all taught to eat a low-fat diet but it turns out that sugar is the enemy… Everything in moderation, as my grandma used to say.


  4. Fat is back? DId it ever go away? I share your positive feelings about blogging. So glad your mother is doing well and you are happy with her care. There are many here who contend health care in the UK is a veritable nightmare.


  5. A lovely thoughtful post. So pleased your mum is home- amazing how quick the turnaround is now. I feel the same about blogging. And revision. And as for fat- the advice changes with the wind! Have a lovely weekend x


  6. Blogs are wonderful aren’t they, I agree they are wonderful for making connections with people that you would otherwise never ‘meet’.

    We are privileged to live in a country with such excellent health care despite what some would have us think, so pleased to hear that your Mum has had a quick recovery from a major operation.


  7. Another lovely post Sam, thanks. Being appreciative of the good things is so important.
    We still have one small jar of the goose fat I collected from our Christmas dinner last year, the rest has already been used or given away. So very delicious! And now apparently good for us! Who knew? I’m a great believer in eating foods that haven’t been messed around with, and it doesn’t get much less messed-about-with than this.


  8. I agree about blogging, the big surprise for me was such immediate connection with like-minded people and also, discovering the many interesting blogs around…thank goodness I’ve retired and have more time to read them!


  9. Who knew blogging would be so joyful and lead to such connectivity. Hip operations are amazing. My dad had one in his 80s and made a full and speedy recovery. I’m trying to ignore the lead-up to Christmas, at least until the beginning of Advent, although yesterday I twined some fairy lights round the banisters … Hope your weekend hasn’t been too blustery.


  10. Hope you had a good weekend and your Mum is making good progress now that she is home. our hospital usually try and aim for 3-4 day length of stay for hip replacements. I loved the John Lewis advert too. Sarah x


  11. Such a thoughtful post Sam. Hooray for blogging and blog connections I say. Just today we had a lovely young couple visit us and shower us in homemade gifts, in return for a load of firewood. To cut a long story short we met through blogging. When I first starting blogging I had no idea of the connections it would create.

    May your good fats never release any bad karma 🙂

    Human contact and tea, we could all do with more of that.

    Thank you for your words x


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