May, doing too much, stuff

Today I drove the border between England and Wales, a glorious green journey.  I stopped and drank coffee from a flask in a layby full of lorries, overlooking fields singing with vivid blocks of green and gold, the Black Mountains of Wales rising away towards the horizon, half hidden by scuds of rain against the sunshine.

I thought about family.  My brother is still in hospital, four months on from his stroke.  Today he made me laugh and, driving home when no one could see, made me cry.  I marvelled at his wife's strength and his own determination to hold onto himself.

I thought about all the things I am doing and not doing, gathering in lists of duty and interest and clamour.  I will carve out time to plant things and to weed endlessly, mindnumbingly, and have been mining for hogweed root in the native tree walk and planting hardy geraniums.  I will cook and clean and prepare the cottage and talk to my parents and children on the phone.  Somehow I have not rung the bank or sold things on ebay.

There is Malvern from Wednesday.  That will be good. 

Comments

  1. Last year my sister was very sick and I spent many hours on the road like that. Take care of yourself, it's all so stressful. I could picture the beautiful drive.
    I love Wales. Be there in September.
    Take care
    Chris

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  2. This must be a very streesful period of your life, I hope that your brother is making some progress after his stroke, four months is a long time to be in hospital so I assume it must have been a very serious stroke. The garden is always a good place to be when you are stressed, even weeding can be therapeutic. Enjoy Malvern.

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  3. Blogland is full of people at different stages of their lives. Keep telling yourself that this stressful time will pass, and snatch solace where you can. Malvern sounds good.

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  4. I used to live in Malvern and miss it dearly to this day. I hope the fabulous countryside there revives your batteries and gives you a little solace from the stress and strain you're experiencing right now.

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  5. Poor you and poor family. I love driving in the opposite direction and seeing the Malvern Hills rise up from nowhere. Difficult not to hear Elgar in your head, eh?

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  6. Everyone has said it so well - take care, seek solace and enjoy Malvern. I used to be able to see the hills from my bedroom window - one day I might go back for a visit.

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  7. Sounds like life through gritted teeth.

    Enjoy Malvern.

    Esther

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  8. Thanks for your kind comments. There are lots of good things going on too and this time of year always lifts my spirits. Going to Malvern is a bit like playing hookey, a couple of days to spend with gardening friends and look at plants and think obsessively about gardens without having to balance anything else with it. It feels like a super luxury!

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  9. A thoughtful post. It can be very stressful the endless visiting and putting on a positive face cant it. I was talking to a lady I know yesterday about her 20 yr old son, he has had an operation to releive some sort of pressure on his spinal nerve in his neck (I dont u'stand the details). She said it had been touch and go whether he would walk after the operation, thoughout she has been positive and upbeat I admire her so much. The operation was a success except she says it is like he had a stroke as one arm is lifeless and he has to lift it up. They are hoping with time he will have more movement in it but she is just relieved he survived the operation and can walk etc - makes my problems and worries seem silly. You need that 'me' time to recharge your batteries for the next visit - see you tomorrow.

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  10. As always, a sensitive and compassionate post. Thank goodness for the journey being green and glorious, and not just traffic-jammed motorways. Stay strong; it will all pass.

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  11. Oh what a hard time you must be going through to watch your brother as he recovers from his stroke. Your header is beautiful and your garden an inspiration Elizabeth. Take care.

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  12. I was blogging about my insane May last week, but I needed to be reminded that mine is 'busy' stressful and not because of any infirmity in the family. Hope things get better soon.

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  13. The bank, ebay, so much stuff... so often it takes a shock to make clear what's really important.

    Mark

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  14. Oh Elizabeth. As always, your post strikes a chord. I understand exactly what you're saying, and probably more than most about time, life, strength of character, and priorities.

    You enjoy Malvern. Hope Milla joins you as that will give some laughs and light times between the serious business of plants and chilling.

    Enjoy your time.
    xx

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  15. Another thought provoking post. Enjoy those wonderful Welsh hills.

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  16. We seem to be in the same place these days.
    I hope you'll be able to pick and choose a little bit - most things will keep - all that busyness. I wish you some peaceful time in your garden and some time with friends to help you keep your precious balance.
    xo

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  17. hi there, your blog caught my eye because of its title - i think we must live pretty close to each other! The black mountains are on our doorstep...

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother - life is so cruel sometimes.

    I have been getting to work on the garden too, the geranimus - love them (although not the red ones!)

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  18. There are so many more important things than eBay and banks... I hope you enjoy Malvern - I'm sure you will.

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  19. Tough times, glad you are getting to play hookey. They have even changed their mind about the rain they had been forecasting for Malvern tomorrow, which I am thrilled about! Hope the trip - and the time with friends - helps recharge your batteries. Glad your brother made your laugh.

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  20. It's tough watching someone else's battles. You feel so helpless. It's good that you can draw strength from the beautiful things.

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  21. Heart-wrenching to watch without being able to do much - I feel for you, Elizabeth. I hope the garden restores you. The new header is glorious. Best wishes.

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  22. Hope you are managing to hang on in there and survive - dealing with big things and little things all at once is part of the human condition, but it does not make it any easier ... With best wishes

    Pomona x

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  23. It's so emotionally and physically draining when someone you are close to is in hospital. For the time you have in Malvern – recharge you batteries and enjoy your little bit of luxury.

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  24. Thank you so much for your comments. It is odd to feel that people you never met are rooting for you. Malvern was great. Blog to come!

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