The wind is blowing and the raining is pouring and I have too much time to think. My mind is a terrier, shaking worries to no avail, when it would be more sensible to wander into happier mental climes. And who is suffering? The person who I believe wronged me? Not at all. They are oblivious; whilst I am agonising, perplexed and astounded, reliving events, even worrying that the mistake was mine, they care nothing.

And then I remembered something. A few months or years or whatevers ago I attended a mindfulness session, with Lady Mantle. Do not fret, Lady Mantle was not in charge of proceedings, that would be a different event altogether. A much more appropriate women was in charge, the lovely Gemma, our yoga teacher, with her peach skin voice and ways of fluid gentleness.

Amongst other things that day, Gemma explained to us the concept of RAIN. No, not rain; in North Devon we know quite a lot about that already, there is no call for workshops on the subject. I am talking about RAIN. This particular version of RAIN stands for Recognise, Allow, Investigate, Nurture.

This is my interpretation, please forgive me if I am mistaken, I was in a near trace-like state of relaxation at the time and for this we must blame Gemma. Perhaps it works like this: I recognise my hurt, I allow myself be angry, I attempt to understand why I feel that way and lastly, through self-kindness, I can move forward. Something like that anyway, perhaps you could look it up. It helped, it really did.

You could also admire the pink hull-like flowers of Lobelia bridgesii, they will soothe soul too.

Crying Time

A client couple made me cry today.  It wasn’t “a lone, elegant tear slowly tracking down my downy cheek” à la Sinead O’Connor.  It was a full-on, scrunched-up, red-faced, ugly blub.

I won’t mention their names, although I really should.  As they deserve to be recognised.  For their kindness; kindness over and beyond.  It was much appreciated.  In a very small way of thanks, here is a string of hearts just for them.  They are shining stars.

Three Tales

Tale One

Many years ago, when I was still afraid of my own shadow, I accompanied my OH to a posh event in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Some of his discoveries were being displayed in an exhibition, he had been invited to the opening night and I was his Plus One. Of course, it was not just we two. There was a veritable plethora of historians, archaeologists and other non-specific museum types, all in their best bib and tucker looking like scary grown-ups who knew all the answers. After a short while of silently (on my part) mingling, OH excused himself and left me “rabbit in the headlights” within the throng. In the short time that he was away several people approached me, I was after all a lone young woman in her early twenties. In an attempt to strike up a conversation, their opening gambit was without fail “what do you do?”, “I’m a secretary” I replied. I might well have said I assassinated intellectuals. To a man, they hurriedly made their excuses and dashed off leaving me befuddled and embarrassed. In way of compensation, some might say over-, I proceeded to eat fist fulls of canapes and guzzle the free plonk. It comforted. There was however a saviour in the midst, and I will never forget his kindness. He was perhaps the most distinguished person in the room, a man of great knowledge and an expert in his field. I had met him previously when he had been in Bristol to visit one of OH’s digs. Seeing me marooned in a unfriendly ocean, he took me under his wing. He talked to me at length, explaining to me the significance of some of the displays, involved me in proceedings and, most importantly to me at that time, treated me with the respect that I, and all people, deserve.

Tale Two

A couple of years ago I met a friend at RHS Rosemoor, who to spare her blushes will remain anonymous. OK I will give you a clue …. “TT”. Yes, you’ve got it. I had brought my lovely neighbour along for the ride as she had never been to the garden before and was keen to visit. Chatting over tea and cake, possibly before we had even set off around the garden, TT had been reminiscing about her days as a radiographer. My friend, ever inclusive, turned to ask my neighbour if she worked. “Oh” she said “I am just a nursing assistant at the hospital”. Without pausing for breath, she was swiftly corrected “Never say you are just a nursing assistant! A good NA is worth their weight in gold and the whole system would collapse without them. It is a job to be proud of.” My heart swelled with pride. My neighbour relaxed, there was no hierarchy here. She had been shown the respect she deserved.

Tale Three

Today I came upon a conversation on Twitter that suggested that to presume a woman was a secretary was demeaning. It rankled. As gardeners we are often patronised, dismissed as mere muddy frippery. Which also rankles.

Surely we all deserve a little respect, whatever we do to eke out a living on this troubled planet.

Boom, Boom!

True phone conversation earlier today:

Mum: Oh, before you go I have been meaning to ask you something.  I’ve nearly run out of my turmeric tablets, I was wondering if I should get some more, but I can’t remember what I take them for.

Me:  Is this a joke?

Mum: No

Me: You take them to help with your memory.

Mum: *laughter*