Friday, 29 November 2019

Looking back on November

What a difficult month mental health-wise; it has gone by in a whorl of confusion, despair and exhaustion. I reluctantly had to accept all the help and support that was offered me just to drag myself through the days. Time moved in a odd way, feeling like it was stretched out long and never ending but somehow also slipping through my fingers, days upon days wasted. I couldn't be more thankful that today I feel a little more in control.

I haven't been out that much (obviously) and anything I have done has been very relaxed. It seems perfectly understandable that any afternoons out have been in wooded surroundings with my camera and Toby. Ecotherapy heals :)

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019


Blogging will hopefully be made more enjoyable and easier by this wonderful new laptop and my early Christmas present from Andrew of an incredible new lens for my camera.

I will end this first blog in a while with some of my most liked photographs I have taken for Instagram this November (for the Fat Mum Slim month of colour prompts and for myself) with said new lens!

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
the last Geum of the year

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Moonrise at Nendrum

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Withered willow leaves

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Sunset at Nendrum

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
A puffball in the moss

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Beautiful rust

A Stubborn Optimist - Ecotherapy blog  ~ C.Gault 2019
Gingerbread and coffee
I love Autumnal colours so it seems :)
STAY WARM my friends and best wishes for the month to come!
Love Carrie
xx

Friday, 1 November 2019

Retrospectively

To be honest the fallout from my walk back home alone last week left me in a pretty bad state and I haven't been able to pull myself out of it yet. I'm hoping this weekend will be fun filled and work some sort of magic on me. I just think it's important to be clear - I am ill and I probably always will take a step forward and two back, but darn it I am not going to stop trying!

darker months - A Stubborn Optimist ~ an ecotherapy blog - C. Gault 2019

So the time has arrived to embrace the cold and dark days, augmented by the the warm glow of flickering candlelight. My plans are to revel in this time of reflection and also use it for conjuring joyous plans for the future. Thank goodness for the allotment and all the hiking we have to do, places yet to visit and books to read.

To finish this post I am going to do a wee recap of October's Photo-a-day in association with Fat Mum Slim. It was Free Choice month and to be honest again, I didn't like this past month much; I prefer a challenge and to see how other's interpret the same specific prompt.

Here are some of my most liked ones of the month...
October photo 1 - A Stubborn Optimist ~ an ecotherapy blog - C. Gault 2019

October photo 2 - A Stubborn Optimist ~ an ecotherapy blog - C. Gault 2019

October photo 3- A Stubborn Optimist ~ an ecotherapy blog - C. Gault 2019

October photo 4 - A Stubborn Optimist ~ an ecotherapy blog - C. Gault 2019

Love, hugs and wishes for a warm and cosy home each day
Carrie

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

A triumphant plot departure

OK, before I tell you a single plot thing or show you one photograph we must address a very unexpected and wonderful piece of allotment related news...

This past Saturday I walked home from an afternoon at the plots by myself! All alone, on my lonesome, unaccompanied and indeed, solo. WHAT? Yes my friends it is possible, though it has taken me a good few years now to even think of trying. I did it, I survived and I may even do it again 😌
****
 a fern - A Stubborn Optimist - an ecotherapy blog - C.Gault 2019
cheeky fern
It was a cold day and though the sky was blue there had been a lot of rain the night before = a soggy field of plots. Never mind though; we had plans to enact and dreams to conjure up about our little slice of Eden.
the blueberry bed - A Stubborn Optimist - an ecotherapy blog - C.Gault 2019
Toby guarding the weeds and my bag at the blueberry bed

the tree path- A Stubborn Optimist - an ecotherapy blog - C.Gault 2019
Toby at the path between the trees
I finished off weeding the blueberries (finally) and got the areas under the apple trees and path cleared too. It doesn't sound like much but boy it was a hot mess and the weeds were wicked and had long roots.
rotten apples - A Stubborn Optimist - an ecotherapy blog - C.Gault 2019
rotten apples at all stages of decay under the trees
Andrew finished his bed too which was mainly grassed over and then he tackled the external paths (those between the different plots) and used the strimmer the hack back the knee high grass there. The whole place is a lot safer now.
plot as I left - A Stubborn Optimist - an ecotherapy blog - C.Gault 2019

Next up we thought about our hedge and tree options for the make over. Plus this coming weekend there shall be skips on site and we have a lot to get rid off so we're really looking forward to it.

See you soon,
Hugs,
Carrie

Friday, 25 October 2019

A ray of sunshine

One day in the mental health darkness of the past week stands out - Monday. Bless it. Monday was my saviour in that Andrew took the day off and we went to the allotment for some much needed ecotherapy.
looking a lot better = happy soul :)
We weren't there for that long but we did get stuck in to our respective areas and weeded our wee hearts out. I was at the blueberry bed at the back of the plot whilst Andrew finished the squash bed and started tackling what is still the kale bed. We now feel as though we are getting on top of things and the excitement is building for the new ideas that we want to implement (the trees and hedging and keyhole paths).
blueberry bed - BEFORE

 blueberry bed - AFTER

Andrew happy at work getting rid of those darn weeds

Toby was a good boy especially as he was close to both of us - what a nervous little fella he can be!


Now we find ourselves firmly in the grip of Friday and have just been to one of our favourite cafes for a coffee and a wee talk about the plans for the weekend. Boy do I look forward to my weekends 😀

Hugs to all and may you have a lovely weekend yourself.
Don't forget the clocks go back on Saturday night!
Carrie xx

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Back on the plot

Two days at the plot, reclaiming it from the weeds and general neglect has given us a boost that was sorely needed - friends we are back in love with allotmenting (or as I keep calling it in my head 'aplotmenting'!?).


** The first day back was Sunday afternoon on the 6th of the month and Andrew planted the garlic! The Solent Wight is in and I have my fingers crossed it will do much better this season. We planted the last lot last April as plug plants and they simply didn't do, maybe because it's best to plant your garlic direct in the autumn and let it get a darn good freezing before it starts to put on the growth in spring.
planting the garlic cloves - A Stubborn Optimist Blog - Carrie Gault 2019
looking good
Andrew got the two espalier apple trees pruned that day too whilst I continued my struggle with reclaiming the plot from the grasp of nature. Honestly I felt unwell and too weak to enjoy the activity and the sight of the place so overgrown and in need of tremendous renovation and filled me with dread. Usually I'm excited by tidying up and improving but that day it all felt so overwhelming.

pruning the apple trees - A Stubborn Optimist Blog - Carrie Gault 2019
pruning the apple trees
No photo, sadly (oh how I tried) but I saw a lovely frog on the plot and there was such bird song and more worms than usual. But my mental health was just too poor - I felt utterly ashamed to be myself even though no one could even see me. Time to go home. (I'm getting panicky even thinking about it)

** On Saturday 12th we were back and I was in fine fettle and ready to work hard! Oh we have exciting plans I so hope we can achieve :)  A new shed, lots of fruiting trees, and a curtain of wonderful native hedges to provide shelter and a sense of a secret garden for me.
the new plan for 2020 - A Stubborn Optimist Blog - Carrie Gault 2019
exciting new plan!
The rain tried to put us off but we simply waited the worst of it out in the car and then got started. Both of us tackled the re-wilding of the plot and by the time it was getting cold and darker we had reclaimed some paths and most of the rotation beds - hoorah! We even had time for a freshly brewed tea there on the plot bench.
stopping for tea - A Stubborn Optimist Blog - Carrie Gault 2019
stopping for tea
The new wee slit paths are being put in so as to facilitate my shortness and inability to reach anywhere near the middle of our beds to harvest or tend to the plants. Incidentally, we brought home a harvest of potatoes, a last sweetcorn cob and some kale :)

harvesting potatoes - A Stubborn Optimist Blog - Carrie Gault 2019
harvesting potatoes
Love and hugs to you all - I hope you will tag along for our renovation journey
Carrie xx