Thursday, 9 July 2009

Unsettled

Stormy weather

The weather has been extremely unsettled lately, and so have I . . .

On Monday, I was driving across the broad Oxfordshire Downs and it was like some weather god was bowling black clouds. Every time he made a strike, the car shook from the impact.

Yesterday, a friend and I made the trek to the Hampton Court Flower Show and the moody sky glowered at us all morning. Although we managed to duck into the Rose Tent for the first downpour, the second one caught us on the way out. I took this picture just minutes before the smooth surface of the water was disturbed by a million angry raindrops.



The day was more silver than gold, except for these roses.

This display of Absolutely Fabulous roses
won a gold medal

It was the first time I had been to the annual show, and it was all a bit overwhelming. I think that it is probably better to go with a plan, instead of being buffeted about by the crowds. All of the serious gardeners had brought trolleys, which made the paths a strange sort of obstacle course.

That's been a bit of a theme with me, lately, as I seem to have overcrowded my schedule to the point of lunacy. Instead of relishing the long summer days, I feel like I have been running the gauntlet -- somehow worse for being largely self-imposed.

Some people like being busy, but I've realized in the last couple of years that I require a slower pace. I tried to cram in a lunch with old friends today, but I was time-crunched on both sides. I felt like a babbling, bubbling pot that was about to boil over.

We've been in England for three years now, and I wonder if I am feeling unsettled partly because we have always tended to move by the end of this cycle. My husband has a new boss, and unsurprisingly he want to re-organize. It's a story that has a predictable conclusion, even though this is still only the beginning of the a still-uncertain end.

One of our closest family friends will be moving soon. The other day, my daughter said that it feels like a wind of change is blowing through . . . which is exactly what I have been feeling, too.


Henry and his Birds

King Henry the VIII: a man who knew all about regime change.





Sweetpeas in the fruit and veg bed

At least all of this rain is good for the garden . . .



31 comments:

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

You absolutely live in the move beautiful, beautiful place!! Unbelievably pretty.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

That's MOST beautiful, beautiful place! Perhaps "move" was subconscious...because of your post....

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a treat to visit the Hampton Court show...even if it is via my computer screen. Thank you. I know what you mean about feeling too busy. But I actually fell across a guest room bed today for a 20 minute nap today. It was glorious!!

willow said...

The unsettling sky certainly made for a dramatic picture of Hampton Court! Hope all bodes well for your husband's job and that all settles nicely into place.

Margaret Gosden said...

First of all, thank you for the sweet peas! They are wonderful. The photo of Hampton Court is amazing - what an imposing edifice with those reflections. Am sorry to hear you might be on the move....I have felt so at home with your blogs! I may print out that picture of the sweet peas - I appreciated all the yellow roses - but I am more drawn to the tangle of colour in your veggie garden.

ArtSparker said...

I always feel unsettled when the weather can't amke up its mind.

David Cranmer said...

I know what you're feeling. Here in the U.S. Northeast, we have been saturated with rain almost every day for the past few weeks. And as a gypsy, I'm well aware of change and say I hate it... but actually welcome it.

rxBambi said...

Great photos! I jsut mentioned the Missouri Botanical gardens on my post, but I think it's probably nothing like Hampton Court.
Have you been able to get on my blog lately?? I don't know of anyone else having trouble.
Cheers!

Maggie May said...

wow, that sky is fantastic. i LOVE a sky like that.

Chairman Bill said...

“We tried hard – but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situations by reorganising –and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.”

-- Attributed to Petronius Arbiter, Roman writer.

Bee said...

Boomer - It IS very pretty . . . and I think that you are right about subconscious word substitutions!

Pamela Terry - It's the end-of-school thing partly, coupled with lots of out-of-town friends visiting. It's only 8 am, but I already starting to wonder if I can fit in a nap today.

Willow - It will probably all settle; we just need to ride it out, you know?

Margaret - Aren't those sweet peas delicious? I love that mix of colours. Don't worry about blog changes yet; I don't think they are immediately imminent.

ArtSparker - I so agree. We had a lovely two weeks of sunshine, which felt like proper summer, and then it went cold, wet and horrible.

David - I share that gypsy mentality. When you get used to moving, your feet start itching after a while.

rxBambi - I'll visit and see. I've been out so much this week that I've really neglected all of my blog-friends.

Maggie May - I suppose that you are used to lots of San Diego blue.

Chairman Bill - I'm sending that to my husband immediately. Wise and funny!

spudballoo said...

Ah there you are, I was just thinking that I'd not heard from you in a bit. HCFS...looks lovely, I lived about 10 minutes from Hampton for a few years and never once made it to the show. I don't really like crowds, but then I love flowers...so I got a sneaky look through your photos.

Gosh your sweet peas are divine!

Sounds like you 'could' be on the move at some point, I hate the not knowing...

I need a slower pace too, i get very antsy if I feel 'crammed'. x

Emm said...

I love how you referred to the weather as silver and gold! Today is gold again, thankfully, as I miss my sunny days.

I've found London can be oppressive sometimes in that I often feel pressured by time and crowds.

Star said...

You always sound unsettled when you write about England and I know how you feel because that is exactly how I feel when I am in America. It is lovely, BUT it is not quite right, is it. It's hard to define but the feelings are strong. I returned here last week and I LOVE that I can walk about everywhere and it's not too hot. I love the rain and the clouds and the uncertainty of the weather. I envy you going to the Hampton Court Show. I had to settle for watching it on TV last night. Aren't those Absolutely Fabulous roses glorious.

♥ Braja said...

Bee, so long since I've been able to comment! Back into it after 3 wks of problems....nice to see your flowers again :)

herhimnbryn said...

There is a scene in the book 'Chocolat' when Joanne Harris describes the wind that arrives and harries the characters into moving on...... it sounds like it has found you:)

maybe, just maybe Bee you need a little time for you?

Dave King said...

At least you made it to the show. We haven't this year - except vicariously, so thanks for that.

Yvonne Anderson said...

I adore the smell of impeding rain!

Love the first pic...broodiness in a shot....

Bee said...

spudballo - In addition to all of the end-of-year activities, I have lots of friends visiting at the moment. I've driven hundreds of miles this week. Fun, but I feel like I need to lie down in a dark room!!

Emm - Isn't that so true? Someone asked me if I had enjoyed Hampton, and I said, Yes, if you don't mind traffic, noise and crowds. It was a sensory overload. (BTW, our day started off golden, and has gone rather silvery-gray. WAH.)

Star - Your comment gave me pause. I think you are right; I do love some aspects of English life, but I often feel out of balance and out of place. I wish that I could have done photographic justice to those roses, but it was difficult enough to take a picture without a dozen heads bobbing by!

Braja - Such a pain to have computer woes. Thanks for persisting.

herhimnbryn - I remember that wind! (I have a tendency to anthropomorphize weather.) I think you are right about needing some me-time, but it's not going to happen until around August! Hope my nerves and energy hold out until then.

Dave King - Do you usually go? It was fascinating, but almost TOO MUCH really.

Yvonne - I liked the mix in it! Can you feel the wind howling?

Celeste Maia said...

The photo of that fantastic sky made me dream of African skies. I grew up in Mozambique and every afternoon at the same time - you could almost set your watch to it -the sky would turn biblical like the one in your picture announcing thunder and lightning and torrential rains that lasted only a few minutes. I would be out in the garden and stand for the few endless minutes while the universe around me fell back into place.
I have been a gipsy all my life, changing countries and continents every 2 or 4 years...the times comes when you know in your bones it is time to move on...

Tessa said...

Yes, the weather has been rather odd, hasn't it. Not much rain here, but always cloud. Our lawns look like a Johannesburg winter - all brown and dusty - I long to use the sprinkler to green them up again but that's been vetoed as wasteful!

Wonderfully evocative photo of Hampton Court with the glowering clouds.

CashmereLibrarian said...

Yes, we too move in three year cycles but recently, though we're ready to go, it's been hurry up and wait. I HATE waiting!

Ready to move on to something new!

CashmereLibrarian said...

I meant to add that I envy your sweet peas! I can't grow them here--not sure if it's Illinois or just me.

Anyway, wish you could send a sniff of their fragrance my way! To compensate, I'm wearing Floret by Antonia EDP, which is basically sweet pea in a bottle.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

We have been having a Jane Austen fest here at our house. Roxi says England is a great backdrop for moody films.

Deep breaths, my dear. Your time of quiet is just around the corner.

julochka said...

first, the sweetpeas are gorgeous.

and i know what you mean about the winds of change blowing...that happens. it's cyclical. it sounds like a cycle is ending and a new as yet unseen one is about to begin...but that's exciting as well.

the reflection picture from the hampton court show is marvelous and wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic if the weather had been good. it's the same with change...

Anne said...

What glorious sweet peas!

I sympathize with the unsettled feeling, though for different reasons. I hope you find a calm port soon, even if the respite is only temporary.

Speaking of flowers and such, I thought of you recently as I was walking through the St. Andrews Botanic Gardens. I was hoping to go to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh as well, but I was kept away by a persistent drizzle. Perhaps next time. Anyway, lots of lovely plants and flowers that I think you would have enjoyed.

Nimble said...

Chairman Bill's comment takes the cake. That reorganizing personnel should have been a recognizable pattern in ancient Rome is funny and depressing both. I wonder if there is some sort of surgical attack possible on the flower show that minimizes the crush. Maybe not. Ride the chaos, Bee. But be judicious as to what you take on next.

Barbara Martin said...

Hampton Court is a wonderful place to visit, full of history and lovely gardens.

cipriano said...

Beautiful photos, reminding me of one of my favorite places on earth, The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. [Canada]
Acres and acres of the most gorgeous flowers and trees.
And your angst about moving.... hmmm... tell me about it. I do not relocate very much, and my current plans to move across the country [to the very city above mentioned].... it is all driving me crazy, and I am in the midst of backing out.
Staying put!

A Modern Mother said...

Yes, it's that time of the year. I too prefer a slower pace but it is not to be. You can't move before we have lunch!

Bee said...

Celeste - I love your description of the afternoon rains. It did that in Trinidad, too, but usually late morning. Interesting about the gipsy thing . . .

Tessa - Is it mean for me to wish that it rains and rains (for the garden, of course) while we are in Spain?

Cashmere Librarian - This is the first year that I've grown sweet peas. They are wonderful! You know, we have NEVER lived anywhere longer than three years. You, too?

JAPRA - Sometimes it's nice to be moody, but I want something sunny and uncomplicated right now! Yea, Jane! (Did you ever make it to the Jane Austen House in Chawton?)

Julochka - Yes, there is something wonderfully bracing and revivifying about change. (Did I make that word up?) Hopefully the sweet peas will still be blooming for your visit.

Anne - lots of persistent drizzle here at the moment! Sometimes I doubt that calm ports are my destiny, really.

Nimble - Yes, I thought that CB's comment was TOO apt. I plan to be very lazy . . . you know, as soon as I cycle through Spain.

Barbara - Yes, it is wonderful. I loved the Henry the VIII scarecrows that the local schoolchildren had made for the show.

Cipriano - I've seen you refer to your upcoming move, (something about boxing up books?); are you really going to cancel? I have BC on my list of places to visit. Hopefully, I will make it to The Butchart Gardens someday.

A Modern Mother - Yes, we must try to organize a lunch again! Sorry I've been so negligent . . .