Can Anyone Slow Down Time?

OK – how did we get to nearly the end of April? I am sure it was February a blink ago!! Time just keeps on flying!

When I last wrote I had just signed up for my diploma in Art Therapy. I have to report that study is happening – but very slowly. Well, I say that – formal study is going slow, because I keep finding interesting articles on the benefits of art to well being (I convince myself they will be useful foe my essays 🙂 ).

The other things that I have found is good for well being is sunshine. The sun has recently made an appearance here – after lots and lots of rain – and it makes such a huge difference to everything! Everyone is happier – more positive. It’s hard to stay grumpy on a sunny day.

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

The sun has also found me in the garden – which also appears to be good for me. Something about creating a peaceful space out of a pile of weeds is very rewarding – not to mention the calories you can burn doing a bit of weeding!?

Gardening can be so addictive!
Gardening can be so addictive!

The problem is – gardening is addictive, and eats into your time. Time when you should be studying!

So – if anyone can just find a way to slow down time for me, I might just get the garden complete and pass my diploma! Or, I suppose I could just focus more…

Let’s see how things go – I will update you soon 🙂 Don’t forget you can find me over on Facebook and Instagram too!

Till next time – be happy, stay positive xx

Love Jac xx

There Be Dragon…flies

I’ve written before about what inspires me. Yesterday I went to one place that never fails to do just that – the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

I am so lucky that this is just on my doorstep, so that I can visit whenever I like (in theory at least – that great killer plans, time, often makes it impossible).

This time, I made sure I visited, as there was an event on – a guided walk, to search for dragonflies.

These have always fascinated me – so fragile looking, and the way they seem to skip about so effortlessly – so I just had to visit.

Initially, it seemed like it may be a wasted trip – I learned that these lovely creatures don’t like great damp days (guess what weather we had!). They need warmth and the sun to be able to fly.

Undeterred, our guide (Debby), started looking at the foliage close to the ponds – and then someone spotted something. A damselfly (very similar, a bit smaller – and beautiful blue colour). And then we started spotting them everywhere! Well – not everywhere, and it was actually quite difficult – they camouflage pretty well.

The good thing about the weather was that they remained still on their leaves and branches, so we got to have a really good look, and I got a few photos. (I only have a little camera – none of your single lens reflex – just your bog standard point and shoot, but even that captured some half decent images, like this one….

Dragonfly - at the National Garden of Wales
Dragonfly – at the National Garden of Wales

It felt such a privilege to be sitting watching them – and it’s amazing to know that there were so many just sitting there. You just have to look for them. You have to zone in, not be distracted by people, your phone or thinking about lunch. It’s just you sitting watching nature – and there they are. Magical.

Once the tour was over, I took the opportunity for a quiet stroll – listening to the bird, looking and the flowers.

Gorgeous flower display
Gorgeous flower display

I love how peaceful it is. A little break for the outside world. If you ever get the chance, please do visit.

I can’t wait to go back again!

Till Next Time – Jac xx

Gardens – Good for the Soul

So – last week, I wrote about true happiness. I felt that, rather than the material things like cars & clothes, simple things can bring longer term happiness.

Since then, I have been trying to lead a slower, simpler life. Walking instead of taking the car, listening to soothing music whilst working – rather than always popular music channels (although you can’t beat a good sing along!).

I’ve used small shops to get my shopping (I did not miss my local supermarket one bit!) and cooked every meal form scratch.

And of course, I’ve done lots of painting.

One thing I love painting are bees and flowers – and recently I have also discovered that I love gardening for real.

Now, I am no Alan Titchmarsh or Monty Don, but I have been out there, weeding, tidying, planting – and it is wonderful to see things that I have planted grow, to see flowers appear – bursts of colour springing up each day.

When out there I get lost in my own little world – listening to the buzzing of the bees, the chirping of the birds. It’s great therapy – and inspiring.

A quick 10mins just dead-heading some flowers, or pulling a few weeds starts to calm my mind (which rarely slows down, never mind stops!). I’ve seen a couple of programmes in the last week about the health benefits of gardening too, so I reckon it must be good for body and mind.

So – if you are struggling with a busy brain, give it a whirl! You don’t need a big garden – you could plant flowers in a pot or a window box – or offer to weed someone else’s garden (plenty in mine to go round!). But do get out there, get your hands dirty!

Ok, I’m off to draw flowers (and maybe some more bees)

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

PS – I haven’t had a go at baking yet – but I have eaten cake, so I am almost there 🙂

See you next week,

Love Jac xx

Hedgehogs, Allotments and Ballet

Horace the Hedgehog by JacHi Everyone – I’m Horace Hedgehog. I live, with my family, in a log cabin at the end of the garden at Number 12. And of course, this week my family and I are the stars of the Daily Doodle Featured Creature series on Jac’s Studio facebook page.

I first met Jac when she doodled my cousin Hubert, who was sheltering from one of those April showers. (They can play havoc withour spikes you know).

I was thrilled when she told me that her FB fans had chosen hedgehogs as a week long feature, and I was only to happy to help her with her doodling. (I often see her sitting on the patio with her sketchbook in hand – now I am actually in that sketchbook!).

So – what can I say about me. Well – I am married to the wonderful Henrietta (who you may have met) and dad to two wonderful children Hugo and Holly. I love my allotment – and weather permiting spend lots of time there – when I am not taking the kids to band practice, ballet, karate (and of course school!) – it’s a bit manic here at times. But Henrietta keeps us all organised and ship shape!

I know Jac has lots of doodles to show you throughout the week – we are featured until Saturday when a new feature creature will be chosen – but Jac has already said she’d love me to be in some future adventures,  so do keep following her. I for one can’t wait to see what creature is featured next week!

This weeks blog guest, Horace Hedgehog and his family, featured in doodles from 23rd to 29th June. Tune into my FB page every day at 6pm UK time for a dose of Daily Doodles.
Jac xx