Sunday, April 29, 2007

Flowers. And the difficulty of following my own advice.

Edinburgh in general, and my garden in particular, are one huge meringue of cherry blossom at the moment. (I mistyped this just now as “cheery blossom” – quite appropriate, really.) So pretty! And the lilac makes the air smell heavenly.
Fifi commented after my last post that St Cloud sounds like an imaginary place. Gosh, surely not. That suggests that Lake Wobegon might be imaginary too and I want to go there some day: the town where it’s always been a quiet week, where everyone is nice underneath a tiny bit of grumpiness and where things are bound to turn out right in the end. Oh, and Molly – Garrison Keillor has a weekly column? And you get to hear his radio programme? (Or, program, I suppose.) Not fair!

I don’t know quite what came over me in the previous post where I decided to give the world (or a very small part of it) the benefit of my accumulated wisdom, including the part about not handing out advice… . Apart from that little irony, I can imagine a quiet guffaw echoing round Scotland from my dearly beloved children. Well, I did say that I wasn’t actually the best at following my own principles, didn’t I? I’m quite good at biting my tongue for a little while… and then a tiny bit (ok, a great big bit) of advice just tends to burst out like the water from a dam. (Not that I’ve ever seen a bursting dam. But I can imagine.) This advice is usually on the subject of the girls’ significant others: the lovely son-in-law (whom I love to bits, but who has depression (though he currently seems to be improving again, fingers crossed)) and Daughter 2’s boyfriend, who is trying to get work as an actor. Hmm. Nice enough chap but… . Hmm.
Will try to be a better person from now on.

My workmates gave me these flowers

and this hydrangea on Thursday as a sympathy present. How lovely!


  1. Always enjoy your nice thoughtful posts.
    Those flowers are lovely, thanks for sharing.
    I love Hydrangeas, & had a lovely pink one.... GOM murdered it!

  2. We are allowed to hand out advice. We are older and wiser. It is our turn! I also have to restrain myself. Sigh.
    I love the photos. My lilac has just started blooming. It must be hotter or sunnier in Edinburgh than down south!Blossom is all out though and lovely. My apple tree has never been so heavy with blossom before.

  3. St. Cloud is indeed a place in Minnesota. But they pronounce it just like those fluffy things that scud across the sky, and not as the Parisians do, which sounds like "San-clue"! will try to find a web site where you can read GK's weekly column. I usually read it in the newspaper....

  4. I should think, if I were your children, how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful mother to give great advice! You can listen to A Prarie Home Companion on their website at
    I'm not sure if it's available all the time, or only during their broadcasts -- which could be a problem for you, as it would be in the middle of your night! We lived in Minnesota for three years and I loved it! It's cold, but beautiful!

  5. In the movie 'Cider House Rules' St Clouds was the name of the orphanage Tobey Maguire's character came from.. but in that movie they were in Maine. .."Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England."--Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) My late Mum loved lilac's and we had a tree in our backyard when I was young (it looked like a tree.. not a little plant). I also love hydrangea's and had a couple in a previous life. How nice for you to receive such lovely gifts from people at work!

  6. I used to stay in Paris with a friend who worked at "Porte de St Cloud"
    which I always imagined as a heavenly gate...

    I meant that st cloud is a place to consruct quite nicely in one's imagination. I havent read Lake Wobbegon Days, (Here, a wobbegong is a particularly ugly shark)

    However, blossoms again. They are almost mythical and imaginary. Lilac, Cherry Blossom, they are all from a fairy tale landscape for me.
    I did have Hydrangeas,once, but they had to be sacrificed in the big Garden Purge.
    I had to turn the garden over to natives only, and my prized collection of Hydrangeas couldnt survive the Post-Drought lifestyle.
    I miss them.
    Thank You for sharing yours, and sorry for the enormous comment.
    I hope Edinburgh blooms in Autumn too!

  7. Beautiful flower photos. I think I can almost smell the lilac.

  8. Isabelle, I too have difficulty keeping my oh so wise opinions to myself when it comes to the boyfriends issue ...

    And try as I will, I can't seem to find any answers in THE MANUAL.

    You know the one they give out at birth .....

    Am so jealous of your hydrangea!

  9. What beautiful flowers! I think it must be very hard biting your tongue as the kids get older -- right now I'm full of advice and they have to take it... "I really think you should eat your breakfast." "I really think you'll need a sweatshirt." "I really think you must be tired-- time for bed."

    What will happen to me when they learn to roll their eyes and walk away?

  10. Liz - you will have to start saying Come back here young man, I have not finished talking to you... or equivalent.

    Isabelle, I took no offence at the dance thing, as I quite agree about over-scheduling my own children. And as you so rightly point out, my tap-dancing classes are a very different kettle of fish!!

  11. I miss walking across the Meadows when the cherry blossom (made the same spelling mistake as you!) is out.

    you can listen to Garrison Keillor on BBC Radio 7 on Sundays and if you miss it you can listen to it from here

  12. I really enjoyed your wisdom list :o) The one about letting children play struck a chord as that is the philospophy my lovely Moomin adhered to when raising me and my two brothers :oD I think we've all turned out okay :oD

    And I just wish I could get organised enough for the "do it now" one... ah well. I plenty of un-posted letters, un-filled forms and general not doneness. I suppose for every one organised person in the world there needs to be a complete shambles like me! :o)

    Lovely hydrangea! :o)


  13. Such lovely blossoms! It's nice to see spring moving around the planet.

    I adore your advice, and if your daughters get a bit weary you're welcome to send it my way.

  14. Those are sooooo pretty! I wish I had a green thumb like you! All the colors are so vibrant!

  15. I'm so glad i came back for a second look! it's almost as much fun reading such entrancing comments as it is reading the original post...So now, with no effort on my part you should be able to tune in to PHC/Lake Woebegon "where all the women are good looking and all the children above average!' let us know what you think of it......

    On giving advice [to offspring], I just counter their objections with 'It's my job." Saying "come back here young man, I'm not finished....." loses it's impact when they're towering over you...

    Aha! I KNEW there had to be a manual out there....why did I never get one??

  16. Lovely to see the blue sky behind the Cherry Blossom! My parents-in-law are currently in your stomping ground of Scotland, lucky ducks! They are "doing" England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for 4 weeks, before going to Greece and the Greek Islands for another 4 weeks.


  17. Yes, you need to listen to NPR on the computer -- especially when A Prairie Home Companion does its annual comedy show. DH doesn't really see the appeal of PHC and makes me feel like a 90-year-old woman for listening to the show. You should have seen his face when I suggested we could get tickets for it...

  18. Anonymous12:27 am

    I was recommended this web site via my cousin. I'm no longer certain whether or not this post is written via him as nobody else realize such unique approximately my trouble. You're incredible!
    Thank you!
    Also see my webpage > Free Annual Credit Report