Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy birthday, Mum

It's been a somewhat rubbish week, the kind when you think to yourself that it's all a bit much and it would be easier to go to bed and not wake up, "To cease upon the midnight with no pain", as Keats said. And then you pull yourself together and realise that this is ridiculous: poor young Keats was dying of TB and would have been happy if his worst problems had been ... well, anything but that. So you cheer up a bit and think about the white lilac in the garden, which smells like heaven.

And lovely Daughter 2, representing here lovely Daughter 1, Son, Mr Life and other friends and relations.

And cats. Happiness, or something very like it, is a warm cat.

And the garden helps a lot too.

The lawn is pink with cherry blossom.

The sitooterie* is an arbour of clematis.

The bluebells are very pretty, though getting out of control - must dig some up after they've finished flowering.

More lilac. Nothing could smell sweeter.

Lovely lovely irises.

Today we took my mother to Peebles to celebrate her 87th birthday. The weather wasn't exactly tropical.

But we had a nice lunch in the Park Hotel and then in the evening Daughter 1, Son-in-Law, my mum and my aunt came for a meal with Mr Life, Daughter 2, her actor boyfriend and me.

So life goes on and there are many blessings to be counted. It would be easier, however, to be a cat. Less interesting, though. And I wouldn't like not being able to read.
* A sitooterie is a place to sit out... oot... in the garden. A seat with a framework of some kind.


  1. Happy birthday to your mother! She's looking very elegant.

    Your gardens always give me a cozy feeling. If mine are ever half as nice, I'll be proud.

  2. Love Your SitooteryI would love to sit there amd smell the lilac I love lilac but we dont grow it here.Its a smell I remember from when I was Young in Scotland good memories Happy Birthday to your Ma.Its mothers day here in Australia today.
    Hugs Mary.

  3. Yoou mother looks marvellous for her age! Happy belated birthday to her.

  4. Oh, it would be wonderful to be a cat! But only one of OUR cats, who, as we know, have delightful lives with us. But thinking through the logic of this idea, my brain begins to hurt a bit....

    Anyway, a warm cat is always a comfort in times of gloom and despair. (And a flower-filled garden. And lovely family... But they can only be improved by the addition of warm cats.)

  5. My mother-in-law (in Airdrie) used to have a sitooterie.

    And she pronounced it just like that, so when I read that on your blog I smiled and heard her saying it in my head. Thank you.

  6. Everywhere I've been in the past week I've seen seas of bluebells and clouds of exactly that colour clematis! I hsdn't realized until now that it smells as divine as it looks!

  7. Happy Birthday to your mum - she looks very at home in the regal setting of the hotel in Peebles. (I love Peebles - it's in a sort of time warp all of its own).
    Do bluebells spread then? (Thinks to self: hmmm, plant bluebells - lots of flowers for little effort?)

  8. Sorry to hear that you've been blue, but your counting of blessings yeilded an impressive array. Happy Birthday Ma Life and I hope next week is just lovely for you all.

    Lesley x

  9. Sorry about your 'glooms', but it seems you have captured all the ways to beat them into submission.

    Elegant Mama, Happy Birhtday.

  10. Why so gloomy? I can only see joyous things...

    flowers of such gorgeousness (rather than an overgrown weedy jungle)
    Lovely mother and charming restaurant, (as opposed to parent with kidney failure in hospital)
    Beautiful daughter ( well, I have one of those too but mine has a vile temper)
    and fabulous kitties..... (oh, snap)

    I have never smelt lilac, I don't think. But i always wanted to be the Lilac fairy in the ballet...

  11. I'm sorry to hear you are having a rotten week, but glad that you are taking comfort where you can.

    Sitooterie. That is fabulous. I think I'll make me one at my house.

  12. Oh, Happy, Happy Birthday Sweet Mum! I hope it was wonderful, surrounded by family and friends.

    Sorry your week wasn't quite up to par Isabelle. My week was pretty crappy too. Maybe we should find an island somewhere where we could run and hide! ;-)

  13. What a gorgeous garden you have Isobelle! All the hard work you put into it really shows.

    I know the bluesy feeling all too well; I had it all winter and half the spring too. As someone wise reminded me recently, "this too, shall pass". Doesn't help much at the time, I know, but I like the part afterwards when it has indeed passed, and you can turn around to yourself and say "See? Told you so!"

    One of the things brightening my days at the moment is a lovely wee book about a young boy and a big, white cat... just the thing to curl up with on a sunny day and get lost in. It's making me feel warm, smile lots and think of my favorite English teacher. Lovely!

  14. I've got jamine starting to grow over my sitooterie. It will be heavenly this year. Belated birthday greeting to your mum - she looks very beautiful!

  15. I hope it is a better week for you this week. Some time spent out in your sitooterie with the scent of lilacs wafting by, sounds like it might help. Or just falling asleep on top of the chest of drawers bathed in sunlight like one of your cats ...
    take care

  16. Greetings all round, especially to your mother. Fancy having so many bluebells you have to contemplate yanking them out! The garden looks blissfully beautiful. I hope the causes of gloom go away and you feel more cheerful soon. But how lovely to be with family. My tiny garden is succumbing to autumn and the forthcoming winter, and the kaffir lime has started dropping its leaves. Give those cats some strokes from me.

  17. What a lovely day--those beautiful flower pictures. I'd be so happy if I could grow poppies.

  18. Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Mrs Life Senior - She is looking very good for 87!
    I am always happy with our rustic, untamed Australian native front and back yards...until I see a beautiful English/Scottish garden with all those flowers. How could you not be happy with all those colours around you? But then, you haven't got Kookaburras laughing at you, to cheer you up on those blue days. I guess you'd rather keep your flowers, lol!

  19. What a beautiful lady your mum is, I hope I can sit up that straight when I'm 87!

    sorry you had a rubbish week, hope it gets better, and you get some nice weather to sit oot in!

  20. I was in Peebles on exactly the same day as you. We probably passed each other in the street!