Saturday, 28 July 2007

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Frequently in my posts I speak of how, at Barleycorn, we live in an open and windswept landscape. Today I thought I'd record another little video, this time showing the strong south westerly wind making waves as it whooshes across the adjacent barley field, while the trees dance in motion to the haunting song of the breeze.

Wind through the barley

The song of the breeze

Ephemeral poppies

The tracery of trees

Barleycorn - magic!

A feast for the eyes

Our little corner of paradise.

If you turn up the volume on the little video below, you will hear the full force of the gusts of wind.

To view the latest blooms at Barleycorn click here

To view my silk and tie-dye painting of a sea horse click here

To view photos from my visit to Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens click here

Wind Through The Barley

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

A Morning Walk

When I bounced out of bed this morning to feed the hungry, mewing Barleycorn cats, I opened the back door and saw the wind making waves across the pale, golden barley in the adjacent field.

The front of the house faces east, however, where the sun was shining brightly, beckoning me to come out and play, instead of beginning the day by 'blitzing' the house and occupying myself with other boring minutia of life which gets done on a 'needs must' basis when the gardening season is here. Monster agreed and hid in the Barleycorn jungle of plants.

The cats all followed me, though Titch was last as he is always the hungriest and feels the need to empty his bowl just in case there's a famine.

Taz decided to stretch out on the warm paving, thus showing me that housework can wait when there are important things like a spot of sunbathing to catch up on.

Jaffa looked for a spot of semi-shade, with the rising sun on his back.

Cookie settled near the shade of the poppies and daisies.

In the cool of the early evening, I went around the side of the house to gather the first of the Barleycorn strawberry harvest.

The music accompanying the little video below is Grieg's 'Morning' from Peer Gynt Suite No 1.

Further photographs of what's happening at Barleycorn are, as always, on my photo blog. Click here

Morning At Barleycorn

Friday, 20 July 2007

Eight Random Facts About Me

I have been tagged by to give eight random facts about myself. In turn, I would like to offer the challenge to and

I have no way of knowing who has been tagged in the past, so if anyone reading this post would like to take up the challenge, please feel free to do so :)

Being flexible is one of my key principles in life. To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go go creating oneself endlessly.

I am an incurable optimist by nature, always looking on the bright side of things, which my husband says is a euphemism for 'idealist'. My husband, on the other hand, is more of a pessimistic nature, but he prefers to think of himself as a realist.

I would describe us in this way... I am like Tigger, full of insatiable energy and bouncing around. He has a strong tendency to be like Eeyore, with his, 'Oh, no! Not another rainy day!'

Whenever I get too 'high', he tugs on that invisible cord between us and brings me back down to earth. Whenever he gets too 'low', I pull him back up again. They say opposites attract. I'd say it's that magical thing called love :)

My maiden name is of Norwegian descent. It means 'Fresh pastures at the top of the mountains', as in the story of Heidi, when she took the goats to the fresh mountain pastures after winter. No doubt my ancestors were Vikings who came to Scotland and settled on farms, though a few of my relatives are sailors.
For moments of relaxation I like to do su dokus and crosswords, though, when I have a longer spell I love to sit and read through some of my favourite poetry books or browse through my collection of art books too, especially paintings of Turner, Titian, Rembrandt and Caravaggio.
Artistic expression has always played a major role in my life, so much so, that I feel I am full of restless creativity. I was born with the gift of being able to turn my hand to most things, which means I am never bored.
Light is important to me. Light is knowledge. Enlightenment is about the lightening of the mind and the spirit. For me, light has a spiritual dimension. I like things that are lighter, brighter, more colourful and happier...and, therefore, full of laughter.

I am a Christian. In this complex mystery we live in, nothing makes sense to me without my faith. It colours my attitude to everything I do in my life, from how I have dealt with personal adversity, such as my mum's gruelling death from cancer and my brother's life being cut short by unscrupulous men, to my attitude to giving to others less fortunate and learning to forgive.

I believe faith's greatest challenge comes, not from intellectual argument, but from a heart broken by grief and despair. While knowledge may make a person look big, it is only love that can make one grow to full stature, and we are mature only to the extent that we can love.

I believe we are the stewards of the earth, and that we should do all we can to leave the world a better place.

Faith and doubt march in a holy crusade against a common enemy - absolute certainty.

I agree with Martin Israel when he said that love is the keystone of the arch that joins the soul to God.

My favourite prayer is by Michel Quoist.

Lord, I have time,
I have plenty of time,
All the time that you give me,
The years of my life,
The days of my years,
The hours of my days,
They are all mine.
Mine to fill quietly, calmly,
But to fill completely, up to the brim,
To offer them to you, that of their insipid water
You may make a rich wine such as you made once
In Cana of Galilee.
I am not asking you today, Lord,
For time to do this and then that,
But your grace to do conscientiously,
In the time you give me,
What you want me to do.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Stormy Weather.

We have had smirry showers, torrential rain creating enormous puddles and thunder and lightning storms in this area for the best part of the last six weeks. Today we had another thunderstorm.

Afterwards, the sun came out and shone across the barley in the adjacent field, giving it a golden hue. Although the flowers in the garden are looking rather bedraggled and windswept, with many of the petals having been scattered on the ground, Barleycorn still holds a special magic for me, even in its wild state.

After the storm I decided to take the little video called Summertime At Barleycorn. Photos showing what's in bloom here are, as usual, in

Summertime At Barleycorn

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Bloggers For Positive Global Change Award

I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this award by Mark Ecclestone whose blog is

In his profile he says : For as long as I can remember I have been interested in Nature and Wildlife. But my interest in plants and gardening came later. I feel that this might be due to the fact , that as a child I was dragged around garden centres and nurseries every weekend and I hated it. It wasn't until I had a house and family of my own that the uncontrollable urge to visit them again began to surface. The purchase of a digital camera in 2002 was the start of a new obsession, PHOTOGRAPHY. It seemed natural to start to photograph the nature, wildlife and plants that have always interested me so much. The Blog will keep you up to date with how all my interests continue to develop.You can view more of my images at Dragons and Damsels Wildlife Photography.

The award is the brain child of Climate Of Our Future to commemorate blogger's efforts around the world to share their knowledge, thoughts and inspirations in making this a better, healthier, more sustainable world.

Meme Rules

It’s easy to participate in this meme. At minimum, you can proudly display the BPGC badge (it’s available in two varieties: Transparent GIF and JPEG with white background) on your blog and bask in the glow of our collective good will. If you are sharing the kudos, however, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.

The participation rules are simple:

When you get tagged, write a post with links to up to 5 blogs that you think are trying to change the world in a positive way.
In your post, make sure you link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you’re tagging, so they know they’re now part of the meme.
Optional : Proudly display the “Bloggers For Positive Global Change” award badge with a link to the post that you write up.

So, in keeping with the participation rules below-- I, in turn, pass this Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award to the following 5 bloggers:

1. Yolanda Elizabeth of

In her profile she says : Horti-barbarica, Dutch, of the female persuasion, garden and interior designer, gardening on heavy clay and digging it! Author of many articles, published in various magazines throughout the world about cats, genetics, cattery management, feline behaviour etc. and has written a book : De Blauwe Rus (the Russian Blue Cat).

In her profile she says : A Scottish Garden Diary following the seasons through its plants, visiting birds and wildlife. Centrally located, this small private garden is in Perthshire which is a very scenic part of Scotland.

In her profile she says : I am a Doctor with a passion for gardening. Being a working woman and a mother of a two year old, whatever little time I get I like to spend with my lants. It gives me immense pleasure and contentment to see my garden bloom.

In her profile she says : My real name is Kim. I grew up on the edge of the former Black Swamp in NW Ohio but now live (and garden) near the sandy shores of Lake Erie in NE Ohio. My house, built in 1919, occupies a small urban lot. I am trying to build a small garden there that 1) thinks big, 2) is environmentally sensitive, 3) marries form (aesthetics) with function (edibles), and 4) still fosters the sense of wonder and humour that all memorable gardens seem to have.

In her profile she says : When taking photos of the wonderful world of insects and plants, please remember that they are just as important as you. I would never harm an insect or destroy a plant just to get a good photo. I want to have fun taking photos but don't intend to compromise nature in doing so!

These five blogs are very worthy of being recommended for this new award. When you visit them you will see all the different ways in which they are contributing to make the world a better place.