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  • Writer's pictureChristine Collister

Beautiful buds are bursting!

Blogpost No4 April 2023

Another month another Blogpost … thanks for dropping by. April has been a breath of fresh air. So much of nature is coming back to life. Trees are bursting with buds that bloom into beautiful blossom. It’s a veritable cornucopia of beauty. I love it.

I’ve been putting off entering the Green House but when April turned up I decided it was the perfect time to reacquaint myself with growing things. Bob, bless him, had surreptitiously cleaned up the winter detritus and so my re-entry was made so much easier. On April 1st , a whole day earlier than last year, I sowed the seeds for peas; French beans; Dwarf French beans, carrots, tomatoes and chanced potting a number of fruit pips and stones in small pots, just to see what might occur. So far, nothing is stirring in the fruit tree department but there’s time yet. However French beans are breaking the surface and I have a tray full of pea shoots that make my heart soar.

A few days later I also planted several beds of potatoes, a variety of wild flowers in the greenhouse, spring onions, different varieties of tomatoes and I dared to sow Aubergines. Who knows what will thrive? In a way it doesn’t matter, as I’m just thrilled by the surprise of it all. I’ve added a few strawberry plants to my already flowering crop, originally planted in 2021, and they’re looking fab. I also had fun planting up 3 wellies worth of Strawberries which make me smile. I gave the pair of wellies/strawberries to my nephew Aaron who last year had great fun tending his very own small but bountiful fruit and veg patch.

I continue to draw every day. I still think I’m no better than when I started out Jan 1st but perhaps there might be a modicum of improvement … alas I’m no budding genius. But the satisfaction is very real and worth the effort. I did faces for March and continue along that theme, though I think I’ve reached the end of my interest for the time being. I might try my hand at details of the face to see if I could maybe get a little more skilled at the whole face later on in a few months? Why not?

Mum is slowly, slowly, recuperating from her fall in February but things in general are not great. The slips into alternate worlds is almost constant now and can take us by surprise moment by moment. The challenge of going with someone else’s, skewed, view of reality is that … second guessing isn’t really a skill you can improve. No matter which way you look at it it’s always a guess. There are no structures with which to hold on to or navigate by. No sign-posts or clear maps to show the way. There are many and varied conversational cul-du-sacs that leave us feeling baffled. Yet mum must feel like that 99.99% of the time, so we pick up our best second-guessing shovels and dig ourselves deeper till we find a way to the other side; only to pick up that bloody shovel again minutes, sometimes seconds, later. It is what it is. There are moments of levity and shrieks of laughter at some of our/her antics and misheard, misunderstood-ness. Mostly there’s bemusement and anticipation, senses highly tuned listening, watching for the next U-turn, space/time dis-continuum. Beam me up Scotty!

The garden is looking magnificent. The cherry tree is in full flouncy pink blossomy bloom and tulips, pansies, violets and flowering plants I have no names for, are vying for attention with their fabulous, flashy, full blown colours. There’s such promise everywhere I look. Even the beach is starting to look more welcoming and less wild than even a few days ago. Today in particular is so still. The reflections of billowy whiter-than-white clouds on the glossy calm sea and wet mirror-like sand this morning, were breath taking. These small moments of joy and wonder fill me up and fuel the rest of my day. They are a necessary ballast. They allow me to feel incredibly blessed. Life is a miracle nest pas?

I am starting to make a list of possible songs for my FB Live on Saturday May 13th 10am (BST). It might be the only Live performance I get to do this year. I don’t want to think about that too much. I’m getting ready to practice. This is not my favourite pastime … when working with other performers you get to rehearse and it’s super fun. On ones own … it turns to practice and it’s not the daft, light-hearted experience a rehearsal can be. But I’m excited to tread the sunroom carpet or perhaps I’ll sing in the greenhouse surrounded by my burgeoning crops? Wherever I am I hope you’ll join me. I’ll only do a short 6 or 7 song set as I know it’s difficult keeping people’s attention online. I’ll be there anyway …

I was very excited to view the efforts of the Artful Dodgers on Thursday this week. They are a small group of oil painting artists under the fabulous tutelage of Anna Clucas. My very dear friend Claire Ormerod, whom I’ve been close friends with since we were 11, is an Artful Dodger herself and she suggested the group might be interested in using The Children Of The Sea to create some imagery I could use in the book. We spoke to Anna and she agreed. So I visited them all one Thursday in January at the IOM College where their Thursday morning class takes place. I gave everyone access to digital copies of the songs and they set to putting brush and oil paint to paper.

Fast forward a few months et voila there are now some amazing pieces of art all inspired by my wee songs! It’s all very exciting and I’m absolutely certain that many of the images will find their way into the book. The only reason everything won’t be used is that several songs have inspired several pieces each and there won’t be enough space in the book to place each of the images. Choosing which work best within the design of the book is a wonderful problem to have. With their permission I’ll share all the artwork on the website once we’re ready to publish. I think you’ll be as impressed as I am by everything they’ve created. Thank you Artful Dodgers!

Instead of a special recording for the Blogpost this month I’ve decided to share a demo of a song I co-wrote with the amazing L.A. musician/producer/songer/songwriter Rob Laufer back in 2015. We wrote a handful of songs around the time but never found a place for them. Maybe one day they’ll find their time to shine? You never know. Hope you enjoy this quirky wee ditty:

Ok gorgeous Blogpost reader of mine ❤️ thanks as always for stopping by to see what's been going on on the tiny isle and in my small but lovely existence. I trust you are well and keeping yourself as upbeat as possible. You matter to me.

Till next month mon amie 🥰 stay well and keep rising above the turbulence!

With immense love x Christine x 🙏❤️🙏 x

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