Friday, 24 May 2013

Recruiting a Gardening Writer

Passionate about gardening & plants ...  read on  .... 

I'm looking for someone who loves gardening, writes beautifully and has the time and inclination to write concise informative articles on the subject of gardening and plants twice a month for a small family run gardening company's blog. 

The rate is £35 per article and will generally be about 600 words. 

Please email me with an example of something you have written and your phone number if you are interested. 

Some food knowledge would be useful.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Stupid? Brave? or just Premenstrual?

Photographing Ricotta 

Can you even be bothered to answer the question?

Well I rarely write about being fed up ..  but I am tired and bored of apathetic people. It seems that the world is overloaded with watchers who fail to engage. A thousand silent eyes.

I spent two days putting together a blog post.  I traveled to Chelsea, interviewed experts on the subject, spent time photographing, writing, creating and editing what I consider to be an attractive and informative blog post and then tweeted.  Nothing.

I tweeted again a few hours later.


After chatting to a few people, retweeting some things I found interesting and then  .. you guessed it .. I tweeted my post again.

So I was left wondering what is the point? Does my writing have no value? Are my photographs unworthy of even a moment?  It's like playing your heart out to an empty theatre.

I don't write for rating.  I don't blog for statistics.  I blog because I am communicating.  It's two way thing.

Frankly I've watched over the past year or so as so much of Twitter has degenerated to a load of total and utter twaddle.  Auto posts by bloggers too tired and lazy to bother tweeting themselves who signed up to various pieces of software to tweet on their behalf drive me potty.

It;s really partly my fault .. I've been guilty of just following people based on a whim and all of a sudden I am following over 800 people.  Yes I know that you can do lists  .. but really isn't that a bit pointless?

Then there is the serial competition  re tweeter.  Good God ( if I believed in one.)  I'm all for the odd competition yes it's fun to try and win something by pressing a button ..  but every tweet?

Oh and now I've got started .. there are the watchers.  The ones you engage with for a moment and they lurk not engaging with you ever ever again.  Just looking. So I feel like I am shouting in the dark.

I put a tremendous amount of effort into my both my blogs and my twitter, but you know two years ago when a post was written people would take some kind of interest. A beautiful photo was commented on, a good recipe re tweeted a news story shared, but not anymore.

To be fair I am at a loss as to what constitutes something worth commenting on or engaging with and I refuse to be rude about people,  I am not going to be horrible about something for the sake of a response, and I'm not going to move to London and try to get in with the in crowd of foodies just to be up with latest food fashion.

To be honest it's partly my own fault.  I try to respond to every tweet that is to me .. but in truth I can't engage with the people I like because I have followed so many people simply because they followed me.  So what I would do in real life?  Well I suppose I would value quality over quantity and so I'm going to unfollow all the people I am following just because they are following me.  I am really sorry if I hurt anyones feelings but frankly I feel totally overwhelmed following so many silent people.

update at 7.30pm 

I wonder .. . now that I have reduced the number of people I follow by over 500 I wonder how many will feel the need to unfollow me because I am not following them?  .. oh .. nope ..   I've stopped wondering now.

Deep breath.

Oh and do you like the photo from my new cheese making course?  .. on second thoughts I won't ask  ...  in case I just un -followed you......

Monday, 20 May 2013

Learn to be silent. The Mindfulness Garden Chelsea 2013

 Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb. In silence you will see benefit in all things’

Learn to be silent.  Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.
In silence you will see benefit in all things

It’s tempting when life is busy to rush everything.  Every conversation is cut short, meals are eaten on the run, projects lay scattered half finished and you wakeup the next day with more on your to do list than there was the day before, despite having worked from the moment you open your eyes until you shut them.

Certainly for me life is so busy I am almost caught on a merry go round that is stuck in 5th gear and I’m not sure how to slow it down.  So despite it feeling like a great inconvenience, I do make the time to meditate. I am a superfast at making myself relax and I will admit it’s not for everyone, but I take about 15 minutes out each day to practice mindfulness and it really grounds me.  It’s as though my world is turned into slow motion.  I listen to every breath and connect myself to now. It’s amazing just how much good it does me.  Occasionally I go the The Buddhist Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre based just down the road from me in Kelmarsh, to a drop in class, but mainly I meditate at home.  If I am out and about I play Speigel in Speigel, which just transports me out of myself. 

I was at the 100th Chelsea Flower Show today, and although I was tempted to rush about and try and capture every garden, instead I decided to catch one and share the one that really caught my eye.  Strangely for me it was The Mindfulness Garden which is designed to remind show visitors of the need to focus in uncertain times that took my breath away.   I spoke to Martin Cook who explained that the garden contrasts chaos and turmoil against calm, mindfulness and quiet through careful and somewhat playful planting and use of sculptures. The garden features paving and a carved seat by Martins son and a carved spiral made of Cumbrian blue/black slate. The York stone paving was carved with lines from Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem ‘If’ and the slate you can see in the photo about is inscribed with Pythagoras’s verse ‘Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb. In silence you will see benefit in all things’

* Now there is a challenge.  Certainly for me ... Learn to be silent.  Stop laughing ...   I have been know to be quiet .. very occasionally. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

No time to blog.

Juniper and Rose Cookery School 

Oh running a cookery school and keeping up with the Juniper and Rose blog means I am not having enough time to keep up my usual blogging here.  Bear with me. i will be back with some delicious Fairtrade recipes as soon as I get a chance!

In the mean time check out the Juniper and Rose blog ... which is up to date with visits to my local dairy, my local flour mill and more ... 

Friday, 3 May 2013

The Moulton Morris Dancers

I know it's nothing to do with food or cookery, but I love living in a community and I just had to share these pictures.  You see Morris Dancing almost disappeared in the 1980's.  But like real food it's had a renaissance and it was so good to walk to my local pub, with the children, watch these fantastic chaps and have a pint of Pot Belly, our local beer and laugh .. and laugh. 

Moulton Morris Dancers