Birthday Memories and the Vanity of the Long Distance Blogger.

Firstly, the answer to the question posed in my last post, is that 1284 litres of water fell on every square metre of our garden from November 2nd to February 9th, (when our garden was filmed for BBC2 Gardener’s World) in our wettest ever spell. That’s a heck of a lot of rain!S1010084a (2)

But more significantly for me, it’s now 5 years since this blog began.SDIM5642 (2)

I’m still seeing new things.SDIM5587 (2)

What has been just the last 5 minutes of my whole life hour, has passed with breakneck speed. So very few, earlier, memories from the preceding 55 minutes seem recollectable, in part since my brain seems to be bowing to the inevitable, and beginning to stutter as both hands reach skywards at an accelerating pace.SDIM5502 (2a) (2)

Yet what has been spied, sifted, and shoehorned into these last 300 seconds?SDIM5677 (4) When I began the blog, I questioned how long my enthusiasm would survive.



But here I am, still experiencing things in this rural backwater which I feel motivated to describe visually and verbally. SDIM5681 (2)

What a wonderful world we’re fortunate to live in, to constantly inspire my thoughts.SDIM5608 (2)

I see from the WordPress stats, page that this is my 150th blog post. There are also now 115 separate pages on the website. And 1,866,000,000 different bytes of data, (a byte is equivalent to the 8 ‘bits’ or numbers of computer language, which code for single numbers or letters), have apparently been uploaded by me onto our website, to capture my random, synapsed and shuttered thoughts, over this period. S1010005 (3)That’s a scarily BIG number of numbers. And how can these 300 seconds be reduced to mere 1’s and 0’s – or whatever digits are now used in computer speak?

But isn’t that what all English speaking writers try to communicate with just 26 characters? SDIM5658 (2)At least I have a camera to help me.

But is getting just the right picture, even more demanding of time and effort than choosing the appropriate words?

Sometimes, I really think it is. SDIM5731 (2)And the great thing is, that as the memories fade, one can revisit these thoughts, ideas and images and rediscover the thrill of the initial exploration. Should one feel so inclined, and digital meltdown permitting.SDIM5688 (2)

So perhaps an indulgence like this blog, is indeed the perfect form of vanity, to accompany the long-term vanity project that making and tending a garden can easily become. The permissible vanity of the long distance, gardener-blogger, where the effort of a single post achieves extra merit, as being a mere ‘bit’ part of the bigger story, of the longer term struggle.SDIM5714 (2)

In skip reviewing these 5 years of posts for this piece, I found one from 29/05/2013, (click here for more) with some wonderful quotes about what gardening can mean and achieve – lifting one above the mundane, and sometimes even glimpsing a higher plane. These moments really do occur for us sometimes – no, even often, in this magical place.SDIM5751 (2)Maybe by trying to share some of these personal glimpses, I shift mere selfish record keeping, to a more communal enjoyment?

I hope so.SDIM5610 (2) Certainly from the very early stages, it has never seemed a lonely path to tread, and for that I’m very grateful to those readers who have joined me for part or all of this journey.SDIM5793 (2)

The above images are from the last 2 weeks, but for those who might have missed some key moments from earlier on, here are a few of my favourite highlights – very few more words for once, (phew), just some images and ideas appropriately compressed into just a few seconds. I hope you enjoy them.

Red Skies

2013-12-27b2013-11-15a2013-12 -162013-09-15SDIM4909 (2)29 09 2011 (2)2013 01 21SDIM5243 (2)28 12 201215 11 2012 Magic Mushrooms

2013-10-13a2013-10-13sdim9930-2sdim5739-28 12 2011SDIM7012 (2)S1010067 (2)28 06 201206 04 2012SDIM5055 (2)White Outs

2013- 01 - 20sdim5915-213 12 20112013-03-22sdim8321-2Snowdrops 2 text.jpg a (2)2013-03-232013-01-20 otter tunnel Sub Zero

2013-04-01sdim5991-2SDIM9749 (2)2013 -01-15SDIM9931 (2)sdim5699-2SDIM0299 (2)16 12 2012aSDIM5389 (2)SDIM5627 (3)16 12 2012 Rain Bows 

27 09 2012 b2013-12-27d13 05 20112014-06-17S1010074 (2)S1010014 (2)2013 -10-27 Spring Flowers2014-02-14

2013-02-22SDIM0637 (2)SDIM0752 (2)SDIM0744 (2)SDIM1497 (2)2013-05-10SDIM1690 (2)SDIM0717 (2)2014-03-0916 05 20122014-03-30aSDIM2413 (2)SDIM2136 (2) New Lives 

2013 -03-112013-05-202013-03-282013-07-1623 09 20112014-07-192013-06-29 Flying By

30 06 20112013 - 02- 082014-07-19a25 03 20122014-06-04c15 08 2012 a08 09 201115 04 20012Sunny Scenes 

SDIM2049 (2)SDIM2243 (2)2014-06-04g2014-06-27b2014-06-04f2014-05-17

Mist Opportunities 

12 06 201205 12 201211 11 201217 11 2011sdim5657-22013-09-30c2013-11-15a Citizen Science

compost-reactor-temperature-readings-december-20122014-01-112013-12-17SDIM0223 (3)15-06-2010s1010051-2s1010052-210 04 2012 Pond Life

28 10 2012SDIM9394 (2)12 04 2012SDIM7388ab (2)



2013-04-1520 09 2011Norwegian Wood

22 11 2011 a22 11 201127 09 2011 (2)sdim5687-227 09 2011

 True Colours

15 04 201210 10 201220 08 20112013-12-1625 05 2011SDIM4243 (2)18 09 2012SDIM4768 (2)30 08 2012 a2013-10-13 cSDIM3213 (2)2013 -05-1229 08 201206 09 2012a13 04 201212 09 20122013-08-30 c06 09 2012 d2014-06-17c04 06 2012 a2013-05-262013 -5-29

Brief Encounters

2013-10-27c2014-03-1704-23-20137 08 2011 grey dagger28 05 201115 08 201221 09 2012 d27 09 2012S10501312013-08-16a06 09 20122013-08-17S1070132 (2)S1070024.aJPG (2)SDIM9537 (2)2014-05-17bSDIM8978 (2)2014-04-2222 06 2012 Around About

24 05 20112013-06-122013-06-30S1000037 (2)S1000022 (3) Welcome Visitors

2013-06-252013 - 09-15 c2013-07-16a2013-07-30cSDIM4876 (2)01 06 2012S1010054 (2)05 09 2011 Common Darter17 04 201113-05-2011

Meadow Moments2014-06-04a2014-06-04bSDIM5010 (2)2014-06-27S1040042 (2)2013-10-27b2013-09-15 e31 07 2011S1070183 (2)11 05 2011

 Two’s CompanyS1010010 (3a)SDIM0488 (2)SDIM8727 (3)2013-08-30SDIM0178 (2)SDIM3513 (2)S1020024 (2)a (2)13 04 2011S1000016.aJPG (2)

16 thoughts on “Birthday Memories and the Vanity of the Long Distance Blogger.

  1. Magic memorable moments- thank you for sharing these photo treasures and many congratulations on your 5 year brilliant blog. Can’t wait to see and read what the next 5 years bring to you and Fiona- what I do know is that it will be very interesting!

  2. Five years of fantastic photographs and an eclectic range of such interesting subjects. Why blog? I often as myself that question. I know I have learnt such a lot from following blogs which has entirely changed the way I look at gardening and life in general. Amelia

  3. Hi Julian, You have shared some really wonderful, interesting and creative photographs, I really enjoy the insight into your life in Wales and to your creative thoughts. I enjoy your writing too and mostly understand although occasionally you lose me with some of your more boffiny stuff! My daughter encouraged me to blog, mostly its fun, finding enough time is the trickiest part. I’ve been lucky to meet folk like you and take part in one of your events and my eyes have been opened to all sorts of diverse and inspiring blogs across the world. Happy Blogging versary!

    • Hello Julie,
      Thanks for the really kind comment. I do think running a blog is a hugely stimulating and challenging experience, and admire anyone who can do it over any length of time, as indeed you do. It’s also more impressive done alongside a proper job, unlike my unusual situation where I have too much time on my hands. Sorry if my boffiny bits aren’t always clear enough! It’s another of my challenges in going into subjects which I only have a shallow knowledge of, and then trying to write about them in a comprehensible way…
      Best wishes

  4. An inspiring post and a truly fabulous collection of photographs. I only ‘found’ you relatively recently but have thoroughly enjoyed sharing your thoughts and garden with you. Happy blogging birthday and here’s to the next five years!

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