23.7.12

Comfort





 I wonder if all the lovely people who left such kind messages and sent sweet emails about our dear little Mouse will ever know just what a blessing they were, in a very dark time? Thank you hardly seems adequate, but - thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being recently moved to a strange area, there were no 'real life' friends to turn to, so every word was balm and helped me feel a little less lonely.





Although our new, temporary home isn't handy for immediate foot wandering - a busy country road runs along the edge of the barn, and it shakes when lorries and tractors thunder by - we drive out as often as we can, to get a sense of place and familiarise ourselves with the area. 

I have always found woods to be especially soothing - the mere whiff of damp leaf mould does more for me than a scented candle. And there are always treasures to find - coral fungus, baby frogs and strange stumps littering the forest floor.





A close look reveals a tiny bracken frond emerging from the old, rotting roots of the mother place. 






With all the wet weather, fungi and toadstools are already emerging. These woods are mostly conifers, making the woods acidic; perfect for stink horns. There were dozens of them in the first 'egg' form, strangely metallic and translucent.



 



 Stink horns are one of my favourite fungi, despite their smell and if you don't know what they look like after the egg stage, I dedicated an entire blog post to them once. 



 



But if you prefer the larger things in life, then on the edge of the woods there is a vast view of Shropshire from Oliver's Point.






Driving out towards the border and views across to the beautiful  Berwyn Mountains in nearby Wales.






While mourning my favourite cat,  I have conquered my 'painting block' which has lasted for about two years. This is another comfort.  The familiarity of painting has always soothed me. And tomorrow, Tuesday,  we go to look at a very promising cottage - unless there is something really wrong with it, or someone else snaffles it, we are daring to hope. 



29 comments:

Julia Guthrie said...

Woods are very healing I find...your new location looks to be a beauty. I hope the cottage will be 'the one' & you can settle in properly soon!
xxxxx

Vintage Jane said...

Your love of the area surrounding you is so infectious - I just wish I knew as much about the natural habitat as you do. Fingers crossed that the cottage will be 'the one'. M x

Charlotte said...

You just can't beat trees for making you feel better. Maybe that is why I and my boy make a beeline for the apple tree when things are not good (although only John can climb to the top for solace).

Shropshire is a county of trees, I hope it finds ways to worm into your heart like the Cotswolds. Keep painting too... I think all these things help sooth the pains of loss in their own small way. Fingers crossed for the cottage.

acornmoon said...

Hooray, she has found her paint brushes!!!

lisbonlioness said...

We must be sisters from different mothers. I would have taken the exact same photographs, and I too found the woods soothing and healing after I lost my Penny a few years ago. The pain never really goes away, but as long as you keep your amazing eye for beauty, you will cope.
I hope that cottage will have your name written all over it in big, big letters. Nothing like finally arriving home.

Lyn said...

I have just read your post about dear Mouse and I have cried a tear or two.
I am glad there was a happy life waiting for mouse as soon as she entered into this world and a peaceful end after many years of being loved.
xxx

ted and bunny said...

I wonder if you ever realise quite how inspirational you are to some of us out here?
What goes around...
xx
ps Bruce the Horse sends you a very special whiskery nuzzle of his very special pink nose bit- a bit reserved for comfort of an extra special kind, and proven to work in every case!

yvette said...

Gretel, glad you are feeling a little better :) regarding your home, I always say if things are meant to be....it will fall in your lap, don't be too disappointed if it doesn't, there is something else much better waiting for you :-)

Lynn said...

It is lovely to see the countryside through your eyes, especially a part of England I don't know. So glad that a walk in the woods raised your spirits too, as I know it is so hard to lose a loved friend, like your Mouse. Fingers crossed that the cottage is all you can wish for with no thundering traffic passing close by.

frayedattheedge said...

Fingers, toes and eyes firmly crossed to bring you luck with the cottage. Glad you have got your painting mojo back! I love the little froglet ....

ellen said...

There has been so much upheaval for you. I am holding good thoughts that this will be the happy place that you and Andy will be able to call home.
Sending love.

mountainear said...

Do hope you find happiness here in these border lands. They are not the wealthiest of places, rich only in the beauty of their unspoiled countryside. A fairly secret treasure. They give up their secrets slowly. People, we have found are warm and welcoming. Shropshire is a good place to be.

Fingers crossed for that cottage.

Barbara Prime said...

It was hard for me to read your previous post, as I also lost a beloved cat last week. However, there are many things to bring me comfort, as you also seem to have found. So I hope you are doing better, as well.
I love your little watercolours, so much like what I wished I could paint when I was younger. Perhaps I should dig out my brushes again...

Jane said...

My dear Gretel, I've only just seen these two posts. You have my deepest sympanthy on the loss of Mouse. I understand so much how you feel. I send you much love and kind thoughts, jane

the veg artist said...

Sometimes, when life is tough, just knowing that there are other people out there who understand can help.
All the best for the cottage vieiwing!

Nancy said...

Nature seems to always make things more gentle in your soul. Sometimes sitting out in my overgrown backyard is soothing when I'm stressed. I love listening to wind through leaves and water. I'm glad you are close enough to have an escape. Hopeing you find your cottage!

Frances said...

Gretel, it is lovely to read your words and see the photos in this post. I think that you all are little by little growing into your new location. Yes, many disruptions, challenges, and even a very sad farewell to lovely Mouse.

And yet. Your photo of your hand holding that watercolor brush surrounded by colors and paintings ... well, it's wonderful to see. Maybe you will remember my telling you how much I loved those long ago posts you sent about watercolor techniques, and what a fine teacher I consider you to be.

Think that you scoffed a bit, but I put that down to your sweet modesty.

About now, I realize that this comment is well on its way to a real ramble, and so I will try to rein it all in a bit.

What I do want to tell you is that I send lots of love to you and Andy and know that wonderful days are ahead. Including that new home. With brilliant light, easily accessible country walks, and room for a garden. xo

Lin said...

Aw, your heart will heal. It will. Oh, sure there will be this wee hole that has "Mouse" written all over it, but you go on....

And then you will smile at things like wee frogs and stuff. That's what keeps us going. :)

Glad you picked up the brushes again..

Sue said...

I was sad to see you lost your cat, but glad you are healing up. The painting will definitely help!
Good luck with that cottage! We'll want pictures! :-)

Jess said...

Don't you just love the name, 'stink horn'?! :)
Is that a new photo with you painting? I was wondering if you'd had a chance to do any more to your big one? Sending you lots of good wishes for the new cottage, I hope you both find a lovely new home to love, that will love you back. :)
Jess xx

Twiglet said...

I hope the little cottage is the one for you - best of luck. x Jo

Textureknit said...

Ah lovely Wales how I love pictures of countryside and Wales is even better.

Loving your painting of the house, I love the stylised image.

Fingers crossed to the cottage.

Elizabeth said...

So sorry to hear you are without your dear Mouse.
A walk in the woods helps me too ( except for the mosquitoes!)
I hope you find the home you have been looking for.

Laurel said...

Your tribute to Mouse was lovely. I loved the theme of all the unremarkable things that made her so very remarkable. She must have been a companion beyond compare. I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for the stink horn link, I know without yet having begun that I will love it.

Wishing you very good luck in your own cottage-snaffling tomorrow!

Stacey said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss of a beloved friend and companion. Taking a stroll through nature is often a very healing activity. Thank you for sharing some of the treasures and views along the way!

Trailshome said...

I do so love your fungus pictures, you see them so well and capture their special elusive beauty for us.

So sorry to hear that you lost your little Mouse. It's tough to lose a friend like that, but it's wonderful that you've found your watercolor gift again. My plan for this fall is to take a class in watercolor. I'm a trained graphic designer, but have never had the courage to try just drawing for the beauty of it. We'll see if I have any talent at it at all.

Keeping hopes up for you on the cottage search. Best wishes from the Owls Haven in Indiana.

Kris Keese said...

Dear Gretel,
I am also saddened at the loss of your 'Mouse". It is so much harder when everything is unsettled too. It is amazing how many people you touch through your lovely blog. We are all anxious to see you happily settled in a comfy home of your own.

Gemma Mortlock said...

Hey Gretel, Thank you for leaving such a lovely message on my blog! so glad to see things are looking up and ill keep my fingers crossed on the cottage for you! Im glad to hear you are feeling a little better after everyone's messages, people can be so sweet.
And well done on conquering the painting block! The work's looking great.
Big hugs
xxxx

janet said...

Dear Gretel,

Please forgive me for sending these condolences so late, but I was at a loss for the proper words. Your loss brought back painful memories of the loss of my sweet cat Whisper and our loyal dog Katie. As I read your post, I felt ever stab of pain you were feeling. It is so very hard to say goodbye, isn't?

Cyber hugs and suitcases of comforting thoughts are of course sent your way.

Your friend,
Janet xox
The Empty Nest