Philippa's Diary

Door Decoration / Table Centrepiece

– doesn’t have to be perfect, just good to look at

 Whenever I can, I try to source plant material in the fields and garden and for this door decoration, the only cost was the ring itself.  These can be bought at a floristry supplier and are usually called ‘wreath rings’.  They’re made from a circle of plastic containing oasis.  Once soaked and plant material inserted, a ring can last quite a while outdoors, weather permitting.  If you’re using it as a table decoration, it’s probably wise to spray it with water every couple of days and pull out faded plants and re-insert fresh ones.

 I found snowberry, the last of the rose hips, hawthorn berries, tree ivy with berries, trailing ivy, bay leaf, teasels – once used to card wool – dried bracken, variegated holly from the garden, the last of the Apache chilies – they weren’t popular!  - from the greenhouse and some cuttings from a fir tree which was re-planted after use as a Christmas tree about ten years ago.

 I had company on my expedition – Princess: a Dexter heifer.  She was in good form, playful yet always respectful.  She adores ivy and for every piece I put into my trug, Princess had two.


Soak the wreath ring until it sinks; remove, allow to drain.  Meanwhile, lay out your plant material, remove thorns and side shoots and cut material into about six inch lengths.  Begin with your green material, inserting it around the outside of the circle and work your way in.  Don’t worry about doing it ‘properly’, just keep inserting plants and berries until it looks good.  A quick spray with gold on the ivy berries gives it all a lift.  The bow is made from hessian and the centrepiece a dried persimmon.


Joys of Journaling

I never travel without my Journal.  My preference is for wire bound. It sits nicely and allows you to write without having to press on the spine every few minutes. Journaling is a must, to keep the writing muscle flexed, stop the cogs from getting rusty.

 I write in it most days, to clear the useless information I’ve accumulated, to sort out difficulties, to remember the good things that have happened.

I needed it badly when I collected my new glasses from Specsavers. It was their second attempt to ‘get my prescription right’ i.e. get me a pair of goggles that I could actually see with.

They didn’t get it right this time either. I mentioned that to them. They were not pleased, told me I would ‘get used to them’, that I would ‘have to make compromises’. What drove me to my journal was their parting ‘goodbye’, said through gritted teeth.

After that, I wandered about in a daze. I needed my journal to ‘sort myself out’ before I could function as ‘normal’ and drive home. I bought a cappuccino, took out my journal and allowed the words to flow - along with the tears. This is probably called ‘writing as therapy’. I highly recommend it.

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Louise Couper