THE REINVENTION OF MARIA

Whether it’s due to planetary movements, solar activity or simply the whims of an old woman, one will never tell but things change – and that’s a fact. There is nothing more constant than that!

Over the past ten months, there have been many ups and downs in my life; decisions that had to be considered and reconsidered. But, as this period of limbo is now over, I think I have come to a final decision: I am staying exactly where I am and I’m not going to look around for somewhere else to live. This is where Donald and I decided to settle and this is still the very best place to be. Everything considered.

I adore my garden and when I’m reminded by others about how wonderful a home I have, it just reinforces the fact that I already have everything I could possibly desire … right here, right now. Obviously there are things I would like to have (like thin ankles …) but we can’t always have everything we wish for! But quite frankly, I cannot better the logistics already in place; I can just improve on it all. And that’s where I’m going next, ankles notwithstanding.

When I watched the ending of the movie Under Tuscan Sun I gasped at her setup for writing. As she was sitting at her wonderful desk, she looked out through a large window across verdant fields with lots of trees and a garden anyone could die for. Well, I now have that setup – I look out of my studio’s French window across a sparkling pool towards the distant rise of the ravine, totally covered in trees, shrubs and some late spring flowers, a sky as blue as a robin’s egg and the leaves of the poplar tree in my sight-line shivering with delight at the tickling of a gentle breeze, with the Mediterranean twinkling in the distance. Is this heaven, or what?

2013-05-19 12.25.03      Pity about the wires, but …

So, having come to that decision, there is work to be done. Six months ago I had this notion of making this garden into a showpiece to open to the public once a year. This notion will now be put into action and the intention is that by the autumn of 2014, the dream will have manifested. It was tempting for a while to downsize to something smaller – more manageable – but as I am in a position to get up when I want, eat when and what I want and please no-one other than myself, I can rearrange my days to suit my requirements. I know – I’m blessed beyond measure!

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I also know that I am not alone. In all the years that we have lived here, Donald was never able to visit the uppermost part of the garden nor the lower part … where the fairies dwell – it has a 13% gradient! Now, as I ramble around, he joins me from time to time and I am absolutely sure that he is pleased with my decision to stay.

In a previous post, I mentioned my inspiration – here is Margaret Roberts, my absolute garden goddess!

055    I could not believe my luck!

A couple of days ago I visited the artist friend who is designing his gravestone and I was totally blown away by what Vic Smith has produced. It’s still the prototype but his work is exotically fantastical … exactly what I envisaged when I asked him to take on the job. It certainly will create a talking point!

2013-06-02 11.01.36  A suitable ‘marker’ for my fallen hero …

Vic and Hazel have this wonderful garden that they have created over many years and I was offered cuttings, clippings and seed … I’m in heaven! However, now that summer is more or less in full swing, I’ll have to be patient as these seeds will only go into the ground and trays in September-ish. Anyone who has been to this region in the summer will know that just about nothing will survive the heat where small plants are concerned.

Meanwhile, lots of stuff to keep me out of mischief as I have started a 10-week writing course yesterday – just for fun. I’m also rather enamored with sewing at present and I have that lovely treasure trove of fabrics so generously given to me by Loretta when she returned to South Africa. And then there is my painting-love waiting in the wings as I would like to have enough NEW work to exhibit when I open the garden to the public. Lots and lots of lovely things to keep me happy!

I went to an art exhibition opening last Saturday evening with my house guest, Jennifer, and we had such a lovely time; met a number of mutual friends there also hanging out and it was good to meet up with some people I haven’t seen in a while … This exhibition is taking place in the old Turkish Baths, long abandoned by the Turks but still functional until the 50s … I’ve never been inside. What a fascinating place! Unfortunately there are not many images available to show but I’ll do my best.

PaphosTurkishBaths   From the outside

5093175339_68dae1f2ff   One of the ceilings from the inside

Jennifer will be leaving from here on the 19th and I’m already wondering how lonely it’s going to be on my own. Luckily I have two furry friends to keep me sane!

2013-05-25 07.43.56   Early morning Jessie …

2013-05-25 07.44.27   and early morning Katie …

Swimming is also on the cards so I’m actually looking forward to summer … not especially a pleasant time but I’ve decided to go with the flow: get up early and early to bed and have that siesta in the afternoon.

Watch out for the garden progress reports … but don’t hold your breath yet! At least three months before anything dramatic will start happening.

Till next time!

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