Gratitude is a Garden

The more time you spend in it, working on it and enjoying it, the more abundant & beautiful your garden will become. Similarly, the more you practice feeling gratitude, the more it will grow and spring naturally from within you.
Well that’s the hope anyway, I find it really difficult sometimes!

In the time of Covid19, what with staying at home being enforced by government, an outside space is a very real blessing. Whether it’s a balcony, roof terrace, courtyard, or garden; all give the opportunity to commune with nature and also be creative and nurturing!

I am fortunate, I have a small garden (and a shed – which is a great place to escape the house).
However, the lengthy period of depression has not done my garden any favours whatsoever. It needs ‘intensive care‘.

Earlier this week I began my rescue mission, with some cutting back of dead branches.
The council is temporarily not collecting garden waste, which was the perfect excuse to have a bonfire, and burn some other random bits of wood from various DIY jobs too!
The smell of a bonfire is something I love. Reminds me of childhood, and helping my dad do garden work.

I also started what will be a long process of working on my bench, which is looking very sad. Firstly, washing down with bleach. I’ll do this a few times. Next, I will lightly sand the bench, before treating it with a protective oil.
I’ll need to do the same process on my garden table too (just visible in the lower right corner of the picture below).

Lutyens Bench
(Renovation required!)

I trimmed my ‘Red Robin’ hedge out front, and cut my sorry excuse for a lawn. The lawn will take a lot more work to recover, if indeed possible without completely relaying.

Straggly hedge, and mossy lawn.
Needs work. Nice tulips though!

So, all this before even adding any plants or flowers. I have planted some seeds though, so there will be flowers in due course.
Nasturtiums in the small pots and Ornamental Gourds in the large (below). All should grow into quite large trailing plants which will need to be up-potted. I have some ideas of where they may go, but some will have to be given away to neighbours – if they are all successful seedlings! My garden just isn’t big enough for them all.

All of this was not only energetic but very satisfying and I can truly say that for me, pottering in the garden is definitely The Good Life.

Thanks for reading… I hope your own gardening efforts are bringing equal success & happiness, or if no garden – at least a pot plant to care for. Let me know in the comments!


(the Grateful Landlady)

Easter, in a time of Coronavirus

I am Celebrating in Isolation!

Until last month, I had been suffering from a major and drawn out ‘episode’ of severe depression.
Episode seems too short a descriptive. It was like a box set, that just went on and on and on, with each season bringing absolutely no change and nothing new.

Consequently, celebrating has not been on the agenda, however much a small voice inside has begged and pleaded to know why the indefinable ‘magic’ of the universe and being alive, just wasn’t there anymore for me.

Persuading myself to go outside in spring/summer?
No enjoyment of seasons at all.
Finished a gruelling task? Emotionally … nothing, zip. No satisfaction whatsoever.
Birthdays? Nothing. Apart from more disappointment that I am older still, and still ill.
Easter? I did not even notice it last year – did it happen?
Christmas? For two years, it just didn’t come ‘feeling-wise’ for me.
Btw I actually really love Christmas, and am normally a person who feels the ‘magic’ building from Autumn on. I love the songs, movies, wrapping presents, trees and foliage, and all the decorations!

My spirits lifted quite quickly at the end of February, and I have been tentatively stepping forward since then. Trying to make progress, but not too fast. Fast is dangerous for me, as I can swing from depressed to manic, which then becomes very intense for everyone else.

Easter 2020

This weekend has been a bit of marker in my recovery. The follow events are the big milestones that happened.

  1. On Good Friday, I handed over my rental property to new tenants and that has gone very smoothly so far. They seem lovely, and also capable.
  2. In the last week, I have been slowly reconnecting with the friends from whom I have basically been ‘distancing’ myself from since I fell ill. We had a group Zoom call on Saturday, which was really fun, and has also left me with a kind of warm fuzzy feeling that is still present. I think its called ‘re-connection’!
  3. On Easter Sunday, I spent a few hours being ‘crafty’. Painting eggs for an Easter tree is something my sister and I used to do as kids, and only occasionally since. It has been ‘work’, but overall incredibly satisfying as its creative, produces an end result, sense of achievement and also is very festive. My home feels cosy, loved, and very Easter-y.

I am not sure of my plans for Easter Monday, but, I can guarantee I will be Staying at Home. Probably taking it easy and pottering around the house and garden. Watching a bit of TV or a film maybe. Or reading stuff on WordPress, and (a limited amount of) scrolling on social media.

All I can say, again, is how incredibly grateful I am for everything.
All the above events, my friends, my family, my houses, my cat, the technology that connects people at this strange time, and of course my returning health.

My heart feels very full of love and happiness this Easter. I would like to ‘beam’ this love out to everyone I know and anyone reading, especially those that may be in need of it!


(the Grateful Landlady)

The Current Moment

Who cares what day it is anyway?

It is Wednesday, I think. Not sure what date. In these lock-down times, days become ‘as one’.

Its sunny, and I’m in my garden with a really late breakfast. Nice.
I won’t post many food pics – it annoys me when others do.

The only other thing I’m doing is waiting.

Covid19-impacted’ Communications

I’m waiting for a call from my estate agent, although I’m not sure at all who my actual contact is anymore, as they are nearly all working from home or ‘furloughed’ (which btw is an absolute candidate for most popular old word of the month)!
They haven’t said they would call me today, but it really is time I heard from them!

For the last week and a half, to get around the current ‘scatty’ situation as best as I can, I have simply CC’d in every contact I have at the agency, if I’m emailing for any updates/questions. It just about works, but not always.
They are always very helpful when they do get in touch though, so worth ‘bearing with’.

Moving date push-backs

My 5th tenant at ‘Property no.1’ was meant to move in on 1st April (what a joke right?!).

Then it was delayed to Friday. Fine, I didn’t want it to be Aprils Fools day anyway…maybe it was a joke!?

Then there was a bit of a major landlord-roadblock. On Friday 27th March, the boiler malfunctioned again, after having been ‘fixed’ with a new part the week before.
I called the plumbers. I like my plumbers, they are really decent people and efficient traders. They came out on Monday to inspect. Together we decided on a new boiler, the existing one being 13 years old and a right pain, so it was the best option.
The new boiler was installed and up and running by Tuesday afternoon. Wow! I told you they were efficient.

Back to the agents, confirming all okay my end ( albeit a couple of grand less in pocket).
Oops, I forgot that they will now need a new Landlord Gas Safe certificate. Of course, without it the tenancy cannot proceed and the contract cannot go out for signature.
The plumber comes on Wednesday late afternoon for this, as due to the Coronavirus, the deep cleaner wishes to be all alone in the house. No worries. Gas cert. done and emailed to agent by Wednesday evening. Inventory booked in for Thursday.

Contracts go off to tenant & her ‘housing office’ – she is a US Airforce employee.
They faff about for unknown reasons.
This week, on Monday – tenant is having trouble signing contact with e-sign.
Tuesday… I am now resolved to the waiting game and remove the bunch of tulips I placed in the house last Friday. No point hoping for any fast action right now.

Today – as I write this, an email from the agents arrives saying:

I’m sorry to bother you again on this – I have just received an email from the USAF housing office to say the tenancy needs to start on Friday 10th April as Ms ‘thetenant’ cannot get time off work until this date.

Some clarification at least & hopefully all is still going ahead!

One of the key reasons behind the choice of name for this blog, is that I am truly grateful to have had an acceptable application and holding deposit for this property – before the sh*t hit the global fan with COVID19.
In addition, she is US military,… which is a really rather secure job, with generous housing allowance. All in all, I’m a lucky landlady.

Stay at home everybody & Stay safe!


(the Grateful Landlady)