Over and Out and The Human Hive

Dear friends, I have taken the difficult decision to stop blogging altogether for the foreseeable future. I have many things I’d like to talk about, but I had almost stopped posting because I could barely fit in visiting and commenting on your sites. Now even that is one activity too many in the packed life we live. I shall drop in occasionally on your posts, but make no attempt to keep up or comment. Life is good, and now includes knitting for a new generation. It also includes looking after family, gardening, giving talks, some exercise, a little meditation and, if possible, writing.

I wanted to put up a last post about my Big Garden Works (originally planned for last December), but the builders have not yet finished their part. This is what the garden outside the back door looked like (taken from a window) last August.

This was the planned redesign for this area. The photo below shows where we have got too now. We are waiting for the stone steps and the resin-bound surface on the path. Meanwhile I am digging the old bricks and flints out of the area to be grassed. The turf will be delivered next week and we must lay it within two days. I am enjoying building the path around the little apple tree, but am very frustrated about the endless delays on the work that was going to take ‘three to four weeks’ and started in February. I know it will be finished one day.

I started writing this post, because a violent rainstorm, plus thunder and lightning, sent me indoors, here is a photo, looking towards the house, after the storm 

I cannot leave without an appreciation of this little book of poetry. I have slowly fallen in love with The Human Hive by John Looker. It celebrates the work by which we all live now and have lived throughout human history and it does so with beautiful, colourful precision. There is a completeness to the structure of the book which slowly reveals itself as you read and understand the different sections. The writing is moving and yet self-effacing – the least introspective poetry I can remember. A great companion for any occasion and can be slipped into a pocket, read during a sleepless night or a long train journey.

Some of my beloved maples to finish. A three year old seedling that my husband is bonsai-ing. 

Trompenberg, that was so badly frosted last year, now in good health again.

I don’t want to be churlish and switch off the comments (even if I knew how), but I’d be perfectly happy if you didn’t comment.

29 thoughts on “Over and Out and The Human Hive

  1. I hope you have a marvelous time off the blog and look forward to seeing your return. That last image made me weep it is so beautiful. Just coconuts and palm trees for us in The Maldives.

  2. I understand, Hilary: I get it, but I don’t like it. Sighh … Still, I can scarcely point the finger, can I ?!
    Mais au fond, ma chère amie, I simply want you to be happy and healthy; and your taking up knitting is A Very Good Sign – I myself, as Mrs Bucket/Bouquet liked to say, am a knitter. However, I am boringly addicted to 2-colour brioche, so my output is limited.
    Thinking of moving, soon: would that I had a house (and husband !) to keep me sane and fixed in place. If you do not behave yourself, I shall email you with stultifying details. [grin]
    Much love, much admiration (as always),
    P.S. Look after the hedgehogs for me, yes ?

  3. Hilary,
    I have enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing your garden changes. I love the curving path through the new model. I hope it gives you much joy. Good luck with your writing and all that life throws at you! Best wishes, Barbara

  4. How about a compromise? I’ll comment and you don’t need to reply. I fully understand the pressure we bring upon ourselves when we build up blogging relationships. I wish you well with the new garden design and this stage of your life. Thank you

    • I echo this suggestion, and would like to add a comment to say how well your new project seems to be coming along (albeit slowly) and to thank you for all the blogging up till now. I completely understand the change in priorities and wish you happy knitting, gardening, talks writing and all the other things you plan to do in the coming months. Here’s to taking a deep breath and enjoying other pursuits in the future.

  5. I’m with Derrick – no need to reply, but I do believe in the importance of goodbye’s and I think you must too since you took the time. Your choice of farewell books is perfect – you are busy with a full life and this phase has come to an end. Have fun completing the garden, knitting, and enjoying the next generation. Sincerely, Susanne

  6. I’ll miss your posts, Hilary, but wish you much joy in your life – and your garden – and your knitting for the next generation. Maybe you’ll come back to us in the future. No need to reply to this 🙂

  7. Dear Hilary,
    I was astonished to see my book featured in your post, and then profoundly moved by your generous tribute. To know that you have enjoyed the poems is one thing, rewarding in itself, but to learn that you reread them from time to time – to the extent that you appreciate the structure of the book too – is more than I would have dared hope for. Thank you so much.
    Like other readers, I shall miss your posts, but wholly understand. And I am full of admiration for your garden project. Gardening is part of the British genius, and perhaps has a claim to be regarded as our indigenous art form. Well, no one would make that claim on the evidence of my own hopeless gardening, but they could on the strength of your project! Enjoy the final stages – and then enjoy maintaining the finished art work! You and your husband should have a wonderful summer out there.
    Best wishes, John

  8. A fond farewell from Hong Kong too. I have enjoyed your writing and will look out for future books. I understand perfectly. I want to write most days but rarely manage to do so. I wish you and your family much happiness and good health.

  9. I simply can not just read and go. Of course your posts will be missed. Dear Hilary, wishing you a splendid and fulfilling time – by the way, your garden is a piece of tasteful art.
    Many greets and warm thoughts from Berlin!

  10. Well, I have to at least say Goodbye and Thank you. It’s only manners, right? Totally get it, Hilary. I’m a bit there myself but not quite ready to pull the pin. The garden is looking wonderful even if it is not at the stage you would hope. Tradies, eh? Thank you for the book recommendation. I will look out for that one. All the best with the garden, the knitting and all of family life that enriches you.

  11. A fond farewell from Australia. I will miss you. Sometimes it seems as if my “virtual” friends in the blogging community are easier to communicate with than my next door neighbours – and goodness knows I have a couple of hundred of them to match my wits with. Good luck with your gardening project and I hope the finished project gives you many hours of contentment. No reply needed 🙂

    • This echos exactly what I was going to write. I will miss you too 😊 but completely understand, it’s been a privilege to share your thoughts and musings on your blog and as someone who understands the constraints of maintaining a blog and how bad some bloggers feel if you just don’t have time to keep in regular contact with them I would love you to drop by from time to time but understand if new priorities are taking your time elsewhere, I’m excited for you 🙋🏼

  12. I look at your garden pictures and I would lean towards the land and flowers and such. And as I am just beginning my garden, one day I may have to make that same choice. At least in blogging, you can leave you’re site intact and always come back to where you left off like it’s a treasure chest full of secrets of the soul.

    Thank you for all the replies and comments on my post. I will keep writing as though you are going to read it and that should put me in good time… jc

  13. Knitting for a new generation is definitely more important than blogging. No questions asked her. Also, with such a garden I would not waste my time sitting in front of the computer either. What a marvelous place it is going to be. Do you rent out rooms? 🙂

    I will miss you! Always liked to read your input and your rare blog posts. I myself have tiptoed away from blogging and I am (still) torn about it. Should I continue and if so. Why? Or should I just close my blog and walk away? Why not?

    If you are bored between knitting and gardening. Write me an email. It seems my emails to you never went through. And…please, consider reading your book as a narrator. It would be fantastic to hear you as well as “just” read your brilliant stories.

  14. All the best to you, Hilary! Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my blog. Take care and do keep a finger on the keyboard as you are a good writer.

  15. Oh, Hillary. You will be missed. Seriously. It’s like losing an old friend. In fact, it is losing an old friend. But I understand. There is a life beyond blogging! Do take care. –Curt

  16. Hilary, I got quite a surprise last night in the mail and I believe you know what that is!! I can’t thank you enough for not only thinking of me, but sending such a wonderful present!! 😵 I am truly speechless! What have I ever done to deserve such a friend? 😊
    Please take care and stay safe. (Spring is almost her, enjoy your garden!) 🌾🍀🌹🌺

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