Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 15 May 2020

My Office Today - I did a thing!

In this strange world we now find ourselves in I am definitely one of the lucky ones ~ I get to go out to work every day, spend time outdoors in people's gardens and do something creative which I love.

A tree that's been there for some time, blocking light 
and shading the plants below it

Most days hold some surprises as every day is different, just as every garden is different, and many of my customers are spending more time at home, looking at their gardens and coming up with ideas for change. this is the photo story of one of those changes.

The canopy raised, but still too much shade
Canopy Raised, but still too much shade on the plants below, 
the house and the conservatory

Just the trunk left
Canopy totally removed, just the trunk left

All gone, more light into the house, and the bed below, the wonderful fatsia behind it can also flouricj now.
All gone, so much more light into the house and conservatory, and now the wonderful fatsia behind and the beginias below can flourish.

Friday, 10 January 2020

My office today

I started this occasional series of posts because I got fed up with hearing too many people assuming that we all work in offices or schools.

This post has been inspired by all those people who ask me what I do during the winter. These are the same people who think and talk about "putting a garden to bed". The garden doesn't go to sleep and there is stuff that needs doing all year round.

This week I have been cutting back ivy and tidying up a hedge. Next week I'm replacing a fence. There's all the dead herbaceous plants and ferns to cut back, the vegetable patch to clear, if it's not in production. Many gardens will still have leaves to clear and paths to maintain.

No, the winter is not a time for gardeners to stop work, just like every other season it has it's round of tasks, chores and joys, like those winter aconites I photographed earlier today. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Advent Calendar XXIV

We have reached Christmas Eve and it suddenly feels as though it has come upon me all too quickly even though by doing this Advent calendar I should be prepared. We have yet to decide whether to attend midnight Mass locally or watch it on the BBC from Croydon Minster, one of my own local Churches.

Malta is a primarily Roman Catholic country, and of course that is reflected in the churches, some of them do have regular services in English, but apparently not midnight Mass. We may choose to go to an English service in the morning and watch from the apartment tonight.

Yesterday I showed photos of the nativity scene from Valletta, after visiting there we went to Lija, where the tradition of living cribs started with their Presepju Haj.

A representation of a whole village is constructed, and then peopled with local volunteer actors as tradespeople, blacksmiths, millers, carpenters etc. Some livestock adds even more colour and reality. At the center, or culmination of your visit you come across the Holy.

I felt that this was rather moving, and got across the nativity situation so much better than most of our model, rather glamourised crib scenes.

I didn't take any photos myself as it felt intrusive and as they are all volunteers I'm not sure the actors would have wanted me to, so these are stock photos. 

Monday, 23 December 2019

Advent Calendar XXIII

Here in Malta Christmas is still very much a Christian festival, of course as I showed yesterday there are all the lights and decorations. Even in the middle of the Mediterranean we have lots of stalls selling mulled wine and ginger bread, but we are also offered more traditional Maltese celebratory dishes, timpana, imqarets etc.

There is also a reminder of what we are celebrating, it us not just the churches that display a crib scene but all of the towns and villages, and most homes will have a crib next to their Christmas tree. These photos are of the main on in the capital city Valletta. It is in the main square near the prime ministers residence, the Opera House, and the Foreign Office. 

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Advent Calendar XXII

Arrived at our destination to find lots of Christmas decorations around, lots of public buildings with lights, and generally the whole place looking very christmasy, (if that's not a word it is now!)

I'm so looking forward to spending time on my favorite Mediterranean island at this different time of year, I've only been here in summer and autumn before. 

One thing is for sure, I won't be having a white Christmas, possibly a rather windy one but definitely not white.

All today's photos were taken in Valletta yesterday evening. There's a tremendous variety of lights and decoration a winter fayre and Christmas Market all in a space no bigger than a square mile.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Advent Calendar XXI

Only four sleeps to go! Are you getting excited? Well I hope that you've been good and that Santa will visit you, which Santa you want a visit from I guess is up to you!

Over on Stana's blog you will find my photo is featured today! I may no longer fit the definition of a femulator but I still enjoy her blog. 

Friday, 20 December 2019

Advent Calendar XX

This is a special one for UK readers of a "Certain Age". For many of us when we think of Advent one of our first thoughts will be the Blue Peter Advent Crown. For the rest of you Blue Peter is a children's magazine show on the BBC, with an emphasis of learning, making and doing stuff. One of the many things they always did was their Advent Crown, made of tinsel and old wire coat hangers it exemplified the concept of making.

I think pretty much every show one of the presenters would make something, then while the glue or paint was drying they would pull a perfect example out from under the table and say "Here's one I made earlier". Well I am now on holiday, so this post is a bit of a "Blue Peter" ~ in as much as it's one I made earlier.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Advent Calendar XIX

I've played a lot of music in the lead up to Christmas, as I am sure every other musician, amateur or professional has. Like wise I am sure that a lot of them, like me, have played Sleigh Rode a lot as well. Well today's post is in honour of all of those musicians, the ones who have entertained you in concert halls, church halls, community centers, and getting cold, wet, and uncomfortable playing outdoors.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Advent Calendar XVIII

It's getting close! But, is it feeling a lot like Christmas yet? I'm not at all sure that it is here, it just feels cold wet and grey. I suspect that it is this feeling that inspires so many to decorate their houses, when I was growing up our decorations were always indoors, then at some point (I think in the 1970s) a few houses would start putting some lights in a tree or window, now it feels as though almost every other house is festooned with lights ~ some to greater effect than others!

This year for the first time I have noticed that whole communities are putting up Christmas lights, there is a residential road near me that even has Christmas lights on all of the lampposts! (The photo is not of that community, but filched from The Telegraph)

Sometimes I find myself yearning for a simpler time, but in all honesty it was probably only simpler because I was young and my parents did the worrying. Sure they were worrying about some different things, but at least we hadn't got into competitive Christmas Decorations!