I’m writing this piece from the comfort of my sunbed under the sycamore tree, nestled beside the crumbling folly.  Nearby, the recently planted apple trees are in full bloom and it sure is blissful.

Almost too beautiful, it’s very hard to concentrate on the task I’m supposed to be doing (reviewing a friend’s book) whilst surrounded by this beauty.  It’s early May, the weather is record breakingly hot for this time of year and heralds the start of the famous great British summer – lush sweet-smelling grasses, a gorgeous scent of sage, rosemary, mint and thyme in the air, birds belting out their tunes, my kids laughing and squealing, and the distant rumble of light aircraft far above in the clear blue sky.  After the last year it all feels somehow sweeter, brighter and better.  How very strange that life had to hang in the balance for me to see it in all its glory.  We only moved to our house a few months before I was diagnosed, so I hardly feel like I got to know the garden.

In the early days post-diagnosis I thought I’d spend my chemo days relaxing in the shade and enjoying the weather!  It seems so silly and whimsical now, as the reality is that I hardly managed to sit outside.  I’m not sure why, I think by the time I’d slowly done my jobs (paperwork, laundry, home cooking good food) I’d be so exhausted I’d have my lunch and need a nap, and I always slept better in my bed.  Almost before my head reached the pillow I’d be asleep.

I was advised by the oncologist not to do gardening during my treatment, thus avoiding organic matter that could lead to an infection.  My husband kindly helped me plant a vegetable plot for the kids (well did all the digging as I watched!).  We visited there every morning giving the kids a great connection to Mother Nature and all her bounty.  I was almost scared to be in the garden on my own.  Now, without intense chemotherapy and steroids in my system, I can’t imagine why.  I guess that’s a reflection of the permanent state of anxiety I felt.  For a normally strong and powerful woman it was tough to feel so small, weak and vulnerable.  Today is a whole different world, I’ve been saved and goodness me I feel it.

As I gaze through the filters of deep shades of green and the purple haze of wisteria I’m aware that my senses have re-awakened, my eyes are open wide and it’s a sight to behold.  My body and mind seem so connected to nature now, I feel like I’m blossoming physically and mentally as the seasons change.  I’m also exercising daily to regain strength and movement and eating healthily to feed my body with vital nutrients, all to support my quest of long term survival.

Hello world, thanks for having me, it’s so good to enjoy you again!

Sláinte xx

And now to do some work!!


  1. Just love this post. It is so much how i was feeling during treatment, the garden was my world. I still have to see Chelsea flower show some day!

    1. Thanks Grainne, it’s so good to hear that you can connect to it.
      I’m really enjoying the daily garden changes this year.

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