This Happens when I Garden.

gumtree flowers. I’ve never had a coral/salmon-pink one before. It’s straight out of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

It’s when I’m gardening that the thought-hounds are unleashed. Empires Villages of the imagination are built, and there are conversations with witches, ghosts, beekeepers, and cats.

Whilst Evil Chicken is pursuing Merlin the entire length of the garden, (he did try to eat her food, after all), I am clipping, lopping, weeding, and moving through worlds that pursue me every bit as doggedly as a demented chook.

But there are also the random notions, aren’t there?

You know – the discarded trivia that one discovers has latched onto some obscure synapse, and then it resurfaces at random. For instance, it came to me that both Anne Boleyn and her daughter Queen Elizabeth I were considered tall for women of the Tudor era. When the skeletal remains of Anne Boleyn were disinterred, the experts wot did that measured her height at 5ft3″ (160cm). So, I would have been tall in Tudor times! Oddly, the notion thrills me. Also, Queen Elizabeth I was apparently somewhere between 5ft3″-5ft5″. A veritable giantess, hey? I imagine them catapulted into the present, walking among us now, staring dumbstruck at this nation of “amazons”.

And I wish I could retain important information instead of tatt, (the location of my passport perhaps?)

Speaking of Tudor times, (but actually, the olden days, in general). I think we should revive “mistress” as a salutation. Instead of Ms, Miss, or Mrs, I believe it would be a grand thing if female persons were addressed as “Mistress”. I would be Mistress M. It’s dignified, yet holds a hint of mischief, don’t you think? It’s possibly even a bit saucy, but not at all diminishing. And it’s also an excellent notion in regards to not defining a woman in regards to her marital status.*

There’s just no way of knowing how married, nor how old or young a person is with “mistress”. For one is simply mistress of one’s self, and queen of one’s realm. In fact, in my house I like to ask “who’s queen?”

I’m nearly finished reading the All Soul’s Trilogy, (in between having a couple of other books on the go). I’ve been enjoying those books heartily. Although I’ve decided that I don’t fancy the romantic hero, (Matthew), one bit. He’s a bit possessive and controlling for my liking. I would get very antsy around Matthew, and possibly do a runner in the night. However, I do fancy me Gallowglass, for it’s no secret that I have a penchant for huge and cheerful Scotsmen.

And I’m (somewhat nervously) thinking of colouring my hair brown. Chocolate-y, golden brown. Eva Green I shall never be, (sad face) but I know well Anne Shirley’s yearning for raven tresses. Note to self: don’t buy hair dye from a travelling peddler promising miraculous results.

That’s enough garden talk for now. Cheerio.



*Of course, I am in no way keen to revive other practices from a former epoch. I rather like the fact that women are not chattels; and that if I get sick, some bloke with dubious qualifications doesn’t come at me with a box of leeches and frightfully dirty hands.

18 thoughts on “This Happens when I Garden.

  1. I spent the day in the garden yesterday, first time since the beginning of winter, so Spring must definitely be just around the corner. I have just finished reading Raven Queen about poor Lady Jane Grey and realised that I am glad I didn’t live in those times, women didn’t stand a chance. Have just started reading the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy – a new genre for me, fantasy – and I am loving it.


    1. “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” Oh I loved this. Very unique. Not for everyone. But I love certain YA books and this one I really liked. 🙂

      Just saying…. 🙂

      “Mistress Tessa”


    2. Elaine, I always love to hear about the signs of Spring from my Northern friends, it means that Autumn is around the corner here! And those books sound wonderful – I’m going to add them to my goodreads. Thanks for the recommendations! xx


  2. I didn’t know that about Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth. So interesting – not tatt at all; I imagine one could spend a long time thinking about the social politics of it. I absolutely adore Tudor history (and infact all of English history), and have my Theories about each of the players. There were some impressive and fascinating women in the history of England, women whose stories rarely get told. When you look at events from their perspective, things become even more interesting than they are with all the masculine tales of war and drama. Some women held tremendous power behind the scenes. And things that seem trivial to us, like height, may have been significant to their social influence.

    Sorry. Rambling. Good luck if you dye your hair. I can’t imagine why anyone with such gorgeous red hair would want to change it, but that’s just me 🙂


    1. Yes – I too love Tudor history – and I was quite obsessed with it as a teenager. I remember watching Anne of the Thousand Days when I was a child and it made a huge impression on me. And then as a teenager reading a ton of novels about Anne Boleyn, and Lady Jane Grey (all very doomed and gothic…heheh). And it’s still a period of history that I find fascinating. xx


  3. Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Dye your beautiful hair?!? On no! Oh no! Oh no! Pllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!

    ‘Mistress’ …. For everyone…. I like it….

    Over here, I love the Southern way of calling women ‘Miss’. Used to think it was just the older women, who had this delightful title. But now, I think it is used, for all women, not just older. I would love to be “Miss Tessa”…

    But I would more love, to be “Mistress Tessa”…. ,-)

    But…. Please…. No more thoughts of covering your glorious natural hair color. -sigh-moan-sob-sniffle-cough-sigh-

    Mistress Tessa


  4. i share with you a brain that can store endless corridors full of useless—interesting, perhaps, but useless—info-nuggets, yet cannot retain simple, necessary things. even things i need to know or do repeatedly and regularly. if there’s a librarian in there, the poor bastard’s hopelessly lost, drunk, crazy, dead…

    at 5’6″, i’d have been an amazon circus freak, apparently…taller than the average man. on the plus side, if crossed, i could loom like nobody’s business. never underestimate the power of a good loom, especially combined with a deadly glower.

    mistress works for me. i’ve never changed my name on marrying, as it is my name and my identity, and i’ve always preferred “ms” to either miss or mrs, although it looks and sounds sort of kluge-y. or american southern, which is an accent/vocal style that does not charm me. at all. *shivers* mistress is much better!

    dye. your. hair. ?!? but…but…(splutters incoherently) it’s so PRETTY. having said that, i have naturally blond hair—a mad mix, actually; pull 5 hairs, and they will be 5 different colors, but the overall effect is dark golden blond with a ginger cast too—and i’ve always longed for black hair. raven, jet, obsidian, night black. with green eyes instead of the blue that i have. i believe the grass is always greener on t’other side o’ the fence, beauty wise…i’ve a sneaking fancy to dye mine violet blue one day, once it goes all grey or something perhaps. so who am i to question?


    1. I would love to be able to loom. I don’t think I’ve ever loomed over anyone. I can do small and fierce when required, (think Mrs Weasley, delivering a howler).

      I never changed my name when I married either – like you say, it’s part of my identity. I use Ms, but don’t really like it, and so I am plumping for Mistress. Officially I am “Dr”, but people still get that wrong. I frequently get mail for Dr and Mrs M, because they assume the Dr of the house must be a man. A very true reflection of the world we live in. The Bloke has started to use “Captain” for fun on official docs, because he think it makes him sound like a pirate. I’m not going to burst his bubble too soon.

      And the raven hair with green eyes has always been my moste favourite of looks, and one that I coveted all my childhood. The grass is greener, hey? I usually like to work with what I’ve been lumped with, but sometimes I want a dramatic change : ) Violet blue would be fun! I’ve seen it on a couple of people and it looked stunning.


  5. Matthew wasn’t my cup of tea either. My first boyfriend was a huge and cheerful Scotsman! I envy you your garden pottering… Soon I tell myself! X


  6. I went from my natural red to dark brown recently and i love it!!! Witchy and dark like my soul lol. Was so liberating to change such a recognised and commented upon (in youth teasing as an adult more positive) part of my identity. I used henna as id never dyed my hair. I used to think people only gushed about my hair because i was ugly (the awful stories we tell ourselves) so it had a bigger positive effect for me to change colour than i thought it would. I get compliments on the brown too but feel more like theyre about me not my hair. Might sound odd but a red head sticks out like dogs balls in the antipodes.


    1. ooooh! That is moste encouraging Anna! And as a fellow Red, you understand! And I do so relate to the dark and witchy soul bit. I know we often associate witchiness with red, but I do love duskiness. I’ve used henna to brighten and enrich my hair at times. And yes, it’s nice to be noticed, not just for one’s hair. I love the idea of dark brown – it’s all in the tone isn’t it? If I stick to the warm tones, I should be fine.

      *chuckle* and that doesn’t sound odd at all – a red head is conspicuous here. The light here is much harsher, and more stark than in northern climes. So in Summer I just look (and feel) flustered and garish all the time; but put me on a misty highland moor in the rain, and I suddenly make a lot more sense : )


      1. My spiritual home is scotland, my temporal home is nz . Apart from flourishing in the gloaming and the misty moisty highlands (i lived in a village there for a coupleof years) i definitely felt athome amongst my fellow redheads. I am a tallish red haired green eyed fair skinned celt for sure. Currently a raven tressed green eyed witchy woman! My mid life crisis statement lol. Off to buy my stevie nicks hat and fringed scarf……


  7. I think Matthew’s a bit of a tosser as well. Not surprisingly, I’m very fond of Gallowglass. 🙂 Boyfriend-stealer. 😛

    I love the idea of being Mistress! I rather cringe when someone calls me Mrs., even though I am one…but Mistress I could enjoy. I also don’t particularly like ma’am…but wouldn’t mind madam.

    Gardening is magnificent for taking a wander with one’s thoughts…all sorts of lovely tidbits bubble to the surface.

    I’m currently waffling over henna-ing my hair again….or just letting the grey show. There’s a fair bit of it now, although not quite enough to give me the silver-haired look. It’s possibly not the best time of year to surrender to my greys though…given that I feel a bit dumpling-ish. A nice henna would probably pick up my spirits. If brown is calling…then brown so it shall be!



    1. Mine Gallowglass. Mine.

      I’m going grey too Mel, but not in a cooperative way. I have a tiny clump of a dozen or so wiry greys on the top of my head, and that’s it. So I’m not yet at the stage where I can embrace a head of silvery beauty. A bit of colour does lift the spirits, doesn’t it? Henna is a fine thing indeed. xx


  8. Fascinating to learn that about Anne and her red-haired daughter. I am 5’6″ AND A BIT…the ‘bit’ is very important, especially as I’ve spent more than half my life being told I’m short by my 6’4″ other half. Point of view is everything! My mind boggles at being considered tall at 5’3″. I have dark, wavy hair that once had auburn highlights. I got complimented on it when i was younger and I, like Anna, thought it was the only beautiful thing about me. I actually wanted proper red-auburn hair, rather like Maid Marion in the 80s TV series ‘Robin of Sherwood’, and thought it awfully unfair that my younger brother had not only scored the auburn curls, but also enormously long dark eyelashes. These days there is less auburn, and more grey creeping in. I want to do something with it, but am dithering between opposite possibilities. The less radical (and less scary) option is simply to henna it red again, as I have done in the past, not because I’m trying to hide the grey, just because I always liked the red. The far more frightening (but increasingly enticing) possibility, is going for dreadlocks and letting my hair go grey, then white, until I look like some kind of elder/witch/wisewoman. Though there’s always the danger I might just look like a crazy old cat lady who’s been dragged backwards through a hedge!


    1. Christina, heheh…my partner is 6’3″, which makes me an entire foot shorter than him. I’m sure we’re a funny sight together. I like to tease him, and ask him if he’d like any help when he’s trying to reach up for things in high places.

      I’ve seriously thought about cultivating dreadlocks, but watching friends deal with theirs has made me decide that it’s too high maintenance for me. And possibly makes for uncomfortable sleeping. I’m ridiculously low maintenance, (read, lazy) when it comes to hair, which is why I keep it long. Your colour sounds lovely! I’m still dithering about colour options too. It’s possibly also the shift towards autumn that’s making me restless for a change.

      It’s a bit late for me, I’m already a crazy cat lady ; ) xx


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