Monday, March 29, 2010

Christmas tree seeds, bread pudding and rain on washing day.

I had some very sad news yesterday -- the gardens and interiors writer Elspeth Thompson has taken her life in a bout of severe depression. She wrote a blog about converting two railway carriages into a home, and her words and pictures gave a lot of pleasure. I own several of her books, and I take them down often for inspiration, or just to enjoy them.

Elspeth was incredibly kind and supportive to 3BT -- she mentioned it in her The Wonderful Weekend Book, and I still get messages from people saying they found 3BT there.

We never met, although we emailed, and talked blogging on the phone once. I felt incredibly special to think that such an accomplished writer would take notice of me. Our emails from the early part of last summer are full of half-hatched plans to meet, and I so wish we had.

This isn't the sort of thing you come here to read, but I know that a few links to 3BT come in from dark places, so I'm going to say it. If you are suffering from depression, please, please get help. Depression is an illness (like measles or a broken leg) and it can be treated. Talk about how you are feeling to those who care about you. Talk to your GP. Talk to a suicide hotline (the Samaritans here in the UK, or The Befrienders elsewhere in the world). Open your mouth and talk.

1. We were given a bag of elephant poo compost and some Christmas tree seeds for a wedding gift. A green shoot has pushed its bowed shoulders through the surface.

2. I like the contrast between grimly wholesome brown bread pudding and the dried fruit (plump orange apricots and crimson cranberries and sharp citrus peel).

3. To see the first drops of rain, and to run outside, laughing, to get the washing in. To pull the great crisp white sheet off the line and stuff it into the washing basket.

And the podcast is up.