❇This morning whilst cleansing my face and putting my hair up in the normal ponytail for work I was staring at my windowsill full of plants which normally fills me with joy, happiness and peace but instead I was beating myself up in my head saying that I don’t have the ability to keep plants properly just because 2 of them aren’t doing too well at the moment through no fault of my own- my orchid has lost its flowers and I’m waiting for it to flower again and my begonia I’ve had to cut back (so it will invest its time in producing new leaves) due it not doing so well.
This is how my brain works, it comes on like a flash without any notice at all.
Its not always against me but sometimes it is.
I had to spend a considerable amount of time putting these negative thoughts down and i told myself that I am not bad at keeping plants as I have others that are growing so well, I am still learning and I won’t get it perfect first time, but eventually I’ll get better and my room still looks so beautiful. ♥️♥️
Today I was in work for 7am. Whilst sitting on the till waiting for customer (as it is quite during the early morning shifts).
Normally I scribble some ideas down, thoughts or even doodle but today after drinking a big bottle of lucozade (which I definitely needed as I’d been up since 5.30am) and I felt somewhat creative so I wrote these two poems. ♥️♥️
✴ On the way home from work one afternoon (1.30pm) I was passing the wildflower patch opposite and I heard a familiar noise but one I don’t often hear outside….
To my surprise it was a cricket!!! 🦗🦗
I only recognised the noise because I’ve fed my pet bearded dragon crickets, and they sound similar to cicadas which is a familiar sound to me as I’ve been abroad a lot BUT ive genuinely never heard one here.
I was instantly filled with curiosity so I did some research.
The cricket I saw was a Dark Bush cricket (Pholidoptera griseoptera). It was dark brown & black, very short & small at only 2-3cm and their song is short chips with intervals. They are found in hedges, brambles, woodland and are common in Wales and most of England.
❇ I have included an cricket identification guide.
—————————————— The first comprehensive assessment of Europe’s crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction. ⚠️⚠️
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the insect group is the most threatened of those assessed so far in Europe.
Europe harbours more than 1,000 species of grasshopper and cricket.
If we don’t act now the sound of crickets could become a thing of the past, said the IUCN.
They are an important food source for birds and reptiles, and their decline could affect entire ecosystems. Their habitat is being lost due to wildfires, intensive agriculture and tourism development.
The experts are particularly concerned about species that occupy small ranges, such as the Crau plain grasshopper, which lives only on the Crau plain in the South of France.
Conservation experts recommend the setting up of a monitoring programme across Europe to obtain information on population trends.
I’ve been meaning to post more blog posts but between suffering with my health at the moment, working during covid-19 and WordPress not loading the blog posts I’ve been putting it off for a while.
Ill write a post then try and publish it and it fails first time and then asks me to delete it – which as you can imagine when you hsve been spending a considerable amount of time writing it it is very frustrating!
Has anyone else had issues like this?
I will try to start posting blog posts again. Crossing my fingers that it will work.
I’ve uninstalled it and reinstalled it again on my phone.
Sorry for the long absence I have been rather busy.
I started a job in a supermarket, where my mum works 3 months ago- just at the start of lockdown weirdly and I have been rushed off my feet working and trying to manage my health.
This is an update on how I’ve been doing.
Just before lockdown I had a very frustrating and infuriating gynecology appointment (with my gynecologies team member instead of the actual gynecologist) rather where I was made out to be awkward for not wanting to try any other forms of contraception (bearing in mind I’m 27 and have tried just about the majority of them by now and they do not agree with me) and I was told to go on prostap injections which is chemically induced menopause for a period of 6 months which may or may not halt the growth of the endometriosis but could have life long side effects.
I was literally given a leaflet and asked to try them there and there with little to no explanation of what they were and was given it as a last resource after the gynecologist looking in a medical journal for what seemed like forever.
Overwhelmed and understandably upset and angry I said I would like to think about it and only though asking other women with endometriosis who I have on various social media platforms did I find out that the majority of them were recommended this and with the majority of them it has made their condition inevitably worse to the point where they are struggling to work.
No way did I want to put this in my body with no guarantee that it would help the situation.
Stuck and upset I called the doctor for some advice and told them of my experience at the gynecologist and surprisingly the new doctor I spoke to was the first doctor I’ve spoken to EVER that had some compassion and understanding for both my condition and how long I’ve had to fight and he wrote a letter to the gynecology explaining how unprofessional they were to me, to the point of not explaining the severity of my condition, making out I was being awkward by not wanting to take any more contraceptives and when asking about pain management sarcastically saying to take over the counter ibrufren which anyone with endometriosis knows does not work- I wouldn’t be there asking for help otherwise!
After receiving the letter I had a phone call from my gynecologists receptionist- this was the first week of lockdown.
Hoorah! A stroke of luck!
I was told due to the covid-19 crisis the gynecologist wasn’t seeing any patients in person and instead it would be over the phone consultations, BUT after reading my letter they offered to see me!
Relieved but worried I decided to write down all the questions I had about my condition, what I’m struggling with and asked other endometriosis sufferers some advice before going to get my point across because I’ve had years of being ignored or my immense pain being normalised and I took my list and my side kick and strength (my mum) to the hospital appointment with me.
On the way (as you can imagine) I was so nervous as I was pinning all my hopes on getting some answers and getting the help that I’ve been fighting for for over 8 years now.
Just before going into the office for the appointment i had major panic attack, as they said I couldn’t bring my mum with me who I always bring to big appointments like this because she is my rock and support and Endometriosis is a difficult disease as it is, but medical appointments make me especially anxious due to being let down, ignored & patronized for so long.
I cried A LOT, they eventually agreed and whilst waiting to go in, it took me a while to calm down with the help from my mum because I’d worked myself up so much.
With a lot of persistence and talking from both me and my mum the gynecologist answered the majority of my questions including telling me that I do have adenomysosis which is rare in women who have never been pregnant before and they the endometriosis is stage 4 or moderate and the main bulk of it is behind my uterus attached to my bowels and after some what felt like begging he agreed to send me to a specialist in university hospital where I can have an operation to scrape away a good majority of the endometriosis which should help my pain considerably for many years to come.
He did also refer me to a pain clinic which was meant to deal with my pain medication and overall pain management until my operation but on the 7th of July I phoned to check up on the referral and was told that the referral had been dismissed and rejected due to covid-19.
I was absolutely heart broken and angry because during this whole time I’ve pinned my hopes that the pain clinic would help me manage my pain on a daily basis because I’m struggling and the pain is getting worse and worse.
I also phoned the university hospital to check my operation referral and they told me that they have a back log (which is understandable) of 3 months and to call back after this- just to find out about my referral not a first initial appointment!
I was angry, broken and left feeling let down and waiting yet again and still am to be honest.
I did call them up again today though and they told me that in the next 3 weeks I should receive a letter with an appointment with my specialist to meet up with them regarding what type of operation I will need and the complications but I have no idea when this appointment will be.
I’m trying my best to keep going and stay positive but I am really struggling. I’m just tired of being in pain and being left on the back burner and even when it is time for my operation which is my only option left to help me, I am dreading it! I’m dreading the recovery and everything that’s to come.
Think twice before you are pulling up what you think are ‘weeds’ despite this label of weeds they are not only beneficial to our pollinators and wildlife but beautiful too.
Charlock: attractive to bees and white butterflies, it is also a host for turnip flies and other vegetable pests. Its mustardy young leaves ate edible when cooked, but only before flowers appear.
Field Pennycress: this annual has edible peppery leaves and fruiting heads prized by florists. Its seeds make a good alternative to mustard and can stay viable for over 30 years.
Herb Robert: a magnet for hoverflies, carpet mothers and bees, this prolific seed-scatterer is a nuisance among vegetable seedlings. Leaves rubbed on the skin are antiseptic and deter mosquitoes.
Lesser hairy willow herb: moths and bees are drawn to these quick spreading flowers. Edible, vitamin rich leaves are useful in gargle to ease throat infections.
Prickly sow thistle: these copious seed producers are highly attractive to wasps, hoverflies and other pollinators, and useful reservoir for aphids. Its immature leaves make tasty vegetables.
Red clover and white clover: its flowers attract honey and bumblebees, long tongues flies and moths, its roots fix nitrogen and improve soil quality and its dried flowers can be used to make wine.
Dandelions: is a common perennial weed that forms a large flat rosette, it spreads readily from seed, germinating throughout the year. It is beneficial to all pollinators and is one of the first sources of nectar in the beginning of spring that they rely on. Dandelions are also famously used to make coffee during the WW1/WW2.
Creeping buttercup: a low growing perennial weed which prefers wet heavy soils. It is a common weed in lawns in the UK and as the name suggests, it spreads using creeping stems that run along the surface of the ground, extending upwards into a new plant on a regular basis. These beautiful little flowers are beneficial to all pollinators and flying insects.
Birds foot trefoil: is a perennial lawn weed and is also a member of the clover family. It can be a major problem on UK lawns as it forms large patches, it has a deep root system and spreads by both stolons and rhizomes (above and underground runners).is a perennial lawn weed and is also a member of the clover family. It can be a major problem on UK lawns as it forms large patches, it has a deep root system and spreads by both stolons and rhizomes (above and underground runners). The flowers are bright yellow and pretty and resemble those of the Honeysuckle. They can be seen from late April until late September. Birds-Foot Trefoil can tolerate a wide variety of soil types but prefers non acidic, dry soils.
Yarrow: is a perennial weed, common weed on all types of lawns and turf in the UK. It has deep fibrous roots and can withstand droughty conditions. It spreads by creeping stems which root at intervals. It is generally seen later in the year and the deep root system also gives it the benefit of being able to survive dry conditions. The leaves are fern like in appearance macking it very easy to identify.
Scarlett pimpernel: is an annual weed meaning that it only lasts one year, fresh plants need to grow from seed. This means it is rarely a threat to a well maintained lawn. The leaves are very similar to Common Chickweed but can be identified by its square stems and red flower. The distinct flowers of Scarlet Pimpernel can be seen from June – September. Each flower has five petals and are an orange – red colour.
Self heal: is a common weed on all types of lawn throughout the UK. This perennial weed spreads by creeping runners known as rhizomes, which root at intervals. It can quite happily grow in closely mown areas of turf although if left alone, it will grow to a height of 30cm and produce an attractive plant. This plant can thrive in most conditions, the leaves appear in pars and in closely mown areas, they may have a purple ting. Selfheal flowers from June to October, producing a bright purple flower.
Mouse ear chickweed and common chickweed: chickweed is a perennial weed and is very common on lawns throughout in the UK. It can be very annoying as it can spread very rapidly, smothering grass in the process. It can easily survive close mowing but can be controlled with selective herbicides. The small dark green leaves are distinctive in that they are very hairy. The flowers are very small and upright and white in colour appearing from late spring up to autumn.
Creeping cinquefoil: is a perennial weed, more common on neglected lawns and turf in the UK. It is rarely a problem on well maintained lawns. It spreads by creeping stems which root at intervals. The leaves are distinctive with five different segments with toothed edges. The flowers are yellow, again with five large fleshy petals which are visible from June to October.
Slender speedwell and germander speedwell: is a perennial weed which can be a persistent problem on lawns throughout the UK. It spreads by both underground and over ground runners. Control can be achieved with current chemicals but this needs correct timing and adjuvants. Slender Speedwell is more of a problem in closely mown turf than Germander Speedwell.
Lesser celandine: Lesser Celandine is usually one of the most prominent weeds seen early in the spring. The flower is one of the first to show among lawn weeds but the plant soon disappears as the weather warms up. This is difficult to control in a permanent sense as it needs to be hit early each year to weaken it. More commonly found in darker shady areas. The leaves are fleshy and dark green, very easily recognised.
Ribwort plantain: Very similar to greater plantain in habit and location, albeit the leaves are long and thin. This plant is very drought tolerant and it can cause unsightly patches, easy however to remove using the correct selective herbicides.
Common ragwort: ragwort is rarely a problem on fine lawns but is more common on low maintenance and neglected lawns. It is a biennial weed meaning that it produces lots of leaf in year one with the aim to produce a significant number of flowers in year two. It is not difficult to control in lawns.
I hope I have changed your mind about some truly beautiful and valuable ‘weeds’ that we have here in Britain.
Next time you are gardening, don’t be too quick to pull up what you think of as weeds, give them a chance to grow and change your mind.