Grandma's Garden

As children, most of us have vivid imaginations and tap into a source of creativity that excels. Looking back, my imagination was bordering on the insane. The clowns on my bedroom wallpaper used to come to life and scare the living daylights out of me. Kitchen implements used to fly up the stairs to cause me more anguish. On the lighter side, I used to build caves and castles in my bedroom using all sorts of weird and wonderful materials and spend hours having the best fun ever (I think my mother was rather pleased when I grew out of that stage). And didn’t you also, used to have the most amazing conversations with … well …. no-one?


I was staring at a blank page the other day, willing my brain to remember how to access that wonderful free thinking, when my daughter (who is visiting for a week) slammed down the lid of my laptop and decided we should visit her grandparents. I’d obviously been non-productive for too long.


Her grandparents were thrilled to see their granddaughter, after a year since her last visit, and made the fuss grandparents do. The afternoon was perfect – the sun shone, we drank cool drinks and ate delicious homemade cake in the beautiful landscaped garden – until Alice went missing. 

“Where’s Alice?” said Grandpa.

We all looked around and then my husband gave me one of his knowing nudges and a wink. I smiled. Alice had gone exploring the hidden parts of the garden. So off I went, like I used to when she was ten years old (she’s now twenty three and three quarters) and I followed the secret pathway that took me into the veiled labyrinth of Grandma’s garden. Yet again, the ‘ten year old’ Alice jumped from behind a tree and made me jump out of my skin.  In my defense, she is a lot taller than me now!

We had the best time and as soon as I got back home I wrote my new short story within the hour.

Lesson learned: When the going gets tough take a trip to Grandma’s Secret Garden with Alice.



My daughter always inspires me. Who or what helps you to tap into your creative flow?  




Comments

  1. Replies
    1. It was a special time. Thank you for commenting, Mac.

      Delete
  2. This is such a lovely post, Nicola, and the pictures are stunning. What a beautiful garden - perfect inspiration. I think it's helpful to be outside for a while and return with a clearer mind. And daughters are definitely inspiring. I was once in a café for breakfast with mine and the toast was slapped down on the table, burnt on one side (the hidden one) and dripping in butter (which we didn't request). I asked if it could be made again and the waitress gave me a frown. Eventually, when we had decided to slip away and eat Haribo in the car instead, she returned and slapped down more toast - which this time had barely made an acquaintance with the grill - and we obligingly ate it. Afterwards, my eldest daughter said quietly as we left, "It wasn't made with much love."
    I loved this response so much it inspired a story that won a prize and is now in my collection. I think these short, thoughful lines people say - especially young people - give a brilliant starting-point for stories. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, a café that can't cook toast? I wouldn't go there again, Joanna. Thank you for sharing the memory and how wonderful that you put the experience to good use. Daughter's are great, aren't they? I'm still trying to crack the short story competition world. I hope your collection of stories will be available for all to read, soon. Thank you for popping by to comment, Joanna. It's always lovely to 'see' you.

      Delete
    2. I just read that your stories are available!! YAY!! I hope my blogging friends will pop by to your blog to read all about it!.

      Delete
  3. A lovely post and photos, Nicola - it made me feel all warm inside! I think writers definitely need to get outside and visit new and familiar places now and then. We are also privileged if we have a daughter who inspires, as we do. Love Joanna's story of the toast.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks such a beautiful garden. No wonder Alice went off to explore. The best gardens always have those hidden bits, and surprises waiting to be discovered. I'd love to go and explore there too.

    Sometimes you can spend hours struggling to write something, when what's needed is a change of scenery to spark you off again. The answers were inside you all along, you just couldn't access them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to see you, Joanne. Gardens are special, aren't they? Thank you for popping by to comment.

      Delete
  5. This is a delightful post, Nicola - a lovely family anecdote accompanied by gorgeous photos. Do you write short stories? This would be the basis for a good one, I'm sure. I love gardens with secret corners. They are such special places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susanna. I like to think I write short stories; even though I am still waiting for that phone call :) An idea is developing as I type. Have a lovely weekend.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful garden! When you said Alice had gone missing, my first thought was she escaped to Wonderland. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. We certainly have had lots of wondrous adventures in Wonderland. Thank you for popping over and commenting, Cherie. Always lovely 'to see' you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I too find inspiration in real life moments -- that I proceed to twist until they're unrecognizeable. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Milo. I like the idea of twisting until unrecogniseable. Hope all is going well with the sales.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Hello! So pleased you've popped by. I love to read your comments, so do leave one - even if it's just to say 'hi'!