Glad Tidings

Reading time 4 minutes

As I take a break between cleaning the house, wrapping presents and mopping the water that’s dripping through the roof, I hear the lyrics ‘So this is Christmas, and what have you done?’ reverberating through the Sonos speakers. The answer that springs immediately to mind is ‘not enough’.

It’s been a challenging year, and I feel less on top of things than ever. I’ve got an annoying twitch in my left eye, caused by staring at my computer screen for too long with glasses that aren’t the right prescription. The workshop is still stacked with tulips that need planting and the garden looks soggy and desolate. I dare not think about the allotment, where we’ve already been given a yellow card for leaving our bamboo canes exposed. (One wonders if there might be more important things to make a fuss about in December?). I have also neglected this blog while I create a new bank of articles for Dan Cooper Garden.

Despite all of this, I have never counted my blessings more. We lost our water supply for twenty-four hours earlier in the week – a nuisance by any measure – but it made me appreciate all the more the plight of those in Ukraine and Africa, where a shortage of water isn’t a day-long irritation but a way of life. Try not to turn on a tap or flush a toilet for six hours and you’ll soon experience some discomfort. Imagine if that went on for days, weeks or even months? Every section of our roof now has a leak somewhere, which keeps me awake at night. They’re tiny, and they only manifest themselves when the rain is hard and persistent, but I know they won’t fix themselves. Yet we still have a roof over our heads, and no one is trying to take our home from us. We can keep it warm – just about – thanks to the vast quantity of logs that arrived in November.

Back to those lyrics and ‘what have you done?’. While the annoying earworm is definitely chanting ‘not enough’, I am bravely trying to sing a different lead vocal. I have started a new business, managed to maintain a garden and allotment and keep too many houseplants alive. I have made lots of new friends and become engaged to The Beau. So despite the challenges of 2022, which we’ve all shared to some extent, I am glad – glad I did what I did, glad I survived it and glad to be waving goodbye.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. TFG.

Categories: Christmas, Musings

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

Greetings Garden Lover! Welcome to my blog. Plants are my passion and this is my way of sharing that joyful emotion with the world. You'll find over 1000 posts here featuring everything from abutilons to zinnias. If you've enjoyed what you've read, please leave a comment and consider subscribing using the yellow 'Follow' button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You will receive an email every time I post something new.

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35 comments On "Glad Tidings"

    1. Happy Christmas to you both and congratulations on your engagement . Your posts delight and some wisdom is gained . . Keep smiling , or just laugh yourselves silly at the hopelessness of it all , leaks and mice and even larger cousins who ate all the saffron bulbs , one day I will have saffron . .

      1. Ha! We have a larger cousin too – he or she appeared when it turned very cold and ate the bird seed in the workshop. In a town they are never very far away.

        Out of laugh or cry, I’d much rather laugh.

        I bought The Beau a book about Saffron for his birthday. As well as the history of cultivation it has lots of lovely recipes in it:

        Happy New Year Denise!

  1. As I’ve got older I now think of all the things I’ve managed to get done rather than what’s left to do. A much happier place to be and you have an archive of fab. ‘photos, leave alone getting engaged, so you’re doing great! Happy Christmas.

  2. Happy Christmas Dear Dan. We all, always feel we have never done enough… you have had an enormous year, every day is like being back to school, and how wonderful to be engaged .. so despite the long to do list that keeps u awake at night, so many fabulous experiences for you this year that will be forever memories. Happy Christmas luv from 🇦🇺 🎄💚🎄

  3. Congratulations to you both. The Dan Cooper Garden website is beautifully done and something you can be very proud of. Happy Christmas and health and good luck for 2023.

  4. Happy Christmas and many congratulations to you both. Keep on gardening and posting, I love hearing from you and always find inspiration from your words.

  5. Congratulations on your engagement, and thank you for the posts which I enjoy throughout the year. Merry Christmas!

  6. Dan
    You have achieved an amazing amount this year – so proud of you
    Your engagement clearly the high point!
    Here’s to 2023 – lots to look forward to
    Have a well deserved break over the holidays xxx

  7. Wonderful news Dan. All the best to the both of you. You have done good this year I think, the Dan Cooper website is fabulous as are all your articles. I know all about the leaking roof! I dread it when rain is forecast, the water even soaks in through the granite walls!! Anyway enjoy the festive season and have a fab 2023.
    Jude xx

    1. Thank you Jude! We have flint walls and they are not terribly watertight. I don’t think the builder of our house imagined it would still be standing 200 years later, so corners were cut. The roof has always been iffy but we’ve had more rain in the last few months than we normally get in 2 years so that’s not helped. Anyway, nothing to be done about it right this very minute. It will be sorted dreckly 😉 Dan xx

  8. Merry Christmas!
    Dude! I have not seen you here in quite a while. Of course, besides your change in obligation and posting, I do not come by very often. I would tell you about our dahlias, but it is a long and irrelevant story. To be brief, the ‘annual’ bedding sort did very well for their third year, and the only ‘perennial’ cultivar rotted completely! I did not like that overly trendy dahlia anyway. (You can guess what it was.) We will not be getting any new dahlias for next year, and if we get any for the following year, it is unlikely that any will be white! The landscape that I want to get white dahlias for remains shaded, and the trees that shade it will not likely be removed this winter. Even if they get removed next winter, it will take time for the landscape below to develop. Well, so much for being brief. It is good to see you once in a while.

  9. Merry Christmas Dan to you and John. Have a wonderful time, despite the leaking roof… What matters most is the people around you, those who love you and those whom you love backwards. The rest is important too, but can be fixed, organised, replaced… Christmas greetings from Poland.

    1. Wise words Paweł! Where has this year gone?? It’s been a whirlwind. I hope all is well with you?

      It’s only a matter of weeks before you can enjoy your beautiful hellebores and hepaticas again. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the Christmas holiday. The sun is out here and we’re going to have a lazy day before normality resumes. Sending you our very best wishes. Dan

  10. Hi Dan, lovely to read your post, it makes me feel a whole lot better about my neglected garden! I still have bluebells and snowdrops that never got planted but I’m going to try and get them in tomorrow. Best wishes from Hastings x

    1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained Eve! Even if your bulbs don’t flower this year, they should catch up in future years.

      You chose your day well as the sun is coming out here – hopefully it’s the same with you. Dan

  11. Congratulations on your engagement Dan. Your comment about the bamboo canes reminded me how petty that allotment committee can be and how glad I am that I no longer have a plot there. Keep up the good work, I really enjoy reading your blogs and helpful gardening advice.

    1. Thank you Alan. I do share your thoughts on the allotment and wish it was a more positive experience in that respect. It’s a pity.

      I hope you’re having a lovely Christmas and wish you all the best for 2023. Dan

  12. Well I think you have done plenty Dan! Thoust shouldn’t be too harsh on oneself. Starting a business requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and your website is looking super. As for roofs, well, they just go in a big life cycle of not leaking, partially leaking, then completely leaking. Frustrating, but best to roll with it. Big congratulations on your engagement to your beau – that is lovely news. Enjoy the yuletide festivities. Lulu of Long Mizzle, Cornwall 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Lulu! I am doing my best to roll with it, but it doesn’t come easily. I think I spent too long in the comfortable embrace of full-time employment. I’ve no doubt that everything will turn out for the best.

      Meanwhile I’m delighted that you think the website is looking good – I am very proud of it and looking forward to developing it further in 2023.

      We’ll be in Cornwall in the New Year – can’t wait!

      All the best for 2023, Dan xx

  13. That you are still sane is a huge achievement in itself Dan! Awful things leaks three of our new windows have them , which seems very unfair .
    Thank you for all you have shared , I hope this year is a really good one 😊

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