Letter to Monty 39

Dear Monty,

Fantasy, anxiety and a sense of place.

The sun sets on my fantasy...the garden is not finished - there is more to do, we have to keep moving forward -  seeing new challenges - broadening our horizons - enlarging our borders.

I have been doing a lot of walking and meditating in preparation for walking up and down 3 mountains. I need to get fit in order to die with dignity! I have always loved being in the landscape, which is why I paint and draw it. Eleanor Flaherty www.eleanorflaherty.co.uk artist, filmmaker, photographer and qualified mountain guide took some photographs of my third rate fresco's which I share with you here. These are pictures of places with associations for me which are deep and personal.


I travelled through a rainstorm to reach Hay to hear you speak about Longmeadow. It was a strange experience because it felt as though you had read my mind, or maybe these letters. (let me keep my fantasy) It was good to hear you extol the virtues of discovering a sense of place, of taking time when making a garden. Interesting to hear you speak of the difference between the artifice of TV and your real connection with the garden.

Speaking of connections, did you see the film about one day in the UK through the eyes of a cross section of citizens of these islands ? It struck me how strangely meaningless this life can seem to be. Love seemed to be the anchor to counter the emptiness. I realise that I have been given so much....what can I give back?

Grayson Perry in his latest TV foray suggests that the middle classes are all trying to be individuals but that ultimately we will fail. I question this conclusion in one sense, because I see in my day job many people with serious health problems but who deal with them in very different ways. But I agree that we are really all related in the deeps of our beings. The middle class anxieties he mentioned, having a nice house, nice car, nice wife, are still the trophies to attain along with the aga. Perhaps a lot of our anxieties relate to this trying to attain 'better' things, trying to recapture a lost paradise as Grayson illustrates in his tapestries. We keep trying.

Rest is the answer, a sabbath, the work is done. Let the ants nest in the stipa gigantia, let the moss grow in the lawn....but then Sarah Don says in 'The Jewel Garden' that you have a...'puritan work ethic dulled by duty'. So resting from your work may not come easy....we have to find and keep finding that sabbath.

Here endeth another ramble - perhaps my last if I expire up those mountains. Hope you like the paintings, can't stop making them, filling the house gradually. If anyone wants to sponsor my death wish please send donations to : http://blog.through-the-gaps.co.uk/p/newlyn-mission.html

Have a good weekend Monty,


  1. Hiya! Does the rate of updating your portal depend on specific things or you compose articles when you have an inspiration or free time on that? Can't wait to see your answer.

    1. Hi, I have always kept a journal. I write in it most days, but specifically when I see a connection to what I may be reading at the time, or if I see a quote or read an article in the press or on social media that resonates with me. I read every day too, but because I work almost full-time in a demanding job, only update the blog when I can, usually on a weekend. All my blogs are extracts from my personal journal. Thank you for visiting my ramblings !


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