Shine On

Here I was inspecting the damage after a stormy night. It’s ok, Zig.  We know it wasn’t you.


The furniture was tossed around a bit, but we seem to have weathered the storm.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ with Rosa ‘Princess Anne’ behind.

Some plants even look refreshed from a little wind through their hair.

Rosa ‘Princess Anne’ with Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’ in pots behind.

The sun is shining again.

Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

The sky is still blue.

Penstemon ‘Raven’

Even when you can’t see the sun, it is still there, behind the clouds.

Penstemon ‘Raven’

We might get tossed about by storms, and weighed down with worry.

Rosa ‘Young Lycidas’ with Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ trying to help.

We might have dark thoughts.

Penstemon ‘Raven’ with Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ behind.

Life gets messy.

Rosa ‘Hansa’

But we shine on.

Erodium manescavii

Good friends help.

Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’

We’re in this together.

Geranium ‘Crystal Lake’

I’ve got your back, and you’ve got mine.

Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’

We can brighten one another’s day.

Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

Shine on.

Rosa ‘Hansa’

You don’t have to be perfect.

Rosa ‘England’s Rose’

Just be you.

Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’

You can feel complicated.

Clematis seedheads

You can feel small.

Geranium ‘Crystal Lake’

You can turn away, and take time out.

Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

Lay down your heavy load, even if it’s just for five minutes.


Just come and smell the roses.  Now breathe deep.

Rosa ‘Hansa’

Shine on.

Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’

Shine on.

Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’

When you’re feeling fragile,

Rosa ‘Marjorie Fair’

Sit down.

Rosa ‘Marjorie Fair’

Find a pillow and rest your head.

Rosa ‘Princess Anne’

Life is complicated and messy.

Rosa ‘Princess Anne’ with Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ beyond.

There’s no need to untangle it right now.

Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’

Light peeps through.

Rosa ‘Grace’ in the foreground, with an unknown pink shrub rose behind.

Don’t think too far ahead.  Can you manage the next five minutes?


This moment.  Right here.  Right now.

Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ with Rosa ‘Princess Anne’ behind.

Shine on.

The rather marvellous Caitlin Moran introduced me to the concept of just managing the next five minutes when life gets tough.  Can you manage the next five minutes without doing anything rash?

That’s all you need to manage.  The next five minutes.  Once you’ve managed to do the calm thing for five minutes you know you can do it.  You’ve got this.

Try this when things are getting too much.  Take time out, and just do the sensible, calm thing for the next five minutes.  Look at this post if that is more sensible than the thing you fear you might do otherwise.

You have a wise, bright light within you.  Shine on.

I’ve had an interesting few days on my blog and Instagram feed. Thank you for all of your comments on my posts Time for change and Direct Action.  I love this community and the vitality it brings to my blog.

If you find yourself being drawn into an argument and there is an agenda you are not comfortable with, I suggest you quietly withdraw.  Sometimes it is best not to have the last word.  You have a choice whether to participate, and if you feel it is better for you to remove yourself, then do.  You don’t have to subject yourself to it.  Take time out.  Return to the advice box above.  Repeat as necessary.

If you would like to join me in escaping to the garden and feeling the sun on your face, you can choose to ‘Follow’ this blog.  If you click on the great bit ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of this post, you will receive an email notification when I publish a new post.

I want to make life a little bit easier.  For me, this means smelling the roses, breathing deep, taking care, noticing the sky, or the shadows, or a bee.  Then we can return to the serious stuff in a much calmer place.  And we can shine on.

21 Comments Add yours

  1. mmyselfni3 says:

    Thank you, very beautiful & uplifting!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you for being here!

  2. Such a gorgeous post with good advice. So much inspiration! I especially love the clematis seed pods. 💟😘

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Lisa. X

  3. Heyjude says:

    I still cannot get over how many roses and geraniums you have. All so beautiful too. As for the remark about stepping out for five minutes I am totally with you. I read a number of blogs and comments and usually I like to say something, but there are times when saying nothing is the best policy. And I find the delete button useful 🙂

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you. They are very good value; they give six or seven months of delight each year.

  4. Jodi says:

    Thank you for this Ali! A beautiful, important, meaningful message.

    1. Ali says:

      You are welcome, Jodi. x

  5. I love the idea of managing the next five minutes in tough times. Thank you! x

    1. Ali says:

      It is brilliant, isn’t it? So simple and yet so effective for all situations!

  6. Beautiful photos, creative & heartfelt captions!

  7. Ali, thank you so much for this reminder that we will weather the storm together. I have been feeling a little rough around the edges, and I needed the reminder that we are going to make it, that life is complicated, that things can be hard sometimes. I needed the reminder to rest. Thank you.

    1. Ali says:

      We will weather the storm. I couldn’t be in better company. X

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the wonderful words and photo’s, just at this moment in time, they were so needed.

    1. Ali says:

      I am so glad of that. I had hoped this post would get to someone who needed it. X

  9. Cathy says:

    That’s a great concept to advocate, managing the next 5 minutes. And as Jude says, all thise roses still flowering – wonderful!

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