My Beautiful Adopted Planter by Tiffany Belle Harper

June 15th 2021, I was given the go ahead to leave the rental bed and breakfast I had managed for 3 years and 2 days. I moved there on my birthday 2018. Thing is, I had to be out by the 17th June. Just two days to pack an entire hotel up and transfer the piles of bedding, furniture, tableware and ornaments across the road. Danielle ‘my friend and housekeeper’ was a rock. It was blistering heat, but we did it.

I had a call from Mum on the 16th June, saying I had to get to Warwickshire. I had promised Dad I would hold him when he died. He went on the 20th June (Father’s Day) early hours of the morning. The garden came alive with nature and the sky shone amber amidst pale skies and descending white clouds. Two resident ducks on the pond and a glimpse of a fox in the copse. All so very much alive but as for Dad and his barrow, there would be no more. The clouds took him home. I recall driving down the motorway, with the dogs, knocking back black coffee whilst feeling totally stunned and shattered, hoping I could catch him in time. Job done. I drove back to Blackpool on the 22nd June 2021. Belleva opened during Augusts 2021 – after what I can only describe as 2.5 years of total chaos and unnecessary drama.

Unfortunately, I contracted Covid and could not attend the funeral. But I was there and in Blackpool with Dad, in spirit. So instead when I got on the mend, I bought some bedding plants for the tub I had inherited outside of Belleva. I watered the plants each morning religiously whilst the street was quiet. I hope they are just as beautiful this year, for everyone everywhere who has the privilege of soil.

That said, my neighbour Steve, kindly removed a plant for me, from the drainpipe at Belleva this week that had embedded itself in the gutter so deeply, he had to use brut force to get it out by the roots. Made me laugh. And Tracy another lovely friend and neighbour informing us, a woman over the street from her (a previous neighbour) had let seeds dropped by the seagulls, take over so much, she had lupins growing on her flat roof so high they obscured the front windows. When others raised the matter, the woman replied, ‘so fucking what.’ It did make us smile. It really does take all sorts to make a world. As long as we are kind, that’s all the matters.

Tiffany. X

Flowers and Nature – Space and Freedom – July 2020

Sometimes we do need to switch off and find our root source. That can be a beach or a park, a balcony with terrace pots, a river, stream, a puddle of ‘sea water’ or just a pile of soil. Yes, sometimes – we do just need peace to connect with Gaia. Not so often we take our universe for granted, but enough to appreciate space and tranquillity in incredibly healthy doses.

Less is More … but I do also believe, hard work is good for the soul. That combined with a small tribe who love us unconditionally. The rest is crap – keep it simple. Stay focused on your own business and look after those who are in your heart because really, as you grow older you do realise that love is all we need. Love is Everything and when we magnify that message it comes back to us. Get rid of the rubbish and find new purpose to serve your journey best.

The last two years I have under gone every experience. Many of us can also say that. Be glad as life is about lessons, so … learn it well. I am glad I have gone through this huge transition. It has released a lot of anguish and I realise the biggest problem around me will probably always be jealousy. I do not have huge amounts of cash stashed in bank accounts. I am what I earn. And if ever I get rewarded for my hard work, I re-invest in the community ‘over and over’ again. Despite being shit on, despite being robbed, blackmailed and often made to feel terrified to be alone, even ‘at times’ going for a walk, I am blessed because there is a silver lining to every bad situation. We just have to face our fears and never quit.

I owe most of my life to my kids. I love my boys. They have never had it easy. But I do want them to always know that each step I take I do it for their future and hope life is kinder in many more ways. When I love, I do so unconditionally and when I am hurt I never forget. I stay remembering because I don’t want anyone to feel the wrath inflicted upon me. We should always stand up to nastiness and the best way to do that is to be your very best self. A smile can anger more than a punch.

We also need to know that being stalked or harassed is not a right we ever have to accept. If you don’t want someone in your life and they continue to enforce that power, then they are breaking the code of harmony. Send them karma. Karma is instant.

And no matter how strange your ‘one true love’ may seem to others, tell yourself, those who glare should take off their shades and face the ground with their own sense of self worth. Your business is your own – so tell them … “don’t mock others – go get your life together instead of staring at your phones all day. It ain’t happening here”.

Play music – set yourself free – let go of time – dance in the kitchen and sing in the rain – it’s quality not quantity. Don’t be greedy. Put your wealth on the table for those who gave you their aspirations so freely. Stand up to liars and thieves. What you earn is not their right. Let them dig for their own pennies. We all need to use a shovel.

Take time to support animal welfare. You don’t have to be famous or significant in terms of anything other a sense of wanting to share your home or land with the helpless. Actions speak louder than words.

Ask good neighbours how they are doing – keep doors locked to the bad. Watch out for quiet friends and don’t assume the loudest ones are not depressed either. Humans are complexed beings. Take care of those who take care of you both mentally and demonstratively. And remember, it is not your birth right to spend your free time trying to adjust to people who bore the hell out you. I avoid such situations.

Have at least one day a week where you don’t check your emails and turn off your phone. Life will manage without you in short measures. Stress and anxiety are no good for your balance – slow down when it gets too much.

You don’t need to meditate. Gardening, walking and crafting work just as well – if not better. You don’t  need to look great in gym wear or hang out with dolly birds – you can be just as happy in your pyjamas in the back yard, if you can hear the birds and smell the clean air – you can feel so free.

Look behind the pictures of your greatest ‘current day’ icons. We are much the same behind the curtains. Don’t buy the hype. Empty vessels make most noise. Tell people you love them. Love is not a dirty word and love is not a weakness. Love is all we have. Be thankful for it because one day it could be gone.

Appreciate those that make sacrifices for you to thrive and cherish – those whom you trust. As trust is the hardest thing of all. If you can count the people you ‘trust’ on one hand you are rich. In terms of that, I have wealth. I have some gorgeous people around me. But it’s taken a lot of lessons to find this. I want to maintain the balance. I really do … and I want those who know how much I love them to understand how grateful I am.

Tiff. X