About Lizzie

Hello, I'm Lizzie. Thanks for visiting! I write mindful reflections on life, in the hopes that they will resonate with you. I'd love to hear from you, so please do comment or drop me a line!

Coming apart at the seams

Nearly June. Already! The wild patch is rowdy with weeds. Capped with gossipy blossoms, they are sprouting with abandon, boisterously green, drunk on photosynthesis. All is jaunty chaos. All is splendid. Except for the disconcerting gleam of their foliage, glazed with sap from the aphid-riddled tree above. A rash of greenfly appeared on my t-shirt when I pruned off a couple of branches, lest they spread to my beech hedge. Creepy how they materialised, like a sleight of hand. Still. They’re an all-you-can-eat buffet for the birds. On the patio, I have placed an angular rock behind my favourite, ailing weed, grown too tall and thin. Its stem is anaemic, its flower buds parched, wrinkled. Is this ridiculous, propping up a weed? Dad, for one, would look at me askance. As he did that time we were in a dinghy on a loch somewhere in Scotland and I saved a fly from drowning. My insect-rescuing reflex. Sopping wet, the fly was struggling to unpeel its wings. When you are that small, water must have the weight of treacle. I placed it [...]

By |2023-05-29T07:33:12+00:00May 28, 2023|Musings|2 Comments


The bluebells are ringing in my garden! I have one naturalised clump of them, nestled beneath the beech hedge, and they are now in full bloom. The upright Spanish variety, rather than the drooping English bluebells of childhood memory, they nonetheless transport me back in time… Until I was nine years old, we lived in an unprepossessing 1960s semi at the end of a cul-de-sac.  How I LOVED that house. My heart expands as I think of it now. The garden backed onto the sprawling woodland in which I spent most of my days; these were the 1970s and, as long as we were back for lunch and dinner, we were left to roam freely. Those woods were our domain, from the roly-poly tree just over the wall (so-named because of one low-set branch that was the perfect height for forward rolls) to the strangeness of the remote bomb hole around which a halo of gnarly trees stood sentry. This grassy bowl was blasted out, the grown-ups told us, during World War II. By the time it had become our [...]

By |2023-04-20T08:59:07+00:00April 16, 2023|Comfort Reads|6 Comments

Hello, little weed…

... You look like you're in a listening mood, though actually you're just wedged, stuck in a crack between the patio stones. Much as I love spring, in tandem with the sap rising I can feel an anxiety beginning to put out tendrils from my belly. It is now that the garden messily awakens from its slumber, and I feel dismayed by the extra labour involved in tending to it. How on earth will I keep on top of it? My garden is a rather unruly muddle of foliage. When the neighbours aren’t outside with the radio on, it is also a place of profound calm. Sitting here now, the only sounds I can hear are birdsong and the distant mumble of traffic. I think the birds are catching up with the day’s gossip before bed, because they're particularly chatty. I feel a bit silly, cross-legged on the ground, muttering into my phone. I'm talking quietly in case the neighbours are within earshot, but my dictation software can’t hear me properly. I said vociferous a moment ago and Dragon recorded that as syphilis. After [...]

By |2023-04-04T12:54:46+00:00April 3, 2023|Comfort Reads, Musings|6 Comments


I am very new to ‘proper’ photography with a DSLR rather than a mobile phone, and learning to use the camera has been a challenge to my impulsive, somewhat acquisitive nature. Like a toddler with a new toy, when my Canon camera arrived I ripped off the packaging and went straight out to the woods, pointing and shooting in Auto mode. I felt dismayed and affronted when the results were no better than my trusty Samsung Galaxy S20: I wanted off-the-shelf, saturated, silky, seductive images like the ones you see on Instagram! Impatience aside, underlying my frustration was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to master manual mode: I had looked at the dial settings and the manual menu and it made no sense to me. As if confronted with algebra or the Arabic alphabet, my brain slunk off to a corner and sulked. Because my reflex is to buy my way out of a problem, I then purchased an expensive, niche lens called a Lensbaby Velvet, which produces a beautiful blur effect. It’s a difficult lens for even [...]

By |2023-03-22T08:40:52+00:00March 20, 2023|Musings|4 Comments

The Ten of Swords

The Tarot definitely has a sense of humour, albeit sometimes a dark one. Take the Ten of Swords, for instance – the card I recently drew when I was feeling overwhelmed. When I began studying and working with the Tarot, I quickly learned that its potency does not lie so much in divination as revelation. More than anything, the images on the cards are a powerful tool for self-understanding. Whilst there are specific meanings associated with each card, when used therapeutically it is our response to the image that is key. The depictions on the cards act in much the same way as reflective inquiry – the coaching skill that involves summarising what the client has said in order to hold up a mirror to their thought patterns. Our reaction to what we see on the card is revelatory because it is like gazing into a pool, on the surface of which we see our behaviours, emotions and circumstances reflected back at us. When I shuffled my Tarot pack for an insight, out popped the Ten of Swords – and [...]

By |2023-03-18T15:57:28+00:00March 17, 2023|Musings|0 Comments

Website makeover: why the wren?

Hello :) I've been trying to work out how to send a one-off newsletter in Mailchimp, but I'm stumped. Or to be more honest: I gave up after five minutes of trying to fathom it because, when it comes to working out Technical Stuff, I have all the staying power of a chocolate teapot under a blowtorch. Instead, I am writing a micro-post to tell you about my blog site makeover, courtesy of the very talented and intuitive Richard at Dao Design (who built the original website for me). As well as the icons for each category, you may have noticed the new logo, with the beautiful bird? There are four versions, with colours changing to reflect each season. After discussing the design brief, Richard produced a mood board of possible images - one of which was this little wren. Now, I cry rather readily, and I *may* have shed a few tears of delight when he showed the image to me: because the wren has a deeper meaning. Among the several courses on which I am currently embarked, I [...]

By |2023-03-03T14:55:24+00:00March 3, 2023|Musings|8 Comments

To the edge of the forest

A few weeks ago, a nasty, shocking thing happened: my adored dog, Bella, set upon another dog outside our front door. A young lady had come to collect an item I had offered on the local Freecycle group and brought her dog with her. Having told her that I would leave the item outside behind the green bin, I wasn’t expecting her to knock. But knock she did, and my son innocently opened the door, accompanied by Bella… Normally, Bella is impeccably behaved when the front door is open. She may sidle to the doorway, wag her tail, shuffle forward for a head scratch if a hand is proffered. She may stand in the open doorway, observing me as I upend tins and cardboard into the recycling bin by the shed, her nose twitching as she sniffs the air. Always, she appears serene and mildly inquisitive. This lulled us into a false sense of security. We know she isn’t a ‘dogs dog’. I adopted her from a rescue centre; she had been picked up as a stray, so we can [...]

By |2023-02-28T21:01:04+00:00February 28, 2023|Musings|6 Comments

Santa Claus and the Salmon

So, here we are. January 1, and Christmas, in our house at least, has been stashed back in the attic. These days, I don’t much enjoy Christmas. Hardly a bauble-shattering revelation - and tempered, of course, by the acknowledgement that the festive period is a truly difficult time of year for countless people, putting my own mild discomfort into perspective. Festive spirit seems to have eluded more of us than usual this year, which is hardly surprising, with everything that’s going on in the world. I expected to feel pure relief as I packed away our affectionately-named ‘Crap 70s Yellow Tree’ (it cost a tenner from Argos but looks cheaper than that), yet I was actually a little wistful. Perhaps this was a ghost of Christmasses long-past, when the dismantling of what was then the most magical time of the year caused genuine dismay. We had a silver tinsel tree, back in the actual 1970s. Oh, how it filled me with pure joy! It was the prettiest, sparkliest tree in the world, bedecked with starlight and jewels. And then, of [...]

By |2023-01-07T19:13:21+00:00January 2, 2023|Comfort Reads|10 Comments

Comma, full stop.

I'm sitting in a clearing, in the woods at the top of the hill. Other than a flash of white or grey among the branches, I can’t see the birds, but I can certainly hear them. Birdsong forms an arc around me. There is no breeze, and it is unseasonably warm. An almost balmy day in mid-November. What a treat! Albeit a guilty one: it’s not okay for it to be this warm on the cusp of winter. As a human with utility bills to pay, my perspective is tinged with relief at being able to delay putting the central heating on. It’s becoming a cliché to talk about that, isn’t it? I'm so fortunate to not have to choose between heating and eating. But still, most of us must tighten our purse strings. These are such difficult times. As I picked my way along the meandering path to the clearing, an insect bumped right into my cheek. I imagine it was startled to encounter a face on its flight path. Not many people walk this way, although there are [...]

By |2023-01-03T12:42:16+00:00November 28, 2022|Comfort Reads|4 Comments


Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash When my physiotherapist first suggested that swimming would be the best exercise for me, I shrugged, and sighed. “Yeah, I know, but I really hate swimming.” At that point, I wasn’t desperate enough to submit to all the attendant unpleasantness: the cold shudder as buttocks meet water when you get into the pool, strangers’ hairs crawling over slimy tiles in the showers, the baffling ineffectualness of towels in a changing room environment, leaving your skin so sticky that you have to crowbar yourself back into your jeans… Some months down the line, however, I was feeling so sludgy and lacklustre from lack of exercise that swimming seemed like… not the worst idea. Particularly when a dear friend offered to go with me one day a week. After one session, I was hooked. Now, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, shortly after 8am, you will find me at the Splash leisure centre. I saunter in with the air of entitlement that befits a direct debit-paying member, nonchalantly swipe my card through the turnstile, drop [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:25:51+00:00October 19, 2022|Comfort Reads|8 Comments
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