The violets have it.

IMG_20171013_172328~2 The pansies.jpg

We might have to leave  Weinstein to his sex rehabilitation clinic and move back to the world of contemplating worthier subjects. How does one rehabilitate sex addicts-fiends? Do they get told to think of Ireland at the feet of Mother England, or stare for days on end at cabbages?

I know the above picture is out of focus, but no wonder, Violets do get frightened and sometimes shrink, as we are so often told.  Even so, it is a rare but at times quite a perfect world, if only we get to take the time and look around.

The basket in which those violets are at present living was getting past their ability to carry fruit with the plaited rattan fraying at the edges. Helvi who is a master in rescuing things  before the final day of castaway arrives, felt she could eek some more time out of it by planting those violas in them. The Irish forget-me-nots came up as an extra reward from nowhere for her gallant efforts.

The azure-blue pot with the cyclamen was made by a potter friend whom we knew from the days our children were still in prams and nappies. As far as we know she might still do pottery. She had a rather unique way of throwing her pots, with dabbing the different colours around in a kind of haphazard way which makes her pottery so outstanding. We have many of her works and going back in the photo gallery much of our containers, vases, dishes bearing fruit, pencils and keys, or other odds and ends are her art works.

The plate on which the cyclamen pot resides is from the Finnish ‘Arabia’ collection. Many of the Arabia ceramic plates survive. They are more than just beautiful but also because fired to a high temperature making them very durable. In a second hand or junk shop one sometimes sees them displayed for a price that it is obvious the owners are not aware of their beauty let alone of their value.  One has to be generous though, it could also be a case whereby they come to rest in a junk shop because of a ‘Deceased Estate.’

I just thought to let you share  in this rather lovely floral scene. The glass of wine is almost an obligatory part of many afternoons when we sit outside and feel a real and better world.  Just sitting there it seemed the violets were looking at me directly. Perhaps they wanted to be noticed and that’s (perhaps) why this picture was taken.

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37 Responses to “The violets have it.”

  1. Dorothy Brett Says:

    Gerard, another lovely piece, and how did I know the story of the basket. Helvi certainly does have an eye for beauty. Wonder if that’s why she chose you all those years ago?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Dorothy. Helvi does have a sense of what looks right and it is instinctive. She has a magic touch for simplicity and beauty. Perhaps it is part of being Finnish.

      Finland is often voted as being the most honest country. When I lived in Finland I was staggered about its beauty of architecture and design.

      Beauty does take honesty and absence of pretence.


  2. Dorothy Brett Says:

    BTW do not put that basket on the front verandah it may grow legs as well as beautiful flowers. On the other hand why not, but with a rat trap hidden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The stealing has stopped. That period on hindsight was a dreadful time with some neighbours ganging up, lying and conniving to get rid of us. They failed miserably.


      • Big M Says:

        Bad neighbours can make one’s life a misery. The main reason for us moving last time was the dreadful harpy across the road, who spent the entire time spying to see who was in the street, and bailing them up, talking rubbish, and telling other people what to do.

        She should have taken your advice, and had a nice little garden to potter around in, instead of the expanse of grass with not a single tree for shade, or flower for succor.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        You are onto something there, Big M.

        All three protagonists are garden haters but will tolerate a bit of plastic ivy to decorate a plastic woven table or plastic chair on which they never sit but is supposedly an addition to their ‘investment’ property adding ‘value.’.

        Through some people acquainted to them we let it shimmer through, we are contemplating allowing our garage to be converted into an Islamic prayer room after a (supposedly) request from the local Campbelltown Mufti. (Hamid Mustafalah)

        جميع الأبطال الثلاثة هم حراس الحديقة ولكن سوف يتسامح قليلا من اللبلاب البلاستيك لتزيين طاولة من البلاستيك المنسوجة أو كرسي من البلاستيك التي لا يجلسون ولكن من المفترض أن إضافة إلى ‘الاستثمار’ ممتلكاتهم مضيفا ‘القيمة’.

        ومن خلال بعض الناس الذين يطلعون عليها نتركها تلمع، فإننا نفكر في السماح بمرآبنا إلى غرفة صلاة إسلامية بعد طلب مفترض من مفتي كامبلتاون المحلي. (حميد مصطفى)


  3. shoreacres Says:

    Those violas do have a rather direct gaze, don’t they? They’re one of my favorite flowers, although I see pansies more often. Pansies are a winter flower here: full of cheerfulness when tropicals have gone all droopy and sad.

    A nice ceramic pot or a woven basket do make lovely accents as well as practical containers. The fact that the ceramic pot has some special memories attached is even better. I finally tossed my ceramic efforts: an ashtray, a vase more than a little out of plumb, a soap dish. All were constructed during my school years, and mostly involved coiling — no throwing on a wheel for us.

    I do have one piece I’m quite sentimental about: a vase that was made by a woman in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s. I can’t remember her name just now, and don’t want to lift the vase up to look, because it’s filled with dried eucalyptus and basket-flowers, and I’d have to start all over rearranging it. Maybe I’ll remember. She did some beautiful work with celadon glazes that I never could afford, but I certainly remember them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I am glad that you too saw the Violets’ gaze, Linda. They flower for a long time and the pleasure just lasts during the entire spring.

      When we moved into this town-house about seven years ago, the garden was bare except for a row of rather tall bay trees. I never thought that this space could be transformed into what it is now, a piece of paradise and a joy to live in.

      I tried throwing pots but could not master it and the coil method was tried as well. Perhaps I was too impatient!

      Eucalypt when dried together with other bits and pieces can make very nice arrangement. When we lived on the farm we had about twenty acres of native bush, and for a while I used to cut fresh eucalypt and sell in to flower shops in Sydney. It was a rather nice way of earning some money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        When I lived in Berkeley, I was very close to the UC campus, and there was eucalyptus galore. I still love its fragrance, but fresh is hard to find here. No matter: the dry can bring back memories, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. jennypellett Says:

    I love ceramics. We have a pottery not far away which sells off artists proofs and also mis-firings at an affordable cost. I have several pieces – jugs, especially, of which I am very fond. Finding the odd treasure in a junk shop gives such pleasure, and the fact that it might be undersold but have the provenance of a life well loved makes it all the more appealing. I have a wicker basket just like yours but Helvi puts me to shame. I must have a go at restoring it to somewhere near its former glory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, pottery is such a lovely expression of making objects that one can use and enjoy.
      Some people progress from utility of pottery to making ceramic pieces of art. My father’s brother started with pottery and progressed into ceramic pieces which were shown in galleries.

      Our garden is a work of art. On our walks ,Helvi takes a cutting here and there from people’s gardens, dips it into rooting powder, and manages it to take root and grow in our own garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dis and Dat Says:

    A nice story suited to today, a Sunday. Good to hear Helvi still got what it takes with arty things. Violets are a lovely delicate flower, great for enjoying them while sipping on a glass of wine. Keep it up Helvi and you Geert with your great short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Gardening is what we have done through the decades and each place we lived at was improved by more trees and lushness.

      Gardening is often mistaken for subduing or dominating nature. In fact I feel, it ought to be a gentle assisting and encouraging what is already there.

      It frightens me to see all those slashers, mowers and cutting implements. Those doing edges and endless mowing, snipping in regimented rows, all so neat and regimented. Some gardens weep with all that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. GP Cox Says:

    How to control a sex-addict is meds – they call it chemical castration. But I’d rather see the violets here!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    A little beauty is always a welcome respite from the news these days, Gerard. And, as you noted, if you are willing to look for it, you can find it. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Curt.
      The world needs more ‘Burning man’ and violets growing ought to be made almost obligatory in growing children. In fact, I remember as a school child in Holland, all school children were given a small plot of land during one year of primary school to grow things in. My mother was so pleased to get a bag of potatoes.


  8. Robert Parker Says:

    A very nice scene, lots of nice colors. There was an organic foods restaurant not too far from here, and the chef was fond of putting the petals from pansies and johnny jump ups in the salads and sprinkled on the soups. But the ones in your photo would be hard to eat, when they’re looking straight at you!
    Poor Weinstein was just a hapless victim of his times, as he’s explained, everyone who lived through those decades emerged with rotten attitudes of exploitation and coercion, didn’t they? Maybe a vitamin deficiency, feed him a few violas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Robert. Adding flowers to food was very popular at one stage . I have noticed that serving food on wooden boards has ceased and it is back to ceramic plates again.

      One sometimes still get cooks on TV who put food on a plate so carefully worked at and designed,and so precariously perched on top of each other with a green bit of chive used as scaffolding that it must be a nightmare for the waiter to bring it to the table.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Lovely post Gerard. The arrangement is peaceful and beautiful. Helvi obviously did a good job saving the basket; a perfect receptacle for the violets. I love the blue pot. Makes me wish to see more of her work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      She is a terrific potter and used to do it all in the basement of a terrace house in Sydney with three kids to bring up as well. At that time we too had three young children. Every few weeks she would hold a sale whereby her work was sold to those that already knew of her great and prolific output.

      Inner Sydney suburbs attracted many free spirits and houses were cheap and affordable. At one time it was a hive of artistic and creative expression. Now the areas are millionaire’s retreats full of lawyers and bulging with speculators.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. petspeopleandlife Says:

    lWeinstein and his ik are a sorry lot. I, as well, don’t know how a sex addict is cured. It is a bit late for him to be going after he prodded and probed all those women.

    The violets are lovely and I think they are quite happy in the cute little basket. I adore dishes and those on the table are very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Yes, a beautiful peaceful scene, Gerard! Thank you for sharing it! And thank you to Helvi for making the beauty even more beautiful! 🙂
    Yes, even shrinking violets and shy flowers want to be noticed from time to time. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂


  12. sandshoeblog Says:

    I noticed Harry Pierik’s beautiful gardens, Gez on FB so I went to look at his website. So beautiful.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      An amazing web-site, Shoe. So many beautiful gardens.

      Thank you very much.

      How are you going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandshoeblog Says:

        That’s nice to hear. I felt a bit shy about posting thinking it might be bringing coals to Newcastle if you already knew of this man’s work. Beautiful. I suffer from a bit of stress that in part is the difficult isolation of living in an under services regional town in SA at the moment, Gez. Overheads are savage and the allure is always there of my community in NQ. I guess it would be something like having the Netherlands for you were it so at the top of Australia and not being able to make a Revive trip once a year. 🙂 So delighted am I to be able since I have unlimited data again to be able to pop in to your blog and visit you and Helvi, Gez. That’s a refresher in itself.


  13. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Re: the former artistic community in Sydney: People always ruin a good thing.


  14. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Lovely flowers and pots!
    Umm… violas (in your picture) violets related but different (, they have bunny ears.


  15. gerard oosterman Says:

    You are right, Hilary, but googling Violas I get thousands of picture of musical instruments with just a few pictures of flowers.
    That’s why my descriptions are alternative; sometimes viola and next time violets.

    Having a bet each way.

    How are you travelling?

    Liked by 1 person

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