“They say: sufferings are misfortunes,” said Pierre. ‘But if at once this minute, I was asked, would I remain what I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again, I should say, for God’s sake let me rather be a prisoner and eat horseflesh again. We imagine that as soon as we are torn out of our habitual path all is over, but it is only the beginning of something new and good. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is a great deal, a great deal before us.”

― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace


My blog is my happy place – I normally try very hard to keep real life out of my flowery musings. Last night, however, as I watched the emotionally exhausting ending to the excellent BBC War & Peace series, I listened to Count Pierre Bezukhov say the words above as he reflected on his time as a prisoner of war before the tragic events of war led him to happiness through marriage to Natasha Rostova. As I pondered on those words I was moved to reconsider what I would be posting today.


Yesterday was a very difficult day – I would go so far as to say my floral stuffing was knocked out of me as news broke of an armed robbery in our local area. I was concerned in a general way as I heard the first story – shocked to my core as more details emerged and I realised that the victim, who was shot in the leg and suffered ‘life changing injuries’ is a friend. I am still in shock – this is England where gun crime is almost unheard of. How could a man be shot in his own home – not even in London where perhaps gun crime is on the increase, but in the Essex countryside?


Pierre’s word of hope made me question whether things will always work out for the best? How will that family move forward from this terrible event? The house where this happened is a realisation of a dream for them – they have cherished it and poured money into making sure that after a long history it will survive on into the future. This is a home where two young girls have enjoyed idyllic summers, old dogs have rested in the shade, rescued battery chickens have found a new life in the sun and planting plans have been formed over cups of coffee. It is a home that has seen parties and dinners and family gatherings – a place of joy and comfort.


So how will this family move forwards now  – how, I ask myself, can your children be happy in a home that has been so violated that their father now lies in hospital with an injury that may alter the future for them all? Can the dream of home, which is so bound in safety and security, ever exist for them again in a building that meant so much, but has directly resulted in this destruction of a life as they knew it.

To make matters worse the press have now picked up on the story and are turning this family’s tragedy into an opportunity to pry into and make public their private life. How can it be right to print the details of someone’s identity, place of business and occupation when the gunman who injured him is still at large. In fact when is it ever right to make public the private life of a victim of crime – is it not bad enough to have suffered such injury without having the world poring over your family life.

Paper whites

I can only hope that Leo Tolstoy is right and that the tearing apart of this family’s life is the beginning of something new and good – although at the moment I struggle to see how that will emerge from the current wreckage.


I hope that my vase today – spring flowers emerging from the winter cloak that lays over the garden, will be seen as a message of hope for the future.

As ever I am linking up with Cathy from Rambling In The Garden to join in with her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase in the house every week of the year – thank you Cathy for all the time you put into keeping this lovely meme going.

I will be back on Friday with my second post on Growing Sweet Peas (read Part 1 here). For Part 2  I have a very exciting Giveaway to announce – Agriframes are offering some of the lovely jute netting (UK readers only) that I am always urging you to use, so make sure you pop back on Friday to have a chance of winning.

I look forward to seeing you all again on Friday and next Monday – when I promise to be back with a much more upbeat vase!!