Saturday, 3 December 2016

Friday, 2 December 2016

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Safely tethered

Can it really be four years since the men came to pollard the Plane trees?
But no. It isn't. 
I've checked and it seems they really are a little early.
It was April 2013.

This is why I am impervious to the cries of, 'Blogging is dead! Long live Instagram!'
My blog is my aide memoire, for a memoire that is distinctly hazy these days.
It is also a stabiliser.
A reassurance in turbulent times.
See here and anywhere here for further grounding.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sweeping up the leaves

 In London and New York.
This last one taken by my son just before his return to the UK
with this little girl.

We can't wait.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Overtaken by events

Of course I have dozens of pictures from our New York trip.
Parks, museums, streets, meals, family outings,
Trick or Treating, iconic buildings and bridges, wildlife,
autumn colour, quirky sights.
You can probably imagine most of them.

I should put them up, as a reminder of an intense and amazing experience,
but what with my computer struggling to upload said pictures
while Photos fights with iPhoto
and me struggling to imagine what's going to happen now,
the following is the best I can manage.
It's bathetic I know.

Big Bird takes a moment in Central Park.

Dead bird lies on a Manhattan pavement.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Lagging behind

As we drove from JFK to our Airbnb in Brooklyn
the cab driver had the third and final debate
between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
playing at full volume.

These are the only posters I saw.
This rally

was largely composed of Chinese Americans
at the foot of Trump Tower.
There was no getting away from it.
The prevailing mood amongst the people we met,
seemed to be that of apologetic despair.
And that, from both sides.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

After Eight?

It started with a backlit Cotinus coggygria leaf
eight years ago.
I observe that my postings have declined in number year on year.
At this rate of attrition
(and I admit that my O-level maths is struggling here)
it looks as if there will be a biannual offering in 2017,
of, say, a shadow on the sand at low tide and a backlit autumn leaf,
and then a solitary smokebush leaf in 2018.

This calls for drastic action.
I must search further afield for exciting new material.

Friday, 14 October 2016

The last of the ha-ha-harvest

Red cabbage - mostly snail and caterpillar.
Carrots - mostly carrot fly.
Beetroot - mostly too big and woody.

Nevertheless I have managed to extract a borscht
from these flawed ingredients.
The snails and caterpillars were spared.

I have decided to give that bed over to tulips for cutting next spring.
It's too warm to plant them yet so I must hold off
otherwise they will be mostly - Tulip fire fungus.
Even Sarah Raven has suffered from this.

Friday, 7 October 2016


We are a starved society living in the midst of plenty.
Our possessions are many, our serenities few.

Laurie Lee.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Autumn delight

I mean, look at these.
Multicoloured berries,
like necklace beads,

or sugared almonds,

or tiny speckled blue eggs.

They were growing on some kind of vine
on a wire fence surrounding the tables
at a café in Kew Gardens.

I have never seen anything like them.
Nobody was taking any notice of them.
They weren't flagged up as seasonal highlights 
on the board at the entrance.

Finding them was a moment of pure delight.

If I can find out what they are
I'm going to grow them everywhere.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Summer's End

It was a perfect day to tackle a section of the 1066 Country Walk.

 And then this:
the sight of House Martins congregating on telephone wires and roofs.

We stopped half way for lunch in a pub,

turned back to retrace our footsteps,

and every last one of them had gone.

Today I pulled up the spent squash and runner bean plants
and started to think about -

you might want to look away now - 

my Advent window.