Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Busy day

Our first whole day with the Busy B.

We are known as Gah collectively.
Or that might be cats.
Or cars.
She likes going to sleep in the sling
while you sing My Bonny Lies over the Ocean
in your dreariest voice.
She wakes from a nap with 
a small self-congratulatory round of applause.
My glasses are not safe.
She likes watermelon, blueberries and pears.
She'll take your arm off for a ripe apricot.
She likes singing and
certain pages of all her many, many books.
She can stand up.
If she falls, she rolls like a stunt artist
in a James Bond movie.
She can rip a velcro pelican bib off with one hand.
This indicates that a meal is over.

An early night tonight I think.

We have another full day of delight tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


This lamb, on the cusp of becoming a sheep,
is still enchanting us with its backlit ears.

As is the grass atop the old wall it shelters behind.

How strange to find someone in Portland Oregon
has arranged almost identical flowers to yours.

If you don't know Alicia Paulson already
do go and look at her lovely blog.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Looking me squarely in the eye

Alice once recommended Instagram to me.
Square pictures.

I'm thinking about it.

Did you know she has a new blog?
Go now.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A lemon on a plate

A new plate made by Nao Nakayama.

A lemon on the new plate.

We have been outside fighting the weeds
and decommissioning the three defunct ponds.

I went on a little longer than was wise.
I was hungry but too enervated to do more than squeeze a lemon
and stir it into olive oil and grated Parmesan.
A sauce for a bowl of tagliatelle.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The good guys and the bad guys

All the greens are gorgeous, of course

but just now,

 some greens,

I must confess,

are more gorgeous

than others.

The top five pictures are Sissinghurst.

The bottom five -
angelica, goosegrass, brambles, ground elder,
gone mad geraniums, bindweed,
tiny pernicious weed in gravel, 
giant what-the-dickens-is-this? weed,

are not.

The bad guys are winning.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Ah lambs!

Ah bluebells!

Ah rhododendrons!

Ah azaleas!

Ah wisteria!

Ah cow parsley!

Ah May!

(And election day,

by the way.)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Secret Garden

By train to Cambridge.

And a chance to visit the Fellows' gardens at Trinity College.

Does anybody know what this is?
The branches are like thorny antlers.

I knew I'd seen it somewhere before.
And then it came to me.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Whistle

Imagine that you are strolling

through the Spring garden

at Great Dixter,

admiring the tulips

when you hear this plaintive sound (from 2.04)
distant in the valley below

and it is summoning you.

This is the sound that you heard from your attic window at night
when you were a child,
only then it was from the great steam trains 
running out of King's Cross on the Great Northern Railway up to Scotland.

So you insist that you must find the train
and take a ride from Northiam to Bodiam and back.

And luckily there is only ten minutes to wait for the next train.

It is just a long enough ride to recall a journey down to Cornwall
for a summer fortnight in Polperro.
You were six and packed your little brown suitcase,
with the brown gingham paper lining

and felt very smart in a two piece light green 'suit'
and had to be told not to lean out of the window
because of the smuts.
The big tin trunk had gone down ahead of the family
and you wore your school uniform until it was time to leave
because all the summer clothes had been packed.

That's how old I am.
And it only takes a whistle to telescope the years.