Saturday, 8 September 2018

Summer's end

In a way it wasn't such a great hardship 
to have scaffolding up in summer
because I always forget that the light doesn't penetrate
until autumn.

This is possibly Great Dixter's finest hour.

Zinnias are giving dahlias a run for their money this year.

Someone had her fourth birthday.
All things unicorn and rainbow
were the order of the day.

Saturday, 1 September 2018


 In other news, I knitted a bunny for grandson 
as a companion for the elephant I knitted granddaughter
using another one of Julie Williams' wonderful patterns.
I cheated with the jumper as I had some self-striping wool 
left over and it meant fewer ends to sew in.

The garden is getting tangled and unmanageable.

So naturally I turned my attention to something tangled that I could sort out -
the ribbon drawer.
This is kept in a small chest of drawers that used to house
 my father's wireless-making equipment.
Top drawer buttons,
second drawer spools of thread,
third drawer tape measures, needles, pins, fixings and scissors,
fourth drawer, ribbons.

As a child there was a ribbon drawer for my hair.
I loved choosing a ribbon for the day.
They didn't stay in my hair for long though.
Now I come to think of it, there was a handkerchief drawer too.
Does anyone still give a child a clean hanky each day?
We had a pocket in our school knickers for them.
How bizarre!
A colourful hanky was a vital accessory for the ferryman game.
You chanted in a line opposite one child,

Ferry me across the river,
do boatman do.
For I've a penny in my purse and my eyes are blue.

(They aren't but that didn't seem to matter.)

Then the boatman would say. 
I'll ferry you across the river if you can show me something with the colour ...
and then you had to produce said item.
If you couldn't and with a brown school uniform it was a challenge
for the unprepared,
you had to race across the invisible river without being caught.

Miniature autumn tints in the bonsai walk at Wisley.

Giant pale pumpkin looking like 
a giant something else in the vegetable garden.

Windfall apples in the orchard at Wisley.
Too tempting not to try several of them and lament 
the paucity of choice in our supermarkets and greengrocers.
They all tasted so different.
When I say all, I mean a few.

I so wished I could pick these for crab apple jelly.

I seem to have been waylaid by Instagram. I thought it would never happen.
You might like to pick up some windfalls over there from time to time.

Thursday, 16 August 2018


I'd like a chaise longue covered in
moorhen's foot green velvet.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

In the detail

We hotfooted it up to the Lake District for two days
in search of mizzle, lowering clouds and cool temperatures,
reliably on offer on previous occasions as I remembered.

Instead, we found a fair facsimile of the weather 
we've been having down South.

Normally so very welcome.

Fortunately we also found the holiday home of one man's dreams:

Blackwell overlooking Windermere,
an Arts & Crafts house,
designed by MH Baillie Scott
for Sir Edward Holt and his family.

Every detail was exquisitely crafted,

and preserved intact thanks to years used as a girl's school,
with boards put up to protect the original features.

Tiles by William de Morgan.

As much as I marvelled at the
skill and workmanship on display throughout a house
where no expense was spared

I was also bowled over by the precision
of the dry stone wall builders
seen everywhere on our walks.