Wednesday 29 April 2009


An allium. 

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Cloths of Heaven


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats 1865 -1939

Monday 27 April 2009

The Pill Box

When I was a child, as well as having a conventional doctor,
 one Dr. Wolf,
I was also treated with homeopathic remedies.
These were either powders administered from the corners of folded paper,
or small white pills that came in charming boxes like these.

But this one no longer has pills in it.

It contains something much more surprising...

two shiny red seeds, with ivory lids,


They are carved in ivory and measure 3mm in diameter.

They number among the things that I have always had,
 but until now exhibited very little curiosity about.

This blog tells the story of the Manjadikuru, the Lucky Red Seeds from Kerala in India.

Hindi legend states that the owner of one of these Circassian seeds would be granted a secret wish for each of the 12 miniature hand carved elephants inside it.

It is a miracle that even two of these have survived.
Perhaps that was my secret wish.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Swan Pond

On the Round Pond, Kensington Gardens, London.
Part of a visit for another purpose.

Friday 24 April 2009

Playing with rainbows

The prisms on the landing window cill make fresh works of art every sunny day.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Gathering pace

Parrot tulips




Silver birch leaves

Sunday 19 April 2009

You've met the parents

now meet some of their offspring -

we reckon about a million of them.

This book was a beautiful but curious introduction to the life story of the frog.
Albert Shiels, Professor Emeritus of Education at Teacher's College, Columbia University wrote in the preface in 1932,
' What children need first is to know, to understand, and especially to feel, and feel abundantly. It is not through text book cataloguing of facts that children come to know and to love Nature. 

For those children who are unable to have outdoor adventures, Wagtail will take the place of these adventures; and for those more fortunate children who have observed the actual happenings in and about a country pool, Wagtail will answer all the questions that inevitably result, by making their observations into a story.

It is pleasant to note that ...authors, artist, and publisher seem to have been of one mind in believing that children, too, are people of judgement, competent to enjoy a fine book.'

The only trouble was that Groundhogs, Turtles and Blue Herons didn't feature on any of my
nature walks; the robins looked more like thrushes and the 'glistening black snake as thick as a fat milkweed stock' could have come straight from the Just So Stories.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Victory dance?

Look here for the inception of this entry.
I love a coincidence and this one was  particularly quirky.

It has been a testing time lately so
I'm happy to be able to bring you dancing women, 
some jolly spring blooms, 
and a nearly empty ironing basket.

Not a victory perhaps, but doing our best to enjoy.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Ely Cathedral

Festal Evensong for Cambridge Cantat 800
transmitted live on Radio 3 as the Handel Week edition of Choral Evensong.

Walking into the town after the service was like stumbling into an episode of Miss Marple.
We were greeted left and right by portly perambulating Deans 
and a twinkling old lady, who darted from her wallflowered front gardens 
to congratulate the choir.

There was a trestle table with this 40p polyanthus and an honesty box.