Wednesday 30 June 2010


Just been to see the fabulous Swingle Singers.

 Catch them if you can.

Sweet peas

for one of the cubs.

My son dealt very calmly with a sad but inevitable
casualty of a large, city litter.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Fruit and maps

You can have them thisaway


If you have them thisaway, they are certainly more portable
on walks,
but if you have them thataway
you can put on a yellow T-shirt
as recommended by the man selling them,
and let them dribble down your chin.

Monday 28 June 2010

Going greige

Unless you're wearing three shades of 'greige' on a daily basis, 
you're seriously behind. 
The curious colour hybrid (grey and beige - do keep up) 
is now the one on fashion insider's lips - literally.

"Shades of steel, stone, shell and fawn send a message 
of quiet luxury and timelessness during an economic recession," 
says Future Laboratory trends expert Jonna Dagliden...

Put simply, greige looks more expensive than it is
 without tipping into the realms of "flashy" 
and less than a week after the new Budget, 
that seems pretty appealing.

Who needs a triple-digit handbag 
when you can get this season's hottest arm candy for a snip at £16 
with Chanel's Le Vernis nail polish in ParticuliƩre.

This vital advice brought to you by The London Evening Standard
and these on trend but nervy visitors to the garden tonight.

Here I am, apparently sliding under the table 
with my new greige hairdo.
Am thinking of changing my name to Bella Blissett.
(It was her byline, btw, and I think only good fortune
and eternal happiness can come with a name like that.)
I was nearly a Minette.
Who would she have been?
A cat possibly.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Smoke Bush

My Cotinus coggygria is beginning to take on its 
characteristic smoky purple haze 
as it comes into flower for the first time.

For musical accompaniments
it was a toss up between this one:

and this one:

My vote?
Your vote?

Saturday 26 June 2010

Seen in Wakefield

Twenty five miles away.

Friday 25 June 2010

Love's Labour

The labour

of love.

This music featured in Kenneth Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost.

Thursday 24 June 2010

The new prescription

When you've been looking here,

you need your rosiest tinted spectacles

when you get back here.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

They shoot horses don't they?

In haste.
There's a tennis match going on
and on
and on
59/59 in the 5th set.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Early one morning

The garden belongs to itself at 5 a.m.  

 I am not expected.

There is a cool independent air.
The business of the day has commenced
needless of my presence.

The virginal sky receives the red-eye. 

New light investigates
dark corners.




move in.

Suddenly tired,
I go back to bed.

Monday 21 June 2010

Strawberry Bellinis

According to Something To Do, 
my trusty guide since 1966 for all things seasonal,

The 21st June is Midsummer's Day, the longest day in the year. 
The sun rises earlier and sets later than on any other day. 
It is also a day of magic, 
when fairies (if you believe in them) 
feast and dance from midnight to dawn.
Years ago people used to light bonfires on Midsummer's Day 
to encourage the sun to shine. 
They would hurl burning discs into the air 
and roll blazing wheels downhill 
in imitation of the sun's journey across the sky.

We, on the other hand, lit a candle and made Strawberry Bellinis.
This encourages the fairies.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Just popping by

with this poppy.
Have been far away
to Manchester.

It didn't rain.
But I'm a little under the weather.

Friday 18 June 2010

Raspberry ripple

Wall's ice cream came in family bricks,
served at home as a special pudding after Sunday lunch.
We became pretty adept at cutting it into equal fifths.

I liked Neapolitan, three segments of 
strawberry,vanilla and chocolate flavour,

habitually referred to by my grandma as Metropolitan.
But my favourite was Raspberry Ripple.

So I can never look at a Rosa mundi
without it conjuring up the memory
of roast beef, lamb and pork
in strict weekly rotation,
each with its proper accompaniment -
mustard, mint sauce, apple sauce. 

An odd fusion lodged deep in the little grey cells, 
adjacent to similarly vivid childhood memories associated with 
mimosa, vanilla sugar, raffia, Plasticine and Lily of the Valley.
And if anyone could find me a plastic troll and a Pez machine to sniff,
I'd be ten again.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Variety is the spice of life

Who knows what a day will proffer.

Lavender syrup
lavender lemonade

A tribute to the late Johnny Dankworth at a concert tonight.
The City of London Choir will sing and we're hoping for
a guest appearance by 
this lady.

Wednesday 16 June 2010


A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness, but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made of our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

from Endymion, Book 1
John Keats

Beauty in another bower here.

Tuesday 15 June 2010