Wednesday 29 June 2011

On the river

It had been a lovely afternoon, thought Mrs Miniver
as they moved smoothly downstream between the low green banks.
In most parts of England this was the season of the year
that she liked least - this ripe, sultry time
when the trees were no longer jade but malachite,
and the hedges looked almost black against the parched fields...

Summer was bathos, d├ęgringolade:
one waited longingly for autumn,
which would bring back colour and magic.
But in this sort of landscape,
high summer was the perfect time.
Here, the grass of the water meadows was fresh, cool, and green;
the steady onward sweep of the river,
the quivering reflections in its depths
and the play of light on it surface,
gave movement and variety ...

Even the rank and ramping vegetation of summer
(such a come-down, in most places,
after the delicate miraculous experiments of spring)
seemed here to be superbly appropriate,
like large jewellery on a fine, bold, handsome woman.
Down by the water's edge there were coarse clumps
of comfrey and fig-wort,
hemp agrimony and giant dock;
on the banks, a tangle of vetch and convolvulous,
moon daisies, yarrow, and bedstraw;
while from higher up still came 
the heavy, heady sweetness of elder flowers.

Comfrey from Flowers of Marsh & Stream
King Penguin by Iolo A. Williams

Moon daisies in my British Wildflower picture card collection 
with its illustrations by C.F Tunnicliffe R.A  issued in 1964 and
'offered in the interests of education and wildlife conservation'
Delving into a packet of fragrant loose leaf tea for the newest card
is a delight lost to present day children.
I had thirty-four of the fifty cards needed to complete the album.

Convolvulous from
Flower Fairies of the Wayside by Cicely Mary Barker

Extract from Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther.

Monday 27 June 2011

Blazing hot

Grandma's jug.

Greek salad with marinated onions for lunch with visitors.
And just because it wasn't already hot enough in the kitchen -
roasted Mediterranean vegetables,
red and white quinoa, harissa dressing and smoked tofu for supper.
Ice cream.

Friday 24 June 2011

The new library

 The brief was to brighten up 
a children's school library ceiling 
as part of a major reorganisation and refurbishment.

Twenty feet of sloping ceiling
with irregularly spaced lights, to decorate.

There was already a fantastic jungle mural on the wall
so it had to complement that -

using materials readily to hand in the art cupboard.

It was the Grand Opening today.
The VIPs attended, the sun shone,
speeches were made
 and a ribbon was cut.
Well done O.
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Evening (north facing) kitchen

Sunlit dishwasher once a year,
for your delectation.
I should get out more.

Tuesday 21 June 2011


Looking down,

looking up,
on the longest day.

Flying with Mozart

 It's a good thing the day is long,
there is much to do ...

Enjoying this rush of wind under my wings,
the Rondo Allegro at 04:19.

Monday 20 June 2011


I accidently disturbed an ant's nest beneath a slate.

They immediately fell to rectifying the damage
by implementing their emergency drill,
carrying the exposed pupae to safety underground.
It was so methodical and swift.
Most of the ants were porters
although some of them did seem to be scurrying
rather frenziedly to and fro,
metaphorically clutching their heads and exclaiming,

Friday 17 June 2011

Thursday 16 June 2011

Nearly finished

And so am I.
Luckily we're going out for a curry tonight.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Cutting out and colouring in

There's a little project on the go.

It's taking rather a lot longer than I anticipated,

when I offered to decorate a children's library ceiling.

The Sistine chapel it is not,

but, if I'm not here much

 picture me on my scaffold with a cricked neck.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Friday 10 June 2011

A plea









They arrived last year as tiny plugs
from my veg box provider 
and did nothing.
Now suddenly it is about 2' high with
soft thick leaves and
 spurs of delicate mauve bracts.