Thursday 30 May 2013

Scent trail

Nigel Slater's list of favourite scents:

dim sum
old books
warm flapjacks
a roasting chicken
a freshly snapped runner bean
cress seeds sprouting on wet blotting paper
a whiff of white narcissi on a freezing winter's day


apple wood smoke
lily of the valley
wet nasturtiums
privet flowers
garam masala
lime blossom
new carpet
lemon zest
new bread
cut grass


Tuesday 28 May 2013

Getting things into perspective

 One of the things I learned the hard way was 
that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. 
Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life 
can restore your faith in yourself.
 Lucille Ball

Friday 24 May 2013

Snap it up

while you can.

Summer was doing its best to fulfill its obligations.

Or as Son the Younger less forgivingly put it:

"Uh, hi, I'd like to return this summer please. It appears to be faulty."

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Thursday 16 May 2013

Fifties Find

I've been looking for some curtain material.
I had an idea I wanted splashy yellow roses 
on a grey background.
I could picture it, but I couldn't find it.
All the usual avenues having been exhausted
and prices per metre being shockingly high
for anything I quite liked,
I turned to a well known auction site.

And sitting there on the haberdasher's counter
 was a bolt of 7 yards 16 inches of unused
1950s Bevis fabric made for Simpson and Godlee.
Priced at £1 6s 11d per yard when new,
this would have cost me the equivalent of almost £200.

There was one other customer, eyeing it speculatively.
I turned out my purse for sixpences, threepenny bits,
florins and half crowns.
I opened my wallet for blue fivers, brown ten bob notes
 and green pounds.
I thought I might have enough.

The auction ended this afternoon.

Mine for £25. Happy me.
I'll have it sent. It's quite heavy.

But will I dare cut into it?

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Gathered together

 We've had a holiday
which took in

a smiling lamb,

 English bluebells,

Wood anemones,

 unfurling hazel leaves,

 goldfish in a moat,

the hall window at Lamb's House,
home to Henry James and E.F. Benson,

graffiti in the mill at Bateman's,
Rudyard Kipling's home,

Japonica on a quiet afternoon at Sissinghurst,

opalescent magnolia in the White Garden,
(the better for not being seen in strong sunshine),

swans in reeds,

swans in fields,

an urn to remember, planted with clematis,

and Great Dixter

with a surprising sight, 
not photographed out of compassion;
pot of well past it hyacinths in its front of porch display.
Strangely comforting to remember
when one returns to ones less than perfect abode.

Tuesday 14 May 2013


Scotney Castle in Kent, an English country house
with this ruined medieval moated manor house in its garden.

What did I like best ?

This wallpaper
by Colefax and Fowler.

Monday 13 May 2013

Digging for treasure

in the garden.
Beautiful intact glass and stoneware bottles.
Better than gold coins, in my book.

Friday 3 May 2013

Wrong number

Ring ring, ring ring, ring ring.

Me to indistinct voice replying:
Hello is that xyz estate agents?

Indistinct voice now sounding rather startled:
Actually no, this is The Bank of England.

Oh the rejoinders I have come up with since hanging up.
What I actually said:
Ah. Sorry about that.

What would you have said?