Thursday 29 May 2014

Seeing red

I have been on hold to BT


(Sorry about the shouting.)

Tuesday 27 May 2014

On food

Wet garlic on granite.

Lettuce on granite.

French Breakfast radishes on granite.

Elizabeth David on dressing a salad
House and Garden May 1953.
Six parts (not three) good olive oil to red wine vinegar.

Can you believe that that picture is not contemporary?

Thursday 22 May 2014

Splashing out

If you have crossed the vasty supermarket car park during a hailstorm,
 with the sky split asunder by lightening as you grip the metal trolley handle,
wondering if this - zap!- is where you will meet your Maker
and you are soaked through by the time you reach the refuge of the car
with its four nice rubber tyres,
and your fringe is dripping
and your glasses are fogged up
then you may permit yourself a wry smile when this

is what is playing on the radio.
The music is as torrential and thunderous as the storm
when it gets to 9:29.
Turn it up and chuck a glass of iced water
over your head for a near authentic experience.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Saw this

on the Isle de la Cité 
and thought of Freda.

Saw this,
and thought of Rachel.

Saw this in the Horyu-ji gallery of treasures in
The National Museum Tokyo
and thought of Alice.

Monday 19 May 2014

Flowers in and out of the house and country

Peonies à la Jane.

Roses in the garden.

Naturalistic wildflower planting
in the Jardin des Tuileries this weekend.

A florist on the Quai aux Fleurs, Isle de la Cité, Paris.

Friday 16 May 2014

Gadding about*

* to go out in search of pleasure,
especially in an aimless manner.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

The plight of the bumblebee

Late last autumn I had two banks of meadow turf laid.

They thrived during the wet winter and have started to flower.

Here's what is in it:

Sheep's Fescue, Red Fescue, Quaking Grass, Meadow Barley, Agrimony, 

Bird's Foot Trefoil, Red Clover, Common Sorrell, White Deadnettle, Fox and Cubs, 

Meadow Cranesbill, Greater Celandine, Autumn Hawkbit, Common Knapweed, 

Common Mallow, Wild Marjoram, Meadow Buttercup, Meadowsweet, Great Mullein,

 Musk Mallow, Opium Poppy, Ragged Robin, Red Campion, Tansy, Teasel, 

Common Toadflax,Viper's Bugloss, White Campion, Wild Basil, Wild Carrot, Clary, 

Wild Thyme, Yarrow, Black Medick,Common Daisy, Welsh Poppy, 

Small Scabious, Maiden Pink, Chicory.

All are rich in pollen and nectar and winter food for birds.

Just typing that list of lovely names makes me feel better,
but the thing is - it seems awfully quiet there.
I've seen 1 Red Admiral,1 Cabbage White,1 Orange Tip, 1 Solitary bee
1 Damsel fly, a few hoverflies
and not a single honey bee.

Let's hope word gets round soon.

Friday 9 May 2014


I bought this book on a whim (61p)
but wondered why the cover seemed so hauntingly familiar.

And then I remembered this dress.

My favourite dress, now about fifty years old.
Hard wired into my memory.
Here are the some of the songs forever playing in the background.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Rustic Adornments...

... for Homes of Taste

It would be a rather difficult matter to sum up
all the social qualities of flowers.
Do we not always feel welcome when, on entering a room, 
we find a display of flowers on the table? 
Where there are flowers about, does not the hostess appear glad, 
the children pleased, the very parrot garrulous, at our arrival;
 the whole scene and all the personages more hearty, 
homely, and beautiful, because of those bewitching roses,
 and brugmansias, and pavonia and mignonette? 
Assuredly, of all simple domestic ornaments flowers must have first place.

Shirley Hibberd  1856

(From a folder of posts labelled draft:
so useful when inspiration fails
and the previous night was wakeful.
Be assured though that your hostess is glad
and her parrot garrulous at your arrival.)

Thursday 1 May 2014

May I

share these encouraging pictures of early summer

on this cool wet May Day?