Monday 31 August 2015

Kondoing the condiments- again

Goodbye garam masala.
Farewell 5-spice.
Ta-ta za'atar.
Adios allspice.
Bye bye bay leaves
(there's a whole tree outside).
So long so many sesame seeds.

Well what else would you do on a dismal Bank Holiday Monday?
Might as well have a laugh at the same time.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

The Young Visiter*

 She is a lively and entertaining child
with a rich and sometimes accurate vocabulary -
'ess', 'het', 'cat', 'up tairs', 'iss', 'dat', vigorous head shaking 
and a fine line in imperious hand signals.
She is walking briskly at 11 months,
and acquired her first almost cartoon-like bump on the forehead 
to show for it this weekend.
(Bad POANG chair).
I wonder if Daisy Ashford* was somewhat like her at that age.

Friday 21 August 2015


I must ask Hiroko and Chika if there is
a Japanese equivalent of a plummy accent.
We covered puns yesterday - there was a Japanese one
to do with a futon which caused much hilarity.
I had to explain damp this morning as my resident
Japanologist had left the building.
I used my right hand to indicate wet and my left hand to indicate dry
some distance away
and then with a smart chopping movement 
half way between the two,
said Damp!.
It was deemed to be a useful addition to their vocabulary
so I was glad to have been of assistance.

Luckily they didn't ask me to explain moist.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Treasure hunt

Opals, emeralds, tourmaline, turquoise, aquamarine

and a silver mesh necklace.

Thursday 13 August 2015

Bye summer?

Is that it?
Is summer over?
It has been dark, dark, dark all day.
I hear rustlings of spring from Antipodean blogs.
Their days are lengthening.
The sun favours them with its strengthening rays
as we turn our face away.
The plane trees leaves are falling -
brown paper napkins littering the drive.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

View from a log

and a prizewinning dog.

Monday 10 August 2015

Blog from a log

We've had to have a tree felled.

It was the huge cedar crammed into our front garden.

I see that in 2009 I couldn't contemplate having it cut down.

But the goldcrests have long since departed 
leaving only the pigeons.

Meanwhile the tree has continued to grow,
and its roots have lifted the driveway.

And one windy night a large branch fell,
mercifully on our side of the fence
and not into the road.

At one point there were seven men wielding three chainsaws.

It was a massive undertaking
and took six hours to bring down.

We've saved as much of the wood as we could.

It was eighty eight years old.

What a difference it has made to our south facing sitting room,
previously cast in deep shade all year round.

Now we must plant something more suited to its situation.

As Loudan said in his 1832 edition of Useful and Ornamental Planting,

'no tree confers such an air of grandeur and dignity upon the grounds 
surrounding a mansion as a full-grown cedar of Lebanon'


'Remember that a squashed cedar is a sign of unaffordable pretensions.'

Monday 3 August 2015

At your own risk


Very tempting.

We'll just have a look.

It's a steep climb down
but someone has cut some new steps

and provided a bench

and a rope to hang onto.

Here's another sign.
What does this one say?



and pretty much deserted.

At least in any direction I was looking.