Staying with the Hertfordshire family recently I was saddened to see a dying rose swamped with ants.
The working colleagues of my DIL had bought her a beautiful rose bush to commemorate MTL.
In spite of regular watering, when I was down it seemed the end was nigh.
DIL provided some really delicious manure and - with their permission - I chopped it back quite ruthlessly and dug out all the straggly weeds and put a curse on the ants. Over the next few days it was lovingly watered - gently at first and then quite forcefully with vocal encouragement - always vital as HRH would be the first to aver.
A few prayers were said also and suggestions for future care. Now look at it!
Monday, August 11, 2014
.It was Joey's Post that made me remember it http://llcooljoe01.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/be-yourself-unless-it-offends-someone.html
When Margaret was visiting the other week on a blisteringly hot day we decided to drift down to the town and try out the new Costas. There are tables outside with an excellent view down the Avenue and shaded. Even so we plumped for hats - mine an old straw and Margaret's denim.
It turned out to be a most pleasant way to have a gossip, catch up, watch the passers - by with lots of additional holiday makers and test the iced lemon tea.
Later Margaret went up the hill to visit a neighbour who I didn't know.
The friend said she had spotted us at Costas.
'Did your friend have on a white layered skirt,' she asked?
'Yes,' she was told, 'why?'
'Well you just looked as if you didn't belong.'
What did she mean? Neither of us were flashing the flesh; we were comfortably dressed and thus able to keep cool in heat wave. Any idea?
Sunday, August 03, 2014
The Myrtle is late - but amazing this year.
'Knowest thou the land where the lemon trees bloom? In the dark foliage the golden oranges gleam, a soft wind blows from the blue heavens, the myrtle is still and the laurel stands high'
My favourite tub because it has come up smiling with no succour - from last year.
' The bride hath paced into the hall, red as a rose is she.'
Hibiscus. My ship mate Dylan says he has two - the same pinky mauve shade.
Those wretched pigeons. This blue plant has really gone forth and multiplied- and cracked the pottery tub.
I never tire of these Japanese anenomes
Sweet smelling stocks.
'If thou hast not a capon, feed on an onion.'
J. Ray English Proverbs
'Unkempt about those hedges blows an English unofficial rose.'
'What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'
Progress report: up to page 246 - just 58 more to go before starting the final edit when the real work begins.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Four Firm Friends.
“We could have a picnic.”
Since 1985 Margaret, Jackie, Joy and I had been friends. Margaret was born in the West Country and relocated to Minehead in 1984. Joy was already here. I came in 1985 and Jackie a year later. I can’t remember how it happened but Margaret was the catalyst that drew us all together and we became firm friends. At least once a month we would have a jaunt, taking it in turns to organise the outing which would remain a secret until we arrived.
Margaret reminded me that I always preferred to visit a country
This is how Margaret remembers it:
M: Pat what have you brought in your picnic.
P: I don’t know; Alastair made it.
According to M I then brought out napkins, a series of dainty little goodies, four wine glasses and a chilled bottle of wine. I have no recollection of this but it is true I was very, very spoilt.
Things are rather different these days. It was a sadness to us all when Margaret and her husband left for
Jackie is about to be 90 and is very well cared for by her daughter with whom she lives. Joy is now a widow and quite frail especially since a fall in the garden which has prompted assisted living – at least for the time being.
Our problem was how we could get us all together whilst Margaret was visiting me and her suggestion of a picnic didn’t seem a brilliant idea. As usual Margaret made light of any difficulties and a plan was formed.
Jackie’s daughter Jane would drive her up to Joy’s house complete with her picnic. The door would be open so we could all gain access. Margaret and I would walk up the hill with our own picnic and would prepare Joy’s when we got there.
Then we started getting cancellations and doubts and fears but M and I were adamant it was going to come to pass and if Joy wasn’t happy after a few minutes we would retire gracefully.
At first it was quite muted as we reacquainted ourselves as a group. I was quite peckish so made Joy salmon sandwiches garnished with lettuce and tomato – enough for have to have for lunch and later. Wisely Joy kept the wine in the fridge and M and I had already decided - with the various medicaments we would have our tipple later in the day. We had – between us - to get Jackie safely home - down one lane and up another. Gradually we fell into our usual – everybody talking at once, some of us getting the wrong end of the stick, mishearing, reminiscing and having a good time.
Two hours later when we thought perhaps it was time to go Joy perked up and wanted us all to go upstairs to see the suit she had bought with her daughter for her daughter’s second wedding. We followed Joy up on her stair lift – keeping a hand on Jackie and then we had to back down a bit whilst Joy dismantled the stair lift so we could get by.
We admired the suit, compared it with the suit she and I had bought together for her grand-daughter’s wedding and Margaret and I made the bed - being hypercritical of each other’s hospital corners. (Margaret was once a Norland Nanny) We were given a tour of the upstairs – my second in a week and at some stage we went to inspect the back garden and take nuts for the birds.
This was a bit nerve wracking as the garden is steep and we had to keep an eye on Jackie and Joy. Then it really was time to go. There were hugs and kisses and a few tears all round. Joy has her son’s visit next week to look forward to and Jackie’s daughter is giving a party for her 90th soon.
We got Jackie safely home – by this time some of us weren’t quite sure who we were and decided we would have a night on the town whilst we still could.
Showered and changed we ambled down the lovely tree- lined Avenue in the fantastic weather we have had for a week now - with a delicious warm sea breeze to the newish Stones pub, and had a very pleasant veggie meal in their garden. It was such a balmy evening we took a long rambling walk home remembering various houses and people we had known, reflecting how Minehead had changed over the years but was still the quiet, sleepy, laid back town we had always known.
Who knows what the future holds but what a blessing to still have at least three friends for life.
Please see pics below.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Eighteen months on.
Thanks to Judy Kennedy Carrino for sharing this beautiful piece which I have found to be true.
“ When we lose someone we love, we discover that time does not heal everything. After a while, the ache in our heart begins to ease a bit, and we laugh again, life goes on and many times we reconnect with those still physically with us in much deeper more beautiful ways. And eventually the good memories outnumber the sad thoughts and we begin to sense that what we thought was lost, has actually been with us all along.
We can’t explain it, touch it or prove it – but there are moments we catch ourselves smiling because we know it’s true.”
Paul. S. Boynton
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Andrew took the day off and delivered us to this oasis of calm. Perfect day and wonder of wonders - no hordes! Do click on pics.
Our first peek. Lot of oohs and aahs from me.
For 600 years home to the de Greys
One of the few remaining formal gardens of the early 18th-century.
Terrace and French parterre
The Duke kept a bucket of plaster of Paris to hand so he could enhance any curves he found wanting.
Sadly the fountain wasn't working
The Bath house
Lots of cool secret gardens to chill in.
Inside the bath house.
Great views whilst one is performing one's ablutions
Maybe a little draughty?
American Garden and below which I found a little disappointing. Perhaps a work in progress..
Inside the Bowling Green House. Reminded me of Wedgewood
We spent a while watching Mum and the ducklings . There were seven.
The Long water.
We gave the geese a pretty wide berth
A bit of tree lopping going to the left. There's heaps more but we just slowly absorbed the peace and beauty. We had a reasonable lunch there but the luscious looking cake was dry. My second disappointment.
Andrew bought me a book on Wrest Park. Jenny very sweetly offered to carry it so I could continue shooting. I had to laugh when Andrew told me Jenny said:
"Andrew gets the kiss and I get to carry the book."
There have to be some perks to getting old:)
P.S. It's great I can down load so many but I still haven't got it so I can edit them first. One day...