The Eyes Have It

Elizabeth's bed

This morning, when she had finished her work, including planting of spring bulbs, in Elizabeth’s Bed, Jackie joined me in clearing up after yesterday’s installation of the Monet arch. This involved removing more clippings to the burning pile; a slight repositioning of the path edgings; and hoeing and raking the gravel. She had, yesterday evening, retrained selected stems from the two roses.

Open Reach engineer

Open Reach engineer and Monet arch

I had enjoyed a certain amount of banter with a pair of Open Reach engineers who spent most of the day working on a pole outside our house. I suggested that, because of their frequent attendance, they may like to buy a season ticket.

Temporary traffic lights

At least their temporary traffic lights slowed the traffic. We could do with them all the time.

Rose magenta climber

Miraculously, this magenta rose still blooms at the end of the stem shown on the arch.

I understand that certain Australians are under the impression that we have stolen their sunshine. They may appreciate the benefits of what they are missing by seeing that

Bee on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

our bees still plunder flowers such as the dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;


that sunflowers, impersonating Catherine Wheels, still tower aloft;


and that this honeysuckle, very poorly earlier in the year, has recovered after liberal doses of systemic fungicide and insecticide.

Later, I made a couple of prints for Frances, and posted them. She had asked me for a copy of one taken by Jenny on 17th.

Frances 1950sFrances 17.9.15

I was struck by the same pair of sparkling eyes that had smiled at her father’s lens in the 1950s, so I made an additional crop of our sister-in-law herself.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with pickled onions and cornichons. Jackie drank Festbier, ‘brewed according to German purity law’, and I drank Doom Bar.


  1. I read of a study conducted a few years ago in Sweden that seems to indicate that the eyes are indeed the “window of the soul.”
    The study found that everyone has a different structure of lines and dots and colors in the iris and argued that eye structure and personality could be linked because the genes responsible for the development of the iris also play a role in shaping the frontal lobe of the brain, which influences personality. So maybe the eyes DO have it!

  2. Thanks for the flowers and the sunshine; we’ll have it back now, thank you. Swap you for rain clouds if you like. Our forecast predicts that we’ll have a sunny spring day by Monday and 26ºC by Tuesday.

  3. Lovely eyes, and a matching smile.

    Your posts, aside from being lovely offerings, continue to further my education. I can now ask for little gherkins using a posh sounding word, and I know that Doom Bar is not some low-down, dangerous drinking establishment.

  4. Before and after photos are quite compelling – one sees the eternal and the effects and choices made during a life – in this case the result is quite beautiful!!

    Honeysuckle in my experience is always riddled with fungus and pests – can’t grow it even though I love the scent!

  5. Oh, the dahlia and the sunflower are so lovely. Bulbs, yes. My goodness I need to do that too. I need to hire a team to help me here. Today I had an enthusiastic six-year-old helping me pick up sticks to build a burn pile. I also asked him to see if he was able to run all the way around the pond and back to me again. After we returned to the house, his mother thanked me with sincerity, ha ha. I think with a team of six year olds, I could get this place organized in no time.

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