Meal Of The Day


Susan Rushton’s post earlier today featured colchicums. There are a number of different varieties of these autumn crocuses.

Colchicums 1Colchicums 2Colchicums 3

Ours are different, and a bit battered by wind and rain. I think they are speciosum. Here they are Susan.

Spider 1

Whilst on my way to obtain the first two images above, I spotting a spider waiting on its web. As I watched it hauled itself up aloft and I just left it to get on with it.

Colchicums 3

Later, I walked the same way to capture the flowers in a different light.

Spider with bee prey

The spider was gloating over its meal of the day. That was one bee that would seek no more pollen.

Snapdragons and spider

It is, of course, the season for these insectile predators. I couldn’t even photograph these snapdragons without one poking its nose in.

Garden view through arch towards Oval Bed

The antirrhinums appear to the right of this view through the arch framing the Oval Bed.

Weeping Birch Bed

The kniphofia to the left is one of many in the Weeping Birch Bed

Kniphofias and begonia 2

blending with the begonia in a hanging basket behind.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsia 2

We still have many thriving fuchsias

New Bed

including one festooning the New Bed.

This afternoon I finished reading ‘Phineas Finn’, the second of Anthony Trollope’s six Palliser novels. This follows the fortunes of the eponymous hero as he ventures into the Victorian Parliamentary world. Without giving away any of the story I can say that, against the background of conflict over reform bills in the 1860s, we have love triangles; fraught courtships; political and matrimonial intrigue; and a view of social history of a time when Members of Parliament needed independent incomes in order to fund their campaigns and carry out their duties if elected; and when women were dependent upon submission to their husbands.

Trollope’s lengthy work is rendered readable by his elegant, flowing, prose, which may not suit some of today’s readers requiring shorter, more racy works.

The author is clearly in sympathy with the status of women, especially those trapped in unhappy marriages. Perhaps that is why, as stated by J. Enoch Powell – himself a controversial politician active a century after the period of the book – the female characters have rather more depth of study than do the males.

Powell’s introduction is sound, and he was aptly chosen by the Folio Society whose 1989 edition I was reading.

In my review of ‘Can You Forgive Her?’, I expressed my disappointment in the illustrations of Llewellyn Thomas. I am no less enamoured of those he has made for the current volume, so I won’t reproduce any.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My main meal was Goan lamb, while Jackie’s was Chicken shashlik. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher and the customary complimentary Bailey’s.


  1. People used to say that the more spiders you see this time of year, the harsher the winter will be. I hope it’s not true, because we’re seeing loads of them.

      1. We have a saying that the more spiders you see, the more there is harmony and solidity (if on walls). Lovely photography as usual despite the fact there are less flowers.

  2. I have a stern chat with any spiders I catch trapping bees – there are so many alternatives and bees are precious! I have no idea if they take any notice of me, but I have noticed the bee population appears to be increasing around here………

  3. Interesting. I haven’t ventured beyond The Way We Live Now and the Chronicles series.
    A very good sign if bee numbers are increasing. As long as they aren’t African bees.

  4. Spiders will eventually rule planet Earth. Although I have been meaning to read Mr Anthony Trollope’s books all along my half-life, I couldn’t get myself around to doing it. A recommendation from you may change that however.

    1. I think you would like, Trollope, Uma, although the books are very long. Perhaps not as talented a storyteller as Dickens, but with a better grasp of the psychological complexities of humanity, Thanks very much

  5. A lovely garden spider, Derrick! Honeybees often seem to be the hapless victims of their web snares.

    We finally got some real soaking rain here today in the form of many passing storms coming through. Autumn is here.

  6. Goan Lamb? Is that a devious way of saying Goanna, those beautiful lizards which are a delicacy with the Aborigines. as this will attest \

  7. Beautiful images of the fading splendeur of the late-summer garden. I have been passionate about Trollope ever since my early teens when the BBC did a version of The Pallisers (I think Susan Hampshire was in it but that might be wrong and I haven’t looked it up). My mother brought me the books and I still have them. You are so right about his understanding of the plight of women in his day …

  8. Your garden still looks lovely, even with the spiders. I hope they stay outdoors. 🙂
    I haven’t read Trollope. Perhaps at some point. I was re-reading a bit of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter for something I’m writing, and I was struck by how beautiful his writing is. I had forgotten.

  9. Loads of spiders here, too. I have to de-spider all the flowers that I bring in for bouquets. And I still find them scampering on the kitchen counter.

  10. Your colchicums look lovely emerging from the aquilegias (I think?) Derrick.

    I like Trollope too – you might have prompted me to re-read one of his books next. I’ve just finished Shirley for the umpteenth time.

  11. I was going to say that I remember Susan Hampshire and the Pleasances from The Pallisers but when I looked it up it seems I don’t – it was the Barchester chronicles. Despite my lapse of memory it was still good. I went on to read the Barchester books but didn’t read the Pallisers as I didn’t find them as interesting.

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