Hedge Trimming

This morning I produced an A3 print of his choice for the paraglider from “Sunset Dancing”. Now we are back in National Lockdown handover will probably have to wait a while.

In the meantime Jackie photographed the farmer across Christchurch Road trimming his hedge. He didn’t really cause any disruption to traffic, although it was a little tight at times. The owls on our front fence were undisturbed. Note the thriving carpet rose.

Charles Dickens’s ‘Christmas Books’ is definitely a mixed bag. This afternoon I read ‘The Battle of Life – A love story’, first published in 1846. The narrative begins with a lovely bucolic description and a delightful dance giving us hope for joyful times ahead. There follows a rather boring sequence, more poetic word pictures, and a somewhat far-fetched conclusion, all featuring the author’s entertaining wry humour. Christopher Hibbert, in his introduction to my Folio Society edition, describes this ‘slight but dismal tale’ as a version of relationships and events in the author’s own life at this time. That rings true to me.

Beginning with the dance,

Charles Keeping’s wonderfully moving illustrations are as true as ever to the text.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well-filled flavoursome beef and onion pie; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and firm Brussels sprouts, with tasty, meaty, gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019


  1. I had to enlarge to appreciate the brave little pink rose blooming in January. Have you undertaken to re-read the entire Dickens, Derrick? If so, you truly remind me of my mother’s literary taste. The illustrations are exceptional, achieving a dynamic effect by weaving fine lines, especially in The Dance.

  2. From your scanned pages Derrick, I found this piece poetically interesting.. “as the setting sun shone brightly on her upturned face, she might have been a spirit visiting the earth on a healing mission”

  3. Oh my! Those illustrations are magnificent! I love “Beginning with the dance”… And it was such fun to read some of the text. Thank you for posting this, {{{Derrick}}}… a Terrific Tuesday evening wish for you. <3

  4. I enjoyed the swirly illustrations and the look back at your wonderful “Sunset Dancing” post! I know you’ll find plenty of interesting things to photograph and write about in spite of the lockdown.

  5. I hope January and the new lockdown pass quickly for you, Derrick and Jackie, and that you and your family stay well. It is a strange time we live in.

    The illustrations are very well done, and I enjoy your book reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Gosh, you got through that story in one afternoon? The illustrations in my early 20th century copy depict quite different parts of the tale. Perhaps it is a patchy read as Dickens wrote under pressure? My preface says, in part “The narrow space within which it was necessary to confine these Christmas Stories when they were originally published, rendered their construction a matter of some difficulty โ€ฆ My chief purpose was โ€ฆ to awaken some loving and forbearing thoughts, never out of season in a Christian land”.

  7. Those are fascinating vignettes of Dickensโ€™s supplementary writing. I wonder how he would have gone about describing the heavy handed trimming across the road?

  8. I’m beginning to think Dr. Jeddler might have been right. The world as a giant practical joke doesn’t seem particularly far-fetched to me these days. I’m glad the hedge trimmer took his responsibilities seriously, though. Machines like that need to be kept on a short leash!

  9. Apart from the beautiful illustrations you have so kindly shared with us, I am fascinated by the hedge trimmer! We don’t see anything like that here ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Those illustrations are lovely…he expressed such movement and emotions!
    Wonderful photos, Jackie! Good to see that man at work! (I like to watch men work! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
    And I enjoyed spotting an owl! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Derrick, that was so lovely of you to print a photo for that paraglider!
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…you should write descriptions for foods listed in menus….your poetic descriptions always make me hungry!

  11. Excellent time to trim the hedge. No birds’ nests to destroy and the leaves and branches will have grown back by the time the nests are completed.

    1. It is done all along the road. There is a ditch over there. If your land runs alongside you must maintain it; if not the Council/Highway maintenance is responsible. Thanks a lot, GP

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