Battering

An overall pale gunmetal grey cloud curtain remained closed throughout the day, although threatened drizzle desisted. For the last few stormbound days we have been thwarted in our bid for a joint tour of the garden in which Jackie could point out her recent plantings. We aimed to manage it this morning, but most ofContinue reading “Battering”

A Dreich Dundee Day

Cowering trees swayed before the breath of the Big Bad Wolf raging overhead huffing and puffing in his attempts to blow down little pigs’ houses; pattering trotters tripped across the roof; bejewelled yet disconsolate blooms bent their weeping heads; precipitate rivulets raced down the window panes, as we awoke to a pleasantly cooler bedroom breezeContinue reading “A Dreich Dundee Day”

“He’s After Us, Mum”

Today’s welkin canopy was a dismal, leaking, colander riddled with humid vapour. At mid-morning we drove to Hockey’s Farm Shop for brunch in their re-opened café. The recently completed thatched roof across the road in Gorley Lynch bears effigies of a fox stalking a row of ducklings following their mother along the crown of theContinue reading ““He’s After Us, Mum””

A Lesson In Economy

I find it easier to photograph white, pink, or red flowers in diffused light. That is why I paused before entering the car for our trip to visit Mum this morning to photograph the prolific white abundance of Félicité Perpétue and the pale and deeper pink roses over the porch. We visited my mother inContinue reading “A Lesson In Economy”

Antipodean Arboreal Delights

I began the day by reading three more of Anton Chekhov’s short stories and scanning one illustration. In her introduction to ‘Kashtanka’ (1887) Elisaveta Fen quotes a letter from Chekhov’s friend, the poet Polonsky, who wrote ‘the ending is not only unexpected but also significant, and this is most important. The colour of the languageContinue reading “Antipodean Arboreal Delights”

Chekhov Stories

On an even hotter day today we started gardening even earlier. While Jackie concentrated on tidying and watering, despite the efforts of another dislodged and overhanging climbing rose, I cleared another arm of the Rose Garden of weeds. Just before lunch, Mark and Rob, two of Aaron’s team, arrived to set about the Back Drive.Continue reading “Chekhov Stories”

Sweet Summer Wine

Today was even hotter than yesterday, so we began gardening early once more. The sweet smelling rose Summer Wine shares the entrance arch to the Rose Garden with the white Madame Alfred Carriere. One of the casualties of the recent gales was that a number of stems of the sturdy climber were ripped from theirContinue reading “Sweet Summer Wine”

I Hoped Not

Given the forecast (accurate) of the very hot day we gardened in the morning. My contribution was weeding the central brick paving of the Rose Garden, where, later, Jackie took a break sitting in the shade. This afternoon my Chauffeuse drove me into the forest. A parliament of rooks was held beneath a dead treeContinue reading “I Hoped Not”

The Rebellion

Having now completed my reading of Charles Dickens’s “Nicholas Nickleby”, I scanned the last four of the dramatic and insightful Charles Keeping’s illustrations from my Folio Society edition of 1986. ‘They pressed forward to see’ ‘ ‘Come,’ said Tim, ‘let’s be a comfortable couple’ ‘The rebellion had just broken out’ ‘One grey-haired, quiet, harmless gentleman’Continue reading “The Rebellion”

At The Tea Interval

On a drab, drearily dull, day I tuned into the start of the second cricket Test Match between England and New Zealand, and scanned eight more of Charles Keeping’s excellent illustrations to Charles Dickens’s ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. In turning ‘Nicholas found Bray lying on the floor quite dead, and his daughter clinging to the body’ upsideContinue reading “At The Tea Interval”