Ancient English Bluebells

This morning I watched the recording of the final match of this year’s Women’s Six Nations rugby tournament – certainly a fitting contest to bring up the end of the series.

Later I posted

and converted from Classic to Block edit, recategorising as Garden

after which, we drove out to Church Lane to visit

our favourite English bluebell wood which must have been producing descendants of the original plants for centuries.

The ancient verges and banks flanking the road sport swathes of the blooms, mingling with such as stitchwort, ferns, and sticky willies, dandelions, and even a solitary mushroom.

I exchanged greetings with a cyclist on the tarmac and enjoyed a longer conversation with the family walking towards me. Naturally we exchanged information about babies in slings.

On Rodlease Lane two women and a dog anxiously peered in both directions seeking safety while taking their alpacas for a walk.

Gilpins, on Undershore Road, is an eighteenth century house in private ownership, so I am not sure about the age of the beautiful brick wall offering a backcloth for seasonal primroses.

This evening we all dined on roasted chicken thighs; creamy mashed, and boiled new, potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli, and tasty gravy, with which I finished the Shiraz.

Droll Tales 29

This, the shortest tale in the collection, occupying not much more than two pages of text, has no illustration in The Folio Society edition and just one small one in The Bibliophilist Society’s production.

It is, to my mind, the neatest gem with a play on two kinds of “Innocence”.

Here are the drawings of Gustave Doré for the second society above.

Further details of the publications are given in that there are no pictures here by Jean de Bosschère as I do not have any of the third Decade by him.

Garden Flowers

This afternoon I watched the Women’s Six Nations rugby matches between England and France and between Wales and Italy. I lost a bet on the first game, the penalty being that I have buy a curry.

During the half time break in that contest I photographed a few flowers in the garden. Each image is entitled in the gallery. They include Welsh poppies, daisies, tulips Lilac Wonder, rhododendron buds, Camass,hellebores, euphorbia, wallflowers, heuchera leaves, and libertia.

Later I converted the last two posts of May 2014 from Classic to Block edits and changed their categories to Garden:

This evening we all dined on pizzas and fresh salad, with which I did not imbibe because I had drunk Doom Bar while watching the rugby.

Ponies On The Move

This morning, while on a daffodil dead-heading session.

I also pulled up swathes of Sticky Willies along the Back Drive. These sinuous weeds climb everywhere and if not deracinated will reach the tops of the highest shrubs, bearing clusters of white flowers.

Afterwards I wandered back with the camera on this overcast morning.

The daffodils have been late to bloom and struggled to linger this year, but there were still quite a few to dead head.

The forget-me-nots sharing that first daffodil picture, like those accompanying the Spanish bluebells in the first of the next trio of images, proliferate in the garden; as do the English/Spanish hybrids.

Honesty is cropping up everywhere, as in the Patio Bed and behind the mossy stumpery with its yellow cowslips.

Lichen blooming on the bench beneath the pieris on the lawn, and bleeding hearts on the West Bed managed to add splashes of colour.

This afternoon the sun did put in fairly regular appearances, so Jackie and I took a forest drive,

where it set the gorse glowing on the moorland flanking Wilverley Road, up which

a group of energetic ponies trotted at an unusual pace for them.

I had hoped that they would pause for a drink in the pool, but they were more interested in slowing the traffic.

Further down the hill another pony did slake its thirst, while

others continued trotting through the undergrowth.

This afternoon we all dined on well cooked pork chops coated with almonds and mustard; with creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots, and succulent peppers, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

Garden Recoveries

During the first part of a dull day which soon became a wet one I converted five more posts from May 2014 to Block Edit from Classic:

All but ‘Supporting Big Ben’ have been recategorised as Garden, and I used Wayback Machine to recover the male bullfinch in ‘Jattie’s Sculpture’ because it is not in my iMac Photos.

Later, with the patter of raindrops on the window beside me, I published

This evening we all dined on succulent roast beef and lamb; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts; appropriate gravy for each meat; mint sauce and horseradish sauce, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Paarl Shiraz 2020.

Droll Tales 28

The Folio Society’s “The Unwise Chatter of Three Pilgrims” seems the title that best matches this story of Balzac’s. The Bibliophilist Society gives “Odd Sayings…..”

The sayings’ oddness stems from the fact that on their way to Rome to pay in kind for their sinful lives they “let their tongues wag freely” in the hearing of a serving girl in the inn where they stopped for rest and refreshment, thus each revealing their hidden treasures about their person with which they hoped to redeem their mortal misbehaviours. In revealing the inevitable outcome the author employs a wealth of double entendres exemplified by his last sentence: “This goes to show that in public inns we should keep our tongues between our cheeks.”

Here is the illustration of Mervyn Peake for Folio;

and those of Gustave Doré, who must have been running out of inspiration, for Bibliophilist.

Further details of the publications are given in that there are no pictures here by Jean de Bosschère as I do not have any of the third Decade by him.

Categorised as Books

“Where’s The Shetland?”

This morning I converted two more posts from May 2014 from Classic to Block Edits:

I altered the category of the second one to Garden.

On this overcast yet dry afternoon, mild of temperature, Jackie and I took a short forest drive.

Three donkeys concentrated on cropping the moorland sward at East End.

Noticing some members of a familiar group of ponies on the verges of St Leonard’s Road, I cried “Where’s the Shetland?”

Others of the gang straggled further down the road while we looked for their stubby little acolyte who,

when I disembarked to photograph her, trotted with some alarm at a brisk pace to the security of her big sisters.

Jackie photographed me photographing the whole process.

This evening we all dined on slow-cooked roast beef; crisp Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes; firm carrots and Brussels sprouts; and very tasty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Frappato Syrah.


The Wayback Machine served a useful purpose yesterday in that it recovered the complete post Louisa needed, and in the process revealed which of the pictures from my iMac Photos file had been missing. Unfortunately the images in the galleries could not be enlarged, which was what my daughter required.

I therefore went through the whole exercise again this morning, this time incorporating the files direct from my pictures via the desktop, and produced:

After lunch I published

Later, feeling rather stronger, I was delighted to log into Wayback by following Flo’s directions; not so delighted to discover that even that site tells me that only one picture exists. It is not crucial to the story so I have cut my losses and removed all the indications of missing pictures:

This evening we all finished yesterday’s spicy pasta arrabbiata meal with the dame beverages.

Droll Tales 27

The Folio Society entitle story number 27 in this series “About a Beggar known as Old Parchemins”. The Bibliophilist Society adds a hyphen to their version, in Par-Chemins thus clarifying the origin of the nickname which could be translated as “about the roads”, because that is where this homeless vagrant was always to be found.

I find this a story of two halves, in that, after squandering an inherited fortune this man wandered the roads studying “philosophy in a bird school” where we are treated to the author’s straightforward delightful descriptions of the lanes and their avian residents. We are then shocked, as was his sleeping victim by this aged gent’s sudden rape of a young woman, and the familiar prose of double entendre takes over.

We have learned about Parchemins’s success in gambling with dice; was he to succeed in gambling with his sexual prowess to save him from the gallows?

Here is Mervyn Peake’s illustration for The Folio Society:

and those of Gustave Doré in the other publication.

Further details of the publications are given in that there are no pictures here by Jean de Bosschère as I do not have any of the third Decade by him.

A Short Forest Drive, And A Result

I sat in the car reading while Jackie shopped in Tesco; then I loaded the shopping into the car and we took a short forest drive.

Water buttercups creamed the reflecting lake at Pilley,

where washing was draped over a gate to a lakeside cottage.

Ponies of varying sizes and breeds basked on Bull Hill pastures,

while three donkeys behaved similarly around the road sign opposite No 1 Sowley Lane

Later, Louisa asked me to trace the post of her 21st Birthday party so she could extract some of the pictures. I did. There were no pictures on it.

Flo came to the rescue by introducing me to the Wayback Machine. This is a site which captures everything anyone has put on the Internet. Fear not, I won’t try to describe the process, but our granddaughter has written it all down for me. I may try to do it again, but here is

the result.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s tricolour penne pasta arrabbiata sprinkled with parmesan cheese with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Passamano Frappato Syrah 2021.