About derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

Where’s Aaron?

On another gloriously sunny Sunday, Aaron, of A.P. Maintenance, worked as usual according to Covid -19 practice. He kept his distance, accepted no refreshments, worked to Jackie’s hand-written list; and I paid him on line.

As is my wont, I popped out for a few chats to keep him company – normally this would have been with cups of tea and biscuits – in the circumstances I did this slightly more often than usual –

 

but we self-distanced.

Naturally a game of Where’s Aaron? ensued. I present a few rounds in increasing degrees of difficulty:

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.  A Gold Star if you get this one.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken curry; turmeric flavoured mushroom rice; vegetable samosas, and fresh salad, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Valréas Cotes du Rhone Villages 2016.

Cleaning Out The Frog Pond

Jackie spent most of this gloriously sunny and warm spring day working in the garden.

In the front she photographed budding Amanogawa

and crab apple blossom,

and a row of different coloured cyclamens.

I took tours before and after lunch, choosing to focus first on a variety of daffodils;

these, alongside the Dead End Path, are strongly scented and aptly named Park Perfume;

 

iberis cascades over the New Bed wall in front of more;

nodding to the dreaded all-pervading white allium another masquerades as a cheery scarecrow.

The sunshine has encouraged one of yesterday’s tulips to open wider,

to blend nicely with these marigolds.

Camellias continue to shine and to discard their heavy blooms, some of which persist in

growing old gracefully.

Varieties of wallflowers are blooming;

these yellow ones kneel at the feet of euphorbia in the back drive border.

Honesty is bursting out all over. It will be a brave individual who sits on this chair in the Weeping Birch Bed.

The burnished Japanese maple near the Fiveways corner

takes the eye across the Gazebo Path to North Breeze,

skirting the peeling-pastel-sheathed eucalyptus on the lawn, beside which

clematis Cirrhosa Freckles still festoons the iron gazebo.

Looking south east from the above-mentioned maple takes us into the Rose Garden whence

we have a view towards the house. I will be in dire trouble for leaving that blue plastic trug in the shot.

Given that during the Covid-19 pandemic bedding plants cannot be purchased

Jackie’s pelargonium cuttings in the greenhouse are even more important than usual this year.

They are even attracting ladybirds.

 

This view from the Kitchen Bed leads to the Nottingham Castle bench;

this one across to the greenhouse.

It is through a kitchen window that I managed to catch Burt, the long tailed tit, playing on his honeysuckle trellis. Like a child who will run endlessly up the steps for another go on a slide, Burt swung through the air time and again, incessantly hopping back up for a repeat performance. The bird can be seen peering in beside the window catch – it is well worth bigifying.

The Head Gardener’s main task today was cleaning out the weedy Frog Pond. This is how she pictured it this morning,

and this with clear reflective water this afternoon.

This evening we dined on roast duck breasts; roast new potatoes; meaty sausages and fried onions; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender cabbage, leeks, and runner beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

 

 

 

 

The Oval Bed Today

The earlier third of the day was overcast but warm.

On my way through the garden to set out on a walk down

Downton Lane

I photographed several newly opened tulips,

one of which bore a sleepy bee.

Even 30 m.p.h. on our eponymous winding lane is probably too fast at any time, yet it seems necessary to reinforce the limit with plenty of notices along the way.

Prolific primroses,

golden dandelions,

dancing daffodils,

and buttery celandines bear out Susan Hill’s view of spring as ‘the yellow season’ expressed in ‘The Magic Apple Tree’.

Along with hardy white daisies

and rambling purple vinca, they decorate the burgeoning verges,

while bristling blackthorn

adorns the hedgerows.

A felled tree hosts ageing tree fungus.

The downward stretch of Downton Lane is a mostly manageable gently sloping descent.

I turned back at the steepest bend

and made my way home.

A pair of friendly cyclists, two abreast, had at least crossed to the other side as they passed me but I did wonder whether I should carry an estate agent’s snazzy measuring device to ensure a safe distance in these self-isolating times.

On 27th March Jackie had begun revamping the Oval Bed which she photographed.

Later this afternoon she produced images of her finished work.

She also photographed these leaves of crocosmia and day lilies,

and aroused bronze fennel setting off to soar above prize primroses and primulas.

This evening we dined on roasted sausages and new potatoes served on a bed of fried onions; a soft melange of cabbage and leeks; tender runner beans; and crunchy carrots with tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Benguela Bay Shiraz 2018.

Jackie’s having to add a little oil to the sausages because they held no fat reminded us of the gristly and cereal-filled apologies that had put us off bangers for life when we were young. Walls offerings were the anathema of our childhood. It was in France that I first experienced sausages with sufficient meat content.

 

Trapeze

For the last few days we had experienced a cold North East wind. Today was much warmer, and sunnier than we had expected. Jackie photographed the weather vane showing the shift to South West.

She spent much of the day working in the garden where she gathered images of

perky pansies in different containers;

close relatives sprawling comfrey

and bristly borage;

kindred primroses

and primulas;

potted pelargoniums in the greenhouse;

cyclamen clusters;

spirea sprays in white

and, in amber, Japonica leaves.

She focussed on a single creamy daffodil

a pair with peachy trumpets

and a lemon yellow clump leading into the Rose Garden with its tulips in the distance.

More potted tulips cluster on the patio.

Aubretia amble over the Kitchen Bed tiles.

The more tender aeoinium Zwartkof still needs the protection of the greenhouse where

bulbs of Tiger Moon

and Rose Isabella lilies are sending up shoots;

similarly aquilegia

and cobaea Scandens have germinated.

A vigilant jackdaw keeps watch on the roof.

We have now named one of our long tailed tits Burt. This is because, when joining his friends in plundering Nugget’s food supply, he enjoys diving from a

firm wisteria branch to a flexible honeysuckle tendril

from which he can tap on our kitchen window inviting us to catch him.

Try as she might, the Assistant Photographer has never quite managed to grab a clear image of the swinging action. You will have to take our word for it that in this picture he really is

earning his name.

It was a fortunate coincidence that two messages from Gwen Wilson today enabled me to add postscripts to

‘Catching up with your blog posts drew me again to your trapeze performing ancestors.

The Australian newspapers are littered with references to the Dental Riskits. Pages and pages of them. I can easily outline how to look them up if you are interested. This death notice contains some of the most intriguing family history information I have come across.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212220187?searchTerm=”dental%20riskit”&searchLimits=

and her mother and other relatives  / / /

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/27308369?searchTerm=”dental%20riskit”&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

There are so many memorial notices it is clear that Holly’s family were very close and in great distress at losing family members in quick succession. She had many siblings. Her twin sister was particularly bereft.

regards

Gwen Wilson’

P.P.S:

and here is an extract from a comment of Gwen’s on another post: ‘On a whim, I typed a search on Riskit into our digitised newspapers and immediately returned this article from1926. Not Holly – his second wife. . . https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/186061378?searchTerm=“riskit”&searchLimits=’

This describes an accident involving a 20′ fall while performing.

Mike Ribble, Burt Lancaster’s character in Trapeze, was so injured in the fall shown above that he could no longer perform. My great Uncle Jack Riskit (John Evans) turned to theatre management after his fall in 1926.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable soup with crusty bread followed by her delicious dried fruit lattice pie and custard.

 

 

Bullies Of The Feeders

This morning I was distracted from my reading by activity on the bird feeders.

Goldfinches, as usual, spilled more seed than they consumed;

they had to wait their turn on the sunflower seeds

as did dunnocks on the suet balls, where, until recently, with sparrows, they had ruled the roost.

Now the starlings, with their fluid speckled iridescence,

are the dominant bullies of the feeders.

On this chilly, dull, afternoon, Jackie worked at clearing the Oval Bed which contains this plant interred last year that has lost its label to the winds;

and placing pansies in the iron urn. This container was full of vine weevils which she had to extract before adding fresh compost and pansies. The additional flora she would normally have included at this time are unavailable because they are dying in closed garden centres on account of coronavirus regulations. Many of these outlets will not survive.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s rustic chicken and vegetable soup followed by her delicious

amber dried fruit lattice pie and custard.

 

 

Cawing For His Mum

I delayed my walk around the garden until later this afternoon, hoping to take advantage of the light.

Almost as soon as I had photographed this budding heuchera

and this camellia bloom toning into graceful age,

the skies closed the curtains, silhouetting the Weeping birch branches.

I continued photographing a range of daffodils;

another somewhat droopy camellia retaining its youthful bloom;

one of our varieties of euphorbia;

 

a species tulip, Lilac Wonder;

a steadily developing Japanese maple;

and one of our sundry clusters of forget-me-nots.

The West Bed border contains primroses, primulas, hellebores, snakes head fritillaries, and lamium.

I even just about managed to catch a wren.

Russell the lone crow imprinted on Jackie made 

quite a row cawing for his Mum.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome Hunter’s chicken; roast potatoes, parsnips, and mushrooms; crisp carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage and green beans; followed, with custard, by what, given its dried fruit base, the Culinary Queen calls her amber crumble, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the El Zumbido.