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(Gwen and Yvonne, divert your eyes when it comes to the culinary coda)
Compared with what has been inflicted on Wales and Ireland by the albeit waning hurricane Ophelia, we have got off lightly.
This morning we made our usual preparations for protection from strong winds, notably laying down chairs, pedestals,
and hanging baskets.
Towards midday a fleeting glimpse of a bright red version of yesterday’s solar discs was seen peering from behind the billowing smoke
that was dark slate-coloured clouds. By the time I had gathered up the camera the sun had disappeared. The temperature was so unseasonably warm as to give the impression that there was, indeed, a fire somewhere.
I suspect that the birds thought they must be having a sleepless night;
but the weeping birch still hung unmolested.
By early afternoon the sky had lightened and the sun played upon the garden.
These pansies still brightened
the pots outside the kitchen door.
Fuchsias are among the flowers still blooming beside the greenhouse.
including this sweetly scented one;
and begonias still defy the coming of the first frost.
Delicate striped petunias thrive in the Cryptomeria Bed;
and white dahlias in Elizabeth’s Bed.
Among the rejuvenated roses are Just Joey,
Lady Emma Hamilton,
and, photographed later, when the wind was getting up and making this spray elusive to the lens, Pink Abundance.
The weeping birch was now waving about,
as was the Cordyline Australis.
I wondered how many of these leaves would be in place in the morning.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s divine liver and bacon, new potatoes, cabbage and mange touts, with which I drank Chateau Bonhomme minervois 2016.