Hunting In Pairs

“The Bishop” was the penultimate story that Anton Chekhov wrote while seriously ill with tuberculosis from which he died at the age of 44. This is a deeply emotional tale of the main character’s life and death, and his effect on family, prelates, and congregations alike. I finished reading it last night, and with itContinue reading “Hunting In Pairs”

Continuing Maintenance

On a much brighter morning Jackie trimmed the lower limbs of myrtle while I bagged up the clippings and added them to the row awaiting the local recycling centre. This, and further tidying, work has improved the views from the patio and down the Dead End Path. Also in receipt of attention has been theContinue reading “Continuing Maintenance”

Hod-Carrier Once Again

Yesterday evening Jackie produced two photographs from along the Shady Path and Dragon Bed beneath the strong evening light, and later of the strawberry moon claiming the sky from the sun. On a much duller morning she recorded the current progress of her replanting in the Pond Bed. For more than a week now, theContinue reading “Hod-Carrier Once Again”

Benches

I have now read two more of The Folio Society’s 1974 selection of Short Stories by Anton Chekhov. The first, which is not illustrated with a drawing by Nigel Lambourne, is ‘The Cross of Anna’. As Elisaveta Fen, the translator, writes ‘It is essentially a story of the destruction of innocence and the folly ofContinue reading “Benches”

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”

“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””

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”