Seasonal Juxtaposition

Ellie loves pens, pencils, and drawing. She also has her favourite pictures and likes to combine the two.

She crams as many as she can into each hand and wanders around with them, occasionally sitting with them into her “hidey” place behind the velvet sitting room curtains, where she enjoys adding her own embellishments to adults’ drawings and photographs.

Close scrutiny of her copy of her favourite photograph will reveal Ellie’s fine lines on “Granny”Jackie’s knitted jerkin and on “GramGram” Becky’s neck.

Our front garden currently accommodates both the early blooms of Amanogawa cherry and the lingering prunus Subhirtella “Autumnalis”;

the continuing prolific camellias are seen alongside the magnolia “Vulcan” and the white viburnum, one of several in flower since Christmas;

Pale pink tulips, a bright pink hyacinth, and “Jetfire” daffodils jointly brighten the beds. Such are some of our unusual seasonal floral juxtapositions.

This afternoon I watched the Six Nations rugby matches between Ireland and Scotland and between Wales and Italy.

Becky is visiting Scotland with the Grandfamily for the weekend, but had left good portions of her tasty spaghetti Bolognese meal for Jackie and me to finish for tonight’s dinner with which I drank more of the Shiraz.

The Young Gun And The Old Grey Wolf

Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis

Now that the prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis has shed virtually all its leaves, the blossom remains to clothe the branches, heavily pruned last year;


whilst on the other side of the front garden bergenia blooms.

Today was again warm, but the wind still blustered. I scanned more of the colour slides from the trip to Barbados in May 2004.

Road 5.04

Here is a typical road along which I walked for up to ten miles at a time. Chattel houses line the thoroughfares lacking footpaths, and requiring me to be very vigilant when traffic tore past.

Landscape with chattel houses 5.04

Palms punctuated the landscape, and

Shrubs 5.04

colourful shrubs, like the ubiquitous bougainvillea, bordered the gardens.

We stayed in Port St Charles for several days after Sam’s arrival at the island. This was  because we had had to guess at his arrival time. It was also helpful for us to see some of the other competitors into the harbour.

Sam, in particular, wanted to be at the docking area to welcome Pavel Rezvoy, who had become a friend. In the event, this meant a night-time vigil as the 65 year old Russian disembarked during the night. Sam had, in fact, stopped rowing before coming in, so that he could arrive in daylight.

Sam, the youngest, and Pavel, the oldest, had been almost neck and neck across the Atlantic. Because of the distances involved, they were unaware of each other’s progress, but we had been able to follow them on the internet. Suddenly, for two days, Pavel’s boat was stationary. His satellite phone was not working so the trackers could not even be sure he was still in his boat. This became quite a worry.

In fact, my son completed his journey two days before his friend. Pavel, a most resourceful gentleman, had lost his rudder, and spent two days making a new one out of bits of his boat.

The pair came in first and second places of the solo rowers. Each evening, fuelled with with rum punches that certainly packed one, we joined the Ocean Rowing Society’s administrative team celebrating in the hotel bar.

Tatiania, Pavel’s ex-wife, had kept the Russian Press supplied with reports on the race. Their take on the story was a contest between The Young Gun and The Old Grey Wolf. The rowers themselves hadn’t even known they were competing. They were just happy to complete the challenge.

Sam and Pavel 1 5.04Sam and Pavel 2 5.04Sam, Pavel and Tatiana 5.04 1Sam, Pavel and Tatiana 2 5.04Sam, Pavel and Tatiana 3 5.04Tatiana, Sam, Micha, and Pavel 5.04

Here they are with Tatania and another man called Micha, whose role I cannot remember.

An interesting fact which should be apparent from these photographs is that these two rowers, both in very good shape, were the only ones who had allowed themselves a full night’s sleep. All the others, who arrived in pretty sore, tired, condition, had operated on a two hours on, two hours basis, thus, I imagine, ensuring that they were always tired.

Mr Pink’s fish chips and pea fritters were accompanied by pickled cornichons and onions for our dinner tonight, with which I finished the merlot.

A Sale

I received confirmation this morning, that my piece ‘Not The Comic Book Hero’ will appear on  livelytwist tomorrow.

Although today was much brighter, it is now cold and the rampant winds ravage the garden. The tops of the cold frame at the side of the front of the house were ripped off and distributed elsewhere. I replaced them and battened them down with rocks.

Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis

The Head Gardener’s research has revealed that the flowering cherry in the front garden is not performing out of season. It is Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis.

I printed up the recycling and disposal section of the garden album.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Elizabeth’s, whence the three of us, in my sister’s car, collected Mum and went on to The First Gallery where we spent a customary pleasant time talking with our friends Margery and Paul, and having a look round the exhibits.

As we drove across the forest, a sudden emergency stop was required when one of the ponies took it into its head to cross the road. Some warning signs now bear the legend ‘Expect Them To Step Out’. That is why.


Beaulieu was really rather swarming with the beasts, some of whom trotted happily down the middle of the main road through the village. This one was really stepping it out, for a New Forest Pony.

Pony by lake

Others clustered around the lake at low tide, possibly envying the waterfowl their ownership of it.

Photos on display

I have sold a few photographs in my time, but, up until now, only greetings cards have been bought at The First Gallery. I was therefore pleased to learn that the picture of Quay Street on the left of my little corner has been purchased.

Afterwards, Mum, Elizabeth, Jackie, and I dined at Farmers Home in Durley. The meals and service were as good and attentive as usual. My choice was beef Wellington followed by Eton Mess; Jackie’s was mushroom Stroganoff with sticky toffee pudding for dessert; Elizabeth’s beef Wellington with frozen berries to follow; Mum’s crab fish cakes with creme  brûlée afterwards. I drank Ringwood’s bitter; Jackie sparkling water; Elizabeth shiraz; and Mum, orange juice.

As we entered the Modus to return home the thermometer read 0 degrees, which was quite a shock after the mild weeks we have been experiencing.