Sunday, 29 May 2016

29 May : Party!


It was a champagne celebration for a 3 x 80 = 240th Birthday Party. Three lovely ladies, two cousins and the other a sister-in-law, their children, grandchildren and assorted relations. We all know each other but only rarely get together so there was much catching up with news, identifying children who had been tiny but were now tall, looking at albums of wedding photos, untangling of family trees and taking of photos. Unfortunately, as it is rude to eat and talk simultaneously, there wasn't enough time for eating so the cheese board remained untouched. It makes me want to cry when I think about it.

Friday, 20 May 2016

20 May : Painting


Glaswegian Jimmy has been painting the outside of the house. It is an exhausting experience. We start the day with a discussion of his new shed or 'man-cave' as he prefers to call it because he is installing a full size snooker table, and at this point there might be a diversion into his promising career as a semi-pro snooker player. By mid-morning he is telling me about houses he has decorated and showing me photos of kitchens the size of my garden. If I have not escaped by lunch time I might be treated to a history of his relationship with The Pogues or an analysis of Brexit. At the end of the day, after a final session describing wallpaper made out of pig skin (apparently it is all the rage in the smart set), my brain feels as though it has shrivelled into a tiny, dessicated lump and I have to lie on the sofa looking at soothing pictures on Pinterest. Despite this acute case of mal du d├ęcorateur life continues so I must wind up the blogging machine to make sure that the days are not lost forever.

Monday, 16 May 2016

16 May : Darkness


This is the view from our bedroom window in the cottage. I am sure that Commander Tim Peake can look down from the International Space Station and see the lights in our tiny village square. A little piece of England with a one way system and a telephone box. I hope it doesn't make him homesick.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

15 May : Daisies


'the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky'
e.e. cummings

The bench by the church door catches the late afternoon sun so I walked across from the cottage with a book and sat there intending to read for a while. I was immediately distracted by the new green-ness of the oak tree, the bustle of rooks flying around the church tower and the bright, joyful carpet of daisies and buttercups.. The following morning the churchwarden was strimming the grass in the churchyard and I felt momentarily sad at the loss but I know that it is this conscientious cutting that allows the flowers to grow in such profusion. On Sunday the church was filled with the scent of meadow hay and as we walked back to the cottage after the service I noticed that new daisies had already appeared.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

14 May : Bluebells

Q : What is Peak Englishness?

A : a cream tea in a tent...


...in a field next to a church...


...raising money for a bluebell wood...


...not just any old bluebell wood...


...a Forgotten Bluebell wood.


13 May : Cheques

MasterM : I'm writing a cheque!
MrM : Haven't you ever written one before?
MasterM : No! Never!

MasterM sends a picture of The Cheque

MrM : That's a paying in slip
MasterM : Right. So what's that for?
MrM : Paying in money.
MasterM : How am I going to pay my subscription to the Fly Fishing Club?

MrM sighs and gets out his cheque book.

Monday, 9 May 2016

9 May : Postman's Pinks


You will be glad to know that although the garden has slipped into disgraceful neglect the Postman's Pot has maintained the chic end of the shabby-chic spectrum. I have been delighted with these carmine pinks which seem to flourish in the sheltered little space on the front doorstep. I am not sure if our Postie notices them, weighed down with the worries of the world as he is, but I like to think that there is some subliminal calming benefit from being exposed to the delicious smell of cloves when he bends to put the letters through our door. I am wondering whether to fill the entire front garden with pinks so that everyone who walks past will relax - a Sniff and Smile therapy.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

8 May : Weeds


The gardening year has had a slow start hereabouts. There are reasons outside my control such as freezing cold weather, reasons which are unavoidable such as gallivanting in Spain and reasons which are entirely within my control such as idleness. However, there has been a positive outcome of this neglect which is that I have identified my gardening style: I am a wild gardener creating little havens where native plants can flourish. Hate me but I'm telling you - I'm riding the zeitgeist.