unintentionally untitled

(Edited some 12 hours after original posting to add a post title.)

For the last month or so, scarcely a day goes by without another news story about a once-in-a-decade phenomenon, a record influx, a mass migration… the huge clouds of painted lady butterflies that are appearing across the UK.

And for the last month or so, I’ve been watching hopefully – but in vain – to observe this “butterfly bonanza”.
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old roses

The roses in the neighbour’s garden are bright despite the weather, which has not been kind to them this summer. There’s been far too much rain and wind after the recent short but intense heatwave.

Today it’s actually been so windy that the rain seemed to dry almost before it reached the ground. Yes, there has also been some sunshine, but it comes and goes and can’t be depended on.
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wings and words

I guess I will always think there is something magical and mysterious about flight. Not flying in an aeroplane or helicopter, but real winged flight like that of bugs, butterflies, birds and mythological creatures.

butterfly wing

As a child I was sure I could fly, but knew this was an ability you lost as you got older. I don’t know if I thought the skill was lost at a certain age, or weight, or quite what, though remember Catherine Jones, a classmate just a few months younger than me, claiming she still retained the power when I was already grounded.
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bee-long days

I guess this is a typical British summer: after another short “heatwave” last week, we’ve just had a weekend of almost continuous rain.

At the start of the week, the world was a multi-coloured blaze of flowers and the buddleia-scented air was busy with butterflies and bees.

But this weekend it’s been cold and grey, and even the feathers, bells and face paints of the local folk festival have done little to brighten the atmosphere.
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cat litter

I’ve always been fond of felines, whatever their size and, until I was actually in a position to keep a domestic cat as a pet, I had an extensive collection of tigers.

There were book marks, tea cards, themed birthday cards and calendars, soft toys of all sizes, an Esso tiger-in-your-tank key ring from the 70s, a Russian porcelain figurine, tiger’s eye quartz jewellery…

Some were given away, broken, lost or abandoned. Others must be in a box in a lock up in Spain with so many of my other possessions. A few survive: I’m sure there’s a supermarket trolley token with a cartoon tiger’s head in the bottom of one of my handbags and a Schleich white tiger called Frankie continues to accompany me whenever I travel away from home.
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something to look forward to

The tomato plants I put in pots rather later than intended this year seem to be growing reasonably well. They are tall and leafy, although bushier than they should be, as I missed a few side shoots.

We don’t have a lot of space and, as I said, it was a bit late before I got my act together to buy seedlings, so there are only three of them: one Gardener’s Delight and two others, which the ironmongress couldn’t remember the names of. I reckoned we could just call them Tom I and Tom II, as they weren’t likely to answer anyway.
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shades of summer

Everywhere you go in the UK at this time of year, there are geraniums and pelargoniums of all shades blooming in tubs and window boxes, in the middle of roundabouts and in other public spaces and gardens.

Most seem to be the sort with pom-pom cluster flowers like old-fashioned floral bathing caps.
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