change of view

The shortest – or, at least, the most picturesque – route into the centre of town from my home leads through a walled garden owned by the church. It’s a wonderful space and many of the photos on this blog – witch hazel, bluebells, cyclamen, crocuses, spring blossom… – have been taken there. I’ve sat there often, sometimes to read, occasionally to write, but more often just to think and watch the birds and squirrels.

As far as I know, the garden is open every day; certainly in the two or three years I’ve lived here I’d never seen it closed. Never until this week, that is.
Continue reading “change of view”

forecast

It was Candlemas yesterday and an utterly glorious day. Sadly, a fine Candlemas is supposed to mean there’s still more winter to come. Which probably means it’s as likely to be snow as rain that provides the required liquid for “February fill dyke”.

Today has certainly brought more rain than snow – there was sleet first thing, and then the constant mizzle that isn’t worth getting an umbrella out for, so you end up damp spirited as well as wet.

Still, we do have snowrops – Candlemas Bells – even if we don’t have snow flakes at the moment.

snowdrop

kiss-me-quick

When I first posted the photo above last autumn, I simply called it “pink flowers” as I didn’t know what the plant was.

Today, though, I put some in a vase for my mother along with foxgloves and other flowers from her garden and she told me it was red valerian or kiss-me-quick.
Continue reading “kiss-me-quick”

bobcat

Well, no, not a bobcat, a tricolour cat.

Perhaps a tortoiseshell, or perhaps a calico; it probably depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. And if you live in Spain, you might call it a gato mariposa – a butterfly.
Continue reading “bobcat”

things forgotten

It’s quicker and easier to look things up online than in the weighty volumes of the Oxford Universal Dictionary over on the bookshelf, so I’ve just found the definition of “apostrophe” on dictionary .com and it pretty much sums up this blog:

a digression in the form of an address to someone not present […]

After all, you who are reading this are not present, and that first paragraph is itself a digression: I intended to start here at the Old School House –

old school house – and continue by commenting that when I wrote yesterday’s post apostrophising and being (dia)critical of the local school leavers’ fête and the sad inadequacies of modern education, I had forgotten that my original idea was to write about St Swithin’s Day, which had passed unremarked the day before.
Continue reading “things forgotten”

monday

Washing hanging on the line

Wind paunches the belly
of a wifebeater;
blue-black denims drip.
The kitchen drain belches suds
and she ponders ironing
white collars.

Here in the UK, it’s not just an ordinary washing-day Monday, it’s a bank holiday. I don’t know if I’m allowed to call it May Day, or whether I have to use the more diffident Early May bank holiday.
Continue reading “monday”

to every thing there is a season

We’ve had plenty of grey and wet weather recently, but very little that has been really wintery. On Tuesday afternoon it was utterly glorious, so I sneaked out for a walk in the park. I tried to make the most of the time by also making phone calls, including one to my aged mother, who reminded me that it was Candlemas. Perhaps I should have known: the snowdrops – also known as Candlemas bells – had already been in full flower for a week or more.

snowdrops
I am extraordinarily fortunate in that my mother is a fount of country lore and traditions. The older she gets, the more she seems to remember of things she learned as a child.
Continue reading “to every thing there is a season”