jellyfish and jungle blooms

What with Hurricane Ophelia last weekend and Storm Brian this weekend, the UK has taken a bit of a battering recently and the local park is ankle deep in mud and sodden leaves.

Clearly, though, the weather has produced the right conditions for growth for some organisms. One particular fallen tree was host to all sorts of alien growths, and looked very impressive indeed decked out in its finery of tiny beads and flounces, frills, ridges and ripples in all the autumnal shades from bright orangey russet to a deep aubergine that make me think of grapes or mulled wine.
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when in doubt

When in doubt about what to post, it’s always easy to fall back on flower photography and love poetry.

And as I have a set of photos of love-in-a-mist at different stages of flowering, it seems appropriate to find some poems of the different stages of love.

First kiss

It’s there in the air between them.

As hands sketch fragmented curves,
fingertips graze its surface.

They worry it with words,
map points along the borders.

Their tongues taste the edges
of possibility until they find its shape

in the space where their lips meet.

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seasons in the sun

Given the fairly dreadful weather over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to track down a half-remembered quotation to the effect that the worst winter ever was one summer in England.

In fact, I’ve found that the actual wording is, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” – a quotation often misattributed to Mark Twain – which doesn’t really fit the bill.
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sporting blues

The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.

Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:
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summery

There’s a big difference between the weather summary and summery weather, but today they seem to coincide, with quite a bit of sunshine expected and temperatures predicted to reach nearly 20º.

Hourly weather forecastThis isn’t at all the sort of weather I was used to when I lived in Spain, where summer was a dull aching red that lasted from March through to October: here in England, even the hottest days start off blue and fresh and daisy clean.
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high days and holidays

Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday and now the Spring Bank Holiday… we seem to have had a lot of holidays in the UK recently.

Surprisingly, the Early May Bank Holiday actually coincided with May Day this year, and today, too, has its own traditional associations:

The 29th of May is Royal Oak Day:
if you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away !

Sadly, I didn’t pass even a single oak tree on my brief walk to the shop this morning, so have settled for pulling a few dead leaves from the archives.
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the first cuckoo

Well, not actually a cuckoo as such, but a cuckoo flower.

March went out like a lamb and it’s been gloriously warm recently – so much so that I am afraid we have already had our summer – so I had begun to wonder what had happened to the April I know and love who provides us with such constantly changing weather that we are never short of a topic of conversation.
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