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 made me think of grapes or mulled wine. Continue reading “jellyfish and jungle blooms”
I was wondering: do adults still ask small children what they want to be when they grow up? And if they do, what are the popular answers?
When I was a little girl, boys still wanted to be train drivers and girls wanted to be ballet dancers. True, one of my brother’s friends was reported to have said he wanted “to be a computer”, but then, we’d always thought he was a bit odd. Continue reading “out on a limb”
Yesterday was one of those typical days of English summer: blue skies and sunshine, sparkling drizzle, brief torrential rain and blustery gusts of wind. I dressed appropriately – sleeveless blouse and sunglasses, but also a scarf – and carried an umbrella – not just a little fold-up one tucked in my handbag, but a full size golfing umbrella, which was needed before I’d got to the end of the street. Continue reading “brightside down”
About ten days ago I was running to catch a bus to get to a meeting when I passed a huge may tree in full bloom. I hadn’t time to do more than pause and then rush on, but I thought it’d be a good idea for the last blog post of this month: how we have two bank holidays in May, and yet neither of them are May Day; how the English say Ne’er cast a clout till May be out – whether that be the month of May or the blossom – while the Spanish with their far balmier climate say hasta el cuarenta de mayo no te quites el sayo – don’t take off your coat till the 40th of May; how taking may blossom into the house is supposed to bring bad luck…
Of course, I then forgot to go back and take the picture.
This morning I went across the park and there are plenty of trees and other plants in bloom, but I didn’t find any hawthorn.
The park was frothing at the hedges with cow parsley:
On a recent walk, I saw a squirrel dart across the path and run up into a tree. When I looked up through the bare branches, I could see his tail splayed wide – presumably to give him better balance – and was struck by how closely it resembled the catkins of the pussy willow. Continue reading “re-writes”