not so seedy

Last month, when I wrote the post a little focus, which featured a yellow-flowered tree in the park, I didn’t know what type of tree it was. I tried searching on Google, but had no luck.

Now, the tree is a mass of three-sided “bladdery” green fruits, tangled and jostling each other like Chinese lanterns in the breeze, and I’ve been able to discover that it’s actually a Koelreuteria paniculata – a Pride of India or Golden Rain tree.
Continue reading “not so seedy”

a little focus

Once more I’m sitting here with a host of possible topics to write about and, once more, it’s proving difficult to zoom in on one specific idea and get a blog post written.

As I said last weekend, “When you’re stuck for something to write, it is often because you are looking vaguely around you and there are simply too many potential subjects.”

Pinning down a single idea is like trying to find the queen among the heaving life of an ants’ nest or a hive of bees, a specific car in a multi-storey carpark, one precise tree in the forest…
Continue reading “a little focus”

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 made me think of grapes or mulled wine.
Continue reading “jellyfish and jungle blooms”

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.
Continue reading “high days and holidays”

out on a limb

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”

perfumed memories

Linden flowersThe scent of linden flowers after rain – from the tree the English call lime – has brought memories of the garden in Spain.
Continue reading “perfumed memories”

brightside down

Church spire

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”