Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 23, 2014

Childhood regression

I did go to the garden centre with the plan of getting some choice, tasteful alpines for the slate containers in the front garden.

That was the plan.

Somewhere along the way, this got overtaken by the desire for some kitsch 1970s planting. The multi-coloured Alyssum sort of infiltrated the shopping basket, along with some Nemesia. The shocking pink carnation is a survivor from a previous planting, so I must have form for '70s throwbacks.

Still, it'll go rather nicely with the candytuft I've sprinkled around out there. All I need now are a straw donkey, a pineapple ice-cube holder, some cheese and pineapple, and a nice bit of Demis Roussos on the record player.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice songs go silent

Summer Solstice. Midsummer. The longest day.*

Many people feel a twinge (or more) of sadness on this day, as the year turns and we start to head towards shorter days, and slide inevitably towards winter.

 I have mixed feelings. My birthday is the longest day, so it's always something to look forward to. Also, the slowly shortening days do not concern me too much - after all, the evenings are still to get warmer, and there's time enough to sit out in the garden and admire the evening sun through the Stipa. Shorter days but even into September an evening of gardening, or reading a book outside, is possible. And the primarily pagan celebrations at this time of year make the heart pound with excitement - dragons, drums and green men may not necessarily be accurate, but they make a stirring spectacle.

For me, the sadness of this day is signified by the gradual disappearance of the song of the blackbird. A few weeks ago people stopped complaining about the dawn chorus waking them up, but blackbirds sang quietly on. Around now, I notice that their melodies are starting to thin out. Soon, without me realising, I will have heard the last blackbird song of the year. And that is what makes me sad.

And then, one quiet morning in February, I'll hear a sound that makes my heart race a little bit, and makes the day seem just a little bit better. The first blackbird song of the year. If long, dark nights have to come before, then it is worth the melancholy, to hear that first melody.

*Yes, pedants, I know that these may well fall on different days, but I'm talking about feelings, not facts.

Photos from 2014 Chester Midsummer Watch Parade - well worth a look if you're near Chester at Midsummer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A belated Show of Hands

VP over at Veg Plotting organised an online event for the Chelsea Fringe, called 'Show of Hands'. You can see the final contributions here. Due to a combination of forgetfulness, never having a camera at the right time, and then finally, prolonged problems with our broadband, I missed the chance to contribute.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd post our contribution here.

We have been digging for buried treasure, but not doubloons, gems or bullion.

There aren't many things more exciting than unearthing potatoes.