Thursday, May 12, 2011


There is a sharp easterly wind this morning though the sun is shining.  Walking around our area, exploring the little lanes that lead off from suburbia, the wild plants start to blend with the cultivated varieties.  Red Valerian is the plant of the moment alongside dog roses that fill every hedge bank, the cow parsley lines the lanes making a funnel of whiteness, and of course elderflower is beginning to blossom, elderflower champagne to be made hopefully if I can find the recipe.
Yesterday I found a small allotment site, part of a field. Today I went to photograph the bridge (art decor) that straddles the water meadows and takes the heavy traffic over the river.
Yesterday whilst out shopping in Chelmsford, we began to notice the 'art deco' buildings that decorate the town.  I wondered if they were in actual fact facades over Victorian houses, but there is a lot about, could be the 'Marconi Factory influence' in the town.
To be honest I do not like the style, even as a child the Odean and Gaumont cinemas decked out in gaunt pointy decoration made my soul shudder with the bleakness and barren stark whiteness, and 'ship' type rounded bits on buildings always looked ugly.  We have Poirot to thank for introducing us to the art form of that 1920-1930s period, elegant yes but also soulless.

dog rose

wigwams and lupins

clear water reflecting the lily plants beneath, photoshopped slightly to lighten water!

the viaduct bridge

Resting and watering place for the horses
 Why dog-rose? according to Grigson, it goes back to Gerard's Herbal, to distinguish wild from garden roses.  By way of the medieval Latin 'Rosa Canina', it goes back to Pliny's 'cynorrodon', with the root of which a dog-bitten soldier of the Praetorian Guard cured himself of hydrophobia......

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