Thursday, April 16, 2020


The wild cherry trees on the verge

my white and green tulips ready to open

the cows going back to the barn

found stitchwort in the verges

Nelson's geese

The strange alien plant called the butterbur.  I meant to catch the butterfly on the butterbur but of course could not.

Glorious sun, lit up the world yesterday as we went for a walk. So quiet hardly any traffic on the road and the intimacy of a small village on show.  Nelson's geese who have been making a lot of noise recently snowy white against the green of the grass

The recycling van has just picked up my stuff and driven off with a friendly toot of horn.  The one thing I decided to recycle today was a box full of lager cans, Paul had bought it last year, and it has stayed in the cupboard all that time.  Then yesterday as I looked at my meagre load of  cardboard recyclable goods I decided that this too must go, so I left a little message on the box with funny faces.  Already the tears start at what I have done.

As I walked and looked at the emerging dandelions scattered around I could not see any bees but then walking under the clouds of white blossom the familiar humming of bees at work, they were up amongst the starry white flowers.  Soon there will be the small, hard and bitter red cherries which the birds adore, and the trees will be stripped in a matter of days.  

I chased a butterfly to catch it on the butterbur plant, there were several types out brimstone, orange tip and a couple of brown, the ones I always call 'pedestrian crossing butterflies'.  No luck my camera is always too late in responding but as the wild flowers emerge so do the butterflies.

Which brings me to what I was going to write about.  Which two books would you take to your 'Desert Island'?  Yes I am really chucking out the bible, I will spare you the swear words;) and taking Dorothy Hartley's Food in England and Geoffrey Grigson's The Englishman's Flora, for these are my bibles and to which I return always, for those small fascinating unimportant fact/facts that litter our literature.  My eight discs is a tad more difficult, (for American visitors this is a programme which interviews many different people over their music and book choice). And has been going since 1942.

Dorothy Hartley seems a fascinating person to research, born in Wales, she was a journalist and her book was published in the 1950s.  The blurb says that she went round the country interviewing the last of the country people who still had traces of Tudor times in their cooking habits, and the book itself is indeed a historical cornucopia of wonderful facts.

And the one thing I had forgotten to record for yesterday, was the enormous box of chocolates, courtesy of Amazon which sat on the doorstep, no name as to who had sent it.  Phoned my daughter, nope she said, and when I eventually got through to my son, it turned out to be him.  First time he has done that! bless him.


  1. I have both those books, and like you would pass on the need for having the Bible on my desert island. I would cheat I think and go for "complete works" - Thomas Hardy and perhaps Phil Rickman's novels, which bring me to places I know well along the Welsh Marches. Although thinking on't, perhaps I should take my two much-loved and battered copies of Early Christian Monuments of Scotland and REALLY get to grips with my Disseration topic . . .

    I am glad the bees were thrumming merrily in the fruit blossom. We have a shrub with honey-smelling white flowers, just opposite the front door, and they have been all over that since late February. I haven't seen a swarm yet, but other folk have mentioned one. Hoping we don't have a return to bees in the chimney again this year!

    1. Jennie you know that is cheating 'complete works' ;) Read all Rickman's books and mostly Hardy's though I would take him as well, the Woodlanders for a start, a real weepy, typical Hardy. Every year I count the bees in the garden and the surrounding countryside, very much 'farmed' to within an inch of its life. But living next to a churchyard, the birds and bees cluster.

  2. Definitely Keble Martin's Concise British Flora. I expect the Flora would be totally different on my desert island but I love the fact that it was his life's work and I look at it for hours. It would be even more enjoyable if there was the prospect of never seeing them again. As to the other book - well the choice would keep changing as I read something new that I enjoy but although Jeremy Paxman calls her 'insufferable' if I am a bit under the weather I turn to 'Anne of Green Gables' - easy to read and a reminder that on two separate holidays with the farmer we have been to L M Montgomery's house and I bought the book there. As to records I always ask for the same thing although don't expect it would be allowed - Andras Schiff playing Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues.

  3. That is the problem Pat, English flora would hardly be typical of a Desert island, but would make you homesick as both my books do. Well I would put, as practically everyone in England does, 'Lark Ascending' for that piercing moment as the music/bird rises to the sky. Then Mozart's Clarinet music. Maybe 'Ode to Joy', which is uplifting and then after the classic some dancing music!

  4. Chocolate helps in healing. A food medicine. Our spring is bringing me hope and be aware that we are all with your virtually. AS for two books...I am going to have to think longer on that.

    1. They are organic Black and Green chocolates, delicious. Actually in the programme you are only allowed 1 book plus the bible, and a luxury but again it has to be chosen with care.

  5. I've had that Keble Martin book for years, decades, really. And it is not the flora of northeast Ohio, but I used to write garden columns for a local paper and love all things that grow. I had never heard of Food in England until yesterday when it was mentioned on a blog, perhaps Lavender and Lovage and I ordered a copy. And here it is again. You're making me happy I ordered it.

  6. I have Marjory Blamey's book of native plants which is very scientific in its naming. Well funnily enough I picked up Food in England because someone on the radio mentioned Lord Woolton's pie. It was devised during the second World War, when there was less of everything around. A vegetable pie with a 'pastry case' of flour and potatoes to make the butter go further.


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