Saturday, September 30, 2023

30th September 2023

 Well an old tree has been chopped down by a silly adolescent.  A significant landmark in many people's lives.  The idiot got his five minutes of fame and now it is for the authorities to decide what to do.  To allow the shoots to grow from the chopped trunk of the tree, or maybe plant another mature tree (£100,000 quoted this morning). 

It is a sycamore, a tree which spreads its seed with great abundance over lawns, driveways but probably not in the more inhospitable environment it found itself in the Northumberland Park Authorities at Hadrian's Wall.

Sentiment is a fine thing as long as it does not go overboard.  Such news pushes the more serious news out of the limelight and we can once again vent our righteous anger at the little toe rag who thought he was being clever. Robert  Macfarlane the poet says we should plant a forest in the tree's memory.  Though that seems rather going over the top, but more trees are always welcome.

But we can also take action, firstly by signing the Woodland Trust petition and then respecting these givers of oxygen, shade for our streets and just beautiful creatures that take up their space on Earth with such grace a modicum of protection against the vandals who would chop them down.  That of course includes the trail of the HS2 rail from the South to the North which has vandalised so many old woodlands along its route.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

27th September 2023

I am so happy tonight, the family matter which has hung like a cloud over us all has been resolved.  What the future may bring is something we don't know but for this instance in time, this moment, the family won.

This is what I wrote last night and that is all I shall say about it.  Because we have to wake up in the cold light of day and face yet another refugee crisis.....crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave of ethnic Armenians surrounded by Azerbaijan' 120 thousand refugees fleeing in desperate concern from the possibility of ethnic cleansing. They lose their homes, land and animals, the stark reality of shifting boundaries and war.  There seems so many refugee camps around the world, that it is as if the Earth itself has shifted on its point of equilibrium.  It reminds me of ants the human race, rushing around being nothing but busy, hostility is the name of the game.

So I shall record the things that have pleased me, Amazon is being taken to court for controlling the market - yah! America thank you.

The Trump problem is also going through the courts he has been telling lies about how much his property portfolio is - tell me about it!

I was watching, it may have been  'State of Chaos' when the presenter Laura Kuenssberg detailed in elegant language our calamitous decline under the conservatives and she said that when Johnson had tried to prorogue parliament the stepping in of the law held at bay the right of government to overstep the right of law.  Johnson was accused of lying to the Queen.  And don't ask where Truss and Kwarteng were in the debate, just read this long wiki report.

Politics parked for the moment.  I shall go and watch some funny doggy antics on a video to clear my mind ;)

Monday, September 25, 2023

25th September 2023 - The Fens by Francis Pryor

The book I am listening to at the moment is The Fens by Francis PryorIt is partly an autobiographical book but also about his archeological exploits in the East of this country, Flag Fen Neolithic Causeway and surrounding area, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire being the most important.  His wife Maisie is also an archaeologist, or perhaps I should say a conservationist for she is the one that overlooks the preservation of the timber.

The greatest find in this part of the country was of course the timber 'Sea Henge' nestling by the sea in the sand at Holme-Next-To-The-Sea.  Couldn't get any easier than that when trying to find the village! The movement of the sand dunes and the tides had uncovered it.

It was an exciting find made in 1998, there is hardly any stone in this part of the country so to find a wooden circle still standing was pretty amazing.  It is not exactly a circle as a stone one would be, more likely a place where excarnation took place.  For in the centre of the timbers was a large upturned trunk of a tree, its roots splayed out.  Excarnation, probably practised in the Neolithic Age was the exposure of the dead body to the elements and birds, not a nice sight.

The tree itself holds a malign force but that could owe more to the imagination that the tree trunk, it needs a name to personify it.

To go back to the book and author.  Francis Pryor also writes, who-dun-it books and now in his old age runs a small herd of sheep.  They have a beautiful garden which is open each year for a charity.  His archaeology is prehistoric and the fenlands of Cambridgeshire and beyond. 

It was the landscape that caught the magic, silvery plants, hedging down the beach path, dunes stretching back to woods, so different to what I had experienced to that moment.  The depth of the landscape flat and wild, going on into infinity.  I can think of long beaches like the Gower or Newgale but there was always a backdrop and an end stop of cliffs.  Flat land just dissolves into the distance.

2012 - Sea Henge

Saturday, September 23, 2023

23rd September 2023 - Talking of gods

A temple screen.  Fish swim over the bridge for good fortune. 

Talking of gods: There are many of them Greek, Roman, Scandinavians, etc, etc.  Paul used to have them dotted round the house, little gods for everything.  In the kitchen above the stove, in the library room where he would ring the ringing bowl on Sunday.  I don't think he was religious it was just part of habit and ritual.

There are many temples and gods in Japan, great trees are decorated with rope and the gateway to the many temples through which you enter takes you to a different realm.

Last night there was a shock, a private matter of one of the family who has taken a decision which was very surprising and sad.  I lit candles as a vigil and also as a mark of respect.

I think belief is individual and that we accept whatever other people think is right for it is their decision.

The other day I had an email from Paul's cousin, to see how I was faring.  In it he mentioned that he had an article about Paul's time in Japan. I remembered I had a similar article, but could not find it - despair.  But then I carefully sifted through my bookcase and found it and one day I will copy it on to file to be read.  

A garden Boddhisattva

Who is my favourite god, well it is not Gaia, think I would choose Woden, who has such lovely stories told of him, I shall find one of them soon.  Glad some books didn't go to Oxfam but I took the family silver to them;)

And why I don't believe in gods.........

And I have just discovered a comment from Tom Stephenson below the above 'Roman Temple' blog which I did not answer but it pleases me to know someone recognised the work I put into that blog. Chuckle

You have refreshed my sense of good luck that I live in the middle of all this. I have reset great blocks of stone which were the portal between the Temple Precinct and the Great Bath, finding Celtic artefacts underneath it. I park my car on Walcot Street, and I often wonder what lies underneath it, like the body of Richard the Third in that car park.

Friday, September 22, 2023


 Dark and light, equal parts

at the time of Mabon

Fire and earth together

balance, harmony, security

these things shall be mine.

I have no idea where that little saying comes from, but as the year turns we should acknowledge not only the season but the turning of the world as well.

Paganism, of which I have written a lot about, has sort of sneaked in by the backdoor.  People who do not consider themselves Christian take on this new form of worship, but it is interpreted in many different ways.

The rather incongruous 'offerings' at Swallowhead spring which meets the River Kennet at this junction

The old stones know this only too well, as people solemnly gather at their circles, sometimes to watch the sunrise or sunset. It is thought that many stones have a relationship within the landscape but with also tracing the movement of the sun through the skies and the year.  Wander round the country as I once did and you will also find 'offerings' at wells.

The Old willow tree

Not being a social animal I have never quite understood the need to worship anything, rather I would remain calm within the bounds of beauty the Earth shows to us.  The infinitely exquisite life that nature presents to us.

River Kennet serenely untroubled by worship

Tolkien saw Old Man Willow as a troublesome creature, able to grab you in  those twining branches of his.  A tree Ent who had turned into a malign cruel tree spirit.  Do those who leave their offerings at the old willow tree in Avebury think of this, or is the magical happening of an underground stream joining a larger river, a bit like Mother Earth welcoming her child.  See what nonsense you can pluck out of the air!

Well Rishi Sunak, thanks for being a spokesman for the Conservative Party and selling us once more down the river of (what words to use??)

I dismiss greed and corruption, though they are definitely there. But perhaps a shallow selfish need to appeal to the readers of the Daily Mail is it? Climate change is happening, whether by fire or water in other parts of the world.  We have sailed through one more year safely, our harvests safe in store but millions haven't, perhaps we should think of them as well?

I shall light a candle or two because candlelight is a beautiful thing in the dark.  A rather perilous thing to do with Mad Mollie's zooming round the room.

Blogs on Druidism:


Earlier notes

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

20th September 2023

Antique print but not of a flower clock

 The Flower Clock an idea of Carl Linnaeus.

Things that grab your interest as you float by articles on the internet and flower clocks was just one of them yesterday.  It was Carl Linnaeus (1707 to 1778).  Now the logical mind will pick holes in the theory.  Latitude for one, flowers open differently in different parts of the world.  But there in Upssala in Sweden he tried it out, not by planting a flower clock but noting the timing of when flowers opened.  I remember watching an evening primrose unfurl (yes it was evening).  Slightly amazed I watched as it first appeared to open and then shrivel up on itself and then unfurled completely with a flourish.  Of course in this time of climate change flowers will open earlier in the year but will they keep time with the clock I wonder?

Yesterday a tune came on Radio 3, 'Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day', the corn is high as an elephant's eye' and it reminded me of childhood and of singing this song with my then brother.  The other song we used to sing was She'll becoming round the mountain when she comes" we would sing with great gusto! and she was probably wearing pink pajamas.

Funnily enough my daughter and Lillie went to see 'Annie' at the Opera House, Manchester last night.  Which they both enjoyed, tickets were free as Tom's partner does the PR there.  I did not go  I cannot sit still in theatres or cinemas for more than two hours and facing Manchester is scary.  Still a country girl at heart.

Monday, September 18, 2023

18th September 2023


This is the River Chelmer a navigational river, it potters through Chelmsford, and then down by where we used to live. A classic slow moving river bounded on either side by banks of lushness.  To walk down the path when the cow parsley was at its height of flowering was to truly experience the sheer delight of nature.  Irises, bulrushes and water lilies were the flowers of the river.  Tiny ducklings and coots and the solemn sailing by of swans.

From Paper Mill lock we would take the path in summer and wind our way down, sometimes as far as Beeleigh.  Sleek brown horses grazed the field at one point at another was the old church sat quietly by the waterside.

There is one thing that I like about the 'green belt' rule is that people are not allowed to build willy-nilly on any piece of land.  This has protected many beautiful spots.

 I was going to write about dopplegangers.  Naomi Klein has written a book about hers.  Naomi Wolf to be precise, who is often muddled with Klein.  She is a Canadian writer, with an ability to write about capitalism and politics with a fervour that is sometimes difficult to understand but you can hear her in this podcast.

So to the photos to soothe the outside world away......

Sunday, September 17, 2023

17th September 2023

 Autumn is definitely here.  Yesterday the Aga responded to efforts too light it and Lillie managed to find the right combination and it stayed lit.  It makes a great difference, that slight feeling of damp has gone'

Also the large cast aluminum casserole pot arrived yesterday.  It was expensive (Lakeland) but will sit nicely on the hot plates of the Aga. As I do a lot of the cooking, the presence of the Aga is a great relief.  I suddenly remembered the other day a sauce Paul used to cook with.  'Blue Dragon'  Black Bean Sauce.  Finely sliced cabbage, spring onions, noodles and chicken if I remember right.  Last night I cooked roasted vegetables and we had a quiche with them. 

Great excitement about Dispatches last night which I didn't watch, all about Russell Brand and his past history.  Sexual misconduct blows through the air with great gusts of exposé material.  How many men are looking back at their past and worrying? Luckily it seems that it is those that have made some sort of name for themselves in the media.

I have no love for Russell Brand, apparently he is one of those right wing conspiracy theorist as well but as I do not look at his videos cannot verify that.

It is funny though, that those faces you experience on television can suddenly erupt into another type of person as well.  Here I am thinking of Neil Oliver, now to be seen with his flowing locks exposing/being part of, other conspiracy theories.  Remember when he just presented history, standing dramatically on a hill with the wind blowing through his hair?

But then life has many possibilities, they have dragged up those 'aliens' again to have a 'proper' look at them, they look so scary I am not even going to put a picture of them up, were they not found by the Nazca Lines in Peru?  False of course.

Perhaps the 'Horn of Ulf' is a better picture, when the Viking Lord Ulf rode from the district round my own village to York to hand this drinking horn along with his lands to the Bishop of York.  He just got fed up with his sons arguing over their inheritance.

Is it not beautiful though, sadly made of an elephant's tusk and made in Italy.  Carved in the Islamic style.

Also, why not this gold jewellery found in 2008 in West Yorks.  As 'Treasure' it belongs to the state, so we can only hope The British Museum does not lose this small hoard!  It dates from about the 7th century to the 11th century

And lastly, but so weird, the four tall gold conical European hats of the Bronze Age.  What wizards wore them and how did they keep them on their heads is my question. 

Calendrical Device?

According to what is written about them, they could well be part of a Sun culture, they are (supposedly) representative of the Urnfield Culture and were buried in the ground.

Also to remember the funny 'Blooper' video of Rupert Soskin and Michael Bott 'The Prehistory Guys' visit to many of the sites I know.

Friday, September 15, 2023

15th September 2023

Saint Caedmon's Cross.  Victorian of course.

Well my daughter arrived back yesterday evening. Slightly panicking that no one would open the door.  She rang my phone three times, and I tried to answer it, but even when I press the green sign it never opens up.  Remember the bad old days?* tring-tring in the corner of the landline phone, pick up, say your number, and then you had a conversation.

Pick up my mobile. Password please firstly. I have put facial recognition on it as well but often the little bugger will say 'face not recognised'. As if.

Technology is so wired up! And we are expected to conduct our money transactions on it, for crying in a bucket.... Anyway I let her in, and she had bought Swiss chocolate bars back and had a good time.

I notice some bloggers are off to the land of university learning, something I admire but won't be doing, my brain is saturated as it is, it doesn't want anymore facts and learning curves, it needs REST.

But if I had to go to university, my choice would be old languages.  I have always loved the Saxon(old English) poetry that has come down in various forms.  The following is 'Caedmon's poem.  A poem made by a farm hand at Whitby Abbey, it came to him in the night.  This is the 11th century Saxon below;

Nu we sculan herian / heofonrices Weard,
Metodes mihte / and his modgepone,
weore Wulderfaeder; / swa he wundra gehwaes,
ece Dryhten. / ord onstealde.
He aerest gesceop. / eordan bearnum
heofen to hrofe, / halig Scyppend;
oa middongeard / moneynnes Weard,
ece Dryhten, / aefter teodefirum foldan, / frea aelmihtig.  

English translation: Although to be honest the above is English as well.

Praise now to the keeper of the kingdom of heaven,
the power of the creator, the profound mind
of the glorious father, who fashioned the beginning
of every wonder, the eternal lord.
For the children of men he made first
heaven as a roof, the holy creator.
Then the lord of mankind the everlasting shepherd,
ordained in the midst as a dwelling place,
almighty lord, the earth for men.

This 7th century Christian poem, said to be the first, may of course be one of the stories that Whitby Abbey manufactured to bring in the pilgrims.  It is also said, that the Abbess  Hilda, threw the snakes over the side of the cliff.  But of course weren't snakes but the ammonites frozen in time in the rock face of the cliffs.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

14th September 2023

 What to write?  I have just been listening to Spiegel in Spiegel. Repetitive you might say, but for me the calmest piece of music on this earth, it eases out the frenetic rush of life.  Followed by 'Lost Words' songs and a young girl singing 'Dancing in the Dark' on the streets.  She is joined by a young Italian, who then gives a perfect rendition of the song in Italian.

Well normal weather has resumed, my hands are cold as I type, a little miaow in the corner tells me that Mollie is still alive and I have prepared her windowsill for looking out on the world.

A F/B friend is making her way towards Whitby, through her photos I have seen Pickering and Malton and I can just imagine the crowds at Whitby.  My daughter and Paul did not like Whitby but I did.  It had a vibrancy with the great crush of people and the 101 (exaggeration) fish and chip shops, the smell lingering on the air.

So a few more photos to fill the space

A slice of green marble as a centre pierce

The bridge has been opened to let the taller ships through.  People crowd on either side.

This cliff in Henrietta Street had a fall of soil and rocks.  It moved the shed of the little shop that smoked kippers.

Think this is the 'Jolly Sailor', always full of locals.  Could have been the beer.

Looking back to the other side of Whitby and Grand Hotel

When the cliff collapsed behind Henrietta Street.  A couple of years later further down into Whitby and the same thing happened again.  Six cottages had to be pulled down.

Traditional Whitby Smokehouse at risk from landslides

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

12th September 2023

Well not being upstaged by blogger, I shall try once more.  It was photographs I had put on from the past it was North Yorkshire the fabulously named Murk Mire Moor.  A moor that lies in North Yorks, and with standing stones along the narrow lane that bisects the moor.  Now whether they are prehistoric or in fact prehistoric stones moved to lead the traveller through the snow over the moors is hard to say but they follow the single lane.

It is probably one of my most favourite places on this Earth, the sight of rolling purple heather, though dark brown when it has died off, the hill down to the beck and the rowan trees that line the beck.  Lucy always trying to get in the beck and Paul never letting her (she would wet his precious car). 

Here I had heard the curlew and cuckoo, watched a clutch of baby  grouse scuttle across the lane and wondered about the old stones that had once so it is told been a cottage used as a hostel.

Sheep of course are the main occupants this high up.

Ferns and in the background forestry plantation are part of the moors.

An unmarked or chewed fly agaric.  Considering they are poison, something must eat them.

Though no expert I somehow think this is a Russula mushroom

This is a favourite photo.  The moss and fallen branch capture the moment, Jan Morris's 
"square yard" in which you can capture the history of the place.

click on the photos for a better experience.

Three Howes Barrows | The Heritage Trust ( which is on the moors.

Three Howes Barrows

North Stoke: Mirk Mire Moor stones

 Where has it gone I wonder

Sunday, September 10, 2023


 I am awake at 6.30, though to be honest it is as if Piccadilly Circus has been thumping through my room all night.  Yes that little Mollie does like her nightly scampering and sitting on me, and listening to her own voice!

Also my daughter is once again off to Switzerland on a prebooked holiday with Andrew, so they left about 4 0 clock.  It will be more a sightseeing tour for Andrew of the towns down by the lake and of course Chateau de Chillon.  Another member of the family who lives in Switzerland is having a fight with that dreadful creature that stalks our bodies, his operation seems to have been successful, for which we are all grateful.

But what greeted me on the kitchen table this morning as I went down to make the first cup of tea for the day,  Andrew had left me his book on Jarman with photographs by Howard Sooley.

Here I was able to read Jarman's poem as he raged against the AIDS epidemic taking away his friends and in the end himself.  Apparently his last holiday was to Monet's Garden at Giverny. 

I walk in this garden

holding the hands of dead friends.

Old age came quickly for my frosted generation,

Cold, cold cold, they died so silently.

Did the forgotten generations scream,

Or go full of resignation.

Gardens, once planted, wind themselves round your heart, binding themselves like the bindweed we will crossly pull off the hedge.  They demand servitude.  Bring a child up in a garden, and they will remember the sweetness of it all.  The sucking of honey from honeysuckle, the great stiff gladiolas, a fountain of colour, and roses cascading to the ground.  Even now I have sitting on the table beside me William Robinson's great compendium of plants - English Flower Garden.

We drew at school the first flower of the season, the daffodil, with its awkward trumpet shape, the colour a bright yellow, though I have always preferred the gentler cream hues of the narcissus.

So thank you Andrew for laying that book on the table, as I listen to another on my computer.  'Lives Lost' are always a treasure of understanding what has passed before, and to remember humility because we think we are the first to discover a garden.

A garden is often called and seen as paradise.  The word comes from the Greek paradeisos meaning 'Royal (enclosed) Park'  But the word can flutter from Eden to Avalon through a myriad of words.

Jarman also made stone circles as well, he was a beachcomber par excellence. Driftwood, flints, stones and anything that could add to his stony shingle garden he even added words on the side of his house. But not the following part of his poem.

No dragons will spring from these circles, 

These stones will not dance or clap hands

at the solstice.

Beached on the shingle,

They lock up their memories,

Standing like sentinels.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

9th September 2023

“I always thought of foxglove as a flower of the woods — deep in the shade, beloved of the bumble bee and little people. But the foxgloves of the Ness are a quite different breed. Strident purple in the yellow broom, they stand exposed to wind and blistering sunshine, as rigid as guardsmen on parade.

There they are at the edge of the lakeside, standing to attention, making a splash — no blushing violets these, and not in ones or twos but hundreds, proud regiments marching in the summer, with clash of cymbals and rolling drums. Here comes June. Glorious, colourful June.

I have two books on the go at the moment 'Thin Air' by Ann Cleeves and of course Derek Garman's 'Modern Nature' which I am thoroughly enjoying.

A meditative and inspiring diary of Derek Jarman's famous garden at Dungeness.

So says the blurb. It is not just about the garden of course, his work comes into it, the sad grinding of death as friends die from the AIDS epidemic but also there is love for his surroundings.  The sea, the wild plants and the woods.  He is well grounded in the history of the Roman Gods as well as the natural history which so often accompanies herbs and wild plants.  Very visceral in his descriptions of sex, though you would see it as an honest appraisal of that which he enjoyed.  An excellent book of a man coming to the end of his life in full knowledge.

As for Ann Cleeves.  I listened to her latest book 'Raging Storm' and it was good, the subject matter well studied.  Someone said on the radio the other day, that most crime writers wrote their books so that they could be picked up for television dramas or films.  This is so true, the book becomes a 'construct'.  Laid out neatly the characters, subject matter and obviously the backdrop of the landscape.  And boy has Shetland been overdone in all this, with Londoners trotting up to take in the exquisite vistas of these islands, only to be murdered there!

So yes I am beginning to get bored with crime fiction, which having created the pattern of writing fiction, then follows it through tediously.

A glimpse of Andrew's father 'Jungle Garden' set in a quarry which gives it a protected damp environment for the plants.


Thursday, September 7, 2023

7th September 2023 - Jarman

 I have made myself write something every second day.  So where do I start today?  It might be Derek Jarman's book - Modern Nature, I have been introduced into his seductive description of homosexuality and learn a little more along the way.  But it is with his description of the landscape that I have fallen in love with the man.  His obsession with his garden, the naming of plants all go to a very sensitive soul.  It is sad when such people who can write are taken by the diseases of their time.  AIDS passed through our history and was eventually not exactly cured (if I am right) but kept at bay. It scared people at the time, was looked on by some with the prejudicial hatred that small minded people have.  

But I would recommend his book as a deeply personal, very intimate writing of himself. I might even try his book 'The Last of England'   He should be remembered more.  My first encounter with his work was a short experimental film about Avebury.  All in a process called chroma I think.  Did not like the red exposure of the film and the fuzziness of the scenery.

In his garden he uses silver plants on the poor soil of the beach, it contrast beautifully with white flowers.  He mentions Rue and Southernwood as well, which I also cultivated alongside Wormwood, all silver leaf and a calming presence in the garden.  And who could forget the soft furry Lamb's Ear.

Derek Jarman's house on the Sheerness beach

What else? I hardly look at any television but have started 'The Woman in the Wall' on BBC.  The plot encompasses the Irish misery, of loss of babies in the mother and baby houses, when the strict ruling of the Catholic faith took the babies from single mothers, not so long ago.  In this series it is a nunnery, where the cruelty of the laundry workhouse is explored, where the girls were supposed to work.

Lost my knitting mojo for a couple of days, all because I had hit a problem, then decided to do something different and forget the first bit of knitting and now I am happily knitting. As I always tag on something musical, this piece always stops me mid track - The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins, it has the same affect on me as another composer, who's name escapes me,* but will no doubt be triggered when the two synapses in my brain bump gently against each other!

Derek Jarman

*John Tavernor

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

5th September 2023

 Yesterday I mentioned Roger Phillips and his book of roses.  So I went on a hunt for it.  He had written many books, but also in his books on roses, wrote on the symbolism of roses.

So leaving Satish Kumar and his meditation this morning I found the following on You tube.

I know Jennie (Coldins and Cream2) and Sharon (Morning Minion) will enjoy it.  The video is a bit faded, it was made in 1993 but it is a delightful look at roses through history.

Thank goodness for Peter Beales and David Austin both of these garden centres developing the old roses for their scent and beauty.

And as an afterthought, it was listening to Derek Jarman's book - Modern Nature that set it all off.  I know his shingle garden near Dungeness was famous for its plants that grow near the sea.  But Jarman grew many more plants, it was his childhood that had inspired him.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Something to brighten the day


Rosa Mundi. Wiki - By Schurri

One of my favourite roses - Rosa Mundi.  It makes the heart dance for its colouring and slightly wild appearance, for a moment capturing the wild single roses you can find in our countryside.  No I don't mean the fullness of its double petals but the slight shagginess of their edges. I have always planted them in the garden.  Their romantic history of course goes back to the 12th century.

To the time of Henry 11 and his Queen Eleanor.  Henry was to have an affair with Rosamund Clifford, (Rosamund- Rose of the world) but she died young at 30 years old at Godstow Abbey, the Queen according to folklore was supposed to have killed her, she is obviously a muse for romantic art, two of which are below.

Queen Eleanor and the Fair Rosamund By Evelyn De Morgan -

In the above painting, the one which I prefer though I have rather lost my taste for Pre-Raphaelite paintings.  According to folklore the queen has forced Rosamund into a maze and followed her here by the red thread you can see.  Rosamund is given the choice of either poison or a dagger by the murderous queen, she chooses poison, this is a late story made up about the time the rose was found.  There is a much more macabre story which you can find here.

Fair Rosamund in her Bower by William Bell Scott

A less exuberant painting but still with roses as a backdrop.

Rosa Mundo comes with a history, there are other striped roses, some dark but Rosa Mundi is a sport from the Apothecary Rose - Rosa Gallica Officinalis.  By the way, the lovely linking of the Rosamund story and the rose doesn't add up, the rose was introduced in the 16th century.  

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Light relief

 The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi.  As I only shop at Lidl, it strikes home this ballad.  I may walk down the central aisles full of bric-brac to go back for something but I never linger amongst the things on offer.  Lidl idea of selling off surplus foreign food appeals to me, though to be honest I have never found anything I want to buy. 

The other day I was looking for proper English courgettes mine were still in the act of producing, but none were to be found and I don't like the large dark green Spanish at this time of summer.  'Racist granny' my granddaughter called me, nope I said just like the sweeter small homegrown courgette and I do not belong to The British National Party... With todays youngsters one can hardly open one's mouth without being an 'ist' of some description.

The courgettes were to go with my homegrown tomatoes, a free packet, can't remember the name but they are definitely beefsteak, enormous, deeply carved it makes the job of skinning them difficult but they are delicious and sweet.

Two catalogues arrived yesterday, one was a seed one, you know you are definitely going into Autumn when these catalogues arrive.  Then there was the 'Seasalt' one, with rather nice stuff, green being a predominant colour.  Don't need any new clothes but I enjoyed the catalogue.

So the morale of the ballad is don't send your husband or partner into shop for food into either of these two stores.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

2nd September 2023

Time for nostalgia:  This morning I woke up and could not think what Paul had for breakfast each day, it worried me.  On Sundays he cooked our breakfast, this would be a second breakfast for me because I would always have toast being an early riser.

In this picture he is laughing at me because I am nagging for him to hurry up, it would take him forever to cook, slowly, surely and methodically.  You will see his lidded mug, Japanese of course as much of his household stuff was.  I have always walked away from the great clutter owning a house produces but Paul had collections of stuff.

There was in the roof area of the garage, Japanese firemen's suits, heavy and they would have been soaked in water before the men tackled the fire.  The four glass covered cases of dyes and minerals.  Books galore, four enormous packets of special paper that supported one of his desks.  He always wanted to make paper, and Middle Mill in Wales with its river would have been ideal.

The rest of the dyes can be seen here....

He had loved Japan as a country, but I think whereas I would have been happy in the outback amongst the mountains and trees, he would have been happiest in Kyoto.

I was interested in the dyes, not allowed to use the ones in the glass cases obviously but others I used on my spun wool. Natural dye material produce soft colours whereas the dyes you can buy in the little bottles have to be tested carefully.

This Buddha arrived from Australia one day beautifully packed and was to go on to a Continental auction house.  He is placid and peaceful, as a Buddha should be of course, but though the photo is blurred the touches of blue shine through.  On Japanese art there are the special stamps of the studio or artist who has painted them.  On this particular one there were several and a computer expert from London came to photograph them and then enlarge on his computer.

Paul would say to me I never know what you are thinking until I read your blog.  So like John on 'Going Gently' perhaps there is a rainbow bridge for blogs as well. 

Early Asuka Temple