Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An antidote to Chelsea

It’s Chelsea Flower Show week and one small corner of London is one big explosion of colour. Talk to any exhibitor at the show however and they will tell you that underlying the brouhaha over medals and perfectly timed blooms there lurks the exhaustion of months of poly-tunnels, artificial heat, micro managed watering and grey hairs.    

While I am undoubtedly enjoying all the media coverage of Chelsea, best in show for me at the moment is our native woodland draped with the most sublime mantle of blue.

A year ago I spotted a handwritten sign advertising a bluebell walk through some local private woods. 
And not merely a walk, as it turned out. We met at a farm, climbed onto a tractor and trailer along with an interesting collection of craggy faced enthusiasts and were bumped, to my childlike delight, a couple of miles down-lane and up-field.

Then we were guided on foot into a magical world. Not only of bluebells, swathes of wild garlic were an unexpected bonus.

We had stepped, legitimately, into the territory of the local gamekeeper. He was hovering protectively beside his pheasant enclosure. Hazel stick in hand and with the air of a disgruntled hedgehog he was keeping a watchful eye.

Now I can’t imagine anyone wanting to disturb his birds’ eggs, can you?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Baby-sitting an egg

My husband was busy doing ‘man’ things in the garden at the weekend. Power tools, billhooks, rotting fence posts, brute force and bonfires. Those sorts of things.

In his orbit, nervously eyeing his flamboyant recreation, was a hen pheasant. 
She was sitting on a clutch of eggs, in a not very camouflaged nest. 

Eventually her tolerance waned. Amidst great whirring and flapping, reminiscent of an early incarnation of the Wright brothers’ flying machine, she lurched skyward and so revealed 17 beautiful eggs... much smaller than a chicken’s, with a seductive natural sheen, and in enough neutral shades to compete with any Farrow and Ball paint chart, 

cardamom, beech bark, pebble, rain cloud, sapling, tail-feather taupe... now doesn’t that make you want to redecorate?

The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that there is one egg missing from the bottom photo. Yes, I did steal an egg (we're overrun with pheasants) and it’s sitting on my desk where I can admire it close up. And if mum abandons the nest I’ll be the first to borrow the whole lot! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Long time, no see….

Bank holiday weekend... time for catching up with old friends.

 Just happened to bump into these saucy guys in the Co-Op.

Last time I saw them they were on on my drawing board!

mmnnn.… as good as homemade!