Friday, August 28, 2015


A few days away, inhaling sea air. 
Searching for a horizon where mist meets sea spray. 
Prying into rock pools where salt water ebbs and flows.
Picking up pebbles, 
imagining their story. 

Equally content to be back…

Monday, August 10, 2015

monday, washday

It’s a beautiful day and if I can’t sit outside under the magnificent Indian bean tree to write my blog what is the sense of working from home? I don’t even need the excuse of a tube strike! 
Ever alert, the chickens have rushed over as close as their fence will allow, hoping in vain that my cup of tea might instead be tasty scraps for them. 

The bean tree is laden with white blossoms, each little bonnet trimmed with a perfectly ruched edge. 

I’ve just put my gardening shorts in the wash, domestic detail but by the time I’d laid out the contents of the pockets I sensed a quick sketch was in the air.... all those irresistible textures!

exhibit a. a net bag

We have a couple of young walnut trees from which I have never yet enjoyed the crunch of a single walnut. Oh yes, the trees produce plenty of nuts but the squirrels know that too and pinch the lot before they’re even ripe. 
Our lovely neighbour who has been growing trees all his life has the same problem. He already has a pair of step ladders parked by the trunk of his walnut tree and is contemplating his strategy. I sense we are locked in friendly combat and will be comparing our harvests come the autumn. Meanwhile I am salvaging every net bag that would otherwise be heading for the dustbin and plan to tie one around every walnut. 

exhibit b. bee identification chart 

Moderately useful, frustrating how most bees seem to be a cross between two or more of the illustrations tho’. So I’m not really much the wiser.

exhibit c. pencil stub for writing on seed markers

No matter how sure I am that I’ll remember where I have tucked an extra sowing of lettuce seed, I’ve finally learnt that a seed tag avoids the inevitable confusion.

exhibit d. strips of my daughter’s ripped school tights 

Some women might carry a spare pair of tights in their handbag, in case of a snag. Well, frankly, I cherish the laddered ones! Cut horizontally into strips they make fantastic stretchy ties, indestructible and perfect for keeping my tomatoes erect. 

exhibit e. feather from a Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Simply beautiful.

exhibit f. a parsnip seed head

Waiting to be popped into an envelope ready for sowing next year. 
Now that wouldn’t have fared well in the washing machine!

Is it a tomato?

Is it a peach? 
No it's a walnut but is that enough to fool the squirrels?