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Showing posts from May, 2014

Ten things to take away

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Simplify.

What a lovely word.

I am not sure I will ever achieve the simpler life I longed for when we moved here.  Life is too complicated and most of those complications come from the relationships with friends and family which create the web of love and responsibility without which I wouldn't be me.  But things, what about things?

I have been amusing myself with a game of what I would keep if I could have only ten things to take with me from my house.  The ten things don't have to be practical so you don't need to choose a washing machine or a table or a bed, although I suppose you could if any of these is a special version which gives you real pleasure.  They are ten things that are personal to you, that mean something to you, that represent home.  Imagine if you like that they are ten things which you would take with you as a 21st century pioneer, the things that would go into your trunk as you set off for a new life in Australia or the far West of America.  They are …
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Today I have had a quiet day, quiet and still and mostly outside in the vivid green of May sunshine.  It has been a frantic few weeks with change on the cards for both my father in law, who has moved to a residential home nearby, and for my father.  It has also been my father’s eightieth birthday, celebrated with an afternoon tea party in the village hall in Devon where my sister lives, crammed to the gunnels with family and friends.  There has been much visiting and much whizzing up and down the motorway.  It is too early to tell how these new arrangements will play out.  Time will tell.
But today Ian went into Manchester to work on elder son’s new house and there was nobody here but me, a garden full of birds and the blowing sun. 

I sat for a while in the side garden with a cup of tea and the unopened newspaper on my knee.


In the trees behind the garden a heavy woodpigeon flapped to and fro, repeatedly crashing back into the top of the tallest conifer with all the grace of a small…
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Some plants take a long time to actually arrive in your garden.  Maybe you read about them, see a picture or admire one in a garden you are visiting.  You put it on your mental or not so mental list and then somehow you fail to find it and it hangs around as a vague aspiration, something you like the sound of but are not so driven to have that you track it down like a rare animal.   It must be years since I first read about smyrnium perfoliatum.  

I liked the idea of something other than euphorbia doing that vivid limey, yellowy green which seems so much the colour of spring, but spring intensified, spring squared.  I liked the name too and the way it rolled around your tongue.  But I never saw it anywhere as a plant or as seeds and was a bit put off by the sense that it was slow and tricky.  Still I kept an eye out for it, just in case.
I bought one tiny plant at a visit to Great Dixter, my first and only visit so far, which my blogging history tells me was in April of 2009.  Gosh a…