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Showing posts from June, 2015

In praise of the bench

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We have a lot of benches in our garden.  I like to sit and look and drink a cup of tea.  Some are workaday, some are more formal.  I thought I would take you round and we can sit on them one by one.


This is a very workaday one.  It is just a slab of slate on concrete blocks with an old plank behind it for the larger bottom.   It is in the kitchen garden, just outside the largest of the old stone pigsties.  This is not a place for relaxation  It's too narrow, too hard and doesn't have a back on it.  It is more somewhere to have a break from weeding.


The best thing about this bench is that, if you sit still for long enough, the swallows that nest in the pigsty will decide to ignore you and will come whizzing over your head into the pigsty through the hole above the doorway.



Come out of the kitchen garden and there is another bench which might not be for lounging on but which does have the best view in the garden.  This is the bench for a cup of tea on sunny day or for a glass or…

Words and images

I wonder if as a society we are getting obsessed by images.  A drawing or a painting used to be the way we represented something in an image.  Even the smallest sketch took skill and a painting might be the work of months or even years.  Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa took him nearly fifteen years to complete.  Then came photography but even when photography had been going for a hundred years or more and we had left behind the period when the sitter had to remain entirely still for minutes in front of the camera it was still the case until digital photography that a photograph required waiting: the film had to be completed, sent away in a sealed envelope and the prints returned a few days later.  Only then could you see that the whole film contained only half a dozen pictures that you wanted to keep with most of the prints being slightly out of focus, containing a pink finger over a bit of the lens, or so dark and atmospheric that it was hard to tell why they had been taken at all.…

List making

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We do lists differently in our house, my husband and I.  He always has a list going on of the jobs to do: gutters to clear, weeds to strim, shelves to make, beans to plant out, walls to paint.  He works his way through these and rubs them off the whiteboard and is clearly seen to be achieving.  Most of what I do never makes a list.  I would feel a fool writing up "go shopping", "make lunch", "wipe worktops", "pick herbs" and solemnly rubbing them off every day.  Even things that sound like one off tasks - weeding - are simply not.  I have to weed a bit three or four days a week.  If I don't the weeds take over but I am never done.  Perhaps that is what comes of living in a field.  So I am not really a great list maker now that I am not at work.

But this week we have produced a shared list of some of the administrative things to do and whizzed through it in a most satisfying way so I am feeling quite kindly disposed towards lists.  So here a…