Any day that starts with a rainbow has got to be considered lucky. And that wasn’t the last of the omens of good fortune.
Next we found a lucky newt, especially lucky for him as he managed to avoid the tines of my fork.
Then a mushroom portent, along with a lawn full of puff balls that Lord Mantle systematically popped as he mowed.
Finally there was a heart shaped golden raspberry, which legend tells us is only lucky if eaten.
When I got home I ran into the front room, demanding to see the Premium Bond top prize winning letter. Not quite that lucky it seems.
Due to a surfeit of workman and their corresponding transport, His Lordship picked me up today from the National Trust car park a mile or so from the Mantle’s Mansion This rough old patch has breath-taking views along the rugged Exmoor coast and across to Wales. A camper van was the only other vehicle in the area. “What a view to wake up to!” I said to LM “Shall we pretend we are having an illicit meeting?” “OK” and he gave me a big bear hug. “I was thinking of pretending we were international jewel thieves” I said, “Oh” he said as he helped me put my tools into the back of his brand-new motor.
On the way to the house we pulled in to wait for a cautious woman to inch her way past us in her nice shiny 4 x 4, determined not to get any mud on it. Whilst patiently waiting, I pushed a button on my door. By a stroke of luck this opened the window, meaning I could take a photo of swampland beyond.
A warm but dreary start to the day and working in the resultant fug was like swimming through treacle. Later it brightened up, blue wisp free skies, but by that point any excess energy had already been sapped.
This photo of the fabulous small yellow foxglove, Digitalis lutea, is also rather dark and definitely out of focus, but I thought if we called it “atmospheric” I might get away with it.
Whether you are calling it Stipa tenuissima or Nassella tenuissima, the combined effect of sun and wind on the Mexican feather grass is just the same. Poetry in motion.
This morning Lord and Lady Mantle introduced me to three giant cacti, wondering where we could fit them into their planting scheme. Not quite sure where they will best slot into the general “Game of Thrones meets The Only Way is Essex” ambience.
Lord Mantle was looking fine in his natty hat though.
Just to put you at your ease Lady Mantle, I will not be naming names. All I am going to say is that after tea break only one person returned with me out into the garden, into the deluge and the storm and battled the ferocious monsters that had been summoned up by the weather gods. And one other person stayed inside pretending to be busy.
No names, Lady Mantle, you are quite safe from retribution.
You know that you have selected your clients well when, as you are poised to scatter some wildflower seed in their garden, you say “I think to mark this occasion you should perform a interpretative dance”. And they do. Lord and Lady M, you are brill.
Here is some pear blossom. Also brill.