The Journey

As I may have already mentioned, I am not a keen driver.  I do it because I have to.   I don’t dread the more familiar domestic journeys, but longer excursions are not so welcome.  Needs must.  We all have our crosses to bear, and to be honest there are much heavier loads.

However, there are days when it seems less of a chore.  Today was one.  Today I drove to The Mantle’s estate.   Quite often on this particular journey, one that takes me from town to the edge of Exmoor, I imagine experiencing it for the first time.  In my head I commentate as I travel along the way, pointing out highlights.  The views of bracken hills, the flowering gorse, the fast running ford, glimpses of sea, the beech hedges and winding roads which lead to narrowing lanes.   A close encounter of the buzzard kind, road running blackbirds and the memory of snowdrops that are yet to come.

On the estate Peggy the cockerlab or poobrador or something like that, was in residence, more teddy bear than canine.  Over coffee The Mantles and myself chatted about yogic ear plugs.  We had homemade bread and toasted cheese for lunch and mince pies for pudding.  Oh, and we did some gardening.

On the way home I startled a flock of goldfinches, glinting as they flitted away.

Respite

The wilds of the last few days have diluted into dull murk with a smattering of hail.   Last week was a washout workwise and I am twitching in my enforced respite.  I am hopeful for the coming week, the last before my January sabbatical.  And then respite of choice.  Before we know it, spring will be sprunging and skipping will be skipped.

In the meantime we could do with a bit of sunshine.  And, like this aralia at RHS Rosemoor a couple of weeks ago, we can reach to the skies.

 

A Little More Conversation

True Story

Lord Mantle:  I like Francis Bacon.

Me:  Oh I don’t, he gives me the eebeegeebys.  If I was to write a critique of his work, or even a thesis entitled The Artistic Merits of Francis Bacon, that would be exactly what I would say, “he gives me the eebeegeebys”.  Except I am not sure how to spell it.

Lord Mantle:  E E B E E G E E B E E ‘ S

Lady Mantle and Myself in unison:  There is no apostrophe!

Lord Mantle:  Yes there is, by golly!

Lady Mantle replied alone.  This could quite easily escalate into one of their marital ding dongs which general end in a very messy cow pat flinging shoot-out.  For this reason, and not wanting to get between them if such a thing should happen, I thought it sensible to hold stum:  Definitely not, it doesn’t have anything belonging to it so consequently it doesn’t need one.

Me, before Lord Mantle could reply, trying to divert attention from the dangerous apostrophe:  I wonder if it ends in Y.

Lord Mantle who is easily sidetracked: Yes, Y ‘ S that would work

Me, unconvinced and cowardly:  Perhaps ……….

Lady Mantle takes deep breath and starts making strange whimpering noises whilst pawing the ground.

Me:  Shall we do some work now?

Post event note:  According to the Collins English Dictionary the word is spelt heebie-jeebies, and means a state of nervousness or jitters.  It was first used by the American cartoonist W. B. De Beck (1890-1942) in his comic strip Barney Google. 

We weren’t even close.  But there is definitely no apostrophe.

Best

A frosty morn; a road trip with Hero, warmed by winter mixture; a coffee rendevous with Torrington Tina, Rusty Duck and Mrs Bun; a lesiurely wander around sugar sifted gardens, enjoying the familiar and admiring the new; chickens and fir cones and deer and ferns; icy rills and the ghosts of water lilies; soup, cheddar and chatter; bargain buying; squashes and pak choi; conifers and grasses; reflections and back lighting; and laughter, of course, laughter.  Everything a trip to RHS Rosemoor with your friends should be.  And more.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better.

A ginormous disco ball hanging in a stately oak.

Six on Saturday – Guest Blog with Fat Ol

Before we begin let us get one thing straight, my name is not Fat Ol.  I am Perfectly Formed Ol.  Due to Gill being “too busy doing nonspecific important things” I have reluctantly agreed to stand in.  Between you and me, don’t tell a soul, she said (and this is a direct quote) “I can’t be bothered, you do the Six on Saturday, just waffle on a bit, no one will notice”.  Never one to baulk at a journalistic opportunity, I agreed.  To my mind it is about time a bit of class was introduced to the proceedings.  If you would like to discover more about the wonderful world of Six on Saturday, pop on over to the marvellous, nay inspired, blog of our master The Prop.  Her shirker self took these photographs as my delicate paws have trouble with the camera buttons, so I will have to make the best of what I am given.  Shall we proceed.

First we have a portrait of the gorgeous Me!  I think She might have been trying to photograph something else, but I pointed out the error of her ways.  A splendid shot I thought and looking rather swelte. Though I say it myself.

Next a rather boring shot, definitely lacking in the ginger department.  I believe it is called Lavandula pinnata.  Not much to see here.  Although I must admit it is flowering rather well at the moment and smells just lovely.

Now we have some under garments.  Specifically some new thermals.  I believe they worked very well.  I would have liked to show you her new longjohns, but unfortunately they have been censored, far too saucy.

Although I officially live next door, Gill’s garden is also my territory and therefore I am the one to come to for any insider information.  There is still plenty of jungle to crawl about in and hide and do other things that annoy her when she is weeding.  She always forgives me, especially as I blame my sister Daisy.  The agapanthus has had an unexpected last horrah.  It is looking a bit ragged.  I heard on Catlitter that last week her grumpiness had a problem with her spelling.  Embarrassing.  The Saliva ‘Phyllis’ Fancy’ is forming a perfect backdrop.  Cold weather on the way.  Things may well change.

The varietated wallflower is coming into its own now the surrounding show offs in pots have been snugged into corners.  Helpful as ever and, I am sure you will agree, such a lovely assistant, I helped by delicately pointing at the plant in question.

I keep telling her, “the watched nerine never boils” but still she stares and pokes and prods – when she should be stroking me!  Next week ……

That is my shift over, six of the perhaps not best but it’s all we’ve got.  ‘Til next time.