Archive for March, 2013

Violets are blue, rivers are green

March 31, 2013 Leave a comment
Violets with the river in the background

Violets with the river in the background

Snatching our moment between showers and storms, we went down to the River Topino, which runs through the valley below our house.

The river was a swollen torrent of opaque, greenish water.

Clive spent his time considering how he would work out the flow rate using Pooh sticks.

I walked along the bank with Galileo and found violets growing in great expanses round the boles of the poplar trees.

It was a strange contrast: the turbulence of the current and the sweet-scented delicacy of the flowers.

Easter fare

March 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Mincemeat tart and custard to go with it

Mincemeat tart and custard to go with it

This lattice tart, our version of Easter fare, is made with port and cranberry mincemeat.

It’s even nicer than ordinary mincemeat (which is nice enough) – I know because I licked out the jar.

I can’t wait to tuck into the tart itself, and the custard to accompany it.

“I’m a cook not a chef,” Clive keeps insisting; much more suitable as far as I’m concerned!

Poor year for nectarines

March 29, 2013 Leave a comment
In bloom despite the weather

In bloom despite the weather

The nectarine tree is determined to bloom.

This is in spite of the fact that no self-respecting bee would venture out to pollinate in this wind and wet.

At least the blossom is pretty.

In fact I’d grow a nectarine tree just for that, even without the possibility of fruit!


March 28, 2013 1 comment
A small clump of celandines

A small clump of celandines

I came across this clump of celandines today.

The flowers were fully open despite the fact that it was raining about an hour later. They’d be pretty useless as a weather-glass!

I was reminded of one of my favourite paperweights.

I don’t remember where it came from, but it would have been made by pouring acrylic resin in layers so as to trap the flowers.

I’d love to do that, except that paperweights are going out in a paperless society!

A very pretty paperweight, slightly faded

A very pretty paperweight, slightly faded

A ladybird wakes from hibernation

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment
A ladybird in the axle of a clematis twig

A ladybird emerging

This ladybird had a good spot to hibernate in, tucked in the axle of a clematis stem.

It was just stirring sleepily when I saw it.

It will have felt the warmth of the sun, like the fat flower buds around it which will open soon.

Almond blossom

March 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Almond blossom

An almond flower


It rained on and off all day today.

The orchard blossom seems to have gone on hold apart from one tree, the almond tree.

It’s the nearest to the house so I’ve watched it opening its blossom steadily.

I took this photo when the weather was better and there was only one small spray in bloom.

Cosy nights

March 25, 2013 2 comments

Before I get into bed, I always check on Galileo, who sleeps on the carpet on Clive’s side next to Joules.

It’s not that I expect him to be anything other than supremely comfortable.

It’s just that some of his poses are so cute.

Here he’s made himself the perfect little nest in his blanket and is curled up as tight as a snail.

Galileo curled up in his blanket

Galileo curled up in his blanket

Here he’s on his back, squirming with pleasure at the warmth of Joules’ fur, while Joules himself is out for the count!

Galileo wriggling beside Joules

Galileo on his back beside Joules