Monday, August 30, 2010

Colours of August - to be revised

No time for many words right now, but the narrative will follow:

Japanese hydrangeacommon hydrangea
windfall apples for stewing
Echinops ritro
garden chair with lichen patterning before annual washcrocosmia
SLUG!!!! (one of many)Leucanthemum
pears ripening opportunistic mushroom in spring bulb pot
BLUE aphids on roots of dock
ripe mulberries

Now link in to Sue's blog for other August colours


Sunday outings

Over the past few months I've have had some good Sunday outings.
These started with a walk Ian and I often do in winter, but it was the first time I remember doing it in summer.
Hemington and Lockington are a couple of villages in Leicestershire a short drive from home. There is a circular walk across the fields in what for this area is hilly country. As we passed near the clay pigeon shooting, we found this Chinese lantern impaled on a signpost at a stile. At the top of the hill there had been recent ploughing.
Looking back down to the valley of the River Trent, it is hard to realise that there are large towns hidden in front of us. Walking back into Hemington we see a village complete with a traditional phone box and a thatched roof.
And then on the way home, the cooling towers at the power station remind us where we are.

A week later, and Ian and I had a weekend away in West Sussex before I attended the  ACJconference at West Dean College.  We stayed at a great B&B in Midhurst, and took a walk in the South Downs on the Sunday morning. This involved a real hill.Somehow the path doesn't look as steep in this picture. Up by the hedgerow near the woods we found clues for someones treasure hunt.Later on we visited the  Weald and Downland open air museum which was having a rare breeds day. Too many wonderful sheep, alpacas, pigs, cattle etc. to see in a great setting. Later on in the day we walked along a lane to look for traces of a disused railway, and on the way back encountered some cows returning from the milking parlour. We tried to look unconcerned as approximately 150 of these large beasts strolled past us unaccompanied.

A week on, and I took off down to London to meet up with Jeyda who was visiting from Toronto. She had been staying at Angel for a few weeks, and I had a few trips in mind. It turned out that she hadn't been to Spitalfields and Brick Lane. After meeting up with her, I took advantage of a quick visit to Loop in its new shop. Then we took the tube to Moorgate before walking eastwards.At the corner of Tenter Ground and Brune Street
is this magnificent 1902 soup kitchen, set up for the Jewish poor. 
We walked via the revamped Spitalfields market to Brick Lane itself, via Christ Church and Fournier Street with its Georgian housing.

Brick Lane is reached at the Jamme Masjid, a building with an interesting history as a place of worship. Here is the recently erected minaret, a beautiful stainless steel column that has aroused some controversy.
Turning north up Brick Lane there there are many curry houses lining the street.
The atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon is of one enormous multicultural party. The streets are lined with individual vendors and stalls selling all manner of things.
We stopped briefly to chat with an Argentinean selling hats, and wished that we'd had some cash and the appetite to try out the many ethnic fast food stalls.
This vibrant colour is on the corner of Sclater Street

In one of the turnings off Brick Lane we looked at the exterior of the "Fashion Street market",  built in Moorish style in 1905.Here we saw the stands for the new cycle scheme promoted by Boris Johnson.

Starting back, we walked through Petticoat Lane market which was closing for the day. This is a street market I used to haunt as a teenager in the '60s, looking for cheap clothing.  Now there are many stores selling African textiles.
We turned back towards the City of London, and sought out the "Gherkin" which had been visible for most of our walk. By the time we got there we were a little footsore, and after looking at the nearby medieval St. Helens church and the thoroughly modern Lloyds building we walked to Bank to take the tube.

Yesterday Ian and I had an evening trip to Derby to see "Mother" at Quad. On reaching the station to come home the train was waiting at the platform showing this destination!
Needless to say, it did deliver us home.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 05, 2010

... common misconceptions ...

... or the conversation went thus once more this morning:

Older lady: Are you English?
Me: Yes, I'm from London.
OL: Are you sure that you aren't foreign (Spanish/ Italian/ Greek)?
Me: No, I'm a Londoner.
OL: Your family tree must have some interesting bits to it.
Me: The only foreign blood I'm aware of is Swedish

Then, after a bit of a pause:

OL: Your hair, it's really curly.
Me: Yes, I chose the right parents.
OL: How often do you go to the hairdresser?
Me: I just get it cut a few times a year.
OL: But to get the curl ...

Then another pause, and this time a bit of a variation:

OL: You need to use a wide toothed comb on it.
Me: I only ever brush it through when I wash it, but I wet my hands and run them through my hair every morning.
OL: Let me comb it through for you
Me: (trying to make a hasty exit from this line of conversation) No, it doesn't need it!

And then as we parted:

OL: It would be interesting to look into your family tree ...

This was a slightly different version of a conversation I've had many times in my life.
Yes, I have dark hair, dark eyes and darker skin than many.
But at this time of year, when I've seen a little sun it happens often.

This mugshot was taken in January a few years ago.

In the summer of '69 I was working in Selfridges on Oxford Street, London.
It was a fairly hot summer, and I couldn't face braving the tube at rush hour, so used to wander over towards Hyde Park for some "fresh" air before heading home.
On one occasion I was asked within 30 minutes both whether I was Arab or Israeli.

When in Cyprus in the summers of  '77 and '78 all the older ladies in the village would be chatting away in Greek to me along much the same lines, assuming that I had some Greek blood.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sneaking in my colours of July at the last minute

This month the blues abound with this small campanula, and although more purply, this Clematis "Betty Corning". The plant grows like mad after being pruned heavily each spring, but the most memorable thing about this clematis is the fragrance.

We thought that we'd lost this rather blue/purple geranium, but it reappeared this year after about four years.

Putting on a good show in the front garden, we have a Cotinus cogyrria.
For a short while we also had a neat row of marigolds by the front door. Then one night it rained, and in the morning there were barely any remains. Some snails and slugs had been visiting. 
More pink this month with some self sown hollyhocks. 

Then,  found inside the back door one morning, a moth. After dark, when the back door was open, this sleepy looking creature made its escape.

And that is enough for now, more next month I hope.
Several other people have also listed their colours of July on Sue's blog.