Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Heat And The Laptop Angel

It's tropical hot today......bouganvillia hot...

hibiscus hot...

frangipani hot....South Africa hot...where I took these photos in the garden of my grandfather's old house in Knysna in 2012...where it was sometimes 40 degrees....which it was on the courts at Wimbledon this afternoon.

This evening, last day of June in the garden -  in the shade but still hot - while I'm taking photos  of roses and 

 begonias and 

whatever this pretty thing is in the centre of a big patio pot of petunias,

the pussy cat from next door saunters in along the brick path.

I hear the little jangly bell round his neck before I see him.

I think he's seeking the coolness of the shade like me.

And doesn't seem to mind lying on top of the sprinkling of little green apples 

 which have already slipped from the tree above him,

reminding me that autumn is only a curtain call away.

This morning I frightened myself in a horrible cheap clothes shop where I was returning a mistake  - a shirt I bought for Robin which was too small. I had my laptop with me as I'd taken it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to get the sound sorted out. It had got stuck on Mute. Turned out it had corrected itself during the hour I was waiting for the appointment.

As I left the horrible shirt shop - actually with two quite decent polo shirts in the sale  - I realised I wasn't carrying my laptop. Couldn't remember where I'd put it down. I rushed around the aisles re-tracing my footsteps in a wild heart beating panic - convinced it was stolen.

Then I spotted it, in its smart purple leather case, innocently leaning against a long mirror on the floor.

I think the laptop angel must have been looking after me. The thought of losing it and everything on it felt like losing my life. Then I remembered it is backed up on a little black box. But I would need a nice young man at the Genius Bar to sort that one out for me.

Monday, 29 June 2015


Last tomato standing. End of a picnic on a sloping grassy bank at Ilfracombe on the North Devon coast on Saturday.

In the festive harbour

also home to 

Damien Hirst's giant statue  - Verity -  standing on fat volumes ( knowledge?) the scales of justice behind her and the sword (of truth?) above her.

I find her half stripped torso, the foetus in her belly exposed, very disturbing as if he's trying to make too many points in one statue. I can appreciate the technical feat of art that it is - just don't like it.

I prefer to look out to sea

and watch the sailing boats mastering the wind.

Back home I make a Mezze supper indulging Robin's request for herbs galore.

 Woody thyme in the roasted aubergine slices and garlic.

Marjoram, oregano and fennel in the broad bean, artichoke and asparagus salad.

Basil, parsley and wild garlic in the avocado, tomato and green pepper salad.

Mint, lemon balm and sage in the cucumber, cumin, yoghurt raitha. 

We eat it outside on the warm evening terrace with a deep filled smoked salmon and dill tart from the deli -  Bon Gout - and rounds of crostini -  crisp baked with olive oil and smeared with a pungent clove of garlic.

 And I think about the families and the friends of those thirty people shot and injured while lying on their sun loungers on a beach in Tunisia - their lives changed forever - Truth and Justice and Knowledge no use to them now. 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Bees In A Tunnel Of Honey

The rain drops keep falling.....

 at The Royal Horticultural Society's Rosemoor Gardens at Great Torrington in North Devon this afternoon. A dear friend and I walk through the mist and rain, drenched in the floating perfume of a thousand roses blooming all around us, trying to keep our cameras dry.... pulled on and on into the next wide flourishing border and the next....soaking up the beauty like bees in a trumpet tunnel of honey.

 I know I've quoted them before in this blog, but these lines from Mary Oliver's poem Roses, Late Summer come back to me again and again whenever I'm in the company of roses.

.....And over one more set of hills,
along the sea,
the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness
and are giving it back to the world.
If I had another life
I would want to spend it all on some
unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox or a tree
full of waving branches.
I wouldn't mind being a rose
in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.
Reason they have not yet thought of.
Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.
Or any other foolish question.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Heat Is Hot

In the garden today the heat is hot ( to quote the song Horse With No Name by America) - obviously not as hot as the desert but hot for England. It's even hotter in the car -   22 degrees this afternoon.  I notice because I make 12  journeys in the car today.

 To and from the farmer's market for a forest of greenery....... to and from The Mede care centre (twice) for Robin to spend the day there ( leaving him in dear safe hands)......... to and from town to have coffee and lush Tunisian orange cake with 3 dear friends........ and to and from another dear friend's house
(twice )- once for a gorgeous lunch for 3 of us - pea soup, roasted cherry tomatoes and a garden salad vibrant with nasturtium flowers -  and back again in the evening for Deeksha meditation....... and date and ginger plum cake.

And somewhere in between -  a walk to the allotment to save the tomatoes and the spinach and carrots from dying in the heat.

 Today I love it all, because unlike the young tender vegetables which wilt in this temperature, I thrive in it.  Even though I seek the shade I feel awake in my own skin - in my element - like a lizard  basking on a hot wall.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cleaning and Beaming

Feather dusting...

This morning in my family constellation session I lance the boil of early grief in my childhood , of not wanting to grow up, of teenage angst and dieting. And let a question hang in its place

 What if my purpose here is just to shine? 

 Back home I notice the kitchen floor is grubby and sticky from, among other things, making a pan of strawberry and redcurrant jam yesterday. So I put on the coffee,  a CD of Queen's 'Absolute Greatest'  and dance my mop across the mock terracotta tiles with Freddie Mercury's voice in We Will Rock You thrumming in my solar plexus - imagining another life for myself. Beaming into a far future.

This old  rose in our garden is called Tequila Sunrise  -  knowing how to open and shine is in its nature.