It’s too cold for May. Things growing are in suspended animation, biding their time, waiting for warmth and rain. Instead, it’s windy and grey. The chimney booms with the sound of the air rushing over the roof, birds rise up from the field behind the hedge, try to fly across the garden and are beaten back to where they started by sudden gusts. The sun emerges for a moment but is swiftly covered again by layers of lowering cloud. Rain threatens but does not fall. Shivering, I put on the heating and think of making a fire, feeling the tension as my body tries to ward off the cold. Like the flowers in bud, I’m waiting for a change.
It’s incredibly windy at the moment which makes doing any work outside rather difficult. My hair gets in the way of seeing anything, so it was very frustrating being up the ladder fixing the cooker hood vent’s gravity flaps, one of which had fallen off during the winter. I could tie it up, of course, but that thought only ever occurs to me when I’m already doing whatever I’m doing surrounded by swirling hair.
I cleaned the windows, which is no big deal except when some windows have got ridiculous amounts of security metalwork to dismount before you can get at the glass. It made me realise that there were two windows I’d never cleaned before – in four years! Slut.
I’m quite an anxious gardener, going around prodding and poking and wondering whether things are still alive after the winter. So it’s reassuring to go back to old pictures and think that the tree probably isn’t dead because it didn’t have any leaves the previous year at this time either. Here are the last five years. (They enlarge if you click them.)
In the evening, after my final bout of cleaning, we found a small frog that had somehow made its way inside and got itself attached to a ball of slut’s wool. I quickly rescued it from the cats, who were looking very interested, and put it out in the garden under the leaves growing around the pond. It was only when I came back in that I remembered that I should have kissed it first.
Pictures with no words today, or not many.
I’m in a funny mood which is best not explained since I don’t really understand it myself.
Down in the dumps with no reason.
I know it will pass, as all things do.
And then things will grow better once more.
After my last post and its consequences, I’m sticking to topics that presumably no-one can argue with. The premise is simple: sometimes trees look like other things and here are some pictures of some trees I saw recently that reminded me of those other things. You may not agree but I hope we can live with each other’s ideas. I would like to record these pictures here because my blog is, first and foremost, for me. I put things on it that I like as long as it’s legal. Full stop. Is it safe to go on?
Right, well, assuming that no-one has so far reported me, got on the dog and bone to the authorities or otherwise bust a gut with annoyance about this concept, here are those pictures.
This tree made me think of this little rhyme:
There was an Old Man with a Beard
By Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.
While this one above made me think of the lizards I saw jumping about in the desert in Egypt earlier this year. You might have to click on it to enlarge it to see what I mean – this works best in Firefox. And I have no pictures of lizards for comparative purposes. I was on a moving camel most of the time and they are quick movers – not the camels, the lizards.
This tree is covered in lichen and doesn’t really look like anything but it’s very pretty both in shape and colour. I love its greeny-grey softness. It reminds me of something you might find under the sea. Just those three words bring forth the earworm of Disney’s Little Mermaid. Sorry folks, you too?
Oh, perhaps that last one got you here under false pretences as I’m supposed to be talking about things that look like trees. Well, ok then, here’s a photograph that looks a little bit like I’ve snapped the tree’s bottom. Now what’s another word for that? Let me think now… It begins with an A.
Normal, less cross, service will be resumed in my next post. Have a good weekend.
I was asked by Kate Davies, the author, to take down a post called A kiss from France that I reblogged here today. If you’ve found yourself here and would like to read her post about the embroidered cards that British soldiers sent home from France during WWI , this is the link to the original on her blog Needled.
Perhaps WordPress should make the reblog button something that people can turn off if they don’t want their posts shared elsewhere?
I’ve been reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, and the contrast between the setting of the novel in the nineteenth-century countryside and the news from America this week was extreme. But somehow this little detour I went on after a walk fitted right into my reading.
I had been clearing up some rubbish from a lay-by near Cothelstone Manor, as I sometimes do when people’s thoughtless stupidity about the countryside annoys me, when I noticed an odd little building by the side of the road, so I went off across the fields to investigate.
Following a sign, I picked my way across some rather marshy grass and found this funny little stone building with an Alice in Wonderland-sized door.
Named after the wife of a nearby landowner in the sixteenth century, not after a saint at all, it’s an ancient well which is supposed to bring good fortune to those who wash their hands in its water.
It was restored about 15 years ago and apparently the stonemason who worked on it wanted to create a place for the water to collect while still allowing the well to remain locked up. That’s worked out rather nicely. After my rather muddy crisp packet gathering expedition it was quite instinctive to dip my hands in the cool, clear water pooled at the entrance.
Postscript: On collecting rubbish from the Quantock Rangers.