Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Month of May

Waking up with a hangover from a wonderful wedding the day before....
Exploring Greenwich in the bank holiday sunshine and then a 'phone call from mum about granny....

A train ride through the Kentish countryside to see mum and dad. Sun shining, green green fields, oast houses and a great book made it less sad. Coffee and shopping at The Goods Shed, eating lunch outside in the garden, a walk along the river, seeing ducklings and ending with walking through a field of cows.
Drinks at The Phoenix.
Discovering the maxi skirt that suits me, having wanted one since last summer but discovering that maxi dresses don't suit me - a straight jersey maxi skirt is for me.
A great Friday evening shop. A favourite Whistles top - I may buy it in white too. Getting to grips with eye lash curlers and discovering that Lancome Hypnose is truly a great waterproof mascara.
Mooching around the Forest Hill Open Studios.
Meeting up with dear friends at a Eurovision party.
Finally receiving notification of our mortgage. We shall be moving.... An initial visit to Criterion Auctioneers to see how it operates for when we're ready.
Meeting dear friends, who were previously friends and colleagues, for supper at The National Portrait Gallery Restaurant. Delicious food, gorgeous company and the views of London sky line - superb.
Discovering the perfect summer red nail varnish - Essie 5th Avenue.
A dear friend was over from New York so it meant the chance to meet up with a lovely group of friends. We met at Bam Bou I've been to the bar before, and this time the cocktails were just as divine but we ate - and the food was absolutely delicious.
Sunday lunch with my aunt followed by boules in the garden.
I would love to tell you all about the christening we attended in a field for Rogation Sunday but alas due to the most horrific accident we spent that time sitting on the A3. The party afterwards was glorious and we spent the Monday recovering from over eating and drinking.
Oh no I've just realised that May started and finished with a hangover...

Cakes baked. Real Cookie Girl's Strawberries and Cream cupcakes for Eurovison (they shall be baked again). Hummingbird Lemon Bars, Lady Grey Tea loaf and a disastrous Ballymaloe apple cake for Granny's funeral.
Books read - High Wages - my first Whipple. I am so glad I saved it perfect for this time. I loved it - strong woman, friendship, clothes, shopping and day dreaming - what could not be more perfect for me? Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford. The hand that first held mine by Maggie O'Farrell, The Rector's Daughter by F.M. Mayor.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Privacy of rain

And finally the rain came....

Privacy of rain

Rain, A plump splash
on tense, bare skin.
Rain. All the May leaves
run upward, shaking.


I love the privacy of rain,
the way it makes things happen
on verandahs, under canopies
or in the shelter of trees
as a door slams and a girl runs out
into the black-wet leaves.
By the brick wall an iris
sucks up the rain
like intricate food, its tongue
sherbetty, furred.

Rain. All the May leaves
run upward, shaking.
On the street, bud-silt
covers the windscreens.

Helen Dunmore


Oh to have been snuggled indoors with cake and a good film, but alas I was at work. Here's hoping for a dry Bank Holiday. What are your plans?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The colour of happiness

One of our memories of Granny is the colour lilac. It suited her eyes, her grey hair, her whole being.

.... 'Her [Galuzina] favourite colour was a violet-mauve, the colour of church vestments on certain solemn days, the colour of lilac in bud, the colour of her best velvet dress and of her set of crystal goblets. It was the colour of happiness and of her memories, and Russia, too, in her virginity before the revolution, seemed to her to her to have been the colour of lilac.' Boris Pasternak Dr. Zhivago

image - so sorry the credit was lost when blogger had it's upset in May.

Do you have a colour associated to a precious person in your life?

Monday, 23 May 2011

That first cup of tea

Thank you to everyone who has blogged so eloquently and passionately about Dorothy Whipple. I absolutely loved High Wages. It was a perfect book to sink into just after Granny died as a travelled by train through Kentish fields.

"Oh, the comfort of that first cup of tea! The warmth and life it put into you! They held their hands round the cups to warm them and their eyes looked less heavily on the bleak kitchen.
'What do we do now?' asked Jane
'We have another cup of tea' said Maggie
Dorothy Whipple High Wages

a beautiful world

Where do you have your first cup of tea?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I count it happiness

One of the readings Granny had asked to be read at her funeral.

I count it happiness-

Ere we go so quickly where we came

To gaze ungrieving on these majesties.

The world wide sun, the stars, water and clouds

And Fire. Live Parmeno, a hundred years

Or a few months, these you will always see

And never, never any greater things.

Think of this lifetime as a festival

Or visit to a strange city, full of noise

Buying and selling, theiving, dicing stalls and joy parks.

If you leave it early friends,

Why, think you have gone to find a better Inn.

You have paid your fare and leave no enemies.

Menander b.342 BC Athens

Monday, 16 May 2011

oh, those lilac bushes!

16th May - Elizabeth and her German Garden

'-oh, those lilac bushes! They are all out to-day, and the garden is drenched with scent. I have bought in armfuls, the picking is such a delight, and every pot and bowl and tub in the house is filled with purple glory... I go from room to room gazing at the sweetness, and the windows are all flung open so as to join the scent within to the scent without;' Elizabeth von Arnim

wedding flowers

Which scent without would you like to join you within?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Exploding like popcorn

I've found another blossom quote!

'A kind of brilliant green film suddenly broke over the hills - orchids, spiking the dust, rocks crowned with anemones, almond blossom exploding like popcorn.' Laurie Lee As I walked out one midsummer's morning.

we heart blossom

Saturday, 7 May 2011

White Blossom

Elizabeth and her German Garden begins on the 7th May and within this day we have this quote. No wonder I have so many quotes from this book.

'There are so many bird-cherries round me, great trees with branches sweeping the grass, and they are so wreathed just now with white blossoms the tenderest green that the garden looks like a wedding.' Elizabeth von Arnim Elizabeth and her German Garden

And then I found these beautiful wedding images on Once Wed

Thursday, 5 May 2011

In these hours

Darling , Dearest Granny died today.

'In these hours when the silence, unfilled by any ceremony, was made almost tangibly oppressive by a sense of absence, only the flowers took the place of the singing and psalms.
They did more than blossom and smell sweet. In unison, like a choir, ... they unstintingly poured out their fragrance and, imparting something of their scented strength in everyone, seemed to be accomplishing a ritual.
The kingdom of plants can easily be thought of as the nearest neighbour of the kingdom of death. Perhaps the mysteries of transformation and enigmas of life which so torment us are concentrated on the green of the earth, among the trees in graveyards and the flowering shoots springing from their beds.' Boris Pasternak Dr. Zhivago

31st July 1918 - 5th May 2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Dear Friends,

Blog posting will be very light, and somewhat irregular in May for dull reasons (thirty school reports to write) and sad reasons (Granny is very very frail). I hope to keep reading your posts though.

Tweeting will also be light due to my terrible 'phone - but when I get my new one there'll be no stopping me.