I don't seem to be posting much. I have many things going round in my head, and plenty of photos, but then I find some other useful thing I ought to be doing, or when I sit down here I find myself wandering off to Flickr and browsing around, uploading the odd picture and finding yet another group to join, the latest being one themed on melancholy and another two on cows.
Our friend who cuts our hedges has arrived, and is setting about the heroic task of bringing to some order the many miles of cypress, thuja, laurel, photinia, viburnam, and berberis which we ambitiously planted thinking to make our little acre look like Little-Hidcote-de-la-Bretagne, then found it was beyond our powers and our hedge trimmer to keep in order, and mostly our garden looks more like Hidcote six months after the end of the world. In order to minimise what we have to pay him and the time he has to spend here, when he could probably be earning better money doing something easier, I am trailing round after him raking and sweeping. Yesterday it rained so much I was very quickly literally wet to the skin, but we soldiered on, and the turpentiney smell of cut cypress, and scents of bruised geranium, lovage, sweet cicely and others was rather delightful . Today it is sunny, and I should be out there now.
I've also brought back a large bag of rugosa rosehips from this morning's walk, to supply my current jelly-making fit. I am of an age to find the flavour of rosehips, from childhood rosehip syrup, very nostalgic. It retained scarcely any of the vitamin C which was its raison d'etre, and it rotted our teeth, but it was delicious anyway.
And I have received a couple of nice compliments. Dave King, from whom a compliment is very well-received, says I am a KICK-ASS BLOGGER. Unfortunately, I've forgotten how to put the little logo thing on here, and ama bit pushed for time, so you'll have to take my word for it. As I say, this is a very handsome compliment from someone who is clearly a scholar and a gentlemen, who writes excellent, quirky, thoughtful and erudite poetry and essays and who sparks many an intelligent discussion over at his blog Pic and Poems.
I won't nominate anyone for the award, as really you're all very kick-ass, I reckon. I would recommend, however, you go and visit Tori's wonderful food blog, Love Apples, because she'll make your mouth water in general, and wrote this delicious post about blackberry fool after reading my bramble jelly one. She hails from Montreal and is a friend of Beth's, but spends a lot of time in Europe and Hungary in particular whence she came originally, I think, and she's adorably, scarily passionate and clever about food. She describes blogging as for 'exhibitionist introverts', which is just perfect, and I wish I'd thought of it.
The other nice thing was that one of my photos of blackberries got seen on Flickr and asked for for a web news magazine, Now Public, for this article about how people don't forage enough wild food any more. I think quite a lot of photos are chosen for these articles, so there are enough for a slide show, but it was a pleasant surprise anyway. Internet news magazines I often find a bit overwhelming and time consuming, but it looks quite a good, interesting site. My photos the one by 'Garlic chicken' which is me on Flickr. Funny how your mind goes a blank trying to think of a name, so you choose the first thing that comes into your head and get stuck with it...
So, that'll have to do, sometime or other I'll do a proper post. Dick asked for some photos of sunshine, so here's a drop from last night, when Phoebus deigned to show his face after the rain gods had soaked me all day, on a couple of dahlias and my prize pumpkin, which is now about the size of a toddler's football.
Teaching and other matters
4 hours ago