In rather over-sensitive fashion, I've hesitated about posting these photos, because I didn't want anyone to think they were some allegory for my inward state: burned out, smouldering, thorny ... none of which is really the case. Just as I was going out for a quick turn around the block a couple of weeks ago, Tom said he might light the bonfire and burn the berberis cuttings. This shrub forms a hedge to the right of our house. It has small pale yellow sprays of flowers with a perfume like that of heaven itself in the spring, and thorns of incomparable savagery all the time. It is something of a worry and has lately been the source, or at least the catalyst, of our final (we hope) severing of all relations with Charmless Dutch Bulb Growing Neighbour (- who is proof that, The Princeling, Lovely Sister and The Quiet American notwithstanding, to have one's own capitalised epithet on this blog does not automatically mean one is held in affection and esteem here).
Anyway, enough about that, you don't want to know, really you don't ... although I was so pleased with the carefully drafted and crafted 'Dear Charmless' letter that I sent him to make it official that I was quite tempted to publish it here. I am not always a nice person.
Back to the berberis (I note that Chrome's built in spell-checker, which nags and snickers at me with a little wiggly red line when I make a typo or spelling error, does not recognise the name of this shrub, nor the word princeling . Neither does it approve the words Google, blog or Blogger, which is somewhat ironic and perverse of it, I reckon, though it didn't bat an eyelid at tarantella, which surprised me). The plant also clearly contains high levels of volatile oils, and burns with a satisfying crackle even when green, so by the time I returned less than a half-hour later, I was a little disappointed to find the bonfire was no more, mere scorched remnants, charcoal and ashes, wisps of smoke, and here or there the tiny flicker of a flame.
But I rather liked it anyway.
Just adding my tuppence worth of griping about Blogger's new image upload thing, which won't upload images. Or at least not on the main computer, it just keeps saying 'server error'. It works OK on the newer little mini notebook, but that's got so little memory and such a tiny screen for photo editing that it's really quite inconvenient to work from there all the time. So I have either to go to settings and change back to the old post editor, with all its drawbacks, rummage in my memory to recall how it works, then change settings back to the new editor so as to be able to blow the pictures up to extra-large, which doesn't exist on the old one, or else upload the photos to a Picasa web album and access them from there on the smaller computer as I can't do that either on the big one, and this also creates duplicates and uses up my already over half-full allowance, or else I have to use the 'blog this' function from Picasa, but that only allows you three pics per post so if I want any more I have to do multiple posts, then go over to the small computer and transfer them all onto one post and keep unpublished ghost posts hanging around because if you delete them you lose the photos from everywhere... are you still following this?
And even when I can get it to work I don't like the new format of it so much anyway. I've just spent rather too long on a Blogger help forum establishing that I'm not the only one with these problems, and that there are really some very strange and disturbed people who hang out on Blogger help forums. Neither of which facts helps me much.
Did I say I wasn't feeling thorny...?
Count your blessings, Lucy. You have a nearly full tank of petrol, and a half-term holiday already. Shut up and stop whingeing ( spell-checker doesn't like that word either).