Thursday, May 01, 2014

Collages for March and April

My resolve to make a collage of photos for each month that passes foundered for March, once again, no heart for it.  March, whatever the weather does at it's beginning and end, can often seem to be either lion or lamb; if it is sunny and warm with good hopes and prospects, it can be a the merriest and and loveliest of months.  The March before we left to come to live here, I remember, there was a heat wave, I walked in the Dorset countryside in my lunch hours from the office job I was doing, met Tom sometimes for picnics, we planned our decampment and everything was as bright as a daisy.  One year when I was about twelve, after a school production of Christopher Fry's The Boy with the Cart, my mother woke me up early one March Saturday and said we were going to Steyning to see St Cuthman's church; she and my sister Alison and I got on a train to London and then one to Brighton, and then on a bus to Steyning.  The church was no longer there, since it was a wooden Saxon one and long since gone, but there were stained glass windows in the existing one with scenes from the life of the saint, and we lay down in a field on our coats and dozed in the afternoon sun, it was that warm.

In other years March can be savage, harsh and mean and Lenten, ready to tear and claw you. And it was never so leonine as this year.

Even so, I looked through the photos I had taken, and there were moments, so belatedly I put together twelve of them:

- celandines 
- the magnolia tree outside the church in Dinan, a very famous specimen planted some 150 years ago, it has a brother in Rennes and another... somewhere else in Brittany, Quimper perhaps? I always mean to get to Dinan at the right moment to photograph it, and by chance we made a trip in the winter holidays early in the month, though it wasn't quite in full bloom yet.
- also in Dinan, and kind of in the Lenten theme, a shop window full of colourfully packaged tinned fish.
- the magnolia again
- crocus
- out of the garden, over-wintering marigolds and daisies from the remains of last years 'flower meadow'
- beach walking
- the mirabelle hedge in blossom
- yellowhammer ' a little bit of bread and NO cheese!' (also Lenten)
- Moncontour and its magnolia
- château through bare branches
- mirabelle blossom


April's collage:

- amalanchier blossom with the last of the hellebores and first of the orange and white daffodils that grow unbidden in a leafmouldy corner by the garage in a glass on the table
- speedwell
- goldfinch, my favourite finch.  They seem to be abundant this year, perhaps it's all the dandelions
- Marcelle's bluebells, big fat Spanish ones
- Nuccio's pearl camellia, a late bloomer and just outrageously beautiful and abundant
- crab apple blossom
- broad beans plants, now about ten inches high
- mint in a pot
- Marcel's daisies (half the people in our village are called Marcel or Marcelle)
- a cotton asymmetric shawl, knitted with a crochet picot edge. I was fed up with winter wool and craved cotton, though it's dry and inelastic to work with.  It was for VR, who now has it, so I can show it here.
- veg garden, broad beans in foreground, parsley and artichokes over-wintered, it's not been cold, just miserable.
- garden from the terrace.

Both collages uploaded full-size, so they should enlarge if desired.

A late happy May Day, rest well from your labours and may friendship and the scent of muguet sweeten your days.


Stella said...

Lucy, my heart has melted! Your blog is as comforting as an issue of Country Living. My friend, who reads your bog, sent me her photos of Dinan and we blankly stare at one another, wondering what we are doing in this dreary northern place -- to be fair I think it's been a poor Spring most places. Check with me again in July. Thank you for the lift!

Stella said...

There's that word 'pants' again.

marja-leena said...

Lovely collages! Still beauty even in bad weather!

Happy May Day, Lucy! Are your muguets in bloom? Mine are in bud, almost there though late this year.

Lucy said...

Thanks both.

Stella - oh dear, sloppy proof reading late at night! 'Pants' is now corrected, at least they weren't thick fast ones. It's also a mild cuss word or expression of something being rubbish in British English you know. Our home is not at all Country Living I'm afraid, but at this time of year when everything's at it's best it shows itself in the best light. Dinan is very pretty, it's about 45 minutes from here. It's got the nearest decent Indian restaurant to us, an there used to be a good wool shop, but she moved out of town to a rather dreary little retail shed development to have more space, but then had no passing trade and had to close down.

ML - We've had a bit of nice weather too. The muguet here are still just in bud too, but they never actually flower for May day, it's a bit high and chilly here. Plenty in the shops though!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Beautiful visual diary, I can almost smell the flowers. How kind of them to remind us that cold grey skies are not a permanent fixture.

Francesca said...

Two beautiful collages, Lucy. Thank you! The camellia is amazing.

Marly Youmans said...

My collage would still be scilla and Lenten roses with some stunted trillium leaves and first species tulips, all trembling in a chilly wind... Glad to see these firmly-spring floral faces!