Sunday, August 30, 2015

Raindrops on fennel

We've had a drop of rain. Which was OK, than became a little tiresome especially accompanied by winds more equinoctial in character than suited to the season, 'not the yellow Provençal August that the English dream of' as I say every year, I think.

Never mind, raindrops on roses, or anything else, might not quite be my favourite thing but they really aren't bad, on leaves of  hypericum, for example:

We have a lot of fennel, the bronze kind. We must have bought a plant once but we've somewhat rued the day (umbelliferous pun there), since it sows itself promiscuously everywhere now: in the terrace gravel, the flower pots, the vegetable beds... I pull it up briskly but find it hard to throw it away, and often heel it in somewhere else. It doesn't seem to mind.

Fennel is quite good for culinary purposes, though there's a limit. But it's a graceful plant, and when it comes into it's own is after a shower of rain:

One of the appealing things about water drops is that they act as little lenses. Generally the naked eye, mine at least, can't really catch this, but with the additional aid of the camera lens, and subsequent cropping and enlargement, and upside-down image of the object behind is often to be seen within them. Thus:

A fish-eye view of the barn and blue washing.

I always think my first, old camera was best for this (I just looked back over those and yes, it really was), but it's still worth attempting.


Off to a garden party this afternoon given by a local expat association in aid of the local dog refuge, where I imagine many adorable rescued dogs will be to be seen. This is doubtless a very self-tormenting thing to do; I am already subjecting myself to all manner of tearings-in-two, poring over the heart-rending canines in need of homes on the refuge web page one minute before clicking over to look at the programme for the Philharmonie de Paris, Airbnb apartments on the Ile St Louis, ravishing mountain dwellings in Epirus, while deciding which museums to visit in Amsterdam next month and how to maximise our chances of seeing the Northern Lights from Reykjavik in December, etc etc. Such a beautiful but delicious cake, can I not have it and eat it? The darker side of this is also a sense of a world beyond our hearth and garden tearing itself apart, free movement about which for pleasure and sightseeing seems more and more an ironic anomaly and blind indulgence (as well as growing more fraught if train travel is to become as problematic and hedged about with security as flying, which I'll happily mostly eschew), so the temptation to close our own doors to it, turn in on ourselves, count our blessings and live out our quietist lives, snuggled down with a warm and grateful dog, grows stronger and stronger. 

Ah well, we'll see.


Ellena said...

Can't wait to see the fortunate one that chose Lucy and Tom as its new family.
And your photography! My vocabulary too limited to do it justice.
I use tons of fennel, green onions and 'anginares (can't find the English word)in a Greek dish - love it.

Sabine said...

These pictures are really all stunning!

Apart from the obvious big and wonderful museums Amsterdam has on offer, I recommend this one just for its quirky and laid back atmosphere - it's in the Jordaan, by far the ,ost interesting quarter of the old city:

And this one, provided the restructuring has been completed, it got a bit musty:

Lucy said...

Thanks both.

Ellena - no, the dogs were many and lovely, but they were all well homed already, and oddly, though it was lovely to see them, they didn't really fill us with yearning. It's not just a dog, it's a dog of one's own, is the thing, I think. But it kind of made us think about possibilities. In the mean time, we really have got certain things planned and booked which preclude another canine in our lives for the moment. 'Anginares' are, it seems (globe) artichokes. Your dish sounds lovely. This is herb fennel, mind, not the bulb kind. It's a useful herb but a little goes a long way, and we have a lot!

Sabine - thank you! We'll certainly consider both those, which I did know about, especially the first, we're rather suckers for those kind of sensory experiences. We have nearly a week, and also just look forward to mooching and looking, and maybe taking one of the new red buses into the waterland to the north.

Dale said...

What a heart's ease, to be able to see with your eyes again!

Sabine said...

I also love the Saturday morning Noordermarkt, not just a farmer's market, but also crafts and antiques and all sorts of odd s and ends. My favourite A'dam market.

marja-leena said...

Exquisite photography, Lucy! You have the eye and the skill!

I need to get acquainted with this herb fennel.

Sounds like you have interesting trips coming up (she says with envy). Have fun and take lots of photos!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photographs Lucy :)

Avus said...

Ah,Lucy. How I sympathise with you over another dog. I, too, am looking at rescue centre websites. Someday, perhaps, when a dog wants me...............

Lyse said...

Comme c'est joli les gouttes d'eau sur les feuilles et fleurs. Tu as l'oeil et c'est très beau !

Zhoen said...

Making a dog happy is not such a bad purpose in life.

Ellena said...

Lucy-Dear, not only did I misunderstand your post thinking that you opted in favor of dog, I also talk of Aneth when you talk Fennel.
When I was in Amsterdam in 1998 I was fortunate to admire The Night Watch in his grandeur. Unfortunately the Van Gogh museum was closed for renovations. Anne Klein House was also on my list as well as the Jewish Museum, trip towards windmills on country roads bordered by huge fields of tulips, sightseeing by boat, asking for cup of coffee where most people asked for something to smoke and ....don't tell evening walk along the windows offering 'red light specials'.