Friday, 28 May 2010

Leonardslee at Last!

I think the photo attached to this blog will be the reserve at Warnham, as we went there in the afternoon so that Captain Butterfly could find some butterflies to photograph.

Leonardslee in the azalea/rhodedendron season is like paradise - see Pen's blog and the Captains for the photos.  And its so sad that its new buyer - a man so important that his name is not even being allowed into the public arena - is not going to welcome us, the public, there any more. 

You could spend days there, but we just did the Azalea and lake walks - and saw the wallabies.  The air smelt of honeysuckle and there were duckling and goslings everywhere - and baby wallabies.

We lunched at the George and Dragon - salads all round - and then on to Warnham where Captain B photographed some damsel flies pairing up.  It quite put me in mind of our student days - the days of our romantic courtship when Captain B used to flutter round in his shimmering Uni scarf and dazzle me.

Nute arrived this evening.   We had a chili beef dinner, followed by Anne's apple concrete and fresh pineapple and ice-cream.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A Writing Weekend

Pen is on her way, and Nute should arrive tomorrow, so we hope for a productive writer's weekend.  I have been cooking this afternoon - beef chili from my Saudi Tex Mex Classes and Anne's Apple Concrete.  I will miss the meeting at the Hall tonight sadly, but did manage a small witness at the hairdressers this morning.
He has cut my hair very short...hmm...
Chuck spoke to Col on Skype today.  All is well in Texas, although Mary's health isn't wonderful.  Like me, she is having her troubles in retirement.
I keep feeling I ought to say something important and meaningful about the world situation - but basically 'the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one'  (1 John 5:19)  seems to sum it up better than I ever could.  
And I would rather think about the time when Paradise is restored.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The brazen hussy and the Orchid

That could almost be a Barbara Cartland bodice ripper title. 

Bea's orchid is more splendid than ever - and the brazen hussy, still very small, is coming into its own. I was on the balcony yesterday morning, getting my dose of sunshine and doing my study, and the sun was shining on the Brazen one.  Its leaves are almost black and very delicate and they shone and sparkled like little jewels in the sunlight.  If we had a stately home, with grounds, so that many gardens were a possibility, I think I would like a Moonlight garden, with lots of white flowers - and fragrant night flowers - and maybe a whole bed of Hussies.  Then I could see if their leaves would shine silver in the moonlight.

I missed the group this morning - bad night - not able to get ready in time - but managed to get out for an hour on returns.  Still haven't caught up though - so hard to find people at home.

Captain Butterfly is at home today!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Sunset

From our balcony the Channel has disappeared into the layers of delicate pink and blue of the sunset - the sea is the palest of pinks and seems like part of the sky.  If we look the other way we can see a clear gold sky from the bedroom window. Its like two different worlds.

Friday, 21 May 2010

full of the joys of Spring (not)

The siren call of the butterfly world proved too strong and he did not take me to Leonardslee yesterday. But we may go on Sunday.  I am still full of a cold and coughing and sneezing in a repulsive manner - and can't sleep properly because I can't breathe properly.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

what i missed

Hopefully there will be a photo of the grounds of Leonardslee attached to this blog. We planned to go there today, but, of all things, I have come down with a summer cold. Its very depressing. But I couldn't go as I didn't want to expose Jackie to it - locked up with me in the car sneezing all the way there and all the way back. I am hoping Captain B will take me on Friday, while it is still all so glorious.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

a small magazine route

Audrey and I did my small magazine route this morning - plus a few not at homes on the long and winding road, and found 4 of them at home - and 3 who we can call back on!
A good morning.
I haven't done much else though, beyond get the Captain his tea - baked potato with the remains of the chicken curry and a salad.
I feel so tired today. I hope it is nothing more sinister than the stress of my CT scan yesterday. I got myself in a bit of state as I thought they were going to put me inside one of those fearsome tubes, but in fact they didn't and it only took 5 minutes, even though I went and coughed in the middle of all the 'now hold your breath' instructions.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Our Olympic hopes dashed

Jean and I were overtaken by an elderly lady in a wheelchair as we toiled up our long road today, so there go our hopes for Olympic gold in the 100 metres dash.

We did find more people at home though. Including - tremble - the house with the worryingly large and silent dog. The gentleman didn't open the door, for which I do thank my Creator, but when I asked if I could put a small tract through for him to read, he said I could. Which was really nice of him. And neither it, nor my fingers, were eaten by the dog.

Captain B has found an eggbound butterfly today. And some 'grizzlies', which sounds wildly exciting for Sussex. But I think they will turn out to be a form of butterfly.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Camptown ladies sing this song...

We went to the woods at Goodwood today - where the racecourse is - hence the Camptown Racetrack song. It is a song that reminds me of my youth, of listening to Housewives Choice on the Radio with my mother - so I was thinking about the Fifties on the way back.

No butterflies, although there was sunshine (intermittent), beautiful woodland clearings and wildflowers. We intended to visit Brandy Hole on the way back, but it was raining.

The Captain is on the phone inviting Jacks to dinner on Saturday as I write this.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Dandelion Mother (and the Woodwhite)

We ventured over the border into darkest Surrey today.  Here there bee dragonnes.  However, I comforted myself with the thought that these would be very upmarket dragons, cubs all in private schools, and breathing only carbon-neutral flames.

We found the Woodwhite butterfly - a tiny fairy creature - see The Captain's Log for pictures.  It is like a little piece of exquisite jewellery.   How did its Grand Creator, Jehovah of armies, do it?!

The blossom is wonderful this year - as are the dandelions.   And they seem an excuse for a poem.  When we were in the Italian Tyrol, many years ago, we saw (and Col photographed) some really large dandelion clocks.  They seemed more than ready to fly, there was plenty of wind about, but the kids seemed to be sticking to home. So I wondered if the mother dandelion somehow chose the right moment to release them and wrote:


She doesn't let her children fly
with any wind
she holds them in
white spikey babes
the wind she knows
the wind she wants
rushes past her
'Go, children, now'
she says
'and leave me to
my mid-life crisis.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Petworth House revisited

Arthritis still bad - not able to go on the door to door work - so to cheer me up Col took us out to lunch at Petworth. I managed the short hobble through the grounds to the restaurant - and very lovely they are too. Col will put a photo up.
Audrey rang, and we have agreed we will go out together tomorrow IF I am able to drive.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Catch up - and the earwig poem

I have been grounded by my arthritis recently so not done much.  But Jacks came for dinner on the 8th - roast chicken, carrot cake and icecream - and I did get out with Jean on the Saturday morning - more interesting work on our long long road. But i missed the meeting on Sunday - feet and hands too swollen to drive.
We - Captain B, Jackie and me - had a walk in the bluebell woods this afternoon.  Just a short one, due to my feet. But, not many yards from the carpark we found the most wonderful stretch of bluebell wood - a photo should be attached.  It was another glimpse of the Paradise earth to come - and I hope we have bluebell springs 'to time indefinite' stretching ahead of us.   Bea is back from her trip up North, and says she has a lot to tell us.  Got an email with photos from the Oz branch today. They have inherited two rather lovely cats from friends - the children must be thrilled.  It set me thinking of all our family pets - from childhood on.  And I was thinking about Sally - my sister's rescue dog. She died many years ago, but still remains along with Suzie and Shadow one of the most special dogs I have known.


Sally met an earwig
And said ‘Come out to play”
The earwig said “I’m busy”
Sally said “Please stay”
She put her nose down hopefully
The earwig said her Nay
She did her play bob at it
But still it walked away
At this she got quite angry
And thumped it with her paw
The earwig fought her desperately
Then rushed across the floor
But Sally was upon it
With a snapping of the jaw
As the earwig gamely struggled
With its little legs and claws
At this point the situation
Got us on the raw
It began to seem like tragedy
A comic farce no more
So with heroism worthy of a bomb disposal corp
Danuta caught the earwig
Rushed it safely out the door.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Butterflies - what do they know?

We went to a Butterfly Meadow this morning - see the Captain's log for pictures.   Please note:  A Butterfly Meadow.     There was not a butterfly in sight.  It was carpeted with cowslips - the Duke of Burgundy butterfly's favourite plant (apparently) - but not a Duke of B in sight.  There were loads and loads of quite large black flies sort of hanging in the air.  Mayflies?   Although I had an idea that they were small.    But not a Butterfly to be seen.  Not even a rabbit to run away from me with flattering speed like last time.

However, when we got to the carpark the place was swarming with them - butterflies not rabbits.

Perhaps they can't read the signs?

It was a beautiful May morning though.   The green on the trees is so new.  I was watching it all and wondering how it would be if the Captain and I are still on the earth a thousand years from now (as I hope we will be) and if so, will we come back on an early May morning to find the spot where we saw the butterflies today.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Nobody home

Audrey and I did return visits this morning - but nobody was home.  Audrey did manage to deliver one set of May magazines though.   I took her to the bank, and the traffic was awful - because of the Bank Holiday we suppose.   I have arranged to pick up Jean tomorrow morning and we will work on our large map and see if we can get it finished.  Well, we won't get the 'not homes' finished for sure.

Captain B was off with Neil and the Butterfly herds.   He couldn't share his packed lunch with Neil today, as i had made him ham sandwiches.   I will have to go back to cheese, as Neil always shares those.  I think he must be veggie.  He did share his cake though.

Cheese.... or what?

Would butterfly tongue pate be a sensitive sandwich filling alternative under the circs?

Call it a woman's intuition if you will, but i think not.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Queen of Months

John Clare, on May, from The Shepherd's Calendar:

"Come queen of months in company
 Wi all thy merry minstrelsy
The restless cuckoo absent long
And twittering swallows chimney song
And hedgerow crickets notes that run
From every bank that fronts the sun
And swathy bees about the grass
That stops wi every bloom they pass..."

Its a good year for the swathy bee, and the dandelion.  We went to the Roundstone yesterday and got some more orchids for our round table.  There was blossom everywhere, and tulips, and dandelions.  And the new fresh green leaves of May.  Though today is grey, with rain showers.

But it is a Bank Holiday.

We picked up Jacks from the shop yesterday and went back to her place and got a Thai takeaway.