Friday, 29 April 2016

On the Trail of the Elusive Bluebell

April has been even more changeable than usual,
particularly during the second half,
which has been peppered with sudden short wintry showers.
We long for warmer days and stillness,
but they do not appear to be in any hurry to arrive!

The forecast was fair,
for the morning anyway...
So off we went on a bluebell hunt.
The weather was better south,
so after googling "bluebells, cotswolds"
we set of for "Foxholes" near Burford.

It was an interesting and diverse woodland,
with a variety of trees
and included areas of beach and oak.
However, the bluebells were past their best
and only the last of the many flowers remained.
Despite this we could still imagine how majestic the swathes of blue would have been.

The KHT loves exploring,
though she does find that progress is slower when I accompany her,
as there is always so much that I want to photograph...
So much beauty to appreciate within the woodland...

...and beyond.

Soon it was time to head out of the wood...

..and back down the track, taking advantage of the puddles to clean our boots...

We observed the darkening skies and headed off to Burford for lunch.

Within minutes of entering the cafe it started to snow, this was followed by hail and a loud rumble of thunder!

By the time lunch was over the skies had cleared again!
This is England in April!

The woods were very beautiful, with much to observe and admire and only the faint sound of traffic to remind us of the busy world beyond its boundaries.
Whether we can resist visiting again before the bluebell season next spring remains to be seen!

Friday, 22 April 2016


The day stretched ahead of us,
a thousand possibilities and very few probabilities.
The only problem was that our possibilities and probabilities were probably different.
"What are YOU going to do today?"
"I thought WE might go out..."
"Where do YOU want to go?"
" I thought WE might go to Hidcote...
"But I want to build a wall...."
"Why don't you build a bit of the wall, 
then we could go out
..and eat out so we don't have to rush later."

Later - 
"Hmm it is rather grey. 
Hidcote deserves sunshine, 
or better still rain then sunshine, 
so the flowers look their best...
in photographs..."
"So, where do You want to go?"
"I don't know."
"I suppose you want to go to The Robin Hood"
"We could go to a National Trust place....
I know we could go to Webbs..
I prefer to eat at The Robin Hood..."
"When do you want to go?"
"It depends what time I can book a table..."

And so the wall was built AND we went out for lunch...

Some time later....
"What are you going to do with that yellow plant in the corner?"
"What yellow plant in the it a dandelion?"
Looks at the offending plant
"That plant looks green and a bit red...."
"Well. That is nearly yellow...

What are you going to do with it?"
"Can't it stay there it looks rather nice...?"
"No, its blocking the path."
" Ah, good point. 
Well it needs to go in a flower bed.
 Probably the side one."

We head in different directions.
Take different routes.
The incompatible becomes compatible.
Peace reigns.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Past Meets Present

Once I ran around the field where now my home stands.
Summer PE lessons out on the field are a distant memory,
as is the school that once housed over 500 pupils.
Only the name of the longest serving headmistress lives on
in the name of the close.
In fact none of the schools I attended still exist.
Two out of the three buildings remain.
The exteriors mainly unchanged,
but the interiors have been remodelled to reflect the needs of modern educational establishments.
However, the names have gone - they have been rebranded.
My past has been erased while I am still breathing.
I question what this does to the sense of community.

I was born into a small town of around 30,000 souls.
The town centre streets,
where rain dripped from soggy canvas canopies,
and downpipes deposited the midlands rain,
to run rudely across the pavement to the freedom of the gutters.
Now replaced by an ugly construction of concrete steel and glass.
With doors that close out the cold winds and casual vagrants.
I never did get to go through the revolving door of the 'Hungry Man'.
It was bulldozed by progress long before I was old enough to drink.
The magically named 'Unicorn' suffered a similar fate,
only to be replaced by a row of mundane retail units.
Every town should have a Unicorn.
Maybe a place with greater discernment would honour, not slaughter, such a beast.
The name lives on and slides down the hill
towards the woods where bluebells flourish
but only in the spring.
Maybe if you stand still and listen carefully
you may hear the hooves of mythical creatures running free,
despite the departing traffic on the A448
from those who seek enlightenment
within the hallowed halls of Touchwood
or at the tills of Merry Hill.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Wake Up Call

"Are you getting up?"
"In a moment. I am just having a dream about an earwig..."
"Why are you having a dream about an earwig?"
"Well, it lives in this huge houseplant that is in the hall,
next to the stairs..."
A green lush houseplant so tall that the top of it is above the level of the landing.
However, I am not the only one who likes the houseplant,
as it has become home to an earwig and a variety of other insects.
I didn't plan on my house becoming a wildlife sanctuary
Maybe I need to replant this upwardly moving vegetation in clean sanitised bug free potting medium ...with NO wildlife.

What does the plant want?
To be an ornament,
or to be part of an ecosystem?"

I don't like earwigs.

Fortunately there is no space for any plant this tall to live in my hall,
but I am watching the ferns closely for any infiltrators...
or growth spurts...

Maybe watering them will help?