Sunday, April 29

My Nemesis!

While I wasn't looking my hostas have started coming up. And the BASTARD SLUGS have already been at them!

Now dear reader, I like to think I am a kind liberal person - but where slugs are concerned I have no mercy. Unlike rats, (which I also don't care for) they cannot be eaten in extremis, or used to flavour bar snacks. No, this is WAR, and as you will see from my pics, bugger organic gardening, I'd use agent orange if it rid me of these varmints.

Goodbye Kitty!

Alas - the pounding my flips took in Florence has nearly obliterated the kitties from my 'Hello Kitty' flipflops. I'm not usually a 'girlie girl' but I just adored these. Still, I saw some 'Hello Kitty' knickers in Italy and if that doesn't induce me to lose weight I don't know what will!

Happy Birthday Lorna!

Here is the birthday girl! She's not bad for 90 is she? (Thank you A. for pic)

Courtney wondering why Grandma is so buoyant.

Grandma now has a glittery castle - that's why (not the two pints of lager, dear me no).

Everyone else seems to be having fun...

And Jean just shows her lovely profile.

Saturday, April 28


Too late for me to reform 8-)

Report from the Earthquake Zone

It was my nephew Richard's 10th bithday party today, so we had a clan gathering down in Kent. This morning there was an earthquake in Ashford, where my brother lives, but we all slept through it.

My sister Hanna, was as usual the hostess with the mostess.

My bro, Jerry, was delighting my Ma with Australian sayings - for example, "she's so ugly she'd scare a hungry dog out of a butcher's shop"

Rachel (Jerry's little girl) ejoyed the cat from next door.

She was very interested in the guinea pigs.

Very, very interested.

And manged to get up close and personal.

I have to say I was rather keen on them myself. This magnificent little boar is 'Mashy'.

I just loved his delicate little paws.

Izzie, Richard's sister, has just taken up the flute. When she's had a few more lessons, perhaps she'll blow rather than suck 8-).

Now what was that report about not allowing children to have alcohol?

Clearly there's a link with violence.

A bit of mob justice will stop him becoming a delinquent!

Friday, April 27

Technical Whizz

Hurrah - have installed the web cam I gave Dad for his birthday. I admit this photo makes me look like I'm at the bottom of a pond!

Now I have persuade him to use it! I've given up hoping Ma will use her digital camera. Although she did turn on Dad's broadband router today which suprised me no end.

Rose View - Unchanging

Some things don't change - including the narrow twisty lanes. I went rather too fast down one this afternoon. Slightly lost it on a corner, and nearly ended up under a Kent Hospice van. It would have been an ironic way to go, but I'm not ready yet!

Rose View from across the rape field.

The house (and Dad's BIG garage) from the field next door. And no I don't know what the machine in the foreground is.

The front room - I was born about where the sofa is (as was my brother). The bins and things on the chairs are to stop Desmond the demon dog from lying on them.

Dad's study - have to admit I'm perplexed by the guitar as he doesn't play. I can only assume he consficated it at some point.

Dad in his green house trying to foist plants on me.

Sadly Virginia - this has changed. The post box on the corner (where I sent off my postal order to the Dennis the Menace fan club, and letters to Gertie) is no longer in use. I guess I'm not there to keep it going any more 8-).

This is the pond where we once found some glorious flame bellied newts. Inside their jam jar they looked like tiny dragons.
The footpath through the village. This used to follow a hedgerow, before the fields became great praries. The smell of the rape is amazingly beautiful as you walk.

Rose View - The Garden

Driving back to my parents' house in Kent, I realised how much the place had changed. All the oast houses are now desirable residences and the hops are long gone. However, the orchards are still in bloom and wonderful.

As I was driving I couldn't take an orchard, so here's the quince in my parents' garden - planted next to the remains of the old quince.

The crab apple - whose fruit will become jelly.

I couldn't resist these love blue bobbles - ceanothus I believe.

And I also couldn't resist this little violet.

Wednesday, April 25

Horse Shoes

Realised that I hadn't included my cutest shot! The horses used by the mounted police in Florence wear little leather shoes to protect their hooves from the cobbles!

I was reminded as one of my nicest work colleagues is back from maternity leave. As well as two sprogs, she has a new Jack Russell puppy and a SHETLAND PONY. The latter, Barney, is "everything you don't want in a man - short, bad tempered and ginger. And he tries to shag your leg all the time". Unlike a man, the pony can be gelded 8-).

Tuesday, April 24


Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare

Peony Entropy

I managed to miss the peony at its best this year (but you can see it in all its glory in the pic on this blog I took last year). the wind and the rain have taken their toll.

The petals on the ground are fascinating though. I think they look like pink feathers, or maybe a party dress thrown crumpled to the flower. They are such a delicious coconut ice colour. I'd have loved a dress in that colour when I was an urchin.

Nice Safe Flowers

Here is the last, brave magnolia flower. I think it almost looks like a water lily.

I think there's enough of a goth about me (that would be YOU Ms.Bones) to be slightly fixated on black flowers. There are no truely black flowers - this tulip is really a lovely rich purple, but I love the idea of a black orchid. Forget climbing the glass mountian, go find me a bouquet of black there's an idea for a painting all you artist types 8-).

Heart 2 Heart

Came across this image today on another blog. It reminded me of some of the work Lorna has been exploring - but it also seemed to speak to how I've been feeling of late.

Monday, April 23

Cézanne a Firenze

One thing I haven't mentioned is going to see the special Cézanne exhibition. In the end there wasn't a huge amount of Cézanne there but what there was, was very special.

It made a restful change from all the endless Madonnas - but I've always got time to go and see
Cézanne, especially his still life pieces.

I liked this one best. Apparently the first collector liked it so much he exchanged it for 4 other Cézanne paintings he owned.

Sunday, April 22

Florence - Conclusions

Tonight I'm tired. I have blisters on my feet and a wound on my heel where I was whacked with a trolley at the airport. I also have mozzie bites all over my breasts and upper arms - lovely!

But Florence was amazing - my brain is still processing all the amazing things I saw. The artistic highlights for me have to be Michaelangelo's slaves at the Uffizi and the Brancacci Chapel. In both instances I lost myself for a while, and you can't ask more from art than that.

Florence - Final Things

I bagged my final door knocker.
Found a splendid dragon.

Iona decided that she must try limocello before we left - the hat is Fr. Rattue's new summer evening hat (pic by A.)

She didn't like it one little bit.

So we said goodbye to the tiny little buses.

The funny, little municipal vehicles.

And we headed home...