Paula at Book Jotter has recently written about her intention to start a series of posts entitled Three Things… I’m adapting her idea slightly. There are so many categories I could choose, depending on what’s been going on. I don’t plan to have something for every category every time; neither do I plan on posting something on a regular schedule. But when the mood takes me I might have three things (on a Tuesday or Thursday maybe); four or five things (on a Friday); six or seven things (on a Saturday or Sunday – I’ll have to be really carried away for that). Apologies for the alliteration; I have no defence, it just keeps me amused. Here are the categories I might choose from. Subject to alteration, elimination and augmentation on a whim!
For this first effort it’s going to be:
Five things on a Friday
Reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
After all the fuss and furore, I’ve started it.
It’s early days yet, but there’s every indication that I’m hooked.
I’d never been keen on roses, but several were established in the garden when we moved here and I’ve added a few more since. My late-blooming love affair with the rose is now in full flow. From tightly curled buds, to intricate perfection, to the final few days when blowsy blooms prepare to scatter their fading petals, roses are the queens of the garden in June.
But he that dares not grasp the thorn. Should never crave the rose.
Savouring the word HELIOTROPE
This week we visited the strangest little nursery. I bought two heliotropes on a whim, mostly because I was so attracted by the sound of the word.
Doesn’t it sound grand; doesn’t it sound delightful? Doesn’t it roll off the tongue? It makes me think of 1930s garden parties and sunny days and Simon Callow in an expansive waistcoat. Simon Callow knows how to truly savour a word.
Heliotropes are plants of course and now I know that they are toxic to animals. If I intend to keep my little heliotropes, I must find a location where the cats can’t reach them. Said location must also grant the plants their full span of sunshine: helio meaning sun and trope meaning turning. Finding this safe and sunny spot is likely to be difficult. I may have to rehome my heliotropes.
While I contemplate this challenge, I’ll savour the colour: the deep velvety purple that is called heliotrope, which I have also discovered was one of the ‘half-mourning’ colours permitted to Victorian ladies in the last stage of mourning
And I’ll savour the scent, which is said to resemble cherry pie. I’m not smelling cherry pie myself but it’s certainly intense. For such a humble little plant, heliotropes pack a punch.
(I’ll also ponder on the mineral heliotrope – which is not in the least pink or purple but instead is green with red or yellow spots and is otherwise known as bloodstone, and almost certainly does not turn its face towards the sun.)
Thinking about Aethelflaed
Lady of the Mercians, who died on 12th June 918 and has been celebrated this week in Gloucester, where she is buried.
Daughter of King Alfred the Great, wife of Aethelred, mother of Aelfwynn. A forerunner of Elizabeth 1 in many ways: she ruled alone on the death of her husband, and uniquely, on her own death, succession passed, without opposition, from the mother to her daughter. She was written out of the west-saxon version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by her brother but fortunately she was commemorated in other texts.
I want to know more of her. And I think of all the other people – ordinary and extraordinary who are lost to history unless others make the effort to remember.
Appreciating My father, as Father’s Day in the UK approaches
His love for his family has been constant. His resilience and humility are less apparent to the casual observer but no less a mark of the man, and no less appreciated by his daughters.