Sunday, 30 June 2013

Picture the scene...

t'old lass is sat under the
magnolia tree,
all is peaceful in her domain.
Strop-levels wither and die
to the tune of the chirruping of
sparrows in the hedge.
All is content in this jungle garden 
in the heart of Kent.

Chilean wine and upmarket crisps
Hubs is quietly tucked up; watching
the British Grand Prix.
Life is good, peace reigns.
Clouds scud across the
azure blue sky,
the wind tickles the leaves,
lulling her into a blissful reverie.

But wait...
at the turn of a page,
her world comes crashing down.
What could possibly shaft 
her Sunday afternoon idyll?

Grand Pricks...
that's what!
Seen here in all their glory.

Now I know I've written at length
about JC and Top Gear
and of late I've thought...
'Get a life Lin...
move on!'
You know something, I can't, I frigging can't.

The reason this time LL?

Well seeing as you've asked...
'We haven't, we haven't!'
'Well I'm gonna tell you any road!'

The TV girls, live in fear of ageing and being 
upstaged by younger, nubile and far more beautiful
  young things, snapping at their 
Louboutin-clad heels.
These podgy toss-pots clad in rubber
 (and if ever you had a yen, for a rubber clad bod, 
this picture would surely be the antidote) 
blithely emerge from Loch Ness or wherever.
It begs the question...

Thinning hair...Why?
Beer belly... What!
Triple chins... Whatever!

The question...
are there double standards at
work here...
or should us girls not give a toss?

Chuck out the
corsets, the botox, the silicone implants,
the plucking, the waxing, the hair extensions,
the fillers, the lipo-suction, fake tan,
false nails, tattooed eyebrows,
wonder knickers
(it's a wonder how you get them on,
let alone off!)

to a man...
if you'll pardon the expression 
let's be...

Hairy, flobby and free...

I ought to own up...

I do like a quiet pluck by
the light of the silvery moon.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Funny folk theeze Eengleesh...

Charles de Gaulle...

 ad zee right idea
by not embracing zem for le 
Common Market.

Zay, do the stranjest of fings
like buy zheir own omes,
and vorse zan zat
zey buy expenseeve omes for...

€ ☹☹☹ €

Monday, 24 June 2013

STOP! You are entering a...

Petunia-free area
no straight mown lawns
just nature given a free rein...
 with a tweak here and there!

Take my hand and let me show you...

a soupcon of my day

 don't do formal

 love things that just are

growing where they will

who knows better than them?

My all time thuggerooney...

the shy

the retiring

the majestic 

the proud...

the moat

the Chinese bridge
seen from the embrace of
Henry Moore

nature's planting

the old Bayham Track

the Castle peeping 

the visitors wondering

Chalybeate spring...
where I patiently waited for...

this.  See how my hand shook.
Happy to see the gurgle of the spring.

Scotney Castle

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A salty little fish the...

Over the Saturday lunch table...
 I got to thinking...
about a sad tale with farcical overtones.
In the few weeks left to Simon,
all he wanted to do before he died was to go to

Yes, Gibraltar.
I drove us to Stansted, where waiting to board the
plane, the customs men showed an inordinate
interest in Simon's stick.  No worries that the man had
a scar on the side of his head in the shape of a
huge question mark.
This wonderful walking stick, they were convinced had a
dark heart of steel, in the form of a sword.
This was in 2000, so they didn't even have the spectre
of 11th September 2001 in their minds.

Not being able to land on Gib. we
were bused from Malaga along to the last
great bastion in Si's mind of the British Empire. 
We were booked into the famous Rock Hotel, where
Simon had always dreamed of staying.
After a bottle of champagne in our room,
God knows what we were celebrating?
We went down for dinner.
I chose my all time favourite Caesar salad, where
with a great flourish with silver domed (doomed more like) trolley
 in attendance, a fresh egg was made into the base mayonnaise
for the caesar dressing.
And a very tasty starter it was too.
Well that is until later that night.
Cast iron tum Lin, who has eaten at all the most
salubrious of street stalls around the world, was stricken
to the very core.  It seemed to me then, it would be touch and go
as to who would get to the pearly gates first, Simon or me?
Into a cab I was bundled, with Simon all the way, chuntering on about
the last thing he thought would happen, is for me to be
carted off to the doctors.
Dry-heaved I didn't deign to reply!

Salmonella food poisoning,
was diagnosed; the result of the 'fresh' egg
used to make the mayonnaise.

Dying seemed an attractive option.

I was bundled back into the cab,
leaving Simon exploring in his
tottery brain tumour way.
I worried all the time he was gone,
too weak to accompany him.

Back at the hotel,
Simon said
"Linda, at least have a glass of bubbles with me
before I go down to dinner?"
Me refusing my favourite tipple...
He quaffed the bottle and set off alone,
leaving me prone on the bed.
Much later, he returned,
with tales of a gin and tonic aperitif, 
a bottle of red wine, a three course meal, 
with a large brandy to finish!
By which time the maitre d had a gentle word in Simon's ear
suggesting he escort him back to our room.
All done with the sort of decorum
you might expect from a top hotel
in one of the outposts of the British Empire!

As we boarded the plane to come home 
Simon insisted on standing at the top of the 
steps until the very last minute...

"In order for me to see my beloved Gibraltar
for the very last time!"

All these memories came back to me via
the pounding of salty little anchovies, the trickle of olive oil,
the addition of parmesan and balsamic vinegar.
The cutting and frying of croutons, scattered on 
hearts of cos lettuce.

He died weeks later.

Chin chin Simon!


Saturday, 22 June 2013

As I walked out one midsummer morning...

Friday was mine.
Ted was doing what millions have done for
thousands of years...
Tai Chi.
Lettice had caught up with the village news.
Me... I was free.
Scotney first, I just can't seem to keep away.
Turning left onto the Hastings road,
I drove with a determined mission in mind.
Here we are having a frog-fest; the vegetables are
enjoying the calm of a slimy-slug battle won.
And a battle won, not on the back of chemicals,
but by the assiduous use of croakers-a-go-go.

The potager proudly boasts two ponds,
alright pathetic plastic I know...
our amphibians don't seem to mind.
Under the garden tap I upturned a
compost bin base to catch any drips.
And guess what?  We now have another
frog squat.
Well, I could feel the need for another
water feature in the garden bubbling up from deep inside.
That was to be my mission for the day.
Arty-farty, something different;
no more petrochemical extravaganza here.

Pot... yes
Fibre glass... no
Metal... maybe
New... no
Interesting... yes
half barrel... maybe
Galvanised... YES
Naff... no (can't believe I said that?)
Old... maybe

The mission became more fruitless
as I, like a tom trawling for trade 
 covered the county.

I landed at my most favourite nursery
of all...

You can catch up with them on twitter or facebook...

I'm lucky enough to live close enough to call.
They are well worth a detour if you're in Kent.

I told Emma what I was looking for,
she said that Monty would be back in a minute,
with just the thing.

Low and behold, in the back of the van,
was exactly the item I was looking for...
HUGE roll of drums as peering into the back of the 
wagon I spied the Windsor Castle of a frog's palatial
A galvanised pig trough.
It was love at first snout.

Ted always complains that we can never get out of a 
garden centre without paying the exit fee of at least 30 quid...
What with inflation and the pound in free-fall
that figure has now had to be seriously,
yes, you read right...
 seriously quantitatively eased.

 Huffing and puffing, and with muscles
strained to breaking point, the mighty Monty and me
managed to shoe-horn the wondrous water feature 
into the Smart.
Like a pig in shit I drove home.

I've arrived home with some things in me time;
nothing now fazes him indoors. I softened him up
with the immortal words...
'I've found just the thing!'
Followed hard on the heels...
'You know what you always say about me and gardening
emporiums, well this time it's nothing like!'
He visibly brightened...
Then I went and spoilt it!

Staggering out to the Smart, still in a state of
profound shock, he hung on the side of the
pig trough carrier and peered in.

It was a two man job to get it out of the car 
and with lots of stops on the way, we
managed to man-handle it up the steps 
to the top plot.

I've just tip-toed up the wet garden this morning,
to see if the very disgruntled frog, we
evicted yesterday, has taken up residence.
I'm afraid there is no sign...
there's gratitude for you.

Yesterday I finished off my gardening 
by planting out the Brussells sprouts.

Today is a wet Saturday and I feel
the studio calling.

So I will give the thumb, a sewing go...
wish me luck.

Reminder to self...
Must remember to press my lycra shorts;
tomorrow I'm off to spend the day at
a cycling feeding station in a local
village hall.

My cunning plan is, as the weary cyclists
fall into the door, the sight of me offering
refreshments in lycra, might encourage them to
cough up pennies for the Air Ambulance?
It may have the adverse effect and make them jump on
their bikes with fear pumping the pedals.
Who knows?
Only time will tell!



Thursday, 20 June 2013

Morning photo's of the cazh gardener...

cazh slang for casual?

This is how I love my garden...
trouble is, how to keep it on the cusp
of slightly ordered chaos.

9.20 am

I do have a penchant for naff,
hence the fluffy dice now residing
in the garage window.

Tree fern...
I love ferns of all sorts

Potager planted with
cutting flowers interspersed
with courgettes, tomatoes and lettuce

Since we've had the pond this section of the garden isn't
 rased to the ground by slugs.
A line full of Lettice's blankets.
The washing machine thinks we've got a baby in the house!


We do seem to attract a 
strange variety of wildlife.

Bed ready for my Christmas morning sprouts.

Here, hardening off under the magnolia.

Pea shoots for my salads.

Romanesco, french beans and sweet peas...
Oh, and the odd poppy!

Red onions and garlic...
Oh, and the odd poppy!

Huge tub of tarragon which I always thought 
wasn't winter hardy.
This little beaut. has thuggery ways and survives
all weathers

My seat of garden learning.

Wild-flower meadow

Roughty-toughty corner by my studio.
I love leaving lots of areas for the wildlife...
well that's my excuse?

Herbs to hand, by the house.


not on a par with Scotney.

The self-sown poppies which, when
you call you must navigate through,
to reach the front door.

Happy Days!

Oh I forgot...
this is little tumbling tiger tom.
He's grown, although I don't think he will
offer much in the way of flavoursome
stripy tomatoes.
I'm just happy he has survived...
see post...
The tale of tommy
30 April.