Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.
~Jean de Boufflers
Some plants bring memories to me that take me back to old homes, previous lives, pastimes and childhood days. One that always does this for me is the much-loved perennial the Michaelmas Daisy. It speaks to me of autumn, the season I love so with all its scents, its colours and its promises. I love this daisy’s hue, it is synonymous with autumn and I always want to wear its colour for it is kind and forgiving, slightly mysterious and flatters an ageing complexion.
Pink phlox always remind me of our old home, a little cottage in Sussex where they grew under the front window. They were new to me then, I loved them so and I wish now I had brought some with me to Wales all those years ago. Thoughts of West Sussex take me back to the country lane I used to walk each day with my two children and my two dogs. I walked this lane every day from when they were babies (or puppies in the case of the dogs) and always remember the white flowers of ‘milkmaid and the primroses that lined the lane and in the wood at the end there were my beloved bluebells and wild blue scabious.
Primroses were new to me when, as a young woman, I first moved out from London, I had never seen them growing in the wild and they grew profusely around the Surrey village that my adoptive parents moved to. I had hated leaving London and all my friends but soon fell in love with the countryside and it is a passion that has not faded (and plenty do!). Lasting passions, aren’t they wonderful, what are yours I wonder?
As a child in South London I seem to remember that there were antirrhinums in our garden and I have a vague recollection of there being pansies and marigolds (their scent is gorgeous isn’t it?). I still love pansies and my middle granddaughter does too. They are hardy little things in spite of their prettiness and their appearance of delicacy; they spread themselves upwards and outwards and last for ages without much watering or care. The winter ones cheer me all through the cold days, I usually pick the purpley, dark bluey ones.
I asked M if there are any such memories from his past and he mentions the hollyhocks that grew wild and untended in his dear mother’s garden. These are one of my favourite flowers but I find it difficult to keep them going here in the Welsh hills. M’s memories of autumn are of chestnutting; picking them, boiling them and then eating them with sore fingers. All this is alien to me being a child of the Smoke. He remembers picking wild raspberries and says that the Bramley apples in his mother’s garden were ‘as big as someone’s head‘. He also mentioned snapdragons, I called them antirrhinums earlier but wish I had used the name snapdragons as for one it is easier to spell and two it is also a more magical name. I wrote a silly little rambling poem about flowers once where I mention one:
Musings from the Flower Garden
reviving old certainties;
Woodland’s white drops,
sweetly nestling like jewels
in ice-petalled drifts,
they resurrect our passions.
coyly she peeps.
reflecting gossamer blue,
Parades among her fields of gold.
I can almost taste her almondness
and her vanilla
in its mottled and powdery fluffiness.
Around me bees are thronging;
buzzing and barging
for the sweet delight
that is the orange pollen.
Before they are fed and dusted,
sated and in retreat
will the Dragon Snap?
A little mouse lives close by my bird feeding station, its hole is clearly visible and he obviously keeps himself and his family well fed on what the birds drop from their beaks. Last night my collie Kitty wouldn’t come in from her last-thing-at-night outing - I thought she was lost - but I found her laying by the mousehole, glued to it in fact and she was most reluctant to leave it. I’ve never had a mousing dog before so I found it highly amusing.
Another Good Book. It’s not a new title but a borrower recommended The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and I am really enjoying it. She said she was phoning all her friends and telling them that they must read it, I think she was right. It is also a film, I will wait until l I have read the book and then order the DVD through the library.
I also want to get hold of Alan Bennett’s new one - A Life like Other People’s. I so love this man’s writing.
Free Days - I am on leave from work this week - getting in practice for retirement perhaps? Sometimes I think it would be nice to be retired but I really love my job and for financial reasons will have to work until I drop anyway so it’s just as well.
Dry days - they are such a novelty and even if the sun doesn’t shine (like yesterday) they are a joy.
There is to be a fresh review of the sex offender’s law - probably after the outcry at the ridiculous measures suggested by the authorities. I blogged about this very recently.
Autumn, autumn, autumn, can’t you tell I just love it?
New beginnings - I can feel them stirring.
Bye for now,
Enjoy the day,