OK, this is a really Trumpian post. You think it’s Saturday but it’s not. I’m not here. If you’re an early bird, you’re probably reading this as I’m swanning along the M4 somewhere. It’s Saturday? That’s fake news. It’s actually Friday. Well it’s not. As you’re reading this it’s Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. Whatever. Use your imagination. Pretend I’m writing this just before you’re reading it.
Thanks, in advance, for your comments. Please bear with me as I may not be able to reply to them for a while. I have no knowledge of the availability of WiFi at my destination, even if the smartphone decides that today (or tomorrow or, indeed, yesterday) will be a day on which it permits me to access my own blog from my own phone.
So on Friday, on Saturday, if not before, here’s my remote six.
1 A Whiff of Spring
As I did my not-so-seasonally-perfect impression of Laurie Lee and walked out of the house this mid-February morning, I caught the first whiff of spring. You’ve got to imagine it as this blog isn’t written in smellyvision. Nor does it have a scratch-n-sniff panel. But it was an overpowering whiff.
Then I re-emerged, armed with a plastic bag and a shovel.
The biggest pile of dog crap I’ve ever seen was contained in the aforementioned bag. The smell, unfortunately, was not! So, having bleached the pavement, I ventured further forth to the public poop bin around a few corners in the general direction of North Korea to deposit the aforementioned bag, happily returning home and noticing that the stench diminished as the distance between my nose and the bin increased.
The whiff of spring outside the house was gone when I arrived back home, pondering what the culprit of the pile had been fed with and postulating on the possibility that a cow had strolled past the end of the drive (I have encountered a herd of cows grazing in the front garden before now).
I do wonder, though, why the smelliest public bin in the area is on the post that, higher up, carries the “Bus Stop” sign and also supports one end of the bench provided for the convenience of the travelling public.
I bought myself a new camera last summer. I have now taken a grand total of three photographs with it (discounting the accidentals of a finger, kneecap, bits of desk and wall and many of the inside of the lens cap).
Why, I wonder, has the propensity for animals to stand still not kept pace with the number of buttons and dials that need to be dealt with before you get to press the shutter release button and take the bloody photo of something that gave up and went home hours ago?
If I’m going to leave all the settings on auto, I could save myself a few hundred squid and carry on using my oldest camera which has an on-off switch, a focus lever and a shoot button. Except it takes crap photos of anything smaller than the Eiffel Tower.
Well that grabbed your attention! There’s an orgy at Rivendell. The participants are camera shy and disappear as soon as I open the patio door, some distance away, to take a photo. I remembered new Panasonic Lumix camera has a supposedly fantastic zoom (which is controlled by a lever and a button and a dial) so I thought I would try and, for the first time, capture an image. So photo three (see above) resulted. Well at least you can make out a frog, yes?. I’ve got the measure of the lever and the button but the damned dial is too complicated. Seems I have to set i, ii and iii before I can use them. Next I need to find the instructions that tell me what the hell i, ii and iii are and how to set them. The necessary instructions are available online, it seems, at a web address that doesn’t work. So I’m even more frustrated. And I ended up with a rather blurry photo.
Ms H will probably emerge from her covering of little blue pills to comment that Mr Frog looks like me – grumpy! Which, unless I find a working camera instructions web address soon, may well be an accurate comparison.
Meanwhile, back to the Canon camera for the produce so far …….
You can see the grass. Can’t reach it from dry land so I bought a couple of 4 metre scaffolding boards to use as crawling boards to get across the pond to remove the invading grass. Yeah. Damned nymphomaniac frogs creating obstacles.
(Meanwhile, someone on Twitter has beaten Panasonic and pointed me to the manual I need. Twitter can be wonderful sometimes.)
Many moons ago, when Hamamelis was yellow (unless you lived near some trendy nursery that was breeding today’s multi-coloured dreamcoats), Loropetalum appeared (pronounced, in Liverpudlian, Lorra, meaning “lot of”, and “petalum”, meaning petals). Not long afterwards, someone decided that this was too simple and added chinense, meaning “Chinese”. Back then, the people wot decided these things, decided that Loropetalum was not related to Hamamelis and that it was pretty damned hardy. In this those people displayed the same tendency to accuracy as the Television Match Official at last weeks England-Wales rugby match. Now, Lorapetulum IS part of the Hamamelidaceae family and IS NOT pretty damned hardy.
I had already tried growing my purple Hamamelis but had decided that it wasn’t strong enough to survive a winter outside and was going to quickly grow too big to grow in a container or dig up every autumn and move indoors. I tried fleece on new plants for a second winter before deciding that purple was not to be. I don’t want a yellow Hamamelis.
Thomas Stone found one I liked. But all of a sudden, SoSers all over the world are posting photos of gloriously-coloured non-yellow Hamamelis. And now I can’t make up my mind which one to get. I only have room for one (unless I don’t get the Camellias that Jim has coerced me into buying (he has a site devoted to them as well as his blog, you know)).
5 Continued Non-Appearance
Around the garden, established patches of bluebells have been springing up. I won’t give you photos of those emerging bulbous things. I’m hoping that I’ve succeeded in removing all the Spanish ones. It’s hard to tell from the leaves so I have to wait for the flowers. As you all know the English bells hang like this whilst the Spanish ones hang like that. (The Welsh, of course, hang low, like sweet chariots.)
But I’m now more worried as the tardiness of the new bluebells and also new fritillarias in this little border, which I’ve featured before, is getting beyond. I mean, you expect the odd bulb to be unproductive but 200 of them?
Nope, still no photos of emerging bulbs. This is growth of Edifice 2. Having assembled the core of the curvy bit, I’ve now decided my plans were too modest. It needs to be higher. Well at least higher than the pile to which I allude in 1 above. So additional parts are en route to Chez Rivendell. Incidentally, for those interested, what you see in the photograph took me less than 5 minutes to knock (literally) together and is as solid as the proverbial brick s***house. No sucky sweets were consumed (regular readers will understand this) as this was foreplay. I was more restrained than the amphibians in the pond.
Talking about restraint, I have restrained myself from commenting on last week’s match. A controversial win, the error now acknowledged by World Rugby.. When one team wins clearly and fairly, whoever it is, fine. But when there’s controversy the losers claim a fix and the winners can’t bask in unadulterated glory. Oh well. Poor Fred in France, though. No controversy there. The French came out fighting and were on top of Scotland in no time. But by the end of the first half they were flagging. Not enough to give Scotland a fighting victory but enough to let them score penalty after penalty. Penalties are the easy way out of a running game. I’m looking forward to Wales facing France. Two great teams with a lot of background in common. It’ll be a match where we enjoy the rugby and, whoever wins, we will celebrate together. Which is as it should be, eh Fred?
So that’s my “in advance” six for this week. Will I manage another next week? Will Thomas Stone convince someone else to add his six Saturday plants plus his plant of the week to their garden? Will my bluebells wake up? Will Gill Heavens wake up in time to post her six before teatime? Who knows. But, in the meantime, if you pop over to the blog of Propagator Jon Seedsowing (who does not reside near the local bus stop), look for his post of the day and then ignore everything he says but scroll down to the comments, you’ll find lots of links to the international SoS team. If you right click those links and select “open in new tab”, you can just flick back to the next comment and won’t send his stats through the roof so much. This is being kind as he only has his own ten digits plus his wife’s ten and four children, with forty between them to count the hits on. Unless, of course, the entire family have washed their feet and it’s safe to take shoes and socks off.
Until whenever, enjoy your garden (and smelly feet if you have them).