Sunday 20 February 2011

Heading West

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"

Heading West, to Devon to see Magpie and then on to western tip of this our island to bathe in camelias and rhodedendrons and blow out a few more candles!

See you when we get back!


Saturday 19 February 2011

Eve's pudding

Van Goch

My dreams are especially vivid at the moment.

Night after night I find myself surrounded by fruit trees, apples, cherries, pears, mulberries, medlars, quince.

Every night this week I have visited an orchard, a small ancient orchard around which I wander in my nightie!

As I float through it I gaze wonderously at bough after bough of sweet soft blush blossom

and then miraculously those same boughs are laden with ruby red fruits and I am stumbling on the mounds of windfall

Apple trees have been etched on my consciousness all my life.

From as far back as I have memories I ate from this bowl.

I would scrape the food away to reveal that apple tree somehow worried it mught not be there or exactly as I remembered it, I would stare at those rosy apples.

Later I would try to recreate that tree with my paints and pencils, over and over again in my sketch book.

I love this painting by Deb Grise the apples are so brilliantly suggested

It seems that we are all beginning to think of blossom, Country Living has a beautifully illustrated piece this month that I have been returning to over and over again.

As I was driving home the other day I turned the radio on and as serendipity would have it caught the first play of the new Fleet Foxes song ~ listen here if you are interested.
It so captured my mood, so ethereal and strangely appropriate.
My eyes pricked with tears.
I especially loved these lyrics
I was raised up believing
I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes
Unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking
I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery
Serving something beyond me
But I don't, I don't know what that will be
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see
What's my name, what's my station
Oh just tell me what I should do
I don't need to be kind to the armies of night
That would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful
And say "Sure take all that you see"
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls
And determine my future for me
And I don't, I don't know who to believe
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see
If I know only one thing
It's that every thing that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable
Often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue tied and dizzy
And I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues?
Why should I wait for anyone else?
And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I'll come back to you someday soon myself
If I had an orchard
I'd work till I'm raw
If i had an orchard
I'd work till I'm sore
And you would wait tables
And soon run the store
Gold hair in the sunlight
My light in the dawn
If I had an orchardI'd work till I'm sore
If I had an orchardI'd work till I'm sore
Someday I'll beLike the man on the screen

Yes, I think if I had an orchard I too would work until I'm sore.
I have been thinking about The House with the purple trees a lot too.........
All this night time wandering can make a girl hungry so I am planning to bake Eve's Pudding for tea tonight, yum!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend
from the girl in the orchard

Sunday 13 February 2011


On saturday afternoon when the day turned to pure gold I was suddenly filled with a sense of urgency. I rushed outside and began hastily snapping the first brave spring flowers. Faces velvety, open and turned towards the sun, colours glowing.

Ordinarily I would spend time thinking about composition and light ~ but no! I just snapped away. When it came to this mosaic no time was spent on laying out, I just added them in the order I took the photos! Very unusual for me and quite liberating.

The vegetable beds are looking very forlorn, the brassicas have survived well though, yum!
The helebores are really flowering prolifically now but the pansies and violas have me captivated, their wonderful colour combinations and sweet delicate scent.

Today is an altogether different proposition, I need one of these

I am so glad I spent a rainy afternoon in October last year potting up tulip bulbs and adding pansies and violas for winter interest above them.

Today is quite a contrast to the glory of Saturday, grey and mizzly. A day for making things and being indoors. I am going to press some of my favourite flowers and have a go at this.

The other result of days and days of mizzle is baking.
I love to bake cakes when I can't be outdoors. What could be nicer than a piping hot cuppa accompanied by a freshly made cake decorated with flowers?

You could be really decadent and throw in some whipped cream!

I suppose I can't ignore the date entirely, yes that time of year again.
I somewhat disapprove of Valentine's Day and Mr.Lane knows this.
(I can't bear red roses flown hundreds of miles and cynically shoved in a black bucket at the front door of the supermarket.)
As a consequence I am unlikely to receive a shop bought card or flowers, instead I find little scrawlings artfully placed around the house and never on the actual day!
So far this year?
A doodled cupid/achilles hybrid and a marvelous diagram of Wolfie Adams playing darts.

I do love you Mr.Lane x
I am fascinated by the Victorian custom of using the language of flowers and I suppose before the advent of e-mail, facebook, twitter etc. to recieve an anonimous card and or posy must have been heartstoppingly exciting. (Mind you, remember the difficulties it caused Bathsheba!)

I think it best to know you are loved all days!

PS Did you know there was a butterfly called a "blue pansy"

extraordinarily beautiful

And back to the language of flowers, love this Rosetti painting

Sunday 6 February 2011

After the flood

This week I have been to the English Riviera and back!
To spend time with the Magpie (my Mum).
You see you might surmise from the title of this post "Oh no a flood!" it must be Daddy Lane who is in Queensland...."No, not he? Oh it must be little brother Lane in Melbourne?" And you would be quite right to suppose they were caught up in all the terrible weather events we have seen played out on the news back here in Blighty.
In fact it was the Magpie who received a phonecall from a very concerned neighbour (as we were all tucking into our cold turkey on Boxing Day) to say that water was pouring out from her cottage!
Lets just say the damage was imense as was the heartbreak.
But being the resilient, smart, shiny, resourceful Magpie that she is, a new nest has been found!

Yes still in the English Riviera, a wonderful spot above Meadfoot Beach.

The Osborne Hotel sits just above Meadfoot Beach on Hesketh Crescent and the new nest is tucked up in the cliff above.

During the search for the new nest I spent a little time researching Meadfoot Beach and came across this brilliant old photo of a family having an outing to Meadfoot in 1927

Isn't it wonderful?
Love the cloche hats!
Being the beginning of February it was rather blustery and so hats were not an option for us as we took a little stroll down to the beach.....
here is the Magpie with crescent in the background.

Some of the architecture in this part of Torquay is amazing, wonderful grand Victorian villas, lots of gothic details. I could have wandered the streets all day admiring the buildings.
(I unpacked boxes instead!)

In the homeless interim Magpie has been staying here at Merlewood House

Run by the very talented Wendy, I thoroughly recommend you take a look at the website and consider staying there if are ever taking a trip to Torquay.
I love the fact that Torquay is built on seven hills like Rome and as the sun rose early on Thursday morning I couldn't resist snapping the view from my bedroom window.

Gorgeous hazy morning light!

Here's to the Riviera and the promise of Spring and new beginnings!
Happy new home to the Magpie and anyone else who is nesting somewhere new