As I write this at nine in the morning light snow is falling and the wind is blowing it down the road, but there is blue sky and I am snug and warm; thank heaven for central heating. I have high hopes for sunshine later (thanks for the hopes from Carol on Breakfast television). According to her this is only a short 'cold snap' and things should warm up a bit by the week end. When I think back to my childhood - no central heating, just one coal fire in the living room. Small fireplaces in the bedrooms but trailing upstairs with sticks and coal meant you had to be pretty ill in bed before you meritted that.
I ventured outside yesterday for the first time since my spell in hospital around my birthday in October. The sun was shining and there was only a light wind blowing so with my trusty Rollator I just had a very short walk along my patio to look if any bulbs were poking their little green heads above ground. By the garage, in a very sheltered position a few of my dwarf daffodils had their green leaves about two inches above ground and in the side strip of garden one solitary orange wallflower (which I have never planted and which appeared from nowhere last year) had just one flower braving the weather. But round on the patio I thought there was nothing to be seen.
I walked (very slowly as I am unsteady on my feet) along the side of the raised garden and there (no crocus, no snowdrops yet)under an 'umbrella' of bronze-coloured leaves, were the rich, fat, pure white buds of my patch of Christmas Roses (Helleborus Niger)- they never let me down. Give them a week of sunshine and they will push their bronze protectors out of the way and show themselves to the public.
I walked slowly and unsteadily back into the house, proud of the fact that I had made my first venture forth. There wont be any more for the time being now that everywhere is frozen and icy but it was a start.
Deep blue sky now and the snow has stopped but lots of puffy white clouds - pretty but suggest there could be more snow to come.
Derek tells me that Ronald Blythe - the writer who has so often given me inspiration for my posts and who had such a tremendous knowledge of the countryside and of writers and poets who themselves wrote about the countryside- has died. He read it in his daily Telegraph. I rather think he would have been 100 years old. I shall miss the fact that he is no longer at Bottongoms Farm. His books have given me - and thousands of others - much pleasure over the years. Rest in peace Ronald.
I just wish to add this - I hope it doesn't upset anyone: I have known for many years that Ronald Blythe was gay but as far as I am concerned it has no bearing on anything to do with him. I have many gay friends and also a transgender relation but I also have many heterosexual frien ds and relations but I don't deem it necessary to point this out. I feel deeply that it is only when we can talk about people without bringing this up that we shall have made real progress. Please don't take offence at my saying this - it is just that it is a subject close to my heart.
You have snow? Ours is supposed to come later. Ronald Blythe was indeed 100. I didn't realise he was gay until this morning.
I had not realised that you have not picked up your almost daily walks at all since your last hospital stint. Well done for giving it another try, even if now due to the weather you'll wait a while until going out again.
According to the forecast for my area, we are to expect snowfall this week. Sunrise this morning on my 2-hour ride back from O.K.'s was spectacular, and now the sky is a solid grey lid - that snow looks as if it could start falling any minute. Temperatures have dropped considerably, now being closer to what January "should" be like in this part of the world.
It won't be long now until the snowdrops are out. A cheerful sight in the cold winter.
I had never heard of Mr. Blythe until learning of him here - so I am sorry for the loss to so many. Recently I started getting the appropriate daily installment of the Pepys diary and it is dreadfully cold in Sam's 1659 London too. No snowdrops or daffs for him! Glad to hear you felt well enough to venture outside!
Our hellebores range from flashes of crimson to pinks, and mauves. We were given one as a Christmas gift years ago, and planted it near woodland, but it looked lonely so we bought a pack of six and they have happily intermingled ever since. It is wonderful to see buds on them, and crocus and daffodil shoots. It will be weeks before we get up to full spring colour but wonderful to watch progress.
I heard the tribute to Ronald Blythe this morning on the radio, ashamed to say I have never read him but will listen to him in the future. Very brave of you to go outside to your garden, I expect the plants are a bit unsure about the weather.
How nice to get out in your garden! I am going to order some of those hellebores. Mine bloom much later. I really like them though, as they last a long time.
Supposed to get up to 50 here today, after a cold snap over the weekend.
I enjoyed reading about your garden visit this morning. It gave me some much needed vicarious pleasure. Winters are long here in Ontario.
Blythe clearly led a more interesting life than I ever realised. Seeing the circles in which he mixed in Suffolk and North Essex it is no surprise this morning to learn that he was gay.
Can we move on from the man being gay? The reactions just reflect to me why nobody knew in the first place...and 'thank goodness he never bought that into his wonderful writing' Sue ? Really?- Pam.
I deleted both my comments as they seemed to bring out completely the wrong response.
I had written that he was a wonderful observer of countryside, so well read and knew so many people, he was such a gentle man and I will miss his writings about so many places that I know well.
I cannot help but be envious as your signs of spring. We will not see these things for a few more wees. Perhaps at the end of February.
PS: Ronald Blythe was 101 last November.
Not that it really matters, but Blythe was 100 last November and he died in his 101st year. British records show that he was born in 1922.
It is cold and rainy here today. I am glad you got out for a bit in your garden. Didn't your "Rollator" used to have a name? Or maybe you stopped naming them when you got a new one...Hope the snow passes to it will be safe for you to go out again soon.
Ellen (my second name too) You are quite right it did - I had forgotten, it is so long since I used it. I think it was Priscilla - hopefully I shall get back into using it if my health improves and when the weather turns warmer.
Sue - just how I feel about him - I absolutely love his writing; The Guardian obit is good - it is worth Googling him too
Please read the final paragraph of my post which I have just added.
How nice to be able to tour your flowerbeds and check on your spring bulbs. Nothing, except my hellebore garden, shows any sign of life. When I get a week of unusual warmth, they flower and then die back only to re-bloom on the next series of warm days. Blythe sounds like a wonderful author. I will google him and look for his books. We got 3-4 inches of snow and my plow came through at 5:30 AM. The temperature is now rising and the snow is melting. I expect a freeze tonight.
So glad you had the energy and interest to go outside for a little walk to see your winter garden! You wrote about it all so well that I could see what you saw.
I'm thankful for central heating, too.
My sympathy in the loss of one of your favorite writers.
Mentioning that someone is gay, purely for the sake of it, is liking mentioning that someone is black, also just for the sake of it - there doesn't any point to it.
Is Helleborus Niger/Christmas Roses the same thing as what I’ve heard called ‘Winter Hellebore”? Dark red-purple leaves and beautiful white flowers? It’s one of my favourites. Well done for venturing out with your trusty steed! As the days improve you’ll be able to do so more frequently.
I agree with you, sexual orientation seems to me to be no one’s business but their own. I didn’t choose mine, a gay, or intersex person, didn’t choose theirs and it ought not to be an issue. We have plenty of gay/lesbian friend couples, and a number of single friends whose orientations we don’t know, and it’s “none of our damned business “ . And, (I’ll add because it’s often seen as a religious problem) we’re part of an Anglican parish that has no difficulty accepting them, and part also of a house-church-group that is about 1/4 non-heterosexual. I now think carefully about people who express vitriol on the subject “What are you hiding? What’s your fear?” Enough!
May your weather improve soon, and your Centro heating keep you snug in the meantime.
Even friends in Tolsta on Lewis have snow!
It is good to see the hardey plants surviving.
Well done on your careful walk x
Hardy plants..whatever was autocorrect thinking?!
Great you were able to get out for a short walk. We have two daffs in bud and the snowdrops will be blooming in no time.
Nice to see you are out !!! You fast cat xxx
It was cold this morning down here but bright and not as windy. No snow for us but plenty of flooding around.
Well done on making the effort to take a little walk, and how rewarding to see those very first signs of spring. Bulbs pushing up here too and I look forward to seeing snowdrops.
I completely agree on the subject of a persons sexuality. It is no-one's business but their own, and makes no difference to their character or accomplishments. I too have a few gay friends and acquaintances.
What a remarkable woman you are Pat! The daffodils we planted at work are about three inches up now, so we are all very pleased with that, and my crocuses in my planters have emerged too.
There's one thing to brighten up the dreariest of grey January days and that is early spring bulbs peeping up out of the ground. I have three patches of snow drops above ground, with one of them actually beginning to bloom, crocus and daffodils are just beginning to emerge. Early days for this here, especially in light of the really cold stretch that we had around Christmas (down to -9 and then still below zero for a week or so) but up they are coming. Usually it's late February for this sort of thing be be happening. Maybe it's a "sign" that spring is going to be early this year. I'd vote for that! It's good that you can manage to get out and around your patio for a closer look. Sunshine and flowers are on their way, not too long to wait.
I fully agree!
I love it when you stir us to improve.
Glad you got outdoors
I'd feel better if you had somebody with you. Alert devices are nice, but it can take time for help to arrive.
re Your last para, living in Brighton should be obligatory for all those you speak of. We live in such a diverse society that one really doesn't notice any more. There are nice people and not so nice people regardless of their domestic arrangements. I have gay next door neighbours, and plenty more gay couples within 50 metres. We say hello, and pass the time of day just like everyone else. However, if women find it uncomfortable that men dressed as women are allowed to share their changing rooms and loos, then I would always support them.
I enjoyed my reading of the obituaries and listening to his interviews last night. N'er in my life have I heard such a cultured son of a Suffolk farm labourer with not a hint of a Suffolk accent. I found it enlightening to hear him speak of his early life with Lett Haines, Cedric Morris, EM Forster and Benjamin Britten and many clergymen. A mystery man, one of six children and n'er a great niece or nephew speaks of him today. Cared for by friends, not family. Self confessed never worked the land. A mystery existence. Methinks you protesteth too much. I was glad to discover the man behind Akenfield.
The snow sounds very pretty - we rarely have any here - but all the better for seeing it from the warm side of the window!!
Stay safe. xx
Rachel - yes true - you could have written a good obit. I almost took the paragrasph off after I had put it on but it caught me on the raw really - close to home. I always loved his writing and knew a lot about his background as I did correspond with him from time to time. Wonderful how he literally pulled himself up by his bootlaces as they say.
Cro - Agree with what you say absolutely. My dearest friends (gay) lived in Brighton for a time.
Virginia I expect so - I do have another Hellebore which arrives a bit later - it has pink/purple dlowers and seeds freely. In my garden the niger took a while to establish but is now also seeding freely.
Well, I will add my comments on Ronald Blythe. He is a writer who I enjoyed reading and I think he was an exceptional person. He understood country people and Suffolk people very well, I suppose, because that was his origin and background. I grew up in Sudbury. He was born at Acton near Sudbury. My mother knew the family. 'They were tubercular,dear', she used to tell me. I think at least one of his siblings emigrated to Australia. I doubt whether the others outlived him.
People in Sudbury knew he was gay,my mother certainly did.
In any case, does it matter? I increasingly think that people's sexuality is quite often the least interesting thing about them.
Well said Anon. Yes his brother emigrated to Sydney - he went to stay at least once.
Thank you all for your omments.
Post a Comment