I'm talking garden gardening here, not vegetable gardening.
Some years back, someone we knew went around trying to convince our friends that we were 'ruining our garden' by building our small 'tower' (above). In fact, of course, it has been totally the opposite, and has been the making of it.
John Brookes, the famous garden designer, correctly claimed that it is 'background' that makes a garden.
As he illustrated, if you plant a rambling rose in the middle of a field, it will look ridiculous. If you plant that same rose around the front door of a small cottage, it will look spectacular. It is the background that gives purpose to the planting, and makes all the difference.
The great houses usually built follies, bridges, and pergolas in their extensive grounds; anything that would contrast with the natural plantings, small cottage gardens can do much the same. The one compliments the other, as do paintings on an empty wall, or books on the shelves of a library.
I am NOT a flower gardener; I know nothing of such things. But I do know about design, and have always believed in John Brookes' wise words. He was right, and our critic so obviously wrong.
I don't like winter. It's cold, it's damp, and often foggy throughout the day. Even my long daily walks have become tiresome without the company of my faithful old pal, Bok.
The Moles are reeking havoc on Haddock's Paddock (above), Haddock's itself lies uncultivated, and the few winter tasks that still await my attention remain undone. I have little enthusiasm for anything at this time of year.
My hours are spent wandering around with a pair of secateurs in my hand, occasionally painting some bleak landscape, or sawing logs for the woodburner. When outdoors I seem to be permanently in gumboots, scarf, and gloves.
Elsewhere in the big ugly world, politicians are causing my blood pressure to rise in unprecedented leaps. Even being as deep in the countryside as is possible these days, I am still bombarded with news of foul murders, dangerous nonagenarian motorists, and common Z listers' ice-skating abilities (or lack of).
I need talk of sunshine, garden parties, and girls in summer dresses. I want to throw myself into 28C pool water, cook lamb chops on the BBQ, and pick ripe tomatoes from the garden. I'm a July baby, and my blood is tinged with sunshine.
It'll be May before I start my 2019 veg' growing campaign, and June before I start swimming again. In the meantime I eat body-warming soups, scour the meteo pages for suitable washing days, and wander aimlessly deciding which tasks to avoid first.
For me there are only two important parts of the year; summer, and waiting for summer. The latter always seems to drag, whilst the former rushes by.
If, after all this Brexit nonsense, they come to send me back to England; I shall refuse to go. I'm not bloody going!
They can snap the cuffs on me, drag me to the airport, tie me to a seat, and have half a dozen Gendarmes accompany me back onto Albion's soil, but I shall kick and shout all the way there.
Then, after some hard-pressed local authority have housed me, fed me, and given me plenty of spending money (as they are bound to do), I shall buy an inflatable boat, and sail heroically back across the Channel. I want to remain living right here!
I've lived for over two thirds of my life in France, and I've been a good citizen. I've committed no crime (I'm not that type), I've never asked for any financial assistance, and all my spending money has been imported. I've saved an ancient house from falling into ruin, and I shall eventually leave behind a pleasant home in which discerning folk will live for many years to come. I also pay all my bills on time. In fact, I'm the perfect étranger.
Somehow I don't imagine they will come for me; I'm too much a part of the scene. I'm quiet, reserved, and I blend in with the landscape.
So, Macron, just forget that I'm here. I won't tell anyone, and I promise to continue to be good.
My youngest son, Wills, had a teddy bear named Harry; they were inseparable (maybe they still are). When he was very small, we travelled between England and France on a regular basis, and of course Harry was always an essential member of the party.
Quite naturally, we all had our own passports, so of course Harry needed one too. We briefly considered applying to The Passport Office, but Wills (being Wills) thought he'd just make one for Harry himself.
It's a full size faithful replica, and would probably fool most passport officers. If I lost MY passport, I would be quite upset; if I ever lost Harry's, I would be devastated!!
You can see by the state of it, that it's been very well used. It's also one of the old type passports... so much classier than the new burgundy jobs.
CATKINS, CATS and QUIET ..........
*I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to write about. January is nearly always
a quiet month. I have been doing all of the usual mundane, everyday things
1 day ago
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), a Border Collie/Black Lab' cross called Bok, a cat called Freddie, plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!