April 22nd, 2007

woman's magazine

R U?

I am taking a well earned break from toiling in the garden . Not pleasant, plant-type toils but more the outdoor housework sort. I am wishing I were one of those characters in a novel who has a gardener or failing that, the kind of friend who says, 'You shouldn't be doing that. I'll send Higgs round.'

Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh are nattering so much in their letters about Noblesse Oblige that I thought I should read it again. Very silly. Waugh called it The Book of Shame and Mitford wrote, 'I didn't know they were going to say edited by, nor did I edit it, or even see it in proof...Rather naughty I think.'

If you think no one cares any more, just check out these book titles:
Class, Jilly Cooper 1979
The Sloane Ranger's Handbook 1982
Alan Titchmarsh’s Avant Gardening 1994
Yew & Non Yew, James Bartholomew 1996

We all have our little things. I don't like 'toilet' but that's a lost battle. What really bugs me these days is people I've never met calling me by my Christian name. This applies especially to businesses like Marks & Spencer and Ocado, which send cheery emails saying 'Hello - ' as if the message came from your best chum and not a robot.
What is your pet hate?

Spring in my heart

I had such a lovely day yesterday. I was down at the market at eight o’clock as usual and it was quite bustling. I know you like to know what I got. A pretty little pink Caithness glass vase for fifty pence and a bagful of Georgette Heyer paperbacks for a pound. Plus the week's fruit and veg. of course. A quick whiz round posting and buying odd things, then after a much needed cup of coffee it was off to Pamphill for a car boot sale. This is held a few times a year in aid of St Stephen’s Church. I always enjoy this even if I don’t get anything. It’s hardly ten minutes’ drive away and like another world (pop. 287). The sale is small and friendly and I am hailed on all sides by people I know. Yesterday was just lovely: the fresh green on the avenue of trees (see link just given), bluebells everywhere, absolute quiet apart from birdsong. For the rest of the day I was high on just the beauty of an English spring. As if that weren’t enough I bought some excellent condition Lone Pine paperbacks and a couple of Viragos, then saw a notice saying, ‘Second hand books in church'. Naturally I couldn’t get in fast enough and found another little haul.

Our last indoor NCCPG meeting of the year in the afternoon but even being stuck yet again in the community centre on a beautiful day didn’t dampen my spirits. My friend Diana Guy told us about winning the BBC Gardener’s World Gardener of the Year competition in 2004. It is very hard work indeed. I just looked on the BBC web site and found this:

"We're particularly keen to see more applicants from the Midlands and North," says series producer, Rosemary Edwards. "We always get a huge response from the South, particularly the Dorset and Devon areas, but we are convinced that gardeners in the Midlands and North are just as talented and it would be nice to see more of them."

Dorset wins, ha ha ha!