April 25th, 2007



Tulips in a Staffordshire Vase by Dora Carrington.
Carrington is best known these days for her infatuation with Lytton Strachey and her suicide after his death. Let other pens dwell on Bloomsbury boringness. What interests me is that she was mad about tulips and filled her gardens with them so that she had plenty for the house and for painting.

I love this picture and found it in an old copy of The English Garden, a superior magazine which I don't buy because it is too expensive and full of advertisements for things I can't afford. If I do buy a gardening magazine these days it will be good old Amateur Gardening. I have been turning out because it's the end of the NCCPG season. I run a book stall for the grouip and a lot of what we are given is really unsaleable to our highbrow membership, so I have filled six carrier bags with books for charity shops and shall have more space over the summer. All gardening books are hard to sell, even the good ones, as I am learning to my cost on eBay.

Royal Mail, get knotted

I could not believe my ears this morning. I took a packet to the post office, not my usual one. For added security I had put string round the cardboard. 'Don't use string in future,' I was told, 'they'll cut it off.' What? Would they rather wait until the parcel fell to pieces (not that mine would) and then repack it themselves? 'I don't know. These are new instructions we've been told to pass on. It interferes with the machinery.'

Tsk, only the post before last I was commenting on the usefulness of being able to tie knots. cybersofa has often said, 'Your family are the only people in the world who still use string on parcels.' I use tape as well but will now have to use twice as much. Which is better, reusable string (sorry, it's the way I was brought up) or yards of plastic? Harrumph.