The Eye Patch

Caterpillars on nasturtium leavesJackie’s nasturtium leaves are being eaten by minute caterpillars hatched from little yellow butterfly eggs.  The sneaky parents laying the eggs on the underside reckon without our eagle-eyed head gardener.

Bee on sunflowerYesterday’s bee was harvesting a marigold.  Today’s perched on a sunflower, confirming my suspicion that these creatures are more attracted to yellow flowers than to anything else.

Jackie drove us to The Firs for a gardening session.  On an absolutely sweltering day this was a difficult task. Madonna lily and dried up pansies and tulip stalks The garden has suffered from months of cold rain, delaying everything; followed by several weeks heatwave making it rather too hot to work and forcing all the tardy growth at once.  A Madonna lily that has just about survived these extremes appeared alongside a dried out pot the contents of which, pansies and tulips, haven’t.

Jackie managed a decent amount of potting up whilst I concentrated on weeding, which at times meant grappling with brambles which had a tendency to get their own back. Compost The compost heaps created last year are beginning to look rather inadequate, as the newest one, despite its walls having been raised a bit a week or so ago, is now looking rather mountainous. Bramble clippings The pruned brambles are piled up separately for burning.

Sweet peasI have already recorded that Jackie planted more than 100 sweet pea plants.  Elizabeth was able to cut a rather good scented display purely for the pleasure of Maureen Allen.

Drinks breaks were welcome.  On one, Paul Clarke joined us and, among other things we discussed the open studio planned for later this month, to which his mother will be contributing some items.  In discussing the widening of the theme from drums to music in general, and the fact that nostalgia is quite popular at the moment, I suddenly remembered a slide I had taken of Chris about fifty years ago.  Complete with Hank Marvin specs, my brother is playing a guitar.  That has to be printed for the exhibition.

Chris 2.66.001Fortunately my slide library has assisted my memory.  On our return to Minstead I couldn’t wait to retrieve the picture.  Under the specs Chris is wearing an eye patch.  I cannot remember why this was necessary.  It is unlikely he fancied himself as a pirate.  The photograph was taken in February 1966, on the day of Jacqueline’s marriage to John Clancy, whose cigarette lights up the background of our parents’ living room at 18 Bernard Gardens, Wimbledon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice, with trifle to follow.  She drank Hoegaarden whilst  I began a bottle of Maipo reserva Merlot 2012.

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