Saturday, 29 October 2011

York Minster

A few photos from my recent visit to York

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A splash of colour

It’s really interesting how sights, sounds and smells reawaken our memories; things we often haven’t thought about for years.

In DH Lawrence’s “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” one of his short stories I studied for O Grade English, the significance of chrysanthemums in the title and the memories that they revive in Elizabeth’s mind can be seen in the quote “It was chrysanthemums when I married him, and chrysanthemums when you were born, and the first time they ever brought him home drunk, he’d got brown chrysanthemums in his button-hole.”

While spending a few days away this week we walked round the gardens of the hotel and in some of the borders were dahlias. Dahlias are a flower which seems to have gone out of fashion in recent times but the memories of dahlias from my childhood came flooding back. We always had chrysanthemums in the garden too but it is dahlias which I remember most strongly at this time of year.

By now most of the flowers had gone over and were past their best, the flowers in the herbaceous border, the roses and the bedding plants a distant memory of summer and then down at the bottom of the garden a riot of colour from the dahlias. There were always a variety of shapes of flowers as well as a range of colours.

We always had some cut dahlias in a vase on the hall able and I remember taking bunches when we visited friends. Dahlias often seemed to be a hiding place for clipsheers (earwigs) and we’d often have to pick them up from the hallway and return them to the garden!

Thinking about the dahlias in the garden I can remember my Dad digging up the tubers and allowing them to overwinter wrapped up in newspaper in the garage. Think I might try to buy some dahlia tubers in the Spring to enjoy in our garden next Autumn.

Monday, 17 October 2011


If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.

Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

A Day in Autumn

A Day in Autumn

It will not always be like this,
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening
In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.

R.S. Thomas

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Ah Sunflower

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

William Blake