Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Aconite Acolyte


And so here we are. All that Christmas jostling and shoving, and that was just to get to the bar. So we arrive in 2008, and those dull, dark days that so often welcome in a new year. But now the nights will start getting longer until spring breezes rustle through the first hawthorn buds in the hedgerows. I once lived in north east Northamptonshire, ten years in a Georgian gamekeeper's cottage, an isolated stone lodge against sombre woods. And once the cards had been taken down from their strings and the tree lights well and truly entangled for next year, it was always a particular joy in the first days of January to wander up the garden path through the 'orchard' as we euphemistically called it, to take a look at a patch of earth under a stubborn old greengage tree. And there, pushing up through the dead autumn leaves, would always be the first tight globes of winter aconite, gathering themselves into a carpet that would very soon burst into these yellow cups. I always took them to be the first sign of hope and renewal, and I share them with you to wish you a Very Happy New Year. (That wasn't too Patience Strong was it?)

23 comments:

Diplomat said...

marvelous, I'm pleased you've reverted to that agricultural prose that seems to make such appropriate caption to your pics. I always thought the blend of copy and image to be the real winner in your books - keep it up !

Philip Wilkinson said...

No, not too Patience Strong at all (although patience, with a small pee, is what we need at this dark time of the year). It's all real, you see – real gamekeeper's lodge, real groping around in "orchard", real flowers. Maybe we even allowed some real hope! Keep it up, indeed.

Ron Combo said...

It would normally be at this point that I would intervene with some suitably shallow, sneering, right-of-centre barb about how the aconite patch could do with a good carpeting of agent orange, but I will refrain and enjoin with diplo and p-w in a most heartful way, urging you to keep it up, in your most excellent Women's Realm way. Oh bugger, I just can't stop, even for one minute.

Diplomat said...

to be honest Ron, I've never been a fan of the Aconite, prefering its partner the Snow Drop. There a couple of bits of woodland 'round these parts with massive carpets of both. Agent Orange is not easily available these days but a 50/50 mix of Roundup and Grazon does a great job of killing everything in its path. Are Phil & Jill back from DownUnder yet ?

Peter Ashley said...

Ooh I'd forgotten about Phil and Jill, as possibly have Ambridge. Diplo reckons that Phil will croak it? Start a book anyone?

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