Monday, 21 April 2008

Spring is Sprung

A few minutes ago I went out onto the lawns of Ashley Towers with the intention of dragging the lawnmower out for the first cut of the season. Finding that I had syphoned all the unleaded petrol out of its tank for either a Molotov Cocktail or, perhaps more likely, to ensure that the car didn't splutter embarrassingly to a halt twenty yards from my door, I then spotted this little patch of daisies amongst the long blades of grass. Richard Mabey, in his wonderful Flora Britannica, reminds us 'that there is a saying that spring has not arrived until you can cover three, or nine, or a dozen daisy flowers with your foot'. On this reckoning spring has certainly arrived here, although you wouldn't have thought so yesterday with a day as raw as November. The name apparently comes from 'Day's Eye' after it's habit of closing up at night, as Chaucer had it 'Well by reason men it call maie / The Daisie, or else the Eye of the Daie'. After all that I think I might run the mower round them. Or sit out there making a Daisy Chain, but I think after my photography session I've had enough suspicious glances from my neighbours seeing me yet again prostrate on my lawn.


Diplomat said...

Lawn ! ? my god, man, what would Higgs have to say ? I should think the Atco'll struggle with that lot. I think you need a good weed'n'feed, a bit of sound scarrifying and some heavy rolling. How on earth you expect to produce a decent wicket out of that lot is beyond me.

Peter Ashley said...

I thought I'd restrict outdoor games to Boules this summer, with Pimms served from my new Castrol Oil Quart Jug. But I know what'll happen. Instead of gently playing towards the outhouses whilst the sun dips down behind the cedars, some idiot will chuck one through next door's kitchen window.

Jon Dudley said...

Please, I implore you, steer clear of any such games. My French daughter-in-law was struck on the head by a homemade bowling ball (as in skittles) as she lay on the grass innocently making daisy chains. Next thing the paramedics arrive and she's rushed off to the nearest brain clinic for a check up (hold the obvious jokes). Result - two weeks in hospital and an aversion to bucolic English garden sports and Daisy-chain making. If she hadn't been recumbant behind the skittles none of this would have happened. Needless to say drink had been taken by all.

Peter Ashley said...

Ooh, this is new strand. Garden Games Disasters. My father once treated a boy who had been catching a ball thrown to him by his brother. To make the game more interesting he decided to catch the ball between the blades of some garden shears and took the end of his nose off.

Diplomat said...

Just a thought - have you ever managed to complete a game of croquet, singles or doubles, without it ending in a punch up (fisticuffs, not pimms) ?

Diplomat said...

ooh JD - how sophisticated and European of you to have a French daughter in law. I had a bachelor godfather who, in the 60's used to visit regularly with a succession of French and Dutch nieces - two sisters on one occasion, lovely girls, the lot of 'em.

Peter Ashley said...

I've stopped playing croquet with other people.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Ever since my undergraduate days I've winced at the rattling and rolling sound of a rapidly opened sash window, prelude to some don's shouted reprimand about one activity or another - usually an abuse of croquet mallet or ball - that would damage the college lawn. Take my advice: avoid dangerous games and let the daisies grow.

Camilla Jessop said...

Croquet on the lawn...a proper game for ladies of breeding. When I was at Kingsley Girls, they made us play cricket which I hated: I was always getting bashed around the crease.

warmpommybeer said...


Hi Pete
not too many Daisy's around out here in the Antipodes...although it was my Grandmothers name Gord Bless Her...named after the song about a bicycle made for two.

I hope you don't mind but I've just set up a blog called "Unmitigated Australia"

Not really

I'm about to give the game away

Have a look at my newly created blog for a BIG clue as to what, why and 'specially who I am

Heres the link:

Tra la la tweedley dee ...Guffaw titter

Just off to put another log on the fire

warmpommybeer said...

I changed the address of my blog

just because I can

Peter Ashley said...

That's good WPB. Will it be pictures of crushed Fosters cans and girls laid out on ute bonnets?

Peter Ashley said...

Sorry WPB, I wrote that before I'd read further. Your site is truly good. I think I know who you are, but somethings just don't add up.
So, here's a little test: What do you remember of the Windsor Castle and The Hoyden?

warmpommybeer said...

Some things don't add up?...surely not

Apologies to other commentators here ...some of this won't make any sense ...and is quite personal

The Hoyden was a truly bouncy accommodating Shiela

The Windsor Castle was such good fun that I hardly remember it

Now... as regards the Coach and Horses ...there was always Bubbles the indignant composer ...and anyway "If your going to talk about Leonard Cohen ...Im leaving right NOW" and he did...not Bubbles ...some other bloke with a big moustache and badges

What about Graham and the big British Airways job ...the swizzle stick

anyway Im off to put another log on the fire

Peter Ashley said...

MATEY! I can't tell how (takes out hankerchief) good it is to hear from my old pal. Sorry, everyone else, but this is really GOOD NEWS.
We shall obviously have to continue dialogue off piste, as it were. But your blog is a very worthy addition to this community of crazed individuals. Welcome.

Thud said...

I had quite a time explaining to visiting American relatives that I love daisies in my lawn.