Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My mother, who began her long career in education as an art teacher, has that ability, and so does my friend Linda, another history of art graduate. Going round a gallery with them is like having your own walking, talking guide. (Not surprisingly, Linda is a volunteer guide - at the Tate.)
We can probably all remember teachers who were able to breathe life into their subjects and infuse us with an enthusiasm that lasted for the rest of our lives. My English teacher, Mrs Cunningham, was like that, and many of the teachers at my children's school seem to be the same.
It's not a talent I've inherited from my mother. I find it impossible to explain things to people in a simple, concise way. However, I'm delighted to tell you that Newshoot at Ethereal Monads is very good at it, and has just posted the first of her Chippenham Lectures, named after the home town of VP. It's on the principles of garden design and if her first offering is anything to go by, it is going to be a fantastic series.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I was talking to the Royal Horticultural Society press office yesterday about tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show. Rules for allotting press passes are being tightened up and I wanted to make sure that my colleagues and I would get the passes we needed.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Goodness, I'm such a townie. I never really quite realised before. I went to Cornwall last week, to Falmouth to be exact. I was accompanying my son, who wanted to attend the open day at University College Falmouth, where he thought he might like to study fine art.
It wasn't until I was on the train home that I worked out what was missing. At Reading (half an hour from London) a family got on. The father was English and the mother was Spanish and I listened to her talking to her children with affectionate relief.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I'd been looking at other UK blogs yesterday to see their snow pictures, and Easygardener at Greenforks had a lovely set, which included one showing her birdfeeders wearing little snowy hats.
My birdfeeders didn't look as if they had hats on, but these candleholders looked a bit like ice cream cones, I thought. They were given to me by a friend, Janet, and they look lovely with or without candles. When they fill with rainwater, smaller birds like blue tits drink from them, so I tend to leave them up all year round.
The bird table also looked a bit like an ice cream cone. When I was a child, there only seemed to be one sort of ice cream - Wall's ice cream. It used to come in square blocks, in special square cornets, and this picture reminded me of them. It was absolutely disgusting ice cream, I seem to recall: it put me off vanilla for life.
The suet treat feeder looked a bit like another sort of commercial ice cream, a Cornetto. I don't like Cornettos much either. Neither do the birds: they wouldn't go near it until I knocked the snow off.
And if you were feeling particularly greedy, there was a humungous ice cream shape on top of one of the terracotta urns. This looks like my favourite sort of ice cream: traditional Italian. Perhaps even coconut sorbet, which is my daughter's favourite.
Monday, February 2, 2009
My daughter is talking about taking the sledge out to Wandsworth Common, which is a couple of streets away. In an idea world, however, I would be watching the snow from indoors. It's a bit like being inside a giant snowdome.