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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Cover of The Rider of the White Horse by Rosemary Sutcliff

There can be nothing nicer than being asked to write an introduction to a favourite book, but at the same time it is a difficult task. It is like being asked to describe the charm of a face you love. If you did not love the face so much, and even more the person behind the face, it would be easy. But as things are, what can you possibly say? I can only say, baldly and inadequately, that I love this book. It may not be such a great book as Sword at Sunset but it has qualities of poignancy and gentleness that make it unforgettable.

One of Rosemary Sutcliff‘s historical novels written for adults was The Rider of the White Horse, set in the English Civil War, about Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife. This was, in the original version, the start of an introduction by the great historical novelist Elizabeth Goudge.   (more…)

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June 23rd June. Midsummer Eve and just what Midsummer’s Eve ought to be but seldom is. Also Mummie’s birthday. J looked in today with a manuscript she wants me to look at. There’s another blackbird’s nest in the front garden, in place of the one the ginger cat took.

‘Mummie’, Rosemary’s mother of course, was my great Aunt, Nessie Elizabeth Lawton, who was born in 23rd June in 1885, in Poole Dorset. (She died in 1955). She married George Ernest Sutcliff, who I knew as ‘Uncle George’ when I was a young boy, on 14th September 1910, in Longleet in Dorset. The driver-handymen (like Ray in recent weeks of this diary) were employed by Rosemary after her father died in 1966: he used to look after the garden – and her – at the house in Walberton where all the events recorded in this 1988 diary take place.

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June 19th Sunday. Joan and I and the pups (went) for a run out beyond Amberley taking a picnic tea with us. It was lovely, very hot. Willow warbler singing where we had tea.

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From Twitter on Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace or Wild Carrot

 

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May 17th Tuesday. Into Chichester to have my eyes tested and see about new glasses; and in to the Shopwyck Nursery on the way home, to get a couple of shrubs and two more of the Busy Lizzies for the garden (courtyard). So hot! Really high summer; and the whole countryside white with may. Have white lilac in the hall, smelling of pure essence of nostalgia.

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May 15th Sunday. Tea with Geraldine, high blustery wind but actually too hot to have tea in the garden!

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Hawthorn or may tree blossomMay 10th Tuesday. Went along for the ride when Ray took Mrs Prosser home. The may all coming out along the lanes. Joan collecting my earrings and a white shirt for dying grey in Chichester today. Should be back in half-an-hour or so.
© Anthony Lawton 2012

The may refers to the  ‘may tree’, or hawthorn. The blossom appears on the tree at the beginning of May in the south of England. According to the Royal Horticultural Society, “until the calendar was changed in 1752, hawthorn would be in flower for May Day, which used to be 11 days later than it is now”.   (more…)

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May 7th Saturday. Warm wind and hazy sunshine. Sultry haze on the downs. Joan & I & the dogs & Muriel out for a long afternoon  to see what if anything was left of Bedham (?) Woods. Pretty awful – especially sad the sight of so many uprooted trees putting out leaf and blossom where they lie, for the last time. The bluebells were lovely, and the Ramsay Ray’s garden had largely escaped – even to the peacocks, and blossom, and was looking lovely. But it’s sad how many of our favourite haunts look like a Flanders shellhole now.

© Anthony Lawton 2012

 

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Orange Tip butterflyMay 2nd Monday. Geraldine looked in for tea, and was able to get her advice about lowering trees and the bare corner behind the dogs’ gates. Saw an orange tip butterfly and I think a small tortoiseshell.

© Anthony Lawton 2012

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April 23rd Saturday. The most lovely day. Joan and I wearing our red roses for St George went for a run and the first picinetea (?) of the year under Amberley Castle, heard the first cuckoo of the year. Walked around the garden after we got back.

© Anthony Lawton 2012

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