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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Drabble’

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

At last, I had a rainy day to finish my Margaret Drabble novel…

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And here are some of my favourite parts. I tried to photograph the pages in an non curvy way for astute reader MaryBeth; not sure how well I succeeded but I do hope they are an improvement.

A Frenchman makes a polite and possibly flirtatious remark to our protagonist:

pass

pass

Old age for people and cats is discussed:

age

The characters leave London for warmer climes partway through the book. My sunshine seeking friends will identify with the following passage, although I would have preferred to stay in London:

sun

A character considers selling her house, and decides not to, in a way with which I strongly identify (even though no one would offer us a fortune for our humble double wide):

home

Meanwhile, Allan puttered in his shop and fixed the broken fence board from the recent tree fall.

fence

shop puttering

the fence, last Sunday, Allan's photo

the fence, last Sunday, Allan’s photo

today, all fixed, Allan's photo

today, all fixed, Allan’s photo

I finished the book and was just trying to decide which new book to start when I saw a tall man walking up our entry path to the front door. Assuming it was a politician doing some last minute campaigning, I went out onto the porch. He asked if I knew who he was. I knew I should, because he looked faintly familiar, and yet I had to confess that I have face blindness so I had no idea. He told me he was Todd, Eric Wiegardt’s brother; his resemblance to his brother is what gave me the feeling of familiarity. This is the fellow who works at the ever so famous Plant Delights Nursery and has sent us some extremely cool plants over the summer. We walked round the garden, although it was too darn windy to go all the way back to the edge of the Bogsy Wood where I’d planted the epimidiums and other shade plants he’d sent. Todd is a Certified Plant Nut and his plant knowledge far surpasses mine, so my brain had to whir really hard to try to keep up. Allan returned from an errand trip while Todd was still here and the two of them had a good look at Allan’s fern collection, which was doubled with the collectible ferns that Todd had mailed to him.

Allan's garden

Allan’s garden, much more well weeded than mine.

Nevertheless, Allan sees a weed!

Nevertheless, Allan sees a weed!

Todd and Allan

Todd and Allan

Todd told me the story of how he discovered my blog. A friend or colleague of his was looking for Azara microphylla variegata and ran across this photo of it on Tangly Cottage Journal.

a pause to admire Azara microphylla variegata by the front porch

a pause to admire Azara microphylla variegata by the front porch

He said to Todd that there existed a blog with photos of his brother’s art gallery in Ocean Park, the Wiegardt Gallery (one of our regular jobs). Pretty cool, eh?

Later:

a crescent moon over the bogsy wood, with birds

a crescent moon over the bogsy wood, with birds

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

I started a new novel, Liane Moriarity’s The Last Anniversary, and later we watched a couple of episodes of Homeland season three. Tomorrow promised to be a workable day. I’m still waiting for some rainy days off in a row.

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

We had 47 mph winds and Allan saw the excitement of a big branch coming down in the bogsy woods, on the gear shed side, and breaking as it hit another branch on the way down.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer's campfire wood.

Of course, I am pleased about next summer’s campfire wood. (Allan’s photo)

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Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

Out the front window, the Tetrapanax showed the wind gusts.

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

dogwood outside kitchen window whipping sideways in wind and rain

The wind in the bogsy wood was so dramatic that it was hard to stand up to take this (safely far away) photo:

rain

Later, while I worked on adding more photos to my page about Gram’s garden, Allan prepared the framework for the upcoming Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants, through which brave trick or treaters will arrive to the porch.

We left the posts up since last year.

We left the posts up since last year. (Allan’s photo)

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo.

He put up the crosspieces of bamboo. (Allan’s photo)

I’ll wait till closer to Halloween before attaching the plants, as they could blow every whichway in the wind.

I had good company while blogging.

cats

Later, I finished a book, Mean Girls Grown Up. While I did like some passages, I debated whether the subject was good for this blog, and decided to save the topic of friendship for sometime this winter, perhaps. Now and then this summer, I’ve written a paragraph on the subject and then deleted it before publishing because I hesitated to be so revealing. (As Ann Lamott so amusingly wrote, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”)

I then began a new to me Margaret Drabble book, Seven Sisters. Immediately I fell in love with the (sort of) chapter titles being set off to the right side of the text. (Below, what is not clear is that she is not HIGH, she’s in an upper floor flat.)

drabble

drabble2

Ms. Drabble, how I love thee.

suffolk

I was surprised to see Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers invoked in the same sentence:

heyer

That’s nothing against Georgette Heyer; my significant other of the 80s, Bryan, loved her books and during those years I read every one of them and loved them, too. He also got me to read Jane Austen for the first time, and A.A. Milne and P.G. Wodehouse. For a punk rock club manager and soundman, he had the gentlest of reading taste.

Surely on Sunday, I would get another rainy day to finish my Drabble book and probably read another book, as well.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Our rainy day off was not to be. We woke to rain, then sunshine and a rainbow over School Hill.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

The dark sky had moved to the north.

Another heavy rain squall passed right after I took the rainbow photo and I thought we had a reprieve from work. I yearned to get back to my Drabble novel! And then….out came the sun.

I decided to take a look in the back garden to see how many tree branches had come down in the storm. I am utterly fascinated with every little change in our garden: what’s blooming, how deep the puddles are, and how many branches and twigs have fallen in a storm.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Onyx came from next door to greet me.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

Dicentra scandens still blooming by the sunporch.

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

moss on the old dogwood outside our window

The rain had filled the water barrels.

The rain had filled the water barrels.

water

...except for this one, which has a leak.

…except for this one, which has a leak.

I hadn't battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

I hadn’t battened the hatches well at all, as the patio shows.

a branch halfway up the garden

a branch halfway up the garden

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don't go into the back garden in a wind storm.

The way the branches spear several inches into the ground is why I don’t go into the back garden in a wind storm.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

It was imbedded about three inches into the ground.

BIG branches

BIG branches

I stared up at my alder trees for a little while, trying to figure out which tree the really big branches had come from. I couldn’t see any break that explained the large amount of alder on the ground. Then I looked to my right.

trunk

tree

It took me a couple of minutes to realize that the small-of-girth dead alder in Nora’s back yard had snapped halfway up and fallen mostly on our side.

trunks

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

You can see to the right how very much bigger the trunk of our Danger Tree (cut last spring) is.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

The fallen tree was so dead it had split all apart when it hit the ground.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

Its debris stretched 3/4 of the way across the 80 foot wide lot.

An old tricycle had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

An old tricycle (now a planter) had broken from a branch falling from one of our trees.

I went to fetch Allan to share in my marveling at all our campfire wood and wondered if I should try to find a friend with a big chainsaw. He walked down Nora’s yard and took some photos from that angle.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo

Allan's photo showing the broken trunk

Allan’s photo showing the broken trunk

Allan's photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Allan’s photo; the flat topped trunk in the background is our former danger tree.

Unbeknownst to me, he also took some photos of me checking out the water level in the bogsy woods.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

I had no idea I was being followed by Onyx, who was being chastised by Smokey.

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I had found that the swales had an attractively pleasing amount of water.

the meander line swale

the meander line swale

the bridge swale

the bridge swale

chairs blown around the fire circle

chairs and tables blown around the fire circle

I went into the house for a few minutes and was amazed, when I returned to the scene, to find that Allan had already managed to cut the trunk off of the fence.

allan

Even more amazing, he had cut it with our corona hand saw:

Allan's photo showing little red saw

Allan’s photo showing little red saw

He cut the weight off the Nora side first and then braced the long piece with a thingie from his workshop:

IMG_1139

Allan's photos of bracing thingie.

Allan’s photos of bracing thingie.

Allan's photo

Allan’s photo: It’s a “table saw outfeed stand”, used upside down.

We couldn’t linger to do more clean up as we had decided to work, mostly a drive around day checking for storm damage and fallen over plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

The front garden path is filling up with ingredients for the Halloween Corridor of Spooky Plants.

On the way out of our driveway, our own personal Lake Street puddle was much bigger than usual.

work

I’ve had so much to say about wind that I’ll make a separate post for today’s and tomorrow’s fall clean up work.

When we got home from work, we spent some enjoyable time until dark picking up sticks and rolling trunks in the back garden. The weather remained so pleasant and windless, and some of the fallen tree wood was so dry, that I wished we had some sausages so that we could have a campfire. (I find the roasting of sausages to be essential to campfire enjoyment.) The next morning, I took photos of our progress:

27 October:  LOTS of campfire wood

27 October: LOTS of campfire wood

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

The tree trunks will be an edge to the garden for now.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them...or they may be for burning next summer.

They may or may not be a permanent edge with soil build up behind them…or they may be for burning next summer.

 

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