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Category Archives: nature

Thank You Card, Nelly Moser and White Flowers

A card with a beautiful message arrived this morning. It was from J who stayed here for a few days as next door was full of family here for Bill’s funeral. We made a lovely new friend.

Our Nelly Moser Clematis has more flowers this year than ever before.

We planted the very pretty white flowered Libertia Grandiflora on top of our hedge a few years ago and that too, is doing very well this year.

 
 

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Sunlight, Clematis and Characters in the Graveyard

I love how the sunlight is shining through the leaf.

The petals may have fallen but this Clematis is still very beautiful.

Today’s dress rehearsals were wonderful. Here are a few of the characters you will meet if you come to the show next week.

Sophie Everett

 

 

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Blackbird in Blossom and Edward Lear

On our walk down the lane this evening a Blackbird tracked us at least halfway and sang and sang – it was beautiful. He sat in the top of a Cherry tree in blossom and serenaded us!

Edward Lear was born on this day in 1812. This poem, The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,  has delighted me from being very young.

I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”
II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
III
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

I have just read the newsletter from The Lost Gardens of Heligan where they honour our friend Bill Mitchell. It is a beautiful tribute that those of you who have followed my recent posts will appreciate.  http://newsletter.nixondesign.com/t/ViewEmail/r/A62CCE05D52F8D3D2540EF23F30FEDED/EA434ED4709CEF26BA4AF9908B8D85ED

 

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Wisteria, Mural and Wild Boxes

Walking through Penryn today, this beautiful Wisteria caught my eye.

Every season the mural changes outside the delightful shop, Just Delights, in Penryn. Elizabeth Perry is the artist.

This afternoon, Sue and I have worked  on the Memory Boxes made by the young Mums we worked with some weeks ago. We added fairy lights and they look fabulous!  They will be in the exhibition in St Euny Church to be seen after the production on Tuesday (preview) and then Thursday to Sunday. Book your tickets here.  Choose your day and your start time for your magical walk!

 
 

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Rehearsals in St Euny Churchyard

It is less than two weeks to the start of our production of ‘Until the Day Break’!  Today was a choir rehearsal with The Ingleheart Singers and The Red River Singers for the whole route, planning who should sing where – very exciting! There were small character rehearsals going on too so here is a gallery to give you a flavour of our beautiful afternoon. Click on any photo for more detail.

 

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Bill Mitchell, Our Friend Next Door 2/12/1951 – 14/4/2017

From the moment we came back to live in Cornwall in 2008 and serendipitously landed next door to Sue and Bill, we were made to feel welcome and loved. We were asked in for a drink even before we had moved in. On moving day, the pantechnicon couldn’t get up our drive, so next door’s fence came down and we moved in from their drive.

Breakfast in Charlotte’s Tea House, Truro

Bill’s big hugs were so lovely and happened sometimes out of the blue such as when we had gone to Plymouth to see Beautiful Journey  or London to see Babel and suddenly there behind us was Bill and then came the hugs.

It was some time before we began to realise that both Bill and Sue were something rather special in the art and theatre world! Bill was such a modest individual but over drinks and mince pies at Christmas or over dinner, he would regale us with wonderful stories of his work in the theatre, his designs and his inspirations opening our minds to new worlds.

I loved hearing the gentle whirr of the hand pushed mower as Bill mowed the lawn next door.  He was right, it did make for a lovelier lawn.

Bill nurtured everyone’s talents. He knew that I loved to knit for our Grandchildren and one day asked if I could knit something for him. WildWorks were working on a project in Kensington Palace and needed knitted Crown Jewels! Bill asked if I could make the orb. It took some ingenuity and several trials but I managed it and it was there in Kensington Palace! It was held by each person who sat in the knitted throne when they visited the installation.

A child holding the Orb that I knitted for the exhibition

Bill gave me a most precious gift the last time we were in the car with them. Somehow we were talking about names and I told him how I had always disliked my middle name only ever using my initial, H. He asked what it was and though I had told no-one for 50+ years, such was Bill that I did tell him. It’s Hilda (and this will come as news to many, many people!) Bill told me that the name means fighter and warrior and that it suited my nature and that I should be proud of it – so I have regained the name my Granny gave me and I can now wear the beautiful gold and tiny diamond H which I inherited from her. When I was a little girl my Granny told me that she would give the little H on a black ribbon if only I would say I liked my name. I was named after her – but I was a stubborn and rather horrid little girl and I wouldn’t say it. With Bill in mind, I will now own my name with pride and honour my Granny.

H for Hilda

Bill couldn’t eat onions, leeks or garlic so making a meal was sometimes a bit of a challenge. I don’t like lamb but the lovely Mr S does.  On one occasion I cooked a herby roast chicken in our house and Sue cooked lamb with garlic in theirs. We took the chicken round and Bill and I enjoyed that while Sue and my Mr S loved the lamb dinner.

Latterly, when Bill was unwell, he fancied puddings more than a roast dinner. He put in a special request for Treacle Tart, Lemon Sponge and Syrup Sponge and told me when we met over the garden fence that the puddings were, ‘Nectar; pure ambrosia.”

It was Bill who introduced me to Claire Ingleheart in whose choirs I have been singing ever since and with whose choirs I took part in Heligan 100. It was Bill who introduced us to the magic of community and landscape theatre through his wonderful WildWorks productions and it is Bill we will say goodbye to on Friday 5th May along with the hundreds of others who loved him.

Mecanopsis, a blue Poppy

Sue told me recently that Bill thought blue was the colour of memory, the Underworld, the blue yonder, ‘into the blue…’ so this beautiful blue Poppy, from our garden, is for Bill, with love.

For those who would like to know more about Bill’s professional life, these obituaries and the video tell the story:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/apr/18/bill-mitchell-obituary

http://www.cornwalllive.com/bill-mitchell-wildwork-s-critically-acclaimed-artistic-director-dies-aged-65-after-cancer-battle/story-30272730-detail/story.html

 

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Tony Harrison, A Fox and Our Back Garden

It is April 30th and I have made an attempt to publish a poem every day throughout this Poetry Month – didn’t quite manage it! This one is a delight to me. Tony Harrison was born on this day in 1937 and his poem celebrates his Father who was adept at icing Wedding cakes but didn’t seem to mind that his work was ephemeral, destroyed in the celebration of a marriage. I love how Tony Harrison relates the ephemerality of the iced cake to the short life of the sandcastle built by him and his Dad as the tide comes in. I love the salt water of the sea tied up with the salt of his tears as he both remembers and mourns his Father.

The Icing Hand 
Tony Harrison 

That they lasted only till the next high tide
bothered me, not him whose labour was to make
sugar lattices demolished when the bride,
with help from her groom’s hot hand, first cut the cake.

His icing hand, gritty with sandy grains, guides
my pen when I try shaping memories of him
and his eyes scan with mine the rising tides
neither father nor his son could hope to swim.

His eyes stayed dry while I, the kid, would weep
to watch the castle that had taken us all day
to build and deck decay, one wave-surge sweep
our winkle-stuccoed edifice away.

Remembrance like ice cake crumbs in the throat,
remembrance like wind-blown Blackpool brine
overfills the poem’s shallow moat
and first, ebbing, salts, then, flowing, floods this line.

We had a fox in the back field today. The photo is on maximum zoom and isn’t very clear but gives you an idea of what we were watching for about twenty minutes.

As I was watching the fox, I thought a photo of the garden at the end of April might be right for tonight so here it is. You can see how lovely it is to have the field at the back of us.

 

 

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