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Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Brevity of Poppies

In spite of the brevity of poppies the ones in my garden have worked hard at producing a myriad of different colours and shapes(thanks partly to Chiltern Seeds) I think this one said "Lilac fringed pompom" on the packet and a braver description you couldn't hope for. It's certainly accurate and doesn't make you wonder how on earth it's going to turn out - like the names of paint colours.

 It must be fun sitting in front of a mound of paint charts thinking up silly names. I wonder how someone looking at turquoise came up with "Blithe Spirit" and what colour does the name "Debutante" conjure up? Would you imagine "Independence" to be a shade of blue and exactly what shade of green is "Aladdin's Green?" My favourite is "Bronze Mum" which is probably the colour you turn after you've hit the bottle when the kids have gone to bed.

 A friend of mine sent me this wonderful picture of an Irish wolfhound. I wish I'd dressed up like that when we went to the Irish Wolfhound Fun Day. To be in a field with forty or fifty other wolfhounds is a joyous thing. There was no barking, no growling, just a lot of lying around and cheers when in the veteran class the winner was ten years old. Such a brief life but every day packed with joy. What colour would a paint be that was called "Brief Lives?"I remember the leaflet someone sent me before we collected our first wolfie - Jai. "Think carefully" it said. " before you have an Irish Wolfhound, they are not as other dogs. Everything will change. Your life, your house, your car will be totally re-arranged around him.  They do not realise just how big they are."
I'ts all right for you stretching out. I'm squashed here.
 As I write this Pixie is panting under the table which makes a change from sitting on my lap. She and Beezle chased a couple of deer through the wheat fields this morning. Because the wheat is so tall now you could just see their heads bobbing up and down occasionally. I think the deer tricked them  because after a while I could see the deer just by me behind the hedge and the dogs had gone miles unable to see their prey. They make a formidable hunting team though. Beezle has the speed and Pixie the stamina. The sound of her feet thudding on the ground as she gallops after some vertebrate makes you feel as if you're caught up in the 2.30 race at Cheltenham. Beezle's loyalty as a top companion was rewarded when he won "Best Companion Dog" at the Fun Day. He had his picture in the Irish Wolfhound Club Magazine with his name Beezle Honeysuckle. printed underneath. The only dog in there who was not a wolfie.
Malva moschata album looking good before the heat wave.

There -  "Agapanthus White" I'll write to the paint company

 It's that time of year for Shows. Most of the villages around us have held a flower show this weekend and there are numerous Agricultural and Steam Fairs  dotted around where you can buy back all the stuff that was nicked from your shed.

This is one of my favourite poems. It is by George Mac KayBrown

Hamnavoe Market

They drove to the Market with ringing pockets

Folster found a girl
Who put lipstick wounds on his face and throat,
Small, and diagonal, like red doves

Johnston stood beside the barrel.
All day he stood there.
He woke in a ditch, his mouth full of ashes.

Grieve bought a balloon and a goldfish.
He swung through the air.
He fired shotguns, rolled pennies, ate sweet fog from a stick.

Heddle was at the Market also.
I know nothing of his activities.
He is and always was a quiet man.

Garson went three rounds with a negro boxer,
And received thirty shillings,
Much applause and an eye loaded with thunder.

Where did they find Flett?
They found him in a brazen circle.
All flame and blood, a new Salvationist.

A gypsy saw in the hand of Halcro
Great strolling herds, harvests, a proud woman.
He wintered in the poor house.

They drove home from the Market under the stars
Except for Johnston
Who lay in a ditch, his mouth full of dying fires.

George Mackay Brown

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