Archive for May, 2009

Risky moves

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Another day of glorious weather, so again, dominated by playing in the garden. We have hauled everything out of the greenhouse, which is now empty and tidy. My Mediterranean courtyard garden is now more Mediterranean than ever with the wall limewashed pink — it now has serried ranks of palms, tree ferns, strelitzia and what […]

I’m Dead, You’re no’, Things don’t always work out’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The title of this post is the pithy summary of the Professor’s Ice Opera which was offered by a valued colleague. I’m delighted to report that Scottish Opera have given a green light to the Professorial project, which in its present form is a short piece with two voices (there was a longer and […]


Friday, May 29th, 2009

The Refugee Gardener, who really hasn’t been looking well for quite a while, turned up yesterday with a diagnosis: something foul on the lines of Lyme’s Disease (though not that, we would have recognised the name since an old and valued friend fell victim to it a decade ago). He will have to spend 48 […]

Back again

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

It’s lilac time in Oslo. They seemed to be everywhere, lush, billowy pillows of purple and white blossom oozing over every wall like an old fashioned barmaid overhanging the bar. The trip has been hard work, but fun for all that. It’s been a while, and I’d slightly forgotten the texture of an inexpensive but […]


Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Plans for the day were somewhat derailed by the discovery that the Refugee Gardener had made various preparations for planting dahlias, but had not in fact planted them. Since this meant that grown-on plants were busily drying out in the shed, we ended up doing it ourselves. It’s been dodgy weather, very heavy, with […]


Friday, May 22nd, 2009

We have had a surprising amount of weather in the last few days. That maddening combination of thunder, vast downpour of rain, clear skies and sudden hot sun which ensures that the grass grows like crazy and cannot be cut. The Refugee Gardener has started to clear out the borders, so my collection […]

Collective Nouns & Feminine Endings

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

We have had a strenuous if entertaining few days: the Professor’s charming cousins arrived a few days ago, in the middle of a tour of distilleries (the Spanish cousin, she who pruned our grapes to such good effect, is a Mistress of Wine, and is also a specialist in whisky). While the cousins went […]

Occasional Oasis Supply Association

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

In the course of a mere 36 hours we have become so smart we hardly know ourselves. The Refugee Gardener hasn’t been very well for a while, and the weather has alternated sun and showers, perfect growing weather, duly taken advantage of by ground elder, rosebay, goose-grass and other undesirables, while the lawn has got […]

Many things one after another

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Thanks to the Professor of French, with whom we had spent the previous night, we contrived to catch the monstrously early train alluded to in a previous blog. Therafter quite a lot of things happened. The Northern Professor and his musical colleagues went off to talk to the National Opera while I infested the National […]

Honour where honour is due

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I have spent today at an all day seminar in honour of a distinguished colleague’s 60th birthday. Highly entertaining it was too; every single speaker produced something new and interesting within the somewhat specialist area which cares about early Irish saint’s lives and what was happening on Islay in the 8th century and things of […]


Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

The weekend has been spent in the service of the Buildings of Scotland (Aberdeenshire): introducing the director thereof to people likely to offer aid and comfort, and above all, relevant knowledge. It has all been quite fun, & there has been a great deal of architectural conversation. The Refugee Gardener’s ears must have been burning, […]