Monday, August 18, 2008

Beautiful Borders in the Walled Garden at Culzean

There is an absolutely stunning wild flower border to be seen in the walled garden at Culzean Castle just now. The mixture is called Bohemian Rhapsody and it fills a whole large bed just beside the old head gardener's cottage. There is something profoundly beautiful about this riot of colour and I have to say it reminds me of a textile design, particularly those wonderful old Indian prints that so often involve a multitude of colourful flowers. I've been back twice now, just to look at it and the second time I took my camera so that I could share it with you. The conventional herbacious border there is also fabulous, but there is something so engaging about the haphazard arrangement of these colours and textures - nature always does it better!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One year on - I STILL hate my memory foam mattress!

Just realised that it is more than a year since we acquired the loathed MFM. And yes, folks, I still hate it, hate it, hate it! The only thing about it that has improved is the smell which has - I'm pleased to report - gone. Everything else about it is just as bad if not worse, and no - I haven't got used to it. In fact I have had the worst year's sleep of my entire life. Some nights I give up on it entirely and resort to my son's room (he is living elsewhere at the moment!) where I can sleep on his lovely, firm, big but undeniably bouncy sprung bed. I go to bed very very late in an effort to avoid the dreaded MFM, and get up very early because my sleep is so disturbed. I do sleep, obviously, but I never feel rested. I wake up with palpitations because I seem to get trapped in one spot, unable to move. I get a sore back and sore hips. But the very worst thing of all about it is the heat which is absolutely unbearable. I thought it was me, but it just doesn't happen on other mattresses.
Sadly, my husband still loves it. The only solution (I have investigated all possible options) would be to buy two matching single beds. He could have memory foam on one. I could have a nice normal sprung mattress on the other. That way I might resume some kind of normal sleep pattern. But at the moment, it's just too expensive to replace bed and bedding. Maybe some kindly bed manufacturer out there will take pity on me....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tinder Box Britain?

Woke this morning, to BBC Radio 4's news programme, paraphrasing an article from the Observer in which somebody seems to have stated that - due to Global Warming, of course - much of Britain is tinder dry and in imminent danger of wildfires. As I listened to it the rain was beating against the windows yet again. You can read some more of this guff here.
I write this deep into one of the wettest summers I can remember (although I can certainly remember some which were equally wet!) Far from being tinder box dry much of Scotland is utterly and completely rainsoaked. So is much of Wales and Northern Ireland and a friend tells me that her garden in rural Oxfordshire is pretty much the same. The usual Atlantic fronts have beset us in unrelenting droves.
So which bits of Britain does he mean exactly? Last week the Scottish news was informing us in suitably alarmist tones that we could expect lots and lots of flooding nationwide - because of Global Warming. Nothing whatsoever to do with our national obsession with concreting over our gardens or building lots and lots of houses on the floodplains of our rivers and streams then?
Are we to fry or drown? Which is it?
No wonder we become cynical about so much that is written about the environment. Presumably the findings about tinder box Britain are based on some kind of statistical model which refers to the dry spells but doesn't include this year's torrents. Our weather is certainly behaving badly, but the analysts who are as changeable as the weather aren't helping.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

More information about an interesting old Paisley Shawl

A little while ago I was blogging about an interesting old Paisley Shawl which I'm currently listing on eBay. I didn't know whether it had been mended or not, because it seemed to fall into two semi matching halves. Now that it has finally stopped raining here I have been able to hang this fabulous textile up outside in the garden and get a better look at it. It seems obvious now (as it wasn't before!) that the divide is quite intentional. This would have been folded in the middle and then worn as a wrap, with one or other side showing - and as somebody pointed out to me, it would look as though the lady wearing it possessed two somewhat different shawls!