Thursday, 24 July 2014

55: Spa

I'm just back from our annual girly trip, L&A&I go and do relaxing girly things, last year Bruges for beer, boats and chocolate, this year Abbeys, cheese and market,s based in Bath. A treated us to a session at the spa, two huge relaxing pools with jacuzzi sections, currents and a thundering massage shower. One pool was on the roof overlooking the town, river and Abbey. We also had access to the scented steam rooms, brilliant for tired old skin. It was particularly interesting as one of her lecturers had raved about the modern architecture mirroring the Abbey and high tech approach to using the natural heat.
Next stop Glastonbury market along with the Abbey and Tor. Allegedly the best cheese shop in the world is in Bath, try it and see what you think, they're so enthusiastic it's a treat just to go and taste it.
Any ideas for our next trip? Has to have a boat trip, market, spa, and something like Go Ape, and preferably an alcohol/cheese/chocolate tradition for us to sample!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bright and Furry

We were weeding Laura's garden the other day when she spotted this elegant chap, Deilephila elphenor, the Elephant Hawk Moth. In spite of his exotic appearance he seems to be common over most of Europe and Asia. I've only ever seen one before, odd as he's not very subtle in his colours. The caterpillar has large eyespots and mimics a snake when threatened.

Also bright and furry is this Bog Asphodel, Narcethium ossifragum, so many wild flowers are complex and beautiful if you get close enough. they're just so common one never looks properly, also knee deep in mud. The specific name refers to the myth that sheep eating it develope fragile bones, probably because it grows in wet acidic calcium poor soils, not to blame just in the same place.

In spite of their similarity, it's not very closely related to the Bulbine alooides, a Southern african native  bulb which I've had for years. M grew it from seed in the early 1970s. Bulbine is closely related to the Asphodels, which Bog Asphodel isn't. I'm confused again. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

54:Where? 55:haiku60

Aaaargh! Nearly two weeks since last one, where's it gone. Part of it was canoeing up the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness, photos will follow. It was brilliant, anyone in need of watery relaxation should try it. No monsters, but when one of the bigger tour-boats passed it left a surprisingly long and sinuous bow wave, lasting two minutes or more, so easy to see why tales persist. Seeing Nessie would have been another "New Thing", but the canoe-trek was number 54.

My last haiku makes 55. I've enjoyed doing them and will continue.


to the sea again
swirling greenblue purplegrey
sigh whisper shout scream