Pandemic Pondering #214

Monday finds me pondering a word . Inspired by one of those internet vocabulary tests. Luckily I can illustrate my feelings on the word with some glorious Dahlias from The Garden House.

https://www.thegardenhouse.org.uk/

The word is loathe. Most dictionaries suggest that it is in many ways a stronger feeling than hate.

Loathe means to hate or detest something. Loathe is much stronger than hate. It implies deep-seated, simmering hatred. … If you loathe someone or something, you hate them very much.

I’ve talked it over with friends this weekend and opinion is divided. Full disclosure means that I must tell you that we discussed the word using various humans we knew in common to illustrate our thoughts. Thankfully glorious Dahlias help me to illustrate my opinion in a far kinder way.

I’ve always considered loathing to be a more nuanced dislike than hate. Hate can happen in an instant but loathing takes time and consideration. My problem with ranking loathing over hatred is that I think they can have equal value strength wise. They can also be used in the same sentence correctly , be of equal value and illustrate feelings beautifully. This is where the dahlias have their moment.

I hate what snails do to dahlias, I loathe them for ruining such beautiful blooms.

I’m not bitter about snails constantly, or their sluggy friends. I do have perspective, but if they put a slimy foot anywhere near my dahlias, or a mouth near my ‘ ray floret’ (petals) then loathing will simmer.

I’m done. Have a marvelous Monday.

P.S Just as I published this blog Facebook reminded me exactly why I feel snails are loathsome. In 2019 @theoldmortuary had a glorious year, our first, of cultivating Dahlias. 2020, a landmark year in so many ways produced dahlias that had been pre nibbled before they even bloomed, already identified as snacks they attracted snails from all over the place to feast and party on our blooms.

2019

Pandemic Pondering #203

We are not really flower growing people but the eccentricity of Dahlias has led us to attempt a little autumn colour. Last year we had an amazing show of audacious blooms. Despite proper care over winter this year has been not so good.

Pests are likely to be the cause of this year’s tatty blooms. One of the few bonuses of autumn is that as the temperature drops the pests decline. This week we have four good blooms.

I suspect dahlias inspire a certain nerdiness . Instagram search #dahlia has taken me to a world of gorgeousness. Back at home we are making the most of our four precious bugfree blooms.

In other less photogenic news our local library has opened for the first time in 7 months for browsing and borrowing. No books about Dahlias though. Shame

Pandemic Pondering #123

100 WordPress readers for the blog. I know it’s nothing compared to hugely popular blogs, but 100 people who are happy to read along on the pondering journey of someone insignificant, who just enjoys writing and connecting, is thrilling!
I was pondering the longevity of Pandemic Ponderings when I remembered one of my favourite books, ‘The Long Weekend’ by Robert Graves. It is a social history of the interwar years.

I wonder if we are entering a Pandemic ‘Long Weekend’ in Britain. Restrictions of the draconian type are being lifted and bits of life are returning to some form of normal. @theoldmortuary lives a more resticted life than the government suggests whilst still connecting with family and friends. We are mindful of the Second Wave of the pandemic which could start anytime between August or October depending on who you talk to.
So I will ponder on through the Pandemic ‘long weekend’ and into the second wave taking at least 100 of you with me.

On with the Sunday blog.
Two quotes landed in my social media feed today. They are properly robust pieces of secular writing with not a hint of whimsy, new agedness or religion.

I love them both. They need no explanation, but I would say they represent quite accurately my attitude to life.

Time to catch up on 3 regular topics in the blog.

The first dahlia of Pandemic Pondering #120 is the only Dahlia still. This morning he was looking gorgeous but as you can see from the photo, protecting him from slugs and bugs comes at a cost. He cannot live out in the green areas of the garden but has to live on the decking area where domestic life happens. Here he is this morning amongst the drying washing.

This evening he is still wide awake at sunset.

Our fitness regime, at home with Joe Wicks on YouTube continues, and has often had a mention blogwise but after more than 18 weeks of exercising at home we are addicted to having a velvet cushion for our aching knees. Surely all gyms could provide such comfort.

And finally we did our regular walk around Sutton harbour and the Barbican in Plymouth. Our regular haunt of Jacka Bakery was enhanced today by having some of our lovely family in it.

Sunday pondering, a little bit deep, a little bit superficial. Thanks for being 1 in 100 xxx

Pandemic Pondering #120

Dogs and dahlias take an early nap.

The first Dahlia of the summer @theoldmortuary decided to pop open this morning. It’s a risky life in this garden as the slugs here are super tenacious nibblers and the 22 year old cat thinks sprouting dahlias are the perfect place to do her ablutions. Thankfully both slugs and the cat choose the dull dahlias as their victims and ignore the glamorous ones. By midday this one was trying really hard to be gorgeous.

But it’s tough being the first dahlia in a summer garden and it was soon heading off for an early sleep.

Sleep in daytime was a bit of a theme. An art group committee meeting was scheduled for the afternoon. Hugo was fully ready for some Zoom action this afternoon.

But just like the dahlia he chose early sleep over the excitement of Logo design and postponed exhibitions.

Pandemic Pondering #79

Easing out of lockdown. Not so long ago conversations with people other than those that share the same home was a bit random or coincidental. We may have been deprived of hugs or the normal interactions with friends but our local to @theoldmortuary life has had some amazing revelations. We now know all of our near neighbours, and have had time to talk at length with many of them. We’ve made some new friends from distant places, distant in lockdown is not so far as it used to be. Being coincidentally in the same place at the same time made Coronafriendships. Social distance garden meetings have been lovely with our more longstanding friends.Today was a bit of a novelty, we had two meetings with two different pairs of friends . It felt novel and a little bit exciting . Giddy even.The morning started with a summer playlist . The stand out track was Peaches by The Stranglers . Such is my weird pandemic head that without thinking I chose these two garments to wear today, and the curious meandering that is Pandemic Pondering #79 formed itself.Back to The Stranglers. Peaches is one of those pieces of music that everyone is familiar with because bits of it are sampled in TV shows and other music. It was considered to be a seminal punk song in 1977 when it was released.
Listen to Peaches (BBC In Concert 23/04/77) by The Stranglers on #SoundCloud
https://soundcloud.com/the-stranglers/peaches-bbc-in-concert-23-04Enough of the Peaches, back to the nattering. This morning’s meeting was with people I’ve known for around 30 years, there have been some gaps, but now we see each other regularly and laugh about ridiculous stuff. The talk is non stop. After three hours we had jaw ache. A brief break and we were off to nattering session 2 this time with someone we met a couple of weeks before lockdown , more nattering and laughing at preposterous things . We completely forgot to mention Book Club which had been the plan. More jaw ache.Laughter is an amazing thing , it jiggles your belly and burnishes your mind.With my mind burnished and my belly jiggled it’s back to peaches. I’ve had a trawl through the photo archive and plucked out some peach images and had a look in the colour theory books. The photo file was a richer source of peachy stuff than the books. Peach seems a little overlooked in colour theory world.Peach represents immortality in Chinese culture. It is named for the interior flesh colour of the white Peach. It is a range of soft colours between pink and orange. It was first mentioned in literature in 1588.Art Deco in the 1920’s and 30’s used a lot of peach.With the randomness of the internet I can also share a code , which I accidentally wore today. In the gay community a ‘ bear’ who wants to hook up with other ‘bears’ wears a peach bandana. Exactly my choice for the new government guidance of face covering for public transport.Peaches from the archive.Last year’s Cafe Au Lait Dahlias.Close ups of a peachy rose.Autumn foliage in the garden.A tiny shell on a beach in Cuba.A peach trumpeted daffodilFriends , peaches and The Stranglers, that was a curious blog, sometimes they just write themselves.Have a peachy weekend.

The Last Dahlia- a pondering.

Yesterday was a day of garden clearing and tidying ready for winter. The last Dahlia was picked.

Google is a wonderful thing, we needed to know how to overwinter the dahlia plants. The trouble is, with Google, it doesn’t just stop there. Once I had discovered that a thick mulch of bark would do the trick, I set off on other Dahlia related adventures. Goodness there was a lot of sadness. The National Trust property, Baddesley has reluctantly decided to give up having a Dahlia border due to an infiltration of pests. 20 years of gardening tradition gone only moments after I had first discovered it.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/baddesley-clinton/features/the-dahlia-border-at-baddesley?campid=SocialShare_Central_MainSite_Email_1431758463791

Worse was to follow, Black Dahlia was the name ascribed to a murder victim in Los Angeles in 1947. Elizabeth ( Bette) Short was found dead in a parking lot. Her body dismembered and eviscerated and her face disfigured by something described as a ‘Glasgow Smile’, her mouth was cut from ear to ear.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38513320

Away from Google and still pondering Dahlias I remembered that while we were in Hong Kong ,in June, the very early style of the protesters was not only black clothing but also each protester carried a white flower, very often a Dahlia. Why did I not take photos? There was ample chance, peaceful protesters with flowers filled our trips to the city .Sadly things have escalated and the flowers have a different purpose now.

Photo from Sydney Morning Herald

Dahlia pondering, sadder than you might expect.