Morning walk

It's months since I took the camera out on the dogwalk, having been tramping round, buried in my own thoughts. I'm amazed at how much I've missed - though even I can't remain oblivious to the ploughing and harrowing, now thankfully over. Do not at all like traipsing over miles of plough, trying to aim for where I think the footpath might be. The rest of the village has the same problem: for the first few yards there's a solid path, but then it disintegrates into vague, half trodden meanderings as we have no fixed point to aim at. Now, thankfully, the farmer has put back the path (amazing what a quick sweep with the tractor will do).

Another thing I managed not to miss was the sloes: I have some now lurking in the freezer, though goodness knows if my plans for them will actually happen. I have a tendency to mentally tick things off once they're in the freezer, meaning I have several boxes of very, very old fruit in there.

The hedges have been flailed, which always seems so brutal (and the best blackberry bushes were flailed, which was a blow) but the flailed elder stems still have an odd, spiky beauty.

I was amazed that I have managed to walk past all these flowers for weeks without noticing them. A few have sprung up after being mowed down in the harvest, but the scabious has obviously been going for some time. Roses always seem such a sign of summer, and here is this small last one, just flowering, while its older sisters are long since hips.

How I have managed to walk past this enormous asparagus, presumably seeded from the allotments, for month after month, I do not know. I've made careful note though of where it is for next year.

Yesterday I was in the room when Jonathan Meades was on the television, talking about the odd beauties of the Outer Hebrides, amongst which he included rust: which gallops all over the often-used building material, corrugated iron. Why on earth do they use it? said my OH. Tough and cheap, I said. I was struck by the thought of how you do get beauty in industrial decay, and here is some.


I found so much wild asparagus in France that I ignored all the warnings on the packets and sowed it broadcast. Three years on,I had huge crowns giving loads of spears.
Years now down the line I have two huge asparagus beds and am looking for more recipes.

Any more on the caretaker?

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