Lemon harvest (3.2 kg) from my patio garden in Hammersmith, West London
Lemon fruits ready for harvest in my patio garden in Hammersmith
A hint of the sub-tropics in West London
Mandarin oranges ripening in my patio garden in Hammersmith
Limes ripening in my patio garden in Hammersmith
A good harvest of lemons and limes and a few mmadarin oranges in my patio garden in Hammersmith, West London. 3.2 kilos of lemons so far, the limes are still on the tree, as is the first fruit of the mandarin orange tree.
Adieu 2020 summertime as the clocks change back this weekend
It doesn’t come easy to do this to my photo of a beautiful sunset over the Thames at Hammersmith Bridge in June 2020 but I think it shows how things feel as the clocks change back an hour this weekend. Surely this can’t last for ever?
Chatting to a school friend last night we got on to this new and unwelcome vocabulary that we are learning. Furlough, co-morbidities, herd immunity, lockdown, social distancing and so on. I went looking for the word ‘furlough’ in “Men Who March Away”, an anthology of poetry from World War One that they got us to read at school: Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and many others. I couldn’t find the word. Simon tells me that the OED lists the first use of ‘furlough’ as by Ben Jonson in 1625. Those poems are not easy to read - I last consulted that anthology in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was taking all those good friends and playmates from us.
Doing my gym at home this morning, a funeral cortege draws up at the church opposite; it happens but seeing one at this moment makes you take stock just as the clouds seem to be gathering yet again. John Donne’s words still ring clear, written amidst the plagues of the 17th century; he even mentions Europe!
Happily, the present deceased got a fine day and a good crowd for it.
The wines we enjoyed this weekend:
Denbies Hampshire English Sparkling Brut 2015
St Julien 2002, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalonde, 33250 Pauillac
Terrazza d’Isula, Niellucciu Merlot 2017, Île de Beauté IGP (Corsica)
Hiking Helvellyn by the Mires Beck route.
I’m well pumped from the sporty climb in this photo at about 650 m. on The Nab.
Glenridding, Ullswater and the Pennines in the far distance.
Helvellyn: summit (950 m.) panoramic 180° view
Striding Edge, Helvellyn
Oare Creek, Faversham
Faversham is one of the Cinque Ports I’ve heard about but never before visited. It’s famous for the Shepherd Neame brewery, the umbrella factory and the abbey but infamous for its pirates. I could have lingered in Faversham but my schedule needed me to move on. Next, I drove across Graveney Marshes to Seasalter, then Sandwich and Deal on my roadtrip round the Kent coast.
An object that looks as mundane as a reel of recording tape can be the carrier for many rich and varied emotions
I decided not to listen live to this evening’s rather faux Last Night of the Proms 2020; rather, I chose to take the opportunity to take care transcribing a 2400 foot reel of quarter-inch Ampex 351 Double Play tape on my shelf which I had labelled No 49, “1975 Last Night of the Proms”.
Cormac Rigby introduced the 81st Last Night for BBC Radio 3 whilst “my colleague Richard Baker, the bravest man in the western hemisphere at the moment”, talked with the Promenaders and introduced the programme for BBC1 television. It was a warm evening and I know from my own experience as a promenader that the arena gets even hotter when the lights are on for television. Colour television in 1975 required far far more light than current television cameras so it must have been really hot and sweaty indeed. The ladies of the BBC Singers were, for the first time, dressed in colours, not black. Cormac Rigby describes the two Promenaders who laid a wreath around the bust of Henry Wood as dressed topped in white pith helmets and that they saluted Sir Henry’s bust afterwards in a sharply military fashion.
Col du Lautaret (2057 m.)
Col du Galibier (2642 m.)
Ride to the Alps day 2: aiming for the Col de l’Iseran, at 2770 m. it’s said to be highest paved road pass in Europe.