Effie la Touche was not considered an ideal name for a curate

The rest of my Wednesday…

Earlier in the day I was on site watching sturdy fellows and yellow diggers swinging vast rocks

around the place to build a very magnificent retaining wall upon which I intend to balance a large steel chute from which will pour a torrent of water making a waterfall behind which you can walk. A Last of the Mohicans moment. There is something very exciting to me (even now) about diggers, large heavy objects and lots of mud.

Then went to London to the RHS Forum (about which I have written enough already) followed by Jane Owen’s book launch at a wine bar in the city. I went there with Ann-Marie, Kevin Smith (from Gardeners World Magazine) and Julia Wylie (a very talented gardener who used to work for me but then left to go and live in London). After a rather surreal moment on the tube when I bumped into a friend of mine whom I have not seen for about a decade we found the place.

Had an interesting conversation with the very smooooth Stephen Bennett (grand fromage in charge of RHS Shows) where I complained about the debate and most other aspects of the RHS and he very diplomatically listened – and explained things. Also present was Stephen Lacey (sporting a shirt best described as aquamarine) and assorted others – including Oxford dons, publishing moguls, school friends and the delightful Camilla Swift from SAGA magazine.

(I always feel odd writing lists like that as, many years ago, I attempted to make my living reporting on parties and had to produce lists of attendees. Usually one tried to append a suitable adjective: for example suave (meaning oily – and usually foreign), ebullient (drunk), effervescent (drunk and tarty), serious (foul tempered) or dignified (just remaining upright in spite of everything).

Jane’s book- 100 Ways to a Beautiful Garden – is very small but perfectly formed. It is an alphabetical list of useful hints and information wittily recorded. A perfect stocking filler at only £3.99.

I say this with authority as I have read the whole thing from cover to cover having been afforded this valuable opportunity by Virgin Trains. Thank you Mr Branson for without you I would have been home earlier and would have been deprived of that happy half hour just outside Watford Junction.

I am listening to a Banana Split for my Baby by Louis Prima. The picture is a little blurry but is of the always spectacular view downriver from the Festival Hall.

Today is my brother’s birthday. Have a jolly one, chief.