“Grey Is The Colour Of Goldfish Dung” Opined The Depressed Weatherman

A very charming photographer came to take a picture of me to illustrate an article I have to write for The Garden. Fortunately for all it will be in black and white which will go some way towards lessening the impact on the reading public. Neil decided to take the picture in an old stable with the garden in the background which was very lovely except that the stable is also home to a nest of swallows who kept whizzing in over his head every minute.

We had no swallows here until last year and now have nests in the old stable, the long building where I make compost and in the chicken house. They are wonderful to watch as they fly at incredibly high speeds through tiny gaps and soar around the house in chattering flocks. This afternoon I went to meet the water meister, Martin Kelley from Fairwater, at the Manoir aux Quat’Saisons to look at their series of ancient ponds.

I believe the place used to be a medieval priory and those monks were good on fish ponds (otherwise what would they eat on Fridays ? (We used to have fish on Fridays at school – slabs of exceptionally greasy, spongy batter looking like golden bricks. Golden is probably the wrong word as it conjures up something delicious – maybe yellowish is more accurate. Within this was a greyish fish – cod? coley? catfish?, I have no idea. All this was cooked by a scary looking woman called, I think, Mary who used to cook with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth: what price hygiene regulations in 1972?)

I am listening to Hey Jude by the Mutato Muzika Orchestra – from the soundtrack of the Royal Tenenbaums (my elder son, Archie, has a thing about Wes Anderson).

The picture is of Allium atropurpureum and a pregnant Allium sphaerocephalum.