Her Name Was Peremptory Unabashed

There is not a huge amount of gardening in this post.

I have spent a fair bit of time since I last wrote laying out plants amongst some very serious mud but there is nothing really worth showing as one muddy site looks, in my experience, much like another. Here, to prove my point, is one of my muddiest sites and it is, I think you will agree, an uninvigorating spectacle. I am now confined to the office after a routine shoulder operation (nothing even slightly life threatening or dramatic, I’m afraid) so I cannot drive for about a week which is unfortunate as, finally, all my bulb orders are arriving on clients doorsteps all over the country and really I need to go and plant the little rotters as soon as possible. And before any smartypants expresses amazement that I might be planting anything. you are right, I will be scattering bulby goodness in the appropriate places for others to come along and do the actual digging.

I do not often spend much time watching breakfast television (honestly) but while sitting waiting to escape from hospital the other day  I realised that the batteries of both my iPad (i) and telephone were dangerously low, I had finished my book and read the newspaper so there was nothing left for me to do but watch whatever was on. I have, however, discovered the secret behind presenting breakfast television.

Two people on a sofa; both in shot but only one of them talking (obviously). The interesting bit is not what is being said, nor the person who is actually saying it: the interest is the person who is not actually speaking but has to project a supportive and appropriate impression purely through the medium of facial mime.

For example: a light item about art = a gentle smile and slight eyebrow lift.

A piece about inadequate social services = slight sympathetic tilt to head and almost imperceptible headshake of disbelief meaning “What is the world coming to?”.

A snippet about food = enthusiastic smiling (although not so enthusiastic as to upstage partner).

A joke = slight affectionate lean to one side and look of platonic love.

Economic news = neutral expression and barely discernible furrowing of brow. Eyes wide.

It is fascinating to watch: after a bit you can turn the sound down and guess the story from the facial expressions. Sadly by the time I worked that out, it was over and I watched the appalling Jeremy Kyle interviewing some really, really unsavoury fat people about their sex lives. The audience was very young and wore a lot of foundation. Then there was a programme about buying run down houses with corner bath units at auction.

Amongst other things: I noticed Anna Ryder-Richardson who, if I remember rightly I last saw in Changing Rooms, giving away £25,000 worth of Christmas food from Lidl to anybody who can correctly guess how many sorts of cheese there are on a Quattro Formaggio Pizza (Clue: 4, 5 or 6).

And a bloke from Eastenders urging me to sue people through injurylawyers4U (“100% Lawyers, 100% 4U”). He was wearing a very badly fitting suit. I know that I am fearfully middle aged but I get very grumpy about things like 4U or CUL8R or tooth grating Twitter expressions like Peeps or Tweeps. My children give me a hard time for writing Okay instead of OK in text messages. I am no luddite and am determined not to turn into a less eloquent version of Nigel Colborn so will leave it right there…

Other news, the very excellent Mr Christopher Young has been promoted to the Editor’s chair at The Garden. This was achieved through the rather unpleasant process of putting Ian Hodgson and Chris into a room with various interviewers: only one of them could survive. Like a sort of corporate Gladiatorial contest: the Murmillo against the Hoplomachus. My congratulations to Mr Young (Ed) and my best wishes to Ian.

There is fine article in the English Garden about a garden I made: it is on page 51, one of the few pages in the magazine without a picture of the grinning face of Mark Diacono.

I am currently listening to Just Travelling Through by The Thrills.

The picture is of an impertinent Kniphofia (there has been just too much stuff about vegetables here recently)

Two years ago I was watching St Trinians.

(i) Particularly annoying as I was near to the end of the excellent Battle of the Bulge. Starring Robert Shaw (with blonde dye job), Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan and Telly Savalas. And lots of tanks.