Spring is bouncing merrily in the garden





This time last year (31st March) it snowed. And a Japanese magazine came to photograph it. What they actually photographed was the snow, me digging in the snow, and me tending plants in the garage bundled in a red duvet coat.

This week a reader of that same magazine article clutching a copy of the article under her arm, came to to visit the garden. It was cold but the sun came out and the flowers were wonderful.

Flowers in March 2014 march31st 2014 020 march31st 2014 021 march31st 2014 023 march31st 2014 024 march31st 2014 026 march31st 2014 027 march31st 2014 028

Ten – yes 10! I counted them – clematis are now in flower. The crab apple framed a view from the back walk through the pond meadow and grass bed to the back of the house and patio and pots with tulips.

  • Jim’s wedding cake tree with blossom forming on every branch was central to that view.

Some daffs and hellebores are fading but still many are flowering including flowers for early bees such as pulmonaria (the solitary bee proving very hard indeed to photoghraph with its proboscis extended) and comfrey and then there’s bergenia, epimediums and cyclamen still flowering since November (same plant).

I always the love the intake of breath and often an accompanying explanation that you can get from visitors when they come through our garden gate and look down from our patio (which is several feet above the rest of the garden) to the end taking in the water features and different beds and paths wandering through them.

So now off to Tenerife for a few weeks to see the mountain flowers there.. look out for them when I return!

The School of Life: Equality does it still evade us?

I should have really written a post about Feminism here but have not got the time – about due to go on holiday and my charity work has taken up loads of my time recently.

I have read some good stuff though in the Evening Standard – so shall recommend that and the authors who write for it. So here are some good articles on feminism in the Standard you should read:


Lovely story this one… Feminists should have their faces slapped. ooh we are naughty aren’t we?

Stewart Green quit his position as an assistant to Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes after his Facebook posts were made public.

In one comment, published last month, he wrote: “This country has been a gradual decline southwards towards the dogs ever since we started cow-towing [sic] to the cretinous pseudo-equality demand of these whinging imbeciles.”

Next good story:


Not in quite the same league but still an interesting story from the celebrity news.


On a very different topic again. Turns out many of these bullies are women themselves, especially trying to prevent those aspiring to higher things getting there.. been there myself – happened to me. Didn’t like my woman boss at one time as she nicked my work and passed it off as hers and tried to ensure I wasn’t recognised for my work…

And my final offeirng for today:


Votes for women is all the rage – and in Afghanistan so many women are voting for the first time – let’s celebrate that even if many are still in burkhas!



Feminism and Greer: Can we have it all?

One of my posts garnered a lot of attention so, as per one of my ZerotoHero challenges I am going to follow this up on a regular basis. Hence I have added a Widget to say when my next post on Feminism will occur, plus my food challenge. However, I am few days early as I haven’t posted for a while on this blog – been rather too busy setting up the pop-up university (see poppingalong.wordpress.com)

Additionally, when I have time, and this does tend to be in bursts, often at the weekend, I shall post other stuff with my usual eclectic mix of travel, gardens, book/film/theatre/music reviews and all the rest .. but I refuse to be held to a schedule for anything more as my life is just too much of a chaotic changeable mix, with days like today and yesterday when I have been feeling very under the weather and other days which are very busy or…

So having published February’s Feminism post I am now delivering March’s post.

In Red magazine (anyone read it here? some good stuff but some of the fashion is way out of my league but…) the February edition  had an excellent article on Germaine Greer. They also asked 6 women what they thought her legacy was. this was followed or taken from or – who knows which order it was in but still T- the Guardian newspaper also asked 6 influential feminists what Greer meant to them. With contradictory comments and yes, I agree, some her later comments did seem rather batty – but she always strove to be controversial and usually succeeded.


Now I grew up with Germaine Greer as a leading activist, speaker and writer on female issues. And yes, I did read The Female Eunuch – and so did my husband!

The Female Eunuch has never been out of print it seems, and for so many of my generation, reading it a revelation and a call to arms too. We were the generation that – finally – could take control of our own fertility and ‘enjoy’ the pill. We could therefore use this easy to access – not at first of course but later – form of contraception to control our own sexual activities and proclivities. Though the spectre of AIDS soon meant that this open form of sexual behaviour had to go on hold, and yet, the pill has transformed the lives of women across the world. no longer did they need to use the worst form of contraception ever – the abortion! Even if you weren’t expecting to have sex the morning-after pill proved useful for many. Abortion has its place but not as a form of contraception. Yes, the abortion clinic also became legal and thus so many women were spared the awful effects of illegal abortion from scarring to major haemorrhaging to death. The steady trade of girls from Ireland to England made many private clinics quite rich.

contraceptive Pill

But just wait for the male pill. Now that will be interesting. How many women will trust their partners to take it? Even in a steady and committed relationship? Perhaps an implant would work? But how many men will be enlightened enough to undertake this? About as many as are willing to have a vasectomy perhaps?

Greer to me has been a light beam in my past. She didn’t talk about many issues that are important now and if you weren’t young at the time of writing the Female Eunuch you cannot imagine some of the points that were discussed – after all my boss in the 70s thought it perfectly acceptable to say that he wouldn’t have promoted me if he had known I was pregnant – and what is worse – most men of the time would have agreed! Which of course why I had not told him… No single women’s mortgages, no loan agreements without counter-signing, no freedom for many to marry at will or to live openly with other women – and this state of affairs still exists in many parts of the world. So the story of the Female Eunuch still has a place and needs to be read. You may not agree with everything in it –  but it will challenge to think about why you don’t agree and what you do think about the role of women in today’s world.

A thought to think about as we here in the UK celebrate Mother’s Day shortly.