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Flor’ull clock

19 Jul

If the C of C can spend a small fortune on silly Hull puns then I’m making no apologies for this. The design of this years display is, of course the logo for the culture fest that you may have seen here or here and rightly ignored. Oh look, is that the time? must dash ….
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Sweet Chestnut

7 Jul

Hull Council has been planting replacement trees in recent years and a favourite of whoever is in charge seems to be the Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa). At this time of the year it is in full (and I do mean full) bloom. The trees are covered in hundreds of spiky flowers. The bees love them. They do however have a peculiar but not unpleasant scent which some say smells like semen! I haven’t noticed any fruits in the autumn as yet but with global warming no doubt folk will gathering up the nuts for roasting. Sweet chestnuts are supposed to be long living; up to 2 or 3,000 years, so these could be the Council’s best investment to date. This plant is not any relative of the Horse Chestnut which I posted earlier this year; eating conkers is definitely not recommended.

Dealing with stuff

2 Jun

Here at the foot of the Queen Victoria statue are heaped flowers and balloons and toys and cardboard messages. It’s part of that modern fashion for taking part in ceremonies or rites of remembrance and outpourings of sympathy and solidarity. I think I can date the start of this fashion at least in this country; 31 August 1997 or what we call in our house Princess Di Day. The weeks following that car crash were filled with outpourings of grief, giant heaps of flowers and dozens of books of condolences up and down the country (who read them?). I didn’t know the woman, never met her but it seemed the whole country had lost a greatly loved family member; it was all totally surreal. So now with every natural disaster, road accident or passing terrorist attack (this one in Manchester the other week but it could be anywhere) we get this and more sometimes (Je suis Charlie was particularly grating). 
I have to say I prefer the old way of dealing with deaths and disasters; flags at half mast maybe, a few words of condemnation or commiseration, absolutely no interviews with survivors, family members, no coverage of police operations, no sensationalism and certainly no heaps of flowers, toys and so on and just move on. Deny your enemy the oxygen of publicity as Mrs Thatcher reportedly said, the bastards absolutely hate to be ignored or, as a columnist in the Guardian put it recently, “Publicity is terror’s “second wave”. Without publicity, terrorism is just dead bodies.” But with 24 hour news coverage of everything they have to fill in the gaps with something even if it’s only people putting flowers round Queen Victoria in Hull. I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it.

Say it with flowers

29 May

At the entrance to the Uni the Botany Department shows it can grow a few plants.

Margot probably wants some credit for taking this; how hard can it be to push a camera button?

Ne’er cast a clout till May be out

12 May
No, not a political slogan, but advice on what to wear in England in spring time which can be notoriously fickle temperature wise. You may know May blossom  as hawthorn, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn or (my favourite if Wikipedia can be believed) motherdie but the name matters little when it’s covering the whole countryside with luscious white blossom. The scent of this bush is particularly pungent and, some say, redolent of corpses which may be why it is considered bad luck to bring the blossom into your house. It looks much better outside any way.

Margot took the top shot. She prefers it in colour but it’s not her blog.

The weekend in black and white is here.

The Florist

10 Jan

This was taken in December when it seems there was a market for wreaths of holly and mistletoe and other Yuletide paraphernalia; how long ago that seems now. Hollyhocks is on Princes Avenue and seems to be blooming.

Hung with bloom along the bough

10 May

Yes it’s the annual A E Housman memorial post …