"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bits & Bobs

Here's the raspberry meringue pie I baked as soon as we returned to the Lodge yesterday.

I've been baking all morning, also--two batches of cookies (apricot, chocolate oatmeal) for my meeting tonight. I volunteered for the snacks assignment.

In this morning's newspaper, I found an intriguing listing under "Lost & Found." (This being the same paper where the employment ad for a Bat Trapper appeared.)

FOUND: Cow (brown and white) on Garvin Road (end of road).

There was a telephone number.

I love living in a place where, in the daily newspaper of the second or third largest city (the state capital, in fact,) a center of political and administrative activity, with a burgeoning and increasingly sophisticated cultural scene, and a brand-new Starbucks, you can find an ad for a brown and white cow found wandering down a road in the city limits.

I have no doubt the cow will make it safely home again.

Just the other day, my neighbour at the lake was telling me a similar story--a first hand account, it actually happened to her. She and her husband found a little pig wandering loose on their property. (There aren't any farms on the lake, or nearby.) They called the town animal control officer, and the SPCA hoping it had been reported, to no avail. After a few days, hearing of no owner, they gave it away to a kid who needed it for 4-H. Only then did a man come driving around, asking people if they'd seen a little pig. His little girl had won it in the pig-catching contest at a local fair, and it got out of the car. (Everyone suspects the parents were relieved by the outcome. If they were town people, they might have expected to bring home stuffed toys or cotton candy or maybe a balloon from the fair--not a live piglet!)

In news from much farther away, I heard that roof slates from Lyme Hall in Cheshire are to be sold as souvenirs to help fund restoration of the property. You wouldn't think they'd get much dosh for them--execpt that this was the Pemberley in the BBC's 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

That would be the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

Rose of the Day

Shailer's Provence, Gracilis. Described by one authority (whom I trust) as a Boursault rose, named after a French amateur horticulturalist. It took me years to find this out.

I got mine from my mother who got it from--I don't even know. She sent me a 2-branched rooted cutting years ago. While I was planting it, one branch broke off. So I stuck each one in the ground. Both of them took, and now I've got a beautiful cluster of lovely tall bushes--very tall--that bloom profusely in June and July.

It's a type not well known, but it has great merit. "The Boursault roses are very distinct from all other. The shoots are long, flexible, very smooth, in some instances entirely free from thorns...." "They are well adapted for covering arbours, or concealing outbuildings, walls or other disagreeable objects."

Shailer was an English nurseryman who sold my version from 1796 onwards. It might have existed earlier, as Gracilis, but he stuck his name on it.

She's the queen of my garden and I love her dearly.

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