Monday, 30 April 2018

APRIL FLOWERS, AND PRINCELY THINGS

Spring sprang, and took the daffodils with it.
Is sprang a word in that particular context? Lately words are becoming more of a challenge to recognise, what with the new social media cultures, shortening of words to letters and even the loss of words. Have any of you heard of, or bought Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’ book ‘Lost for Words’? It is a beautifully annotated encyclopaedia of nature related words that are in danger of being ousted in favour of supposedly less grandiose words.
At the Cambridge Literary Festival, on the 14th of April, Jackie Morris live painted an otter, using Japanese ink and water drawn and bottled by MacFarlane from the chalk springs at Nine Wells in south Cambridge. A Cambridgeshire campaign to save these lost words by ensuring every primary school has a copy of the book has been very successful. I feel inclined to buy a copy for myself and the four children who meander in and out of my life. The walls of our front living room are covered by animal artwork anyway, although perhaps not using the sumi ink and gold leaf of Morris’ illustrations… her website is a treasure trove of her drawings.


Poetry was also a feature at the Cambridge Literary Spring Festival, with Wendy Cope talking about her latest collection. She was going to call it ‘Seventy’, the age she is now, thinking it would be an attractive selling point for the seventy year old market. But then she realised it might not appeal to every other age, so she changed the name to ‘Anecdotal Evidence’. She was as droll in person as she is in verse.

Mum has planted a very conservative tray of tulips after the muntjacs devoured hundreds in past years. But I have bought a variety of bright orange gerbera and a pot of vivid purple something or other from our local garden centre, Scotsdales, determined to have splashes of colour everywhere possible. We had one lonely Bird of Paradise come up in the conservatory, and with that we must suffice.

In wider British news, we have a new possible king! Well, hopefully Princess Charlotte stands a chance first (the first royal sister to hold her own place in the lineage) but still, welcome Prince Louis Arthur Charles! Nicely timed, out of the way of his Uncle Harry’s wedding in less than three weeks. I haven’t been sent an invitation but I might be in London on that day, all being well, for a theatrical outing I booked a year and a half ago, a thing I have never done in my life. More about that as and when, and if possible...

Meanwhile, onwards to May. Lilac wisteria is already garlanding our front door, and I have had two rounds of Rituximab monoclonal antibody therapy after a bleak nine months of waiting. So, as Olaf the Snowman would say, ‘All good things. All good things...’