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16 February 2010


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So lovely, and of course the resemblance with candles seems obvious once it is pointed out. When I lived in Hereford we used to look across to a wood that changed colour through spring as different flowers emerged. Wonder if it's still there.

Hi D. Have been following with interest, but unable to comment until today. I do love to "accompany" you on your walks - takes me right back home to the South West. Thanks.

Storms, flooding, mud slides have been about here since mid December, so am taking extra care to switch off PC at these times. Not much getting done either in the garden or on the blog.

Snowdrops must have bloomed a little earlier in the 14 C if they were a symbol of candlemas (at least until the mini ice age set in during the course of that century). I love learning little snippets like this, thank you. They do make perfect little candles, symbolic of shaking off the winter gloom: 'better to light a candle than to curse the darkness'.

And: a happy surprise to see a reference to the RTR. That was my father's regiment. He had a brilliant time charging around post-war Germany in his tank, doing Goon voices over the radio, to the impotent fury of the RSM! Whenever he wore his brown, red and green striped tie (which was often), he would remind me of the regimental motto.

Oh, that looks lovely - I'd have chosen horseback, I think!

I didn't know the history of snowdrops. That's fascinating! I wonder if they also had a medicinal use? Monks didn't bring much for ornament, usually for use.

Thank you for the reminder, spring is on its way. Where I live (Oslo, Norway), we have to wait another two months for the snowdrops to poke their way through the earth and leaves.

In the meantime we sing "Slip slidin' away" when we drive on icy roads.

Totally inappropriate with the bad weather and all that mud, but, to me the best way to look at Snowdrops is to lie on one's back and look inside the petals. There is real beauty to be seen there.

Colleen: as I look at the snowdrops in the snow and ice covering our own very local valley today (not the one in the blog), I can't help thinking of the same scene in May when the floral carpet is made of bluebells.

Pam: didn't realise that conditions had been so grim in Spain. You probably don't want to hear this but it has stopped me from being envious of your location.

Dancing Beastie: this is what Mrs M Grieve had to say about the medicinal properties of the snowdrop ('The Modern Herbal'): "Gerard appears to be wrong in saying that the plant has no medicinal use. An old glossary of 1465, referring to it as Leucis i viola alba, classes it as an emmenagogue, and elsewhere, placed under the narcissi, its healing properties are stated to be 'digestive, resolutive and consolidante.'" (I've sent you an email, by the way, about the RTR reference.)

Jay: yes, horseback would have enabled us to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the journey down but best done in better weather, I think.

Tone: welcome and lovely to hear from a reader in Norway. And a welcome reminder that spring doesn't start at the same time everywhere in Europe.

Bob: yes, stretched out on the ground definitely not recommended at the moment. We have had very heavy snow overnight and all day today so it'll be a while before anyone hereabouts could contemplate this version of snowdrop-gazing.

Oooooh, how great -- the writing, the picture, the song (don't you feel like that some days?).

Please drop by I have a cadeau for you.


Nice one with a great ending!!

Tish - thank you so much for the cadeau. How kind!

Von - welcome and glad you enjoyed the post and the music.

Just returned from a trip up north in Queensland, Australia. Humidity high.Sweat dripping off the brow etc. I log on and see your snowdrops. Instant memories of my mother gently placing them in the side panniers of the Ariel after a weekend of mountain climbing in Glen Nevis. Bringing thoughts of the Highlands to Granny, an Inverness lass now living in Glasgow. She did the same with the bluebells, and the rhodedendron. Thanks for the memories.....

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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