Six-Word Saturday: Hackney City Farm, Goldsmiths Row, London

For the past week, self has been exploring East London. Well, maybe ‘exploring’ isn’t the right word: she’s been mostly reading and writing and sending stuff out and trying to get home sooner so she can vote in the California primary — it may seem funny to cut a trip short just to vote in a primary, but she takes nothing for granted these days.

Here are the positions up for vote: California U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, U.S. Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Assembly Member, as well as other local candidates. She is, of course, voting Democrat all the way down the ballot. And if there’s one thing she’s proud about, it’s about raising a son who’ll vote Democrat all the way down the ballot, too!

These past six years have been exhausting: she’s cut off ties with friends she’s known for decades, because all of a sudden they’re calling Hillary “ugly” and say women should not be wearing pantsuits. Think it’s ridiculous? So does self.

Anyhoo, while knocking about East London (which is as far from tourist-y as you can get in London), she stumbled onto a working farm. You can smell the manure from a long way off, it is a little disconcerting, but at least all self had to do was follow her nose.

What a place, though! It sells cheese, grains, veggies — the usual stuff sold by an organic farm. And the minders look exactly like the people in California. In fact, they may even look slightly more hippie-ish than organic farmers do back home. East London hippies — self never knew such a type existed!

Posting this for Travel with Intent’s Six-Word Saturday Challenge.

Flashback Friday: Belfast Botanic Gardens

Posting for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day.

Flower of the Day: Botanic Gardens, Belfast

Self walked through the Botanic Gardens on her way to the Ulster Museum, yesterday.

Wow! Gorgeous flowers!

Posting for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

citysonnet’s Colors and Letters, April: Pastel Yellow

Today, April 22, EARTH DAY, the citysonnet prompt is a color. And the color for today is PASTEL YELLOW.

Some daffodils (in Filoli Gardens in Woodside and self’s side yard), a mural in downtown Redwood City, and the exterior of the Mendocino Hotel:

One-Word Sunday: FAME

Travel with Intent’s prompt for the One-Word Sunday Challenge is FAME.

Here’s something dear to self’s heart: THE BENCH in the Oxford Botanical Gardens where Philip Pullman’s iconic characters Lyra Bellacqua and Will Parry meet once a year. Self visited the gardens in 2018, looking for this particular bench. It’s all the way in the back, there’s not even a sign. But she knew it was their bench when she saw these initials carved on it.

Will and Lyra’s Bench, Oxford Botanical Gardens

As self was taking pictures, a gardener nearby said, “Careful!” When she looked up, he said, “You might fall into another universe.” LOL

Self looked for other sites mentioned in Philip Pullman’s novels, even taking the bus to Godstow Abbey and tramping across a muddy field to reach the ruined walls of the old convent. When she returned, she tweeted about all the places she had visited, and out of the blue, the author himself tweeted to her, “Busy day.” Self wanted to DIE! The Master himself was aware of her lowly existence! This was in 2018.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Final SquareOdds! All Manner of Trees

February has gone by so fast. How many of us had “Russia invades Ukraine” on their 2022 bingo cards? Or ZELENSKY?

Thanks so much, Becky, for hosting another fun Squares Challenge.

Here is self’s last collection of Odds. She chose to focus on trees.

  • trees next to Annaghmakerrig Lake in Ireland. She took this picture at dawn, her last morning in Annaghmakerrig.
  • the great Camperdown Elm in the Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California.
  • a “bearded” tree in Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park.

The Weekend Roundup Photo Challenge: Letter “T”

Self is new to this Photo Challenge.

She thinks her post has to do three things:

(1) Show something starting with a “T.” See below: Trellis

Gamble House, Palo Alto

(2) Show a favorite that starts with a “T”: Christmas TREE.

(3) Show a Top of a Tree: Monterey Pines grow in Fowey, Cornwall, who would have thought??? The story goes that Fowey Hall used to belong to an old sea captain who traveled to California and brought Monterey pine seeds back with him.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 12: Gardens & Art

Self is waaaaay behind but she’s still manfully posting. Someday she will catch up.

For this PPAC Challenge, self wanted to focus on outdoor art.

Stanford campus is full of outdoor art, but this one, in a grove of oak trees near the entrance to the Anderson Collection, really spoke to her.

Reaching Toward Warmer Suns by Kiyan Williams

This one’s just outside the de Young Museum café, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. She doesn’t know who the artists are. An interview with the designer of the sculpture garden talks about the concept of the design, but not the individual artists whose works are pictured, which is a crying shame.

Finally, a little garden shed in a very wee garden store in Woodside. Self will just keep the name of the store to herself for now, but it’s been featured in Architectural Digest, and ever since then, it’s been impossible to find parking, unless you go right at store opening.

Conclusion, England’s Magnificent Gardens

Author Roderick Floud has something to say about how GDP is calculated:

Activities such as housework, looking after children, or decorating homes, together with the gardening or the value of the fruit, flowers, and vegetables that are produced from it, are not counted. When there were plenty of paid gardeners, their wages would be counted as part of GDP; today, when it’s largely done by the householder, this time and effort are not.

So the role of gardening in the economy is much understated because it is largely excluded from GDP. Perhaps equally serious is the fact that few people realize how much land is taken up by gardens, nor the value of that land if it could be used for other purposes.

England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 345

“The Great Era of Glasshouse Horticulture in England”

By 1730, the nobility and gentry of England were in the grip of what can only be described as “Pineapple Fever.” In spending $19,000 or more in one year on their “pines,” the Drakes were clearly addicted. So too must the anonymous author in Floral World a century later, in 1868; he calculated that his pine pits covered 500 square feet and contained 139 plants. The cost of fuel, tan, manure, and general maintenance, together with two hours labour every day, meant that each pineapple cost $728 to produce.

England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 324

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