To round off the summer, here's a little more from the jungle.
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Thursday, September 15, 2022
On a summer western New York evening
Yes, there it is, the Volvo 1800S - as driven by Simon Templar, The Saint, no less. (Well one like it). Hubby even has the ST2 number plate.
Meanwhile the other drivers were exercising their imagination. Those long, all-in-one front seats must have been fun. And you could cram your large baby-boomer family in. No seat belts, no child seats, no problem. (Or possibly a lot of problems).
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Remember this picture from a few weeks ago?
A mysterious structure appeared on our lane. And now we know why.
Friday, September 9, 2022
We arrived in London yesterday morning. All afternoon the news was coming from Balmoral that the Queen's condition was causing concern but that she was comfortable. But the BBC and Sky News teams were all wearing black, I suspect they' d been briefed. On the six o'clock news the BBC's royal correspondent said, oddly, mid-interview "It's 6.30 now isn't it?" A few minutes later the cameras started showing the flag over Buckingham Palace at half mast. Then came the announcement.
She was Queen all my life. One of my early memories, headlines saying "Ten Years a Queen". My sorrow is for her but not just for her - for all the memories of my life now passed.
As we listen to the unending tributes, one thing has struck me. This is possibly one of the biggest moment of unity the world has seen. Putin and Zelensky, Biden and Trump. Irish nationalists and unionists. Australian republicans, Canadian monarchists, the leaders of China and Taiwan. All have been sending glowing messages. Suddenly they have something to agree on. How can we follow up on that?
Thank you to all my American friends for your kind thoughts.
Now we'll have to get used to saying "King". No one knows what the future may bring.
Monday, September 5, 2022
Considering how neglected it's been because of my broken leg and us being away during the worst of the drought, the garden is putting on a brave face.
But, as they say, there's always next year. And after helping themselves to the lilies early in the summer, the deer did deign to keep away - must have been the combination of the spray that smells like garlic and rotten eggs, Irish Spring soap and cayenne pepper. Or more like sheer blind luck. There have been a few deer hanging around the front and back gardens and when we drove up the lane and over the hill early one recent morning they were popping out at us all over the place. We managed to dodge the first two, then, further up the hill, ran smack into one. Unbelievably both deer and car were unscathed, I can't understand why deer, who scarper at the slightest sound when you're on foot, seem to wait for a car before rushing across the road. At another point on the journey we stopped just in time and hooted at a bunch running to our left. One immediately peeled off and ran back in front of us. Someone told me that's their survival method - zig zag to evade your predator. Just like squirrels except, unfortunately, much bigger.
Saturday, September 3, 2022
From Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks it was a relatively short hop over Lake Champlain to Vermont. The Green Mountain state. (Got it? It took me a while.) Well not a hop exactly, as we took a car ferry. I always find it incongruous to have something as old-fashioned as a ferry in the world's superpower but there it was and as luck would have it, just boarding as we drove up.
Approaching the distant shore - though it was indeed a short hop, just about fifteen minutes.
I've perceived, a big difference between this part of New York and Vermont. The latter is neater and tidier, seemingly more prosperous and choc-boxy. Even the cows grazing in the fields, busy generating Vermont's famous cheeses, look scrubbed and spotless. Vermonters are very green in all senses of the word. Interestingly its largest city, Burlington (not the capital - that's Montpelier) is very cosmopolitan, a university city welcoming of refugees and immigrants, large enough to be lively, small enough to be charming. And surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
We'd been there a few times and this time were headed northwards to sister-in-law's new pad on the lake. Wow - what a view! The weather was iffy but you get the picture.
We also have a brother-in-law near Burlington. He's a phenomenal gardener and has always been my horticultural role model. He is now very much into the wild, natural look, of which I wholeheartedly approve. I wish I could get my garden phlox to look like that!
Somewhere hereabouts we passed Rock Dunder, an island that looks a bit like a ship, especially when it's foggy. Rather embarrassingly it's supposed to have got its name when the British mistakenly blasted at it during the Revolutionary War. Depending on who tells the story, either the officer, realising his mistake exclaimed, "It's a rock, by Dunder!" or someone else yelled at him, "It's a rock, you Dunder!" Amazing to think of battles taking place in such a peaceful spot.
Well there's a lot of French influence in Vermont (clue to the name) Montreal not being too far away.
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
We stayed in what had been the old grand hotel of the town of Saranac Lake, now very modernised, though it still had an interesting-looking bar, the former lobby.