Archive for July, 2012


Blue skies over Penarth Pier – although this was a winter sky, in December 2009…

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies…
Since the jetstream moved north again a couple of weeks ago and summer arrived at last, I can’t get that song out of my head. Here’s the version by Frank Sinatra

We had maybe a fortnight of dazzling blue skies and scorching sun here in Wales but now it’s turned changeable again. Which is the way I like it, as it (more…)

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A romantic painting of old Damascus by Frederic, Lord Leighton, 1874

The city of Damascus is in the news for all the wrong reasons in 2012 as the awful bloodshed goes on in Syria. Forgive me if, for a moment, I sidestep the political and humanitarian issues and instead look at the glories that have been. For Damascus once meant luxury and craftsmanship for us, here in the west of Europe.

Damascus, whose name comes from roots meaning “a well-watered place”, is the capital of Syria and its second-largest city. It is in the south-west of the country and is sometimes (more…)

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Wet pelargonium in the garden in summer 2012 – more plant pictures later in this post…

As anyone living in the UK will tell you, it has been one awful summer – cold for the time of year and wet, wet, wet.

Although March and May were dry, June and July have been so bad that (more…)

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Four versions of the One Lovely Blog award found using Google…

Well, what a pleasant surprise! Thank you to Rick Jaspers for nominating me for a One Lovely Blog Award. His btweenblinks blog is well (more…)

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My Cotinus in June 2012

The title is of course a reference to The Green Leaves of Summer, the theme to the John Wayne film The Alamo – click on that link to hear a version with lyrics. I’ll be humming that all day now…

But this post is about the RED leaves of one of my favourite shrubs in summer. It’s Cotinus coggygria, also (more…)

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