Well, I’ve just been sternly admonished by a friend for describing myself on my Twitter account as an ‘Old Lady’. ‘Lady of Leisure’ has been suggested, but I’ve rarely been so busy. ‘Lady in Retirement’? But that’s reminiscent of the melodrama and film about murder among sweet little old ladies… Any other ideas? (Family members have already vetoed Old Bat…)
This could be the result of a warm spring, but I suspect it’s another unintended consequence of retirement. Ex-colleagues (you know who you are!) will hopefully shift some of these at the Great Garden Giveaway on 22 May (if I don’t lose too many to slugs and snails in the mean time).
I’ve also indulged in the ethical conundrum of taking a holiday while already on a perpetual holiday … justified as for the benefit of Him Indoors, to whom are credited the photos below. We hit Venice this spring at exactly the right time for wisteria:
I was also (for reasons I’ll ramble about later) more than usually aware of Ruskin on this trip. I think it’s safe to say that he would not have liked this rather entertaining combo (sul acqua at a restaurant not far from his own Pensione Calcina) of scarlet geraniums (the brightness of whose colour he thought made them virtually impossible to paint) and a plastic owl. (A frontal picture would have involved Him Indoors dicing with death by inhalation of canal water.)
We also made our spring pilgrimage to Torcello, noting with relief that the corset of scaffolding has at last almost been stripped from the campanile of Sta Maria Assunta (though back in Venice the Scala Contarini da Bovolo has still not reopened – it must be about ten years now…).
Why is it that Venice is shrieked over by flocks of swifts (this is allegedly the collective terms but it’s a misnomer – swifts don’t flock in the normal sense of the word), but that flights (or gulps, not very ho ho) of swallows dominate in Torcello? And finally, before I get really boring and/or annoying, two shots of the amazing Rosa banksiae at Ca’ Foscari. I must now resume potting up (60-odd Cosmos ‘Purity’ good to go, if it would just stop raining) – the bustle of retirement never ends …