Friday, 1 June 2007

A Picture with All the Trimmings

Cretan New Town (second pass)

This painting is turning into something of an adventure for me. The colour is much hotter at the moment than I would normally use, and there are odd things going on in the buildings themselves.

The people of the town have taken down their simple old church and erected something much grander, high on the hill above the harbour. A cypress has shot up alongside it. The blue and green yacht that was moored in front of the big pink wall has sailed off and the harbour is quiet.

I'll be interested to see what happens when next I go there.

Meanwhile, it's not only the New Town which was hot today. Gateshead basked in delightful June sunshine and I took the opportunity to tidy up the garden a bit.

Last year I borrowed the hedge trimmer belonging to John TwoDoorsDown. It was kind of him, I thought, and even kinder of him to remind me to beware of cutting through the cable. Suffice it to say, however, his caveat fell on ears of purest cloth.

I cut through the cable.

After that, things in the hedge department of Stately Zip Mansion have got out of hand. First of all, the hedge between here and Bob Eh's place has just about died. I suspect it suffered from tarry fumes when I had the garage roof re-felted and since then it's struggled to produce a handful of leaves at one end. The rest is brown and withered. Mind you, it doesn't seem to have affected the local blackbird who sits in it singing and pretends that he can't be seen.

Worse than that hedge is the way ivy and berberis are slowly consuming the garden wall and until today were creeping out across the pavement. I noticed the Council Man who drove round the other day on his little electric scooter, spraying perfunctorily at the weeds in the pavement, had to give my ivy a wide berth. I think I saw it twitch towards him as he sailed by.

Finally, the hedge between Stately Zip Mansion and that of Lucy Smooth has become a definite embarrassment. It's another berberis, I think, of an attractive pale gold and Lucy Smooth often says how much she likes it, especially when she flexes her elderly arms with her little clippers and tries to get it under control.

I'd have done something with that one, if no other, but for the first time blackbirds decided to build their marital nest in it. There was much toing and froing for quite some time, but whether there were any progeny I'm not sure. I suspect if there were, they emerged while I was in the Lakes.

Anyway, the blackbird presence meant that the trimming of the hedge had to be delayed.

Last week I invested in a hedge trimmer of my own. A cordless. No fool me. And today it worked like a dream. Every hedge in sight, including the Lucy Smooth side of the pale gold berberis, got the hedge trimming treatment. I even used it to cut down the thistles I found lurking under the banks of ivy.

I think I feel how the Pilgrim Fathers must have felt, after they'd cleared the forest and planted beans and corn and whatever and piled all the leafy cuttings into their big green wheelie bin. Ready for a big juicy steak, sliced from the rear of a bear or something.

I'm not actually looking forward to my lemon sole and broccoli.


Secret Simon said...

I like the way you describe all the things that are happening in your picture. It brought back memories of my Auntie Edith, who had an apron with a wonderful picture of a seaside town. There was a road in the foreground and you could see it all the way behind as it slowly snaked down to the sea. I remember sitting by her as she pointed to the apron and showed me the house where she used to live and told me stories of all the other people who lived in the town. I listened with wide eyes, enchanted by her stories and not quite sure whether or not to believe her.

I've always been a bit gullible that like that. (Were you watching when the yacht sailed away?)

Mr Zip said...

As is often the case with Aegean yachts, it slipped away in the dead of night.

I'm never quite sure whether or not to believe me either, but I'm glad you like how I tell them.