Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I want to sow peas...

Peas. I want to plant peas: Kelvedon Wonder, Hurst Green Shaft, Rondo, Starlight or Twinkle. Doesn't matter which. I just want to be out there laying those wrinkled little seeds into a bed of warming soil. It's getting to be something of an issue - not planting things. The weather has been so vile and cold.

Today would have been a good opportunity; the wind swung round from the east and the sun eventually burnt through the cloud cover. Result? A mild and beautiful spring day on which sweet birds sang and all was well with the world.

And where was I? Not planting peas but seated in the 'gods' of Shrewsbury's Music Hall at a WI meeting. There by default and not by choice I add. (Note to self: must learn to say NO!) It was a virtual repeat of last year's gathering - dreary business and speakers - and I was able to reacquaint myself with my (stroppy) teenage alter-ego.

However, the new High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mrs Ann Gee gave an interesting 10 minute spot on her role and its history while Major General Andrew Farquhar spoke about 'The Army in Society'. (He referred to 'the' Army as 'Your' Army throughout his talk - shame that, with this in mind, we couldn't have had more say in its deployment in recent years...) I noticed that Mrs Gee was one of only two women in the Hall wearing a hat - a blue and flouncy creation with a white feather but I suspect this was part of her blue velvet and lace sheriff's costume - and there I was looking for a pin-on badge. The other hat-wearer had what appeared to be a knitted tea-cosy on her head. The Major General had the shiniest shoes.

Our man from Yorkshire Tea (providers of tea bags to the nation's WIs) wittered on about how Taylors of Harrogate were virtually single handedly saving the planet. Perhaps they should have invaded Iraq rather than HM Forces.....

The afternoon's speaker was a hunky TV vet with a heart which cheered up my inner teenager somewhat, but not as much as striding out into the sunshine at the end of the day.

I came home and stood in the late afternoon sunshine, scanning the southern sky for swallows, which God willing will be with us soon. I watched a thrush building a nest in the crook of a sycamore - not a very secret place. The hunting dog, Chester, brought me another putty coloured pheasant egg from in the grass somewhere.

The sun went down hours ago now. Dusk was soft and slow and milky at this end of the Long Mountain. The air is bright and tangy - it smells of green. The haziness augurs well for tomorrow. Maybe it will be the day to plant peas.


ChrisH said...

Blast! My comment went off into cyberspace. Basically loved reading about this meeting through your inner teenager (I'm sure she can't be that inner!) and enjoyed the previous post and the lickometer too! Hope to be a more frequent visitor now.

Diary Farmer said...

What a difference a week makes! A few sunny days and we are eager to get in the garden. The Herefords are sniffing the air as if to say "come on let us out", so to oblige them we're on manouvres this weekend so that they can take up residence in the fields at Marton. Hopefully this will mean that I can resume my blog next week.

kissa said...

We have seen our first swallows here already. A friend saw a rarity yesterday a hoopoe grazing in a nearby field now that was unusual and exciting. I watch everyday to see if seeds have begun to grow yet but only radishes so far and they are so easy. It is warming up so far so I'm sure things must be going to happen soon.

mountainear said...

Kissa - A hoopoe - that's unusual in this country - we saw them in the south of France - where the children called the 'Whoopy Birds'. It's one of those silly names which has stuck. Lucky you.

DF - look forward to reading more - and know your winter days are so long that blogging takes 2nd place to those beautiful Herefords.

Chrish - not sure we would want my inner teenager to be much more overt!

Pam said...

Ahhhh, giving up a big sigh. I love to read your desriptions of your home and the landscape.
I didn't know there were "High Sheriffs" in Shropshire anymore. It sounds like something out of Robin Hood, although her garb makes her sound more like a pearly queen.
I hope you get to plant peas tomorrow. I am itching to get some plants out but with 36 degrees forecast for Monday I'll have to rein myself in.