Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Fly agaric in woods near us, prettier than anything in the garden.

Nothing to do with today's subject, but I believe that if you smoke fly agaric, or use it to make tea, or shove it somewhere rather personal, you may hallucinate about chrysanthemums the size of elephants, or see elephants the size of a single flower of Pratia pedunculata. I was told by a reliable Swede - person, not vegetable - that to consume this safely, you get a friend to do the primary smoking, drinking or shoving, and then drink his or her urine.

I wonder how long you have to wait. I mean, is it like asparagus, and through in a moment, or should you hang around the person for a day or so? I should warn you that I'm not an expert - in such things and I don't think the Swede was either. Such practices should not be carried out, in my view, except in the presence of a qualified merchant banker, Mr Shylock Homes or a member of Her Majesty's Whatsits.

I'm a smug, self-satisfied git! No, that's not strictly accurate. I'm sparky young actor pretending to be a smug self-satisfied git, in certain current TV commercials.

I may just look like a prat working out in a gym, or being generally modern, hip, bright eyed and ingenuous-looking, but my aim is to convince you that it was I who thought up the important new improvements in Microsoft Windows 7. And it was because of me, and my lovely wonderfulness that whoever has to use a PC - poor dears - have now the opportunity to glimpse at something better than the last Windows edition. Well hurrah! I'm sure PC users will be very happy.

Meanwhile, I still have tulips languishing in their net bags, long overdue for planting. The new border is yet to be dug, the weed seedlings are like mustard and cress and even Wendy is feeling a little neglected.

Why all this dereliction of gardening duties?

Why am I so behind with reading all your posts?

Because I've just undergone a migration. My big, clunky, power-hungry Macintish G5 has been gently eased into semi-retirement. Bye bye Silvertree, and good luck in your new home. (He's going to live with a son of mine and will be taught how to do things with music and graphic arts.)

Meanwhile, what is now weighing down my desk is, quite a beast. So much so that I've christened him Dogwood because he's not only the canine's goolies, but has an erection to boot, or at least, is significantly larger in some of his parts than is strictly necessary. (Dog, wood, geddit? OK, ok, I admit it's a bit of a cornus joke ............ oh do leave off!!!!)

We've also had a remarkable domestic drama which I might reveal in a future post. But now, I've got to dash out and console both Wendy and the Photographer General for neglect. I think they're both rather jealous of Dogwood, but I'm not at all sure why that would be.

I'm listening to Rossini's Petite Messe Solonelle - more charming than all his operas.

This week's film was Little Miss Sunshine. Toni Collette - wasn't she superb in Muriel's Wedding? - wry humour, some beautiful writing and a convincingly uninhibited child actress. Delectable comedy.

This day last year I bought a small box of rose and violet cremes at Fortnum and Mason. (Visits to such an august and expensive emporium are, I assure you, a rare event.)

More garden stuff next time. I'm off to Double H nurseries tomorrow, possibly to view an ocean of poinsettias. Nice!


  1. Does this mark the end of Silvertreedaze? I have to say Dogwood Days has a certain ring to it!

    What is a PC?

  2. Nevermind the first person to try an oyster...who on earth thought about drinking the piddle? You see what happens when you live somewhere when the winters are very, very long and cold.

  3. Windows 7 wasn't my idea but it's not bad (question is can you trust the Microsoft employee writing this???)


  4. Oh no! You can't change the name of Silvertreedaze - it conjures up such wonderful images.

    I think the person who thought about drinking the piddle would be Sarah Miles who has been an acknowledged piddle-drinker for 30 years. For this reason I have never been able to watch 'Ryan's Daughter' without feeling slightly disturbed.