Wednesday, 30 March 2016

An Easter taster

I had the privilege of doing flowers for a gorgeous Easter wedding yesterday. The bride is a friend who I met 21 years ago in our Sunday job at Boots. There are hundreds of photos of pre-wedding prep and set up to sort through, but here are a few for now.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter reminder

Hope you're having a good Easter! Please don't forget to eat.

Friday, 25 March 2016

A Good Friday tradition: The Widow's Son

Nine years ago, I heard about a pub in the East End that kept a wonderful tradition every Good Friday. A hot cross bun would be added to a collection of hot cross buns that had grown each year. This tradition started after a woman, whose son had left home to be a sailor, baked a hot cross bun in preparation for his return. He never returned home, but she never lost hope, and continued to bake a bun for him each year.

So my friends and their six-month-old baby went to The Widow's Son in Bromley-by-Bow, and sat in the beer garden on a Good Friday as beautiful and sunny as today's. When it was time for a sailor to add a new bun to the net of old buns (most of which, heartbreakingly, had been destroyed in a fire), we went over but found it hard to get decent photos, being so far back. So here's one, which I took before we left. And the sign outside the pub.

There's a lovely post here, with some much better photos - the blogger spoke to some of the people who have been involved in the tradition.

As for me, I just love the continuing bond of the mother and her son, which is still being honoured now, long after both have died. I think it's beautiful testament to the strength of love, and the need to express sadness and hope and all of the other feelings that come up weeks, months, years, decades after a bereavement.

Looking at the photos now reminds me of a couple of things I saw in Liverpool last October: an exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool on women and poppies, which included a talk about white poppies. These were originally worn by women whose sons had died in the war. However, they were criticised for wearing white poppies instead of red, even though they were expressing their own, very personal loss.

It also made me think of Tracey Emin's neon artwork which hangs in the gothic cathedral on Liverpool's Hope Street. I first saw it there when I visited Liverpool in 2010, and I was relieved to see it was still there last year. It could be read in so many different ways, and I think that's one of the loveliest things about art: that very personal, emotional connection we might have with some pieces.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Maths + Jersey =

A leftover Sudoku rose from a few weeks ago, and the very empty bottle of apple brandy cream that my friend Tracey (who is good at maths!) sent me as part of my Christmas bundle.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Tiptoe through the tulips

I've taken this title from a song that was used at the start of a fairly recent episode of The Walking Dead, in which poor Sam, a disturbed child, was hiding in his room and playing old records. That horror aside, I just thought I'd share some more tulips - before they make an appearance in people's gardens in the next month or so.

Mother's Day 2016: Pretty in pink

A couple of almost wordless posts, since it's Wednesday. The rose is called Sudoku.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Falling (right through the earth) for Alice

You may have noticed that I am a big fan of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. For British Flowers Week last year, I created a tea party of flowers for Alice Day. Last year was the 150th anniversary of the book, and there were celebrations in Oxford and London.

It's World Book Day today (I got confused when I heard people saying it was on Tuesday; I was sure it was usually a Wednesday or a Thursday, but I thought, "Social media wouldn't lie to me, would it?!") and Lewis Carroll's fairytale is the obvious choice. It is our old publishing boss's big birthday (I won't say which) on Saturday, and I made a sort of CBeebies type Mad Hatter's tea party card for him, as he said he didn't want a fuss. Unbirthday cards don't count as fuss, do they?

Last December, I went to the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library with my old mentor from publishing. She bought me an Alice exercise book to help me organise my various scribblings for my dissertation. I bought a Nursery Alice card for another friend's birthday, and a few days before his birthday, I met him at Waterstones in Trafalgar Square. I looked all around the fiction section, poetry, music, and film, before heading back to the children's section, where I saw him reading the Nursery Alice. The British Library exhibition is on until 17 April and it's free!

I went to an interactive production called Alice's Adventures Underground last summer with my two cousins who were visiting Britain from Canada for the first time. 

The first picture at the top of this post is the programme from this production, and I love how programmes are now playtexts, too. It was the same when I saw The Odyssey at the Liverpool Everyman in October. The London production was a wee bit more expensive than the Liverpool...can you imagine paying £6 for a top tier student ticket on a Saturday night in this heinously expensive capital?!

Earlier this year, I attempted to do Alice/Queen of Hearts nail art. I've not got the steadiest hands, so this was the best I could do.

I'll leave you with the Dormouse and Alice in A Mad Tea Party:

Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. ‘Why did they live at the bottom of a well?’

The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, ‘It was a treacle-well.’

‘There’s no such thing!’ Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went ‘Sh! sh!’ and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, ‘If you can’t be civil, you’d better finish the story for yourself.’

‘No, please go on!’ Alice said very humbly; ‘I won’t interrupt again. I dare say there may be one.’

‘One, indeed!’ said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on. ‘And so these three little sisters — they were learning to draw, you know —’

‘What did they draw?’ said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.

‘Treacle,’ said the Dormouse, without considering at all this time.

Valentine's Day 2016

I've not felt like blogging lately, but I had better share photos of this year's Valentine's flowers before the next big floristry date (Sunday) comes around!

I used British tulips from Smith and Munson. I am sure I have used them before, but just unwittingly. They supply to New Covent Garden Market and my local wholesaler, C. J. Love. I also used pink genista, British 'Erlicheer' narcissi, and my viburnum, 'Penny's Pink' hellebores, and 'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths which made an early appearance thanks to the mild winter. The scent of the hyacinths, narcissi and genista was amazing.

 I love using polynet for wrapping bouquets. There's something a bit bridal veil about flowers peeping through the gaps.

I had leftover tulips and genista trimmings as a V Day present for myself!