Another month with rather a lot of very gloomy days and lots of rain, as well as the tail end of Storm Brendan (or something), which made for winds that battered the house for two nights, and treacherous driving. I went to London in early January to see the last day of the exhibition of a beautiful quilt local to that area, known as the Acton top. Dating to c. 1825 its appliqué border is a wonderful guide to the fashions of the era, as well as depicting flowers and fruits such as the pineapple, still rather exotic at the time.
Another London visit a week later saw me battling the crowds to visit Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi gallery. It was a challenge to get a proper look at a lot of the exhibits, but patience and perseverance paid off in the end. Statues, shields, jewellery, pottery, containers – all breath-taking craftsmanship and a fascinating story. And boomerangs – for hunting in the afterlife.
It was lovely to see Ellis on my trips to London. He was a bit bewildered when I wore his party-bag mask – is it a pig, a donkey or Grandma? And his little boy haircut made him look very grown up all of a sudden.
On a visit to Goodnestone gardens (top) on 18th January, a sunny weekend, I found witch hazel (in two colours), snowdrops, daphne (glorious scent), camellias and viburnum in full bloom.
Ten days later, on another rare sunny day, I spotted the first signs of blossom (cherry plum, perhaps) on an exposed ridge. Checking my photos from last year, it was at the same stage in the third week of February…
And on the last day of January I found a crocus in flower in my garden, along with a snowflake, winter honeysuckle and hellebores, while tulips were showing confident growth in the pots and the euphorbias were doing particularly well.