Basking in the sun under a cloud of dust


So the Eyjafiallajokull volcano is erupting in Iceland sending clouds of dust into the atmosphere over the United Kingdom, grounding all aircraft at British airports and stranding all but the most pioneering of Brits in holiday destinations all over the World.

I have friends maybe lost for weeks now in Poland, New Zealand and most tantalisingly of all, Las Vegas – I wonder if he will have lost his shirt after all those extra days at roulette.

Stranded here in my English garden in Lewes in Sussex, I spent a lot of yesterday lying in the sun writing under cloudlessly blue skies with not even the hint of an aircraft or any of those graffiti-like strands of white that they leave in their wake across the blue.

I lay there wondering where I would want to be stranded if I had the choice. I had done the last of the dead-heading of all those late arriving golden daffodils and tulips but if I had gone and left the garden I would have missed the splendid white daffodils which have only just reached their full bloom matching my pallid sunbathing complexion as I admire them.



I make allowances for the primroses and cowslips that are still in flower here but this is the time of year when I have had enough of yellow so these giant white flowers are coolness itself on a warm Spring day. I will dedicate their icy charm to every one in Iceland on these volcanic days.


I would have been sad too to have left the early stirrings of my seeded lettuces, radishes, potatoes and spinach with their brave early steps above the soil in my tiny potted allotment




One crop of tulips has now been dead-headed but only just in time for the next variety to take over – the last to arrive but the most elegant too, the Lily-flowered varieties are the stars of every Spring.


I would have been upset to have missed the exotically chequered fritillary and, of course, the pink-red camillia is about to open too.

I think I shall rest content here in my own backwater, enjoying the free airspace above my head and, in preparation for a Summer trip to the Greek islands, I shall try to build up that tan from daffodil white to, well, if not brown, then, maybe cherry blossom pink. If there was ever a reason to stay right here, it is because my little cherry tree, in its third year, is just beginning to open its blossom. It, unlike me, I hope, begins in deepest pink and gradually turns white.

So if I did have to fly off somewhere to get stranded, I think it would be to Japan as long as their cherry trees are in bloom.

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