Diamond Jubilee

I'm a traditionalist at heart, I love the Royal family.

I love the pomp and the ceremony. I can't wait to see the Thames pageant, Sue please report back.

I like singing Jerusalem, and trestle tables.

I like Silver Jubilee and Coronation mugs filled with bits from the garden and the odd herb. Or if you don't have any mugs, Union Jack paper cups.

Although it is damn near impossible to buy anything with a Union Jack on it now.

and i especially like commemorative biscuit tins.

The Hound is less impressed, it seems he is a Republican.

The soldiers are still on parade, i didn't collect them they are borrowed from a man named Bill, who along with his wife Lana, painstakingly glued them all onto cardboard for me. Bill and Lana have a dog that is a mini version of The Hound. That's how we met.

Mad dogs and Englishmen

a strangely fitting epitaph.

Also this has been on repeat in my head all day.


Au jardin

Or rather things that were au jardin before i assaulted it with scissors.

One corner is planted with viburnum, angelica, bronze fennel and black elder and evergreen honeysuckle. The difference in colour, texture and scent is wonderful. I wish i could take credit for having done it intentionally.

Also only sow pea shoots, if you really really like pea shoots.

A gazillion later, not so much. I know they cost £1.50 for 6 stems in the supermarkets, but that's because you only need 6.

Tomorrow we shall get all Jubilee, do you have plans for your 4 day weekend? The Hound and I are working flat out for the next 11 days. Every hour of my life has been timetabled.

I have allowed Monday between 5.30pm and 7pm for spontaneity.

We have weddings, funerals, parties, and a magazine coming to photograph us doing some of it. Which means i have timetabled getting my roots done for tomorrow.

Toes, eyelashes and brows were done yesterday.





Lapelman does summer

Spray and pray

Lately, every time i do a wedding i seem to run out of time to photograph anything.

and the spray and pray method is adopted.

Like a trigger happy paparazzo.

Working on the principle that at least one image might be decent. Not in this case. Tears.

but then you get a tweet from Tori, who took the pro pictures, and all is well with the world.

Also we made ice lollies. One side is fat free Greek yoghurt, agave nectar and crushed blueberries

the other side is gin and tonic.

and homemade pizza, finely sliced courgette, ricotta, cherry tomato, golden marjoram and rosemary from the garden.

I have cracked open the summer dresses and Grecian sandals now, so this weather better stay.

and Monaco wasn't the most exciting race ever was it?



Not a day goes by without somebody saying

"I'd love to have a flower shop, it must be so lovely"

I smile sweetly, and think

"I'll swap you for 6 weeks holiday and private healthcare"

Not today.

This is my office and it's amazing.

What a difference a day makes.

Please note new table football, the travel version, for the beach.

May your weekend be like the beer advert.


Hell hath no fury

like a woman who has just had her catalytic converter stolen.

Sawn off.

*Insert rude word*

Heads up to anybody who drives a 4x4 or a van.

Photographs to calm.

9.27pm is my new favourite time to photograph things

nothing is in focus, my hand isn't steady enough, but it all looks pretty.

Flowers for today

and The Hound has been to Princess Pooch for a shampoo and set

he is all fluffy, smells of coconut and is very tired.


Cityboy1 - guest blogger


Ladies and gentleman, I give you Cityboy1............

Having seen Miss Pickering’s curiosity perked by the question of how exactly do Greece and the Euro divide up the CD collection, it appears that there are some other flower fans who wonder about international currency unions in their spare time. So for your general enjoyment, I present a rough summary of the Friday morning talk we had.

However this is a huge topic and I’m sure it won’t answer everyone’s questions, so in the manner of a (semi-)trained performing horse, I am happy to participate in a Q and A dialogue with the co-operation of Miss P, answering any questions via the moderated medium of her blog.

Currently many people expect Greece to leave the Euro and sooner rather than later. The ones who can (i.e. have disposable income) and have money or assets of some kind in Greece are pulling out their money from the banking system - withdrawing money from bank accounts so they hold cash in Euros, buying things which are easily tradable and convertible (for example, gold and silver) into other currencies. Currently this is happening at the rate of roughly 0.5% of deposits a day. This is because they don’t want their money to be stuck in Greek banks when the plug is pulled because they don’t want their wealth to be re-denominated (converted) into New-Drachmas. The reason for this is that they believe the new currency will drop in value against the Euro over time – which is almost certainly true as the main reason for voluntarily leaving the Euro is to allow this to happen.

The scenario would play like this 

Zeus has 10,000 Euro’s in his savings account in the Olympus bank. The government announces one Monday that Greece has left the Euro and that they now have a new currency “The New Drachma” which is initially worth 1 Euro. So now Zeus has a bank account with 10,000 ND as the local bank has simply redenominated his account. However nobody else (i.e. foreigners) believes a ND is worth a Euro so they refuse to trade with him in Euro’s at that price – they demand more ND’s, and the exchange rate starts to fall until say it takes 2 ND to buy a Euro (most estimates believe this 50% loss in value would occur in a day or two).

This is great for people in Greece who sell things to foreigners, they can now export cheaply and their cheese/holidays/clothes look much cheaper to people buying in Euros than other EU countries stuff does. It’s also not so bad for Greeks buying Greek stuff, they now get paid in ND’s and spend ND’s so no immediate change there. It’s fairly bad for Zeus with his 10,000 ND’s which are now only worth 5,000 euro’s – say goodbye to buying a new imported car or going overseas for a holiday; these just got a lot more expensive. It’s bad for his wife Hera who runs a factory and has to import raw materials from overseas, as they’ve just doubled in price. So now she has to put her prices up to keep making a profit. Hello, inflation!

What about the Euro’s in cash under the bed or in my cookie tin?

Good news – you can walk back into the bank and exchange those for ND’s at the new 2 to 1 rate – you’ve doubled your money. Same with selling the gold you bought – you’ll get a much better price in ND’s. Hence the spiriting out of money. This has confused some people, as I have seen people interviewed on the BBC complaining they’d just taken Euro’s out for their Greek holiday, obviously not remembering that the Euro is still a tradable currency and has value.

But when I go to the bank what will the ATM give me?

It will give you ND’s. These may be entirely new bank notes (which has happened in the past – when Czechoslovakia split in two, new banknotes were introduced over a weekend in Slovakia). Or they may be Euro’s marked in some way – stamped with a “ND”. Brazil used to do this when inflation meant notes started being issued in multiples of 10,000 Real’s – old 100,000 Real notes were stamped as “100 Nova Reals”

Other future topics to cover are “Capital Controls”, “Hyperinflation”, “Is this Good or Bad for them/for us”, “Why do they have to leave anyway”, “The markets have already priced this in”

I love this, the blog has become like a Sunday broadsheet, flowers, food, economics all we need is for someone to have a night of debauchery with a footballer, or a fake sheik.


The girl with the mandolin

Probably not as big as a hit as the pearl earring or the dragon tattoo

I have a mandolin, i have wanted one for ages, but they always seemed so expensive. A charity shop find, still sealed, has inspired me to slice things really thinly.

To make courgette fritters. Again. How many times have i blogged these? here and here

Only this time with home grown pea shoots and these lovely single clove garlic bulbs from Lidl. They come in a basket. I'll pretty much buy anything if it's in a whicker basket.

I am trying to eat less meat, so far that seems to mean lots of cheese and carbs. Baked mushrooms with ricotta and horseradish and more pea shoots. The fridge contains paneer, and halloumi too. Any good vegetarian blogs out there? More nice things with vegetables rather than soya mince.

Just keep your eye on the oven if you attempt the sweet potato and ground almond thing from Rachel Khoo. Admittedly the recipe didn't say wander off for a while and get engrossed in the last episode of The Bridge. Did you watch it? I've never seen an episode of Mad Men, The Killing or any of the Vampire things, but The Bridge was amazing. I miss the music.

In other news i cut small flowers from my garden to take to lunch Chez Mother Hen, and tried to shoot The Hound in a crown. Failed.

and Cityboy1 has written the "How the Greeks leave a non-obsolete currency" post. It will be up tomorrow. I like the idea of men blogging here, I will rustle up some more. Requests being taken on subject matter.

and the former long-jumper hopped, skipped and jumped his way to best in show again. Only this time with topiary. Bravo Mr West, bravo x

And i am very honoured to be Lobster and Swan's Blog of the Jeska's blog is one of ridiculous creativity and prettiness and tiny tigers.

There are about 4,297 other things to relay, but we best all get back to work.