Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Postcard from Winterbourne Gardens

Wild mushrooms can evoke unease. A sighting of a strange form blossoming forth when the spring and summer growing season is nearing its end, brings a slight frisson of fear that it may kill you. Unlikely; as I never pick them to eat, preferring to admire them in situ. Especially when they look so charmingly like discarded pencil shavings.

Winterbourne Gardens are lovely, the house delightful and the food in the tea rooms reassuringly edible.  Delicious, in fact. With such huge grounds to wander around, it's easy to justify eating both lunch and afternoon tea there. From a table on the terrace, the views of the walled garden, lawns, pergola and woodland are almost as tempting as the cakes.

My (very brief, internet based) research into the fungus pictured tells me it's a Coriolus Versicolor and is inedible. It is not, however, poisonous. Panic over. Time for tea.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Postcard from the park

Apologies for the break in service.  Several things have been going on, including completing the first draft of Park Life.  Edits are in progress and more postcards will follow.

This photo was taken during a reading, writing and painting workshop based in Cannon Hill Park during July.  The inspiration came from Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders, as well as the park's own trees.  Some tree related imagery has worked its way into Park Life.  The setting remains in Birmingham rather than Wessex though, and the characters are somewhat less romantic than Hardy's.  As for my paintings, well those are probably best turned into mulch with the now falling leaves.