Saying it with flowers

Life seems to be getting more and more weird each day—with new lockdowns everywhere, people are forced to exist in a sort of limbo. We’re waiting—for what? To be free to return to our previous existence? But when? Meanwhile the virus in Denmark has mutated and is spreading via mink farms. They’re planning on culling 17 million animals to try and stop it. What next? Hopefully we won’t have to cull our dogs and cats. That would be too horrible to even contemplate.

 

In every way, we’re trying to adapt to a new reality, and make the best of things. I love going to the theatre, but sadly that’s out, so I took the opportunity to watch a play online. What a Carve Up is adapted from a satirical novel by Jonathan Coe. It is an ingenious play about the venality of the Thatcher era, a murder mystery with an extra twist. I enjoyed it: the actors were excellent, the plot was developed in original and interesting ways. Well worth it and a change from Netflix. A ticket costs £12, and you get a link to watch in the 48 hours following your chosen date. You can watch on a laptop or, better still, connect to Apple TV, in which case you can make a family evening of it, with drinks and popcorn. For anyone interested, you can get a ticket here: https://www.whatacarveup.com/

This cultural foray made me mull things over. Art depicts life in many ways—if this pandemic carries on, will people in new films be shown wearing masks, and staying away from each other? If I write a short story, do my characters need to wear masks and keep washing their hands? I continued wondering about this while watching a film set in the fifties, where the actors smoked non-stop, and nobody wore a seatbelt. Now characters in films are constantly peering at some kind of screen, and if they smoke, it’s something stronger—but more tolerated nowadays—than nicotine.

 

I digress, but there doesn’t seem to be much to write about these days (I refuse to dwell upon the American Elections). So I will try and lift your spirits by posting some pictures taken a few months ago, when we managed to squeeze in a visit to Monet’s garden at Giverny. There were not many people around, which was just as well, because Giverny is not a public park, but a private garden, with narrow paths between the flower beds. I dread to think what it would be like to visit when they have their usual 4000 people per day—shuffling along in a queue behind a coach group led by a guide, I suppose.

 

As it were, we wandered about happily. The place is beautifully kept up, and we were told it’s worth visiting at different times of the year: in May it’s covered with different types of iris, and in late August it’s full of sunflowers.

 

The famous lily pond lived up to expectations—it’s a magical spot. Apparently the water lilies tend to take over, so they are carefully pruned back to resemble the patches Monet painted over and over (he made a series of about 250 Nymphéas, as they’re called in France).

The inside of the house is very pleasant, with a collection of lovely Japanese etchings on the walls and a sunny yellow kitchen. Monet had a complicated personal life, reading about which gives a little extra spice to the surroundings.

 

27 thoughts on “Saying it with flowers”

  1. I recognized Giverny immediately! Oh, it’s been ages since I visited it and I was with 23 other people and a guide, but I was free to roam around for a couple of hours. It was lovely. I’ll never forget that kitchen with the wonderful blue and white tiles everywhere and the shiny copper pots.
    The garden…it was late September when I went so there were not that many flowers in bloom, but what were were gorgeous, and the pond! The thing that struck me most were the men in the pond mending the basket weaved little fences lining the pond. The little fencing was lovely and I’d never seen anything like it before. I’m still in awe over them.

    I am glad you had a little getaway to such a lovely place.

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    1. Yes, we really enjoyed it. I took a sketchbook, but I was told they’ve stopped people sketching because it had become an industry, with art teachers bringing groups on tour to sketch there, and of course there’s not enough space. The paths are narrow. Apparently you can ask for special permission and sometimes the leave the place open for sketchers after everyone’s gone. Probably dark by then, though😆

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    1. Yes, the rest of the house was nice too, with beautiful views on the garden. But the kitchen was so sunny, with those lovely Japanese prints, and even the dishes were yellow and blue. You could buy some in the shop, of course!

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  2. Thank you for reminding me of a lovely day at Giverny. I was there with so many other people, but it I was able to pretend they weren’t there and just enjoy myself.
    Your musings on future films and books is similar to my own. There are times when I look at TV shows, films etc made anytime before this year and think “They shouldn’t be shaking hands” or “That is a large crowd of people without masks”! Then I remember back to those days. 😀

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  3. You lovely photos are a pleasing balm to the stress in the world, Marina.
    As for the Mink Farms issue, I was shocked. I had been totally unaware that anyone was still wearing a mink coat in this day and age. That’s just appalling. If they ever expect to put my dog down because of a virus mutated on a mink farm, they had better come prepared to deal with me first.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Yes, I forgot to write something about that, but I was also shocked that there are 17 million minks in Denmark for making fur coats! Unbelievable. Who wears these things? We inherited a fur coat from our grandmother, and nobody in the family wants it…As for the photos, thank you, I only took them on my phone, and I’m a lousy photographer normally. Just shows you how much phone cameras have improved.

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      1. I have five digital cameras. including a £1700 full-frame Nikon. Yet all the best photos I see are taken on phones. Maybe it is time I stopped buying real cameras?

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  4. The flower definitely say it all..

    Hmm was just thinking how I’d you try to say What A Carve Up it sounds like you are swearing 🤣🤣 But colour me intrigued am adding it to my to be read and watch list too.
    ~B

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