March 27, 2015

The Alps Crash – the co-pilot apparently suffered from Clinical Depression

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:11 pm by Aleksan

Thinking about this as a Psychiatrist I am a bit surprised that no one seems to have considred the important fact that people suffering from Clinical Depression may also have diminished empathy for others. If Lubitz was depressed he may well have been overwhemled with a sense of hopelessness and not be thinking about others and how they might feel or be effected by his actions. However, even so, his behaviour seems to be exceptional with no apparent precedent. So important that anyone with great responsiblity for others is not depressed or have any mental illness associated with diminished empathy – employing authorities have a funamental responsibility to ensure thart this is so…

March 15, 2015

Penny describes some treasured plants – gifts from relatives and friends from long ago

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:37 am by Aleksan

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my husband’s Aunt Jennie, and her flower arrangement.  I now give you Aunt Kath’s Echeveria.  I don’t know its name, the leaves can be a bit scruffy, but it flowers, cheerfully and without fail, every Spring.  The aunt in question gave it to me many years ago, and I’ve managed to keep it going ever since.

There is always something special about plants that came from relatives or friends.  They are cherished for the memories they evoke, as well as any horticultural pleasure.

My garden is full of these treasures:  Roses from another of Sandy’s aunts, and a ‘Felicite et Perpetue’ from his mother. Paeonies that came from neighbours.  My father’s ‘Autumn Bliss’ raspberries and a fringed tulip – as well as the contents of his tool-shed.

My mother contributed innumerable plants: a good Delphinium – reliable and not too heavy-headed, a variegated box, an Albertine rambler, given to us when we moved into this house.  I even have the decendents of some Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella) seed which was given to my parents when they married in 1937 by their friend Peggy, who later became my god-mother.

Possibly some of these have been superceeded by ‘better and brighter’ varieties.  But I would never part with them, they are very precious.

Memories tinged with sadness.

March 1, 2015

Our Garden Open for the NGS again next year – from Penny’s Blog

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:11 pm by Aleksan

The Year Starts Here

It’s always an exciting moment when the ‘Yellow Book’ arrives through the post, and good to see that our entry for 2015 is there, in print (page 246, if you want to know).  We sent in our contribution in August last year, and sometimes it’s hard to remember what we wrote so long ago.

Some people may be totally mystified and have no idea what I am talking about – so let me explain.  The Yellow Book is a compendium of gardens – mainly private – that open their gates to the public on certain dates of their choice: it is run by the National Gardens Scheme (NGS). People pay to come in and all the money is collected and distributed to a raft of charities.  These include Macmillan Cancer Support, the Carers’ Trust, Hospice UK and several more.  Starting in 1927, it has raised 42 million pounds over the years.

We feel it a privilege to be part of this wonderful organisation.  As a child I used to visit NGS gardens with my parents, it fired my enthusiasm and love of gardening.  I never thought that I would be the proud owner of one of those yellow ‘Garden Open’ posters myself.  You have to be ‘selected’ by your local county organiser and this is a bit alarming – quite a few are turned down.  When it was our turn, our ‘CO’ arrived with a Japanese film crew who were making a programme about the NGS! It had been a dry summer, but annoyingly it rained that day, and when we passed the inspection (much relief) we all ended up in the kitchen toasting our success with whisky.

Most of the gardens provide tea and home-made cake and also have plants for sale, which adds to the pleasure.  We now have live music on all our four afternoons and this has proved to be very popular. Our ‘openings’ require a good deal of organisation and we are very grateful to our team of wonderful friends who serve teas, sell plants, man the ‘gate’, direct the traffic and play ‘music for a summer afternoon’.

By the end of the afternoon we are tired, having been on our feet most of the day.  My head is reeling from responding to questions and trying to remember the names of several hundred plants.  But it’s great to be able to share my enthusiasm for with so many people. I’m looking forward to our first opening in May (10th, 2-6) – I just hope the tulips will be at their best…