Tuesday 30 June 2015

An Amazing Allium

Some Allium species are border plants grown their ornamental flowers and their architectural qualities.

Our friend Sarah gave us several small plants a long time back. We popped them in the ground and then over the recent months saw these strange plants come out of the ground! Now we have magnificent purple flowers.

Most likely we are blessed with A. hollandicum 'Purple Sensation' is one of the most popular. This cultivar has been given the RHS’s Award of Garden Merit. 

I’d certainly give Allium Hollandicum a gold star, well a purple one at least.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Lovely Lupins

The seeds of lupins, commonly called lupin beans, were popular with the Romans, who cultivated the plants throughout the Roman Empire.

The European white lupin beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars. Rather like olives are pickles lupin seeds can be eaten with or without the skin and are a popular street snack in the southern Europe, after being treated with several soakings of water, and then brined.

I am not sure with the idea of lupin seeds will become the snack sensation at Beaconsfield Farmers Market.

However they do look lovely right now and are good for the soil. Roman agriculturalists were adamant that this plant contributes to the fertility of the ground.

Saturday 27 June 2015

All Greek, now gone

Greek and Roman   The good and the great
British Museum
We just got to see the exhibition Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art for it closes on tomorrow.

Although The Times described the show as ‘the absolutely-must-see exhibition of the year’ it did feel like the British Museum where having an archeological car boot sale. Had they gone into the storeroom and hauled out everything Greek and anything that was created by the Romans copying the Greeks?

Venus   far left in picture
One example of this cross-over was a lovely and huge statue in the Greek style of Venus with her head modelled, from life, from the head of a wealthy lady of Rome who had paid for the piece.

Absolutely worth a visit to “Experience the brilliance and diversity of ancient Greek art in this major exhibition focusing on the human body, from abstract simplicity of prehistoric figurines to breathtaking realism in the age of Alexander the Great.” BM

Wednesday 24 June 2015


Woke at 5.45 am feeling good. 
I would be going home this evening.

My last day, and I worked with the team all morning. 

During breaks I fretted about checking in online and feared the worst. We bade our farewells at lunchtime and I walked back to Atlantic Station and into the arms of Victoria Secrets. There was business to be done here, on behalf of my offspring. 

Three hundred dollars later I had the distinct feeling I had not bought much.

I went back to The Twelve and had a swim. Down in the lobby the place seemed to be over-run by family reunions. Crowds arrived and entered the elevator stabbing ineffectually at the buttons and then stomped out back to reception for a new room key.

I’d had enough and went to the airport much too early for a 21:30. It was just as well. Delta had the last word,
“No. We don’t have you booked on this flight”.

They had no reservation for me. Quelle surprise. 

I did manage to talk my way onto to the flight, bursting with large people and eventually left Atlanta for a fitful sleep.

Tuesday 23 June 2015


Almost slept in, I go up at 6am.

It was a very good day in the classroom.

Back at the hotel I did another Chardonnay run and some nice salami. 

Shoved the doors open to my balcony, manoeuvred an easy chair into place and watched the traffic and recall how much the city had changed since my first visit in 1988 (for work on the Delta Airways advertising account).

I tried not to feel too guilty about consuming most of the wine before going out with J and N for an excellent curry.

Before I turned in I tried to check-in on line for the flight home. No joy.

Monday 22 June 2015


This evening before the team dinner I enjoyed real breakthrough; I  master how the washing machine works. Grabbing courage with both hands I put a hand-washed shirt through a rinse and spin cycle.  Gratifying to think I have saved at least forty-five dollars on laundry bills across the week.

We went to Mary Mac’s Tea Room.  This famous eatery (pictures of the good and the great adorn every wall) offers “real southern hospitality”. Eating at Mary Mac’s means you never have to prove your courage in any other way.  Much of the menu is deep fried except the meatloaf.  ‘Four-piece Fried Chicken’, Fried Gulf Shrimp, Roast Pork with cornbread dressing, pork gravy and cranberry sauce, and Grilled Liver and Onions completed our special menu. There were huge embankments of vegetables on the tables to accompany the main courses.

On leaving the restaurant we awarded ourselves a Silver Star for courage under gargantuan portion size.