Thursday, 17 November 2016

A trudge into Daventry

When William Wordsworth penned the lines:

                                               Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive...

He was not, I'll wager, in Daventry on a chilly, wet and windy November morning. But I had jobs to do in the town, jobs that could be put off no longer. And I was determined to walk and make a start on ridding myself of six unwanted pounds and start regaining my once-svelte figure.

As it happened the rain cleared up by late the morning and the cloud cleared, allowing some welcome sunshine to brighten the day.

My walk was mostly through rather uninspiring housing estates, gardens bereft of
colour other than from fruit and foliage. The former was represented by a specimen of Himalayan Honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa. This shrub, sometimes called the Flowering Nutmeg is, to my mind, an excellent garden plant.
Call it Pheasant Berry, Flowering Nutmeg or Himalayan Honeysuckle,
Leycesteria formosa is a fine shrub. Daventry, 17 November, 2016
The moderately fragrant flowers, with their copious nectar, are constantly visited by bees and other insects; their fruit is enjoyed by birds. These berries, surrounded by purple-red bracts, are very attractive and the only slight drawback is a tendency to over-produce seedlings, although these are easily grubbed out.

The foliage colour was mostly provided by sycamores, whose dead leaves, though ultimately choking the roadside kerbs, are tolerated for their brilliant primrose and gold hues.
The autumn foliage of sycamore brightens up the landscape.
Daventry, 17 November, 2016
So my brisk walk turned out to be pleasant enough, and my G.P. would have approved of my raised heart-rate.

I found myself in a short queue at a Waitrose checkout, behind two rather elderly ladies of a portly physique. One turned to the other and said, 'I've bin under the doctor with me foot.' I had a fleeting mental picture of a grotesque sexual encounter and was relieved when she continued, 'It got trod on.' We were spared further details as the queue moved forward. With a handful of other purchases (which I will not list, in case my wife reads this) I strode home, even finding it necessary to shield my eyes from the sun. No wonder the weather is always a topic of conversation in Britain.

This, incidentally, is my 500th blog.

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