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Monday, 1 March 2010

First day of spring?

There was a hint of spring today. Home, I almost felt like working in the garden. There was a circular from Adrian Stagg from the city's Allotments. Progress, but slow with uncertainties beyond Easter. 'Thank you all for your patience - we are sure it will be rewarded soon!' Those folk in Allotments section. I'm sorry for them with the cuts. I was glad they took the trouble to send out another newsletter, even though no-one knows when the new allotments will be ready. I fear it'll be another year's gardening lost.
I led a seminar on questioning skills for Staffordshire councillors between 10 and 1230. As I'd cycled to the County Council offices from Stafford station a man in a white van, delayed for seconds in the narrows over the Sow Bridge, sounded his horn. When the road widened he drew up beside me, wound down his window, but before he could express himself on the subject of cyclists in general and me in particular, I said from somewhere unexamined "How dare you hoot at me you impertinent fellow"; more insulting than expletives, the digitus impudicus, even a bras d' honneur, which like a double moutza would have caused me to fall off my bicycle.
** ** ** A few weeks ago, Lin was strolling with me past the Bosketto Gardens, on the esplanade next Corfu's Spianada Square, by the esplanade about where Ano Platea becomes Kato Platea. "I like these gardens but they're so neglected. They could be beautiful but ... look they've done a bit of gardening there and left that bit growing weeds and they seem to have just given up on that bit..." and so on. Now it turns out that these gardens, which since 2006, have celebrated the Durrell connection - renamed Bosketto Durrell - are having a make-over by the landscape artist Marjorie Holmes; her paintings of Greek wild flowers; her work in hand at the Bosketto should, in Corfu's rich soil, begin to show by the time we're back. [Back to the future 14 March 2010 - except that there seem to have been hitches that I would not pretend to understand. Might they be to do with general feelings of insecurity among public employee - including street sweepers, maintenance workers and gardeners whose work includes this garden.]

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Simon Baddeley