Vernal equinox edition

Hi everyone. Today I think I brought a fresh meaning to ‘hanging out our Smalls’

On Saturday we had an outing to two Garden Centres. There’s a little one in Willingdon Chalk Farm Nursery where we bought some lovely plants: 3 hydrangeas; a Heavenly bamboo (which is not a bamboo at all, but we hope it is Heavenly with lovely variegated leaves); and some Heucheras.

Three new Heucheras (in the foreground) and one old one hiding behind the Hibiscus tree which will make it a bit shady there, but apparently Heucheras quite like a bit of shade. And standing proudly behind on the left is a bit of Echinops I just separated from one we’ve had for a couple of years. Gardener’s World started up again on Friday evening, and Monty Don was splitting his Echinops so I thought I’d have a go.

I’m afraid I find Monty quite soporific – or is it his dog, Nellie, who is always lounging around half asleep, but I clocked out half way through and headed for my bed. So I missed the Rhubarb enthusiast who loves rhubarb but doesn’t like to eat it! Well ours is looking good, so I picked 4 stalks on Saturday and made two lovely little Rhubarb crumbles in ramekins.

Here’s my 3 rhubarb plants and you can see Mother of the previously mentioned Echinops on the higher bed. Between the rhubarb I’ve got a Blackcurrant shrub, which I took a cutting from in the autumn and I just repotted the cutting along with some Rose cuttings which have taken root.

And finally in the garden, some frogspawn has just arrived. Second year running, but last year it all came to nought. Perhaps our two goldfish ate them all.

You may remember that our two goldfish are nameless and of indeterminate sex, so we haven’t given them names. But I remember being told that a composer called Tony Hewitt-Jones (he wrote some responses that we sang in Coventry Cathedral Choir) had two cats which he called Boosey and Hawkes. I’m sorry, you probably need to be musical to understand that one!

Tallis Singing Day: Saturday 10 July 10.30 – 4pm. St Thomas Church, Cliffe, BN7 2AH

I’m planning to run a workshop with Lewes Chamber Choir, when we will sing Tallis’s Mass for 4 voices and a couple of his well known anthems, O nata lux  and If ye love me. Visiting singers are welcome, so if you’re a half decent reader of music, and this appeals to you, contact Lewes Chamber Choir Have a listen to this Tallis Mass for 4 voices

Song recitals with Ruth Kerr

Ruth and I are back rehearsing together working on two recitals. In each recital we mix song with piano duets. Both recitals are at St Anne’s Church, Lewes, BN7 1RJ

Friday 21 May at 6pm: German song and Schubert: Fantasia in F minor for 4 hands.

Friday 4 June at 6pm: French song and Debussy: Dolly Suite for 4 hands.

These two are recitals that had to be postponed back in the Autumn, so some of you may already have tickets. My guess is that audience might still be asked to wear face masks, but with 50% capacity allowed, we can have a few more than we had back in November/December, so if you’d like a ticket (£10), do send me an email Nick’s email

Other plans

The East Sussex Community Choir is planning to meet again on Monday 17 May, with some gentle working back of the voice, learning a few new light pieces and hoping we can have a party at the end of June.

First Sunday Recital Series at St Michael’s Church, Lewes.  On Sunday 6 June at 3pm for our first recital after a break of over a year, we welcome Rachel Fryer (piano) who will perform Variations Down the Line, an exciting new project presenting Bach’s epic Goldberg Variations interwoven with 21st century responses written by five acclaimed composers: Samuel Becker, Julian Broughton, Michael Finnissy, Alison Kay and Nicola LeFanu. We don’t charge an entry fee for our recitals, but welcome donations at the end. If you want to get a taste for this please visit

To end, I hope you enjoyed catching us with my news. Take care, and I hope meet many of you face to face very soon.




  1. Thanks for your washing joke and the gardening pictures.
    Sorry, you definitely should not have goldfish with tadpoles. I frustratingly have neither in my little pond, but think that frogs need support as there are so few ponds left in the countryside!

  2. Author

    Thanks for that info Leonie. That’s bad news for any tadpoles I’m afraid (they’re only frogspawn at the moment). I agree that the frogs need looking after, but our goldfish were there first, this is their 3rd year and they are very good, need no feeding and seem happy, perhaps especially happy when eyeing up their forthcoming dinner!! Nick

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