As the weather has been better over the last week, we’ve done a bit more in the garden. I thought you might like to see one of our ferns after I trimmed off last year’s foliage: It looks almost pre-historic – but healthy. In the couple of decent weeks we’ve had, Robin and I visited Herstmonceux Castle Gardens where we encountered this amazing Juniper tree. And I’ve been able to enjoy my lunch in the graveyard at St Michael’s when I practice there. A team of volunteers have been bringing it under control and it looks lovely with all the wild flowers. Let’s hope thatRead More →

Hi everyone. I hope you are all well. I went to Brighton yesterday (check-up at the dentist) and the place was crowded. Difficult to find a parking space and people sitting outside in the sunshine (but wasn’t it still cold?) drinking coffee, even wine at 2pm. Thankfully my teeth were declared to be in good shape. Each time I make the journey to Lewes or (less frequently) elsewhere, I try to do at least two things in order to justify the journey in my own mind. So before going on to Brighton, I spent a happy 2 hours practising in St Michael’s Church in Lewes.Read More →

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 ofRead More →

I’ve just looked it up, and Spring doesn’t actually begin until 20 March, but I sense it approaching, and this morning our little Apricot sensed it too: As you can see, it’s a very young tree – placed against our south facing wall – but it’s full of enthusiasm! And I see light at the end of the tunnel regarding Covid and Choirs. I had my jab a couple of weeks ago, so I’m approaching full immunity, and I guess many of my choristers will also have been jabbed. There seems to be a suggestion that we may be allowed to meet again from MondayRead More →

OK, so it’s not very dramatic, but just when we are starting to sense Spring, February comes along to remind us that it’s still Winter. And following on from my previous blog post, Mary Greenwood suggested I needed to cut off the old leaves from our hellebore. So Robin did it – thanks Mary.                   At Christmas we were given an Amaryllis bulb (already in its pot) and six weeks later, here it is: That’s got to be the most successful Amaryllis I’ve ever grown. Really I don’t have much else to talk about. Life seems veryRead More →

The garden: It’s nearing the end of January and whilst I personally feel locked down, I notice the message doesn’t seem to have got through to the garden which is showing signs of emergent life already. The bulbs I planted late last year started poking through some time ago, I just hope that the flowers don’t come to soon, only to be devastated by whatever February has to throw at them. Rhubarb: We love rhubarb and have three plants supplying us very successfully. I was advised to stop picking it around July to give it a chance to recuperate, and I’ve done that for the lastRead More →

It’s a lovely sunny day here in Eastbourne. I think June and the early part of July were a bit disappointing in terms of weather, so it’s important to make the most of the lovely days. I enjoy watching the highlights of the cricket test matches, so was very happy to see the England side win the 2nd test, making it 1-all with 1 to play (starting on Friday). Both the 2nd test and the final one are being played at Old Trafford in Manchester, so I’ve been comparing the weather here and there. Let’s just say, I’m very pleased to live on the CostaRead More →

Firstly, the dahlias have started blooming.   This was taken yesterday by Robin (I can’t do classy photos with out-of-focus-backgrounds like this on my phone). And today the rain looks well set in, but I’ve been out and many more blooms will be out shortly. I really haven’t put a great deal of effort into keeping the slugs and snails away, so I feel very fortunate that there has been minimal damage so far – touch wood. Good news seems to be on the horizon. Boris says we can re-start church services, but I’m still waiting to hear whether anyone at the Church of EnglandRead More →

This week I decided to take some action on the future for my choirs. As my name is not Boris Johnson I was limited in my scope. I sent out a One-question survey to the East Sussex Community Choir (100 members); Lewes Chamber Choir (31 members) and Brighton Singers (32 members). Assuming it is within Government guidelines for Choirs to meet again in September, and assuming we meet as we normally do in Lewes, please say how likely you are to return to (named) Choir in September 2020. On a scale of 1-4, 1 being least likely, 4 being most likely, how do you stand?Read More →

Richard Morrison wrote an excellent article in The Times on 4 June which draws attention very well to the situation facing 2 million choristers in British Choirs. This is the first and only article I’ve come across – so far, but I know that many choirs have linked to this article on their web and facebook pages and it’s prompted a lot of positive discussion about the future for choirs. Last week, friend and local singer Judy Mackerras, drew my attention to some work being done by Jackie Cassell (singer, epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Brighton & Sussex Medical School) who is researching how andRead More →