Wednesday, 3 May 2017


From A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
by Edith Holden (1906).
First, thank you for following me to here! I changed simply because I didn't like the old title / url (I haven't for a few years, actually!), and as you can see I transferred all the old posts across, so it's not supposed to be a new start or anything. Everything's basically the same other than the address (and template come to that). At the end of April I had a little fit of organisation: when I finished listing my books for the Classics Club (I've more or less finished) I thought it was a good opportunity to sort out my 2017 Challenges, ditch one or two, combine the Deal Me In / Deal Me In Moon (doing so put me three weeks ahead, which is why I've not been blogging about any titles for the past fortnight), and pick some different titles. After that, I thought I'd bite the bullet and change the url. It was actually harder than I thought: though I've fixed the internal links on the pages, I haven't fixed them for the blog posts, and I think that task is a little too great! But I can put up with that, it doesn't seem to me many people used them. So, please don't forget to update your feeder if you subscribe or bookmarks, because I won't be updating 'Behold the Stars' again. You can also follow by email (see below the 'About Me' section on the sidebar.

Anyway, this is the new space and the title comes from Chaucer's description of The Clerk from The Canterbury Tales:
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre...
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente.
But enough of urls, though. It's May! I love May - we're well into spring now! A few days ago (on the 29th) I heard the cuckoo! I was rather lucky - I'd gone out in the evening to tidy up after the hens, which I'd intended to do earlier but got distracted by Dad's Army: had I have gone out that half hour earlier I may have missed it. In other wildlife news - unbelievably, I have not spotted a single swallow in the village. They're about a fortnight late, yet I know they've arrived in the nearest town (about 30 miles south) and  I saw swallows myself about ten miles north. I can't imagine where they are, but my mother thinks she saw one last night but as I say, I've not seen one. It's all very odd. Finally, other bird news, the chaffinches here are getting remarkably tame. For the past month or so they've stopped flying away when I go in the garden, and the past week they've stayed where they are even when I've walked past them. Then, this afternoon, I actually managed to stroke one on his tummy! I was amazed he let me, and I walked away fairly swiftly so he didn't think I was going to catch him, and he remained. He did look vaguely surprised, though.

The garden, meanwhile, is looking very nice and floral! It's been very warm here, rather breezy (windy at times), and with a few light clouds. Here's some pictures:

Apple Blossom.
Daffodils: there's hardly any left now.
Spiraea and Forget-Me-Nots.
Pear and Cherry Blossom.
Grape vine in the greenhouse with the spiraea behind.
A rockery I've started (mainly to prevent the chickens from digging up plants), along with pansies, daffodils, and a twisted willow.
More pansies.
A budding lilac.
My new wisteria (lavender lace).
Bottom of the garden.
Tulip (Angélique).
A close up of the spiraea.
The blossom again (I love it!).
The chickens (who could forget!).
Finally, the view from my bedroom window - looking very green!
(I had to take the picture from this angle because you wouldn't believe how dirty my windows are!).
So, yes, all very spring-y! I love it! 

As for reading and blogging plans: I'm a wee bit behind with reviews. I've got Menander's The Girl from Samos, Gilbert White's The Natural History of Selborne, and Vasari's 'Giotto' from The Lives of the Artists to write about, as well as a Deal Me In essay: Some Thoughts on the Common Toad by George Orwell (a lovely essay, looking forward to writing about that!). As for reading, I've started The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks, which is one of those books that, despite being very short, ought to be read slowly, and My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery, which I've nearly finished. I'm also reading The Four Gospels from The New Testament (again that's not one to rush). Also hoping to start Anthony Trollope's The Vicar of Bullhampton this weekend. Other than that, I'm just pootering about, reading-wise, at present. No real, definitive plans! I admit I'm slightly distracted by the General Election. The whole thing is a bore: we know who will win, and we know they, given their record, ought not to. But they will and that's that. Will it be a landslide as predicted? I hope not. I'm sick of it, and the official campaign has hardly begun (Theresa May left the palace only a few hours ago). However, as I'm enjoying this lovely spring day I'm not going to think about it now. No doubt I'll have something to say at a later date.

Until then, happy May everyone, and thanks for following me over here!


  1. Yes, enjoy May (the month) and forget all about politics! Your photos are so beautiful and it's exciting to see some good weather even if it's only pictures. My apple blossoms are out a little but not as much as yours. It's interesting to compare from year to year. I think mine were ahead of yours last year. Looking forward to hearing about your experience with The Desert Fathers! I loved them. Some were temperate and gentle, as expected but others were so "savage" as my daughter would say. I really loved my read of them.

    In any case, I hope you have a spectacular month! :-)

    1. Thank you, and yes, I'm not going to get too much into this election. At least not for now. It's futile to get wound up by it.

      The Desert Fathers is very interesting, but some things I've read so far are pretty hardcore, so I see what your daughter means!

  2. Hi! This new place looks lovely. x

  3. Will this work? It. Wouldn't accept my comment over at other place... Wonderful pictures And good to quote Chaucer, very apropos... We,re stuck in Astoria due to various reasons.. Thousands of tourists with cameras, foggy, Andy huge cruise ship bigger than thewholetown-I don't see how it fit in overthecolumbia bar... I'd never get ononeof those things-very scary they must've... I not to good typing onthisipad. Forgiveplease

    1. It worked :) It didn't on Behold the Stars because I'm trying to limit comments over there as I can't transfer them to over here easily now, that's all that was :) Astoria sounds interesting, hope you're enjoying it despite fog and tourists!

  4. You and your address changes! Your garden is lovely, and well worth forgetting the rest of the world for.

    1. I'm not that bad, the other one lasted nearly four years! :D And thank you, I do feel the garden's beginning to come together a little. It's still very young :)

  5. Love your new home!

    Must be the time for some spring cleaning, although its autumn where I am. I've spent the past two days slowly going through my feedly folders. I had suddenly realised that I hadn't added or lost all my favourite classic clubbers.

    I looked at moving to wordpress but couldn't work out the link thing either. When I looked into it further, I discovered there is a way but I don't have enough tech/coding savvy and I would have to pay someone to do it. So I stayed with blogspot and my url.

    Congrats on just going for it - it's good to refresh every now and again :-)

    1. Thank you! My spring cleaning has fallen by the wayside I'm afraid, need to get back to it. Was doing so well with decorating....

      I've seen a couple things about changing internal links but it looks far far too complicated. Over time (i.e. years!) I may change them but I'm not a big famous blogger so I really don't think it's urgent at all, even necessary really. Only thing I do feel the need to do is change the links on my old classics club list. But there's 320 of them - I'm not relishing that :)

  6. This is a lovely new home!! Happy blogposting in the new site! You are actually inspiring me to change my web design as well!! Lovely picture of the garden...wish I was patient enough to actually persevere through it...but one day!!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like the pictures too :D It's all coming together. It'll be interesting to see the changes in the garden over the next 5 years or so, it's all still very young :)

  7. Happy May! I love the new URL/design; it's gorgeous! So fun seeing a peek into your garden, too - I live in Washington state, and it looks our seasons are about even. :)

    1. Thank you! Glad you like it :)


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