Spring wildflowers: Yellow, white and blue

In the past week the country has shifted from yellow to white to blue, and that isn’t a reference to how the nation pins its political colours. Whilst the allotment remains largely un-greened (although the seedlings are now starting to take off), in the countryside the wildflowers are rampant.

In Birmingham, daffodils and calendine are only just giving way to buttercups and dandelion. It seems odd, after May-day, for these early spring flowers to last the distance, but last they do. Meanwhile in Worcestershire Рalways a few degrees warmer Рthe hedgerows are lush, decorated with froths of mayflower, cow parsley and the rounded fluff of dandelion clocks. They give a touch of brightness on dull, rainy days, and gleam when the sun shines.

2015-05-09 15.04.15

Meadow flowers

Up close

The prize for best in show has to go to the bluebell, which carpets woodland groves and colours in the Malvern Hills like paint on canvas.

2015-05-09 13.00.23 HDR

Malvern bluebells

2015-05-09 13.01.09 HDR

Awash with colour

Malvern Water

Not been getting much cooking done of late due to the new addition to the family.

2014-08-18 14.16.31

Hello world!


Gertie has been dragged from her rural idyll on our friend’s farm in Buckinghamshire to live on the mean(ish) streets of Edgbaston. She is a 7 week old jumpy, scratchy, inquisitive bundle of fur fun.

Yesterday I had to go to Malvern and whilst there, the done thing is to stock up on spring water. Non-Malvernites tend to not understand this: it literally means collecting water from the hills, from one of the 20-odd springs dotted around. I go to Evendine lane, as did this chap with his demi-johns. That’s a lot of beer he’s going to be making.

2014-05-09 17.26.12

Malvern Water is the best there is. Tap water, particularly in Birmingham, tastes disgusting. This is pure and tastes of…nothing. I was asked at a wedding once if it’s true that I only drink Malvern Water. The answer is yes my friend, it is true and I don’t apologise for it.

Neither am I the only one. Collecting water is a Thing here and people have their own ways of making it easier. It’s not uncommon to see bits of drainpipe used to channel water, or massive great containers that are too heavy for one person to lift.

If you know this country, you could be dropped here blindfold and still know where you are. It’s the smell of the ferns. At this time of year, the Hills are alive with the scent of ferns. The autumn cyclamen are in bloom in Malvern – another sign of season’s change. No matter where I go in the world, this land will always be home.

2014-08-19 15.14.56

Black clouds over Clee Hill

2014-08-19 15.21.28

North towards Jubilee Hill

2014-08-19 15.16.54

South towards British Camp

2014-08-19 15.26.11

Ferns and wild flowers