Friday, September 11, 2009

Delights of Dulcibella

This is a useful corrective to the picture on my home page, much more true to character. It is also to record the new upstream location of my camping punt, Dulcibella. She is now 18 years old, and I'm planning a refit for her at Oxford Cruisers; meanwhile, I'm exploring the Thames upstream of Eynsham in her. She glides into tiny backwaters, through fallen willows to such oases of calm as this; christened Port Naumann as it was discovered with my good friend Diana, daughter of the poet Anthony.

I'm reading the first print-out of the audiobook Garden Anthology I'm doing for Naxos, a wonderfully distracting piece of work which has taken me into all sorts of new and fertiles pastures. Most notable the C9 Walafred Strabo, author of Hortulus. 'No joy is so great in a life of seclusion as that of gardening . . . The gardener must not be slothful but full of zeal consinuously, nor must he despise hardening his hands with toil or pushing a full dung barrow out onto the parched earth and there spreading its contents about'

 I wonder if Helen Waddell knew of it. Have just finished Corrigan's excellent biography - not without tears.

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