Dear Readers, last week Mr Baldwin Hamey (who has a wonderful blog called London Details) commented that he was unable to have a Christmas tree because his cat would knock off all the baubles with great glee. Easy peasy! Restrain yourself from adding baubles, and you can have a cat tree instead. Though, in retrospect I might not have included fairy lights in case of feline strangulation.
This week has been a difficult one for me personally – my 80 year old parents came to visit me for the Christmas festivities, but last Sunday my mum was admitted to Whittington Hospital in north London with a horrible chest infection, and as at today she is still there. So, in between the visits, I have been applying myself to noticing which plants are in flower at the moment. The mild winter has convinced all kinds of flora that it’s time to buck up and get blooming, even though there are few insects around to pollinate them. All the photographs below have been taken in the past week. If I have written about the plant there will be a link below the photo – click to find out more about the plant.
If anyone doubts that something is going on with our climate, I would have thought that looking at these plants, and at their usual flowering dates, would give them pause. The time is out of joint, and these small blooms, produced so far out of their usual season, savour to me of the apocalyptic. Our relationship with nature has become unhinged. In my mother’s ward (as in every other hospital that I’ve visited recently), plants and flowers are banned because they are considered unhygienic. At the same time, my mum is battling a superbug, probably acquired in hospital (not the one she’s currently in). We have to work with nature, not try to exclude her altogether, because, like it or not, we are animals too, and apparently not very clever ones at that.
Rant over. And to confuse the issue of whether this is, or is not, a cat blog, here is another picture of my cat Willow, taken this week. She, at least, is unworried by human illness and human folly and shortsightedness. All she needs is a warm place to cuddle up, a plate of food and someone to pay attention to her. Which, thinking about it, is all most of us want.