Saturday, 26 October 2013

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Making the Garden at Old Swan House

The new area for grasses, the yew hedge and the lower terrace and paths (as yet ungravelled)
The garden at Old Swan House has been landscaped over the past two weeks by Brian Dibley, and is now almost finished. The plan was to update the pleasant but rather 80s garden to create distinct rooms including a gravel area in which to grow grasses, wall off the parking area with yew hedges, provide new paths and paving and create an orchard. Most of that has now been done, apart from planting and sowing the orchard and turfing part of the remaining lawn. And it has been too wet to gravel some of the new paths and the lower terrace. More photos will be put up when these are completed.

The urn contrasting with summerhouse

The urn and the borrowed landscape
A new path to the house using paving taken from elsewhere in the garden

Update: The planting begins!

Grasses being placed before being planted. The box are there just to stop the unplanted pots being blown over in the wind

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Favourite Poems - Ithaca


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long, full of adventure, 
full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclop,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when, with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets, and purchase fine merchandise, 
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities, to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old, rich with all you have gained on the way; 
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience, 
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911) 

For more Cavafy, see here 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Richard Shaw 1940 - 2013

Richard Shaw at Southampton University
My old friend Richard Shaw died peacefully on 16th October 2013, having suffered from a brain tumour since March.  A warm and kindly man,  he was one of the City's finest maritime lawyers and a specialist in Admiralty cases. He was a scholar at Bancrofts and read law at Oxford before signing on as an AB on a cargo ship for a voyage to Australia.  After a stint of teaching in Adelaide, he began his City career with Richards Butler and became a well-known admiralty specialist at Elborne Mitchell before leaving in 1979 to start his own firm, Shaw and Croft, with Roger Croft in 1980. His first case was one of the world's largest collisions - the VLCCs Atlantic Empress and Aegean Captain which collided fully laden  in a tropical rainstorm off Tobago, leading to a spillage of oil that is still listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest from ships. Later he was involved with the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion, the Aegean Sea oil spill, the Tricolor collision and sinking and in advising underwriters and the police in tracing the proceeds of the Brinks Mat robbery.

Richard retired from Shaw and Croft in 1995 and went on to teach maritime law at the Southampton Institute of Maritime Law, specialising in marine insurance and salvage (he was the editor of Kennedy on Salvage). He was also active in the British Maritime Law Association and the Comite Internationale Maritime, where he was elected Member Honoris Causa in 2012.

Richard loved sailing, keeping a boat at Lymington near his country home and hill walking, in the company of his fellow lawyers Stuart Beare and Patrick Griggs. Richard leaves his wife Avril, who supported him throughout his long career and looked after him wonderfully during his illness, two sons and a daughter. His ashes have been scatted at Newtown Creek, on the north coast of the Isle of Wight, a place he loved. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Favourite Gardens - Knoll Gardens

Following a new enthusiasm for garden grasses, inspired by the beautiful garden created by Gillian Pugh at The Buildings, Broughton, I have determined to create a small area for them at Stockbridge as part of the landscaping now being undertaken by Brian Dibley. One of the best collections of grasses to see displayed and also for stock is Neil Lucas's Knoll Gardens, near Wimborne. Click here for some more photos.

15th February 2014: Sadly Knoll Gardens has lost two great trees in the storm - a pine and the huge eucalyptus both of which you can see in the linked album.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Harvest Festival

                  Parishioners arrive for Harvest Festival in Litchfield on a fine early autumn day