A Melange

Tuesday 3rd August 2021

August used to be the most hated month of death. But now all changed, quite changed.

Anthony Mottram and I drove to see Val at Moscova, Hastings. I think I mentioned before that Val’s vaccine journey has begun. Although the vaccinators had the effrontery to complain that there was insufficient of Val available in which to insert the needle. For he has taken Wallis Windsor’s insistence that ‘you can never be too rich or thin’ very much to heart, except not so much the rich bit. Speaking of whom, Val found a photo of Charles James’ Robe à Trefle de Quatre Feuilles, which she had in the black and white modelle, to help me with my five-hour piece to camera on the Duchess for Dainty Lady TV. It’s a Surrealist frock. Once in it, the wearer cannot move. At the V&A, in the private store, of course, many years ago, Val handled another of the Four-Leave-Clover dresses, not Wallis’s, but wasn’t allowed to try it on.  But he is sure he could have squeezed into it. Otherwise Val had watched the Smithsonian Channel, a very instructive programme about how some frightful old mogul thought to introduce hippos into Columbia for his private pleasure. They got out, of course, and it emerged they simply loved Columbia where they have become an absolute menace.

Val is hanging on by a thread really. I must get down again soon and have a really good go at his windows.

As it happened I’d been in that neighbourhood only a day or two before for the Great Dixter Plant Fayre. Robert Nevil and the Nizam were in the party. There was possible structural racism in the lack of a suitable Hindu lunch. Pulled pork bap not ideal for the vegetarian. A woman at the Fayre, who looked as if she might be involved in home-dyeing with self-made plant dyes of medieval origin, had loud opinions. One of them was re: her daughter’s friend who is transitioning. ‘I find it difficult to call you “they”‘, the woad woman said she had said. ‘You’ll get used to it,’  was the daughter’s friend idea of a reply. Woad woman: ‘Bloody cheek! She’s only 14.’

Dear precious Dixter just a little suffering, perhaps the staff still ‘furloughed’. But glorious of course, all the same. My favourite moment was some small yellow and orange lilies growing amongst evergreens by a wall. So unlikely.

Robert Nevil and the Nizam were too grand for the Euro football contest. But Anthony Mottram came round in the evening when we got back and made them watch it. He’d already had a semi-final party at his new aerial cave in old TV centre, which at a cost of £2.5 million leaks profusely through the ceilings during heavy rain. The menu was, Pea Shape,  Summer Casserole, which is very like Winter, Spring and Autumn casserole, in fact quite indistinguishable. The key thing is the time of year at which it is served. Then lemon tart, raspberries and cream, the cream being not an accompaniment or relish as usual but decidedly a third item competing equally on the plate.

Robert Nevil and the Nizam loved the football game. They’d never been so riveted by the screen since the last festival of tiny Gay films at the National Film Theatre. I enjoyed the lawn on which the football is played. It was beautifully kept and stripy. The clothes are a bit garish and some of the people on the pitch clashed in sudden orange. As for the game, it must be so annoying that whenever a player tries to kick the ball into the goal, there are always people in the way. You’re not allowed to push them over or kick at their shins to get them to run away. Maybe they should change the way the game is played.

My Favourite Dixter Moment of 2021 - a Lily growing among Ferns

My Favourite Dixter Moment of 2021 – a Lily growing among Ferns

Lily and Fern - so Unexpected

Lily and Fern – so Unexpected

Dixter: Pot Display. Common but Marvellous

Dixter: Pot Display. Common but Marvellous


Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2021 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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