Category Archives: apples

On the market …

Life news:

Our flat is finally on the market (hurrah!) and can be found in all its Victorian glory at RightMove. All reasonable offers considered, naturally. Everyone does seem to love (or hate!) our zebra rug, but hey that zebra was one class act. Even had its own seat on the train when K brought it all the way back from north London some years ago …

We’ve also been continuing to view properties and have a list of 3 so far that we’d like to view again if they’re still available by the time we find our own buyer: one in Godalming in a location to die for, gloriously spacious rooms and with a garden you’d have to bring a telescope to see the end of; one in Normandy which was really lovely (apart from the bitchy owner who did rather put me off, what a cow …) and had a glorious set of coloured tiles in the pleasingly large kitchen; and one in Elstead (my favoured village) with so much in the not-very-large-but-very-cleverly-arranged garden that you’d definitely have to take tours round it. Next week I’m viewing another house in Elstead during the week, and then I hope to set up two Normandy bungalow viewings for K and me next Saturday. Really it’s all go.

We’ve also been filling in a mound of paperwork for the fast-start conveyancing service, and will send it off to the solicitors after we’ve seen the mortgage specialist next Saturday morning. I suspect they’re going to have fun with our leasing arrangements. Apparently the estate agents have already had a great deal of fun with them as part of our lease forbids anyone in the house to set up a brothel or a pub, and it’s the first time the agents have come across that one! I suspect it stems from the time when there was a brothel down our road a few decades ago and eventually they pulled the whole house down. Though one assumes not when there was someone still in it.

Also yesterday, I helped out with the open day at the university at the last minute (in between house viewings) as there was a gap we couldn’t fill and I didn’t want to leave one person on her own. Loads of questions about finances, naturally, but it’s all very fluid at the moment so we’re really not quite sure how the new system will all work out, or even if it will. Loads of people there too as they want to start next year before the fees are raised, so it was busy busy busy.

This morning, we graced the doors of church – the poor vicar’s not very well at all, so Jenny took the service and has apparently told the Archdeacon (giving him no room for contradiction) that the vicar needs time off, and she and the other priest will handle everything until December. Good for her – it takes a woman to sort things out when the men are faffing around, you know! And double good for her as Archdeacons can be tricky, as we all know from the recent TV series, Rev. K and I were also deeply bamboozled by the fact that someone called him Kevin during the peace and the server gave him the wine with the words: The blood of Christ, Peter … I reckon Kevin is my No 2 husband and Peter is my No 3 husband – lordy, no wonder we need a larger house. Really, it’s an utter mystery why K, Kevin and Peter haven’t ever bumped into each other in the 17 years we’ve lived here. Thank goodness for lofts …

After that we’ve had a lovely house-free time at Wisley where the peculiarly named Europom event has been taking place to celebrate autumn this weekend. Yes, I thought it was Europorn too when I first read it but actually it’s do to with apples. As an apple farmer’s daughter, I had to attend of course. And how lovely it is to see the Laxton apple on sale – the last time I saw a Laxton was thirty years ago, so it certainly brought back old memories. I also appeared to be the only woman in the apple-tasting queue who knew how to pronounce Pearmain – no, no, people! It’s not Pear-man, it’s per-MAIN

Book News:

Much to my delight, A Dangerous Man is now available at All Romance Ebooks, though someone hates it so much they’ve allocated it a one-star rating which somehow always cheers me. I have to say it’s a literary rather than a romance novel, so I suspect it’s not what that particular Cross Reader was expecting.

Meanwhile, I have posted about what’s coming up this week at Vulpes Libris Reviews, a week which is packed full of endings, orgasms and secrets, so well worth keeping an eye on each day’s review in the run-up to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (as I prefer to call the season …).

Today’s meditation poem is:

Meditation 448
Only a quiet room
and the faint echo
of weeping elsewhere

accompany this wild hope
that from death
something more will appear.

The Sunday haiku is:

The shadowed garden
whispers its secrets to me.
From next door: laughter.

Anne Brooke


Of beetles and bemusement

Book News:

I’ve sent the final edits for Tommy’s Blind Date back to the publisher, so am now waiting for the galley proofs to come back for a look through. At the same time, I’m continuing the edits of The Prayer Seeker’s Journal so will be adding no more to that blog as it stands. I will also be taking it down at the weekend, I think.

Meanwhile, my review of Ned Beauman’s novel, Boxer, Beetle, is now up at Vulpes Libris. It’s a brilliant and bizarre book let down by a bumblingly bad blurb. Which is a shame, but I hope you enjoyed the alliteration in my last sentence anyway. I certainly did.

Here’s this week’s meditation poetry:

Meditation 405
Spices, jewels,
gold and the beginnings
of wisdom

warm the air
and bring forth truth
from the heart tonight.

Meditation 406
If I had
all the money
in the world

I probably wouldn’t buy
weapons, spices,
horses or mules

but for wisdom’s taste
and song
there’s no true accounting.

Life News:

I’ve started a new gardening blog, called The Bemused Gardener, which will explain the joys and horrors faced by Lord K and myself, beginner gardeners extraordinaire. Or potentially so at least. Nope, we’ve no real idea what we’re doing either, but that’s never stopped us before, hey ho. It’s probably a consolation prize for myself for ending the prayer blog (see above), as I am after all a glutton for punishment.

While I’m on the subject of nature’s bounty, it’s glorious to see that the first of the English apples are in the shops at last, hurrah! How the smell of them takes me right back to my father’s apple farm in rural Essex and that enormous cold-store. Astonishingly, it’s Tesco who’s won the battle to bring the firstfruits in this time, as usually it’s Waitrose, so well done, Mr Tesco. They’re great stuff too – Discoveries and they smell like heaven, just like an apple should.

I’m also feeling much better, health-wise, and actually like a real person, rather than simply a huge and sniffly nose on legs. Hmm, nice image, eh. That said, the doctor has just rung up today to check that I do want the referral to the Guildford specialist, and yes I do, as per the other consultant, so at least that’s going forward now, hurrah.

I must also say how much Lord K and I have enjoyed the lamentably few episodes of Sherlock which have graced our TV screens for the last three Sundays. Bliss – more please, and soon. I particularly loved the portrayal of Moriarty, but Lord K says that’s because I simply can’t resist a depiction of male psychotic lunacy contained by intellectual strength. My response was only to agree, and it’s precisely why I married him in the first place. He muttered something in turn about me being the female version of that (which is no doubt why we’re so well suited), but I fear I am in fact far worse: the lovely Ruth G (formerly of the University chaplaincy but now moved on to bigger and better things) told me only yesterday that she did realise I wasn’t actually the Anti-christ, but if I chose to be she thought I’m make a really really good job of it. My, how we laughed, slightly hysterically I admit, but we did laugh. Good to know I may at last have found my ideal career path after all these years – I wonder what the vicar will say …

Anne Brooke
The Bemused Gardener