This weekend the Brazilian and I raced against more than 660 tough-looking dudes and gals to run, cycle and kayak across Scotland, from Nairn in the east to Ballachulish in the west. We managed the whole thing in just under 14 hours over two days, and although we were not attempting to win any prizes (our aim was to survive and have fun, both targets definitely achieved) we were pleasantly surprised to find that we’d finished far further up the leader board than we’d anticipated.
We drove home today, and once we’d unloaded the car of muddy bikes and even muddier trail shoes, we both promptly fell asleep on the bed. At about five o’clock I woke up and … this is becoming a familiar theme… remembered that it was Monday and there was something important still to do. The light was already failing, and as I prefer to photograph in natural light I was going to have to look smartish if I was going to get my vase made and photographed in time. Out in the garden, after a week of warm, wet weather, the sweetpeas, Verbena rigida, and Ammi visagna had gone berserk. But better than that, my first ‘Café au Lait’ dahlia had finally bloomed. And what a bloom! Big as my face, with creamy flames bursting forth like one of those stylised suns that inhabit the corners of old maps, nibbled here and there by an appreciative insect, it seemed to need nothing alongside it in this plain blue vase but a sprig of foliage, and even that sprig’s a moot point. I put it on the mantelpiece in our west-facing sitting room, which was gloomy as the back of a cave by now. Thank goodness for my tripod and Lightroom’s exposure adjustment. Another half hour and this photograph would have had to have waited till tomorrow.
Because my last few vases have been so simple and because there were so many other lovely things to pick in the garden today, I also filled a frothy, frilly, fussy vase full of sweetpeas, verbena, ammi, fuchsia, and the last tiny buddleia blooms to make a shamelessly vintage arrangement for our bedroom. By the time I had finished, the final efforts of this afternoon’s daylight was falling upon this window seat in our kitchen.
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the poetic Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, where you will find hers alongside links to many other vases each Monday.