Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I was talking to a man who had been a child in our village, and he was reminiscing about picking bunches of primroses on the railway banks, tying them onto a stick and bringing them home for their mothers. Now, I know everything in the past was not better, but it does make you think how wonderfully free children were and how much pleasure they got from simple things.

It also reminded me that primroses were considered to be in decline a few years ago, and you picked them at your peril, and theirs.

All over the country it seems that currently, happily, the primrose family is flourishing and populating entire banks, lanes, lawns - everywhere. So I didn't feel so guilty about sneaking a few from the bank by our house. When I first lived here, about twenty years ago, there were none there; now it is smothered in these mixtures of the primula family. And, naturally, that led me to get out the inks. These are Brusho crystals, which mix with water. I bought lots of cheap little plastic bottles, mixed all colours with water and labelled them. This was almost as much pleasure as using them.

I'm the one we drools over boxes of coloured pencils, or pastels, arranging them into the sensible order of colour gradation. Always have. As a child I adored the Derwent boxes and my aim was to own the biggest box of 72, was it? Now I have 24 Derwent watercolour crayons and they are a great joy to use, and, of course, arrange in the right order.

The small pleasures are the best ones.

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