Two things causing me to (momentarily) lose the power of speech.

Number one.
Most of my daughter's class were confirmed last week. We aren't catholic which is a blessing, as it has saved us hundreds of pounds in clothing and presents for first holy communions and confirmations. 
Now what would you consider appropriate for an 11 year old to wear to a religious ceremony?
 This is what one of my daughter's classmates wore - 'a really short skirt, a tiara and high heels, and ..........she came in a limousine' 

Number two.
My husband has been cutting down the ivy and other plants that are growing over our shared fence. He is no gardener, a fact he spectacularly demonstrated when he pointed to this plant....

.....and said 'Is this a bramble?'

Today is the 25th -the day I show you pictures of The Quince Tree.
Here she is this June.

Leafy and green.
If you look closely you can spot Charlie to the left of the tree -he's bending over cutting down raspberries.

There are plenty of fruit quietly swelling among those big leaves.

Charlie found a nest among the ivy. Fortunately not in use.


  1. OMG! That is quite shocking and I am an open minded, non practising, non religious type. What is going on?

    Bless your hubby - he's no Ray Mears, is he?!

    Thanks for making me smile, as you often do - need it today.

  2. Not as bad as what has just happened in my garde; a new neighbour, tenant not owner, has ripped my Clematis from its wooden tub, tub is nowhere to be seen and he has torn out my precious Black Hollyhock and my lovely Sage bush. I am speechless too! So angry that I cannot confront him yet.

    Your Quince tree is looking good.

  3. Husbands are notorious for "weeding" everything in sight.. slash and burn techniques. Here on our farm we are at war with blackberry "intruders". Someone brought Himalayan blackberries to Oregon long ago and the whole state is being consumed by them. What's not covered with blackberries, is being covered with Ivy. Whole forests are dying as the trees are consumed by Ivy. Here it's called "English" Ivy.. what do you call it there? :-)

  4. That's nothing. The fair has come to town- it's about 500m from our door (but thankfully over the river too). I have seen 3 year olds with tans, spray I presume, and heels about 2" high.
    All the slightly older girls are walking, sorry, stumbling around in
    6" heels in the grass where the cattle usually graze. False eyelashes abound. Heaven help Cambridge if there is a fire on the common- there is so much man-made fabric, the city would go up in seconds. Sorry. I've ranted. But it is like being in aa documentary when you cross the common to go to pre-school.
    Hope you've managed to save some raspberries... Ax

  5. What was she wearing.......? I am shocked! I am not religious but my friend is a catholic and her daughter wore a longish white dress and her mothers wedding veil, I know that was ten years ago, have things changed that much, or is the child is a 'follower' not a 'leader'!

    You made me laugh re your husband!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  6. The white dresses and veils are for first holy communion when the children are 7 and 8.

    Gosh Toffeeapple, that is not good. Hope you sort something out with the new neighbour.

  7. I think often church is just seen as a social event anyway - in many denominations. I was actually a catholic as a child(a lapsed one these days). Went through the communion and confirmation thing. Both times wore handmade - hand stitched in fact, dresses. I believe I had a veil for the communion. I also carried a little handmade 'dolly bag'. I remember no presents at all from anyone apart from my godmother when being confirmed; very little money was spent but it was all taken quite seriously while being a little bit exciting too (in a solemn kind of way). Times have obviously moved on!

    The good thing about being such a rubbish gardener - as I am, is that actual brambles have followed me to 2 gardens where I had a gorgeous supply of blackberries. I had to cut them only when I felt they were in danger of infringing on the neighbours who I felt might not appreciate them as I do. I might yet think a raspberry was an unripe blackberry but I hope I would recognise them. Raspberries are delicious so I would revel in them if I had them in my garden. Ivy in the autumn is a gorgeous colour. My old garden had a fair bit of it. These days I have paving slabs - which still manage to be overgrown!

  8. Faye, he was eating the raspberries only last night! I despair sometimes. At least he hasn't cut down the quince tree.

  9. Anonymous8:36 pm BST

    What a nice finding! The nest, I mean. I saw something relevant this morning: I suspect that a wild pigeon has been making a nest on the top of the lemon tree in my garden...We'll see...

  10. Anonymous10:12 pm BST

    My husband says he can't tell the difference between plants and weeds. Well, that's his story and he's sticking to it!


  11. As a pracising Roman Catholic I have to say that what you witnessed is very unusual. The children who made their First Holy Communion in my Parish were all dressed sensibly and were reverent on recieving the Blessed Sacrament. The young people who will be making their Confirmation, are all, delightful young people, who contribute greatly to the life of the community, and I'm sure will be dressed appropriately. Judith

  12. Some kids dictate to the parents what's to be don't they. I have always been the gardner in my household I must admit. Your quince tree is looking very lush.
    x Sandi

  13. Congratulations Sue, you made me chuckle out loud this Sunday morning with your husband/raspberry story despite a very late night and patchy night's sleep. I suspect I will continue to chuckle and smile throughout the day!

    A lovely post again.

  14. To me that does look like an under-ripe bramble. Bramble just being another name for blackberry over here. Maybe it is different where you are?
    Also pretty horrified by mini skirted young girls btw

  15. Raspberries! You lucky thing!

    Rather shocked at what's happnened in Toffee Apple's Garden - awful!

  16. Lizzie we call blackberries brambles too. I've been picking the raspberries every day for the past two or three weeks and serving them at dinner. I assumed he knew where I was getting them from!

    Judith, I'm pretty sure everyone else was dressed appropriately. My daughter only reported this particular outfit as it had obviously stood out.

  17. I have written a Blog post about making two Homemade 'Raspberry Liqueurs' maybe that is the encouragement Hubby needs to help his plant identification skills?

  18. Did you see the first communion episode on Big Fat Gipsy Weddings? The child could hardly make it down the aisle for the size of the dress, and the poor priest was rolling his eyes. Not typical but I have been to first communions where the children were kitted out far too expensively and lavishly in long gowns that were almost a trial run for their wedding days.

  19. Men!!

    As for the mini skirt thing - I am glad that I have boys - who are going to be warned away from girls like that (I can hope).

    My Y8 has a leavers disco soon and I dread to think what some of the girls will be 'wearing'.

  20. Shaking head but not surprised by dress.
    Carol xx

  21. Oh Sue, that's quite funny about your hubby thinking that the Raspberry canes were Brambles.
    I love the photo of the bird's nest on the bench by the way - very arty :0)

  22. The Raspberry should be re-christened the Edible Bramble! Isn't it magical discovering nests! They are always works of art with their amazing construction. Love Vanessa xxx

  23. I so enjoy reading your blog, it's always interesting and filled with fabulous photos, delicious food, and sound common sense...and most of all I always have a wry smile to myself too!
    Helen x

  24. Brilliant! I now feel I was a bit heartless last week when I laughed at my husband for not knowing what a langoustine is.


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