Midsummer approaches

I find it hard to believe that in a week it is midsummer’s eve. How the year is flying. Can you cope?

At the weekend, a mad, lavish, manic party in Dorset, at a beautiful house further down the valley. Hundreds of revellers on the lawns, a fifteen minute fireworks display; a disco that (if I am entirely honest) I would have switched off if it had been on the radio. But we still had fun on the dance floor.

My friends Edward & Jane (who I was writing about only a week ago) came to stay, and Jane brought a bunch of flowers. Not any old bunch. Have you seen anything so beautiful, ever?  What is the difference between carnations and pinks? I am never sure.

Whatever it is, these are scented of cloves… quite extraordinary.  Jane was given four cuttings by an elderly neighbour in her last village; and from these four stems she has cultivated a six foot long hedge of carnations.

Which is rather what you need if you are to arrive at a house with such a beautiful present: the best I have received all year. They looked very fine in the soft grey light of my mantlepiece when I got home this evening.

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