12 August 2013

Beautiful spring collections

She collects things, this girl of ours. Her eyes are always open for beautiful and interesting things, which she arranges in lovely ways.

Then she draws them.

Her creativity never ends: the chunk out of her drawing above became one of ten koala claws that were taped to her fingers this morning.

Spring is coming, and it seems like every time we go out we find another tree or bush has cast off its dowdy winter veil. One of the best is daphne - called daphinee by Anna - and she is alert to its divine smell now, whipping her head around to find the plant that's producing the pungent whiffs.

Isn't it a pity you can't photograph smells? You can see photos of everything and anywhere on the internet, but no matter how strong the scent, the smell of the subject never gets through. (Once I was in Africa. I was amazed that it had a smell: deep, rich, dirty, ochre-ish. David Attenborough had never mentioned it. And the old European cities shocked my colonial nostrils in summer - who would have thought that the streets of such sophisticated places would reek of the sewage flowing underneath them?)

I planted my own daphne last winter, in the kind of shady damp place they seem to love, where we will smell it every time we pass the front door. It hasn't grown much, but it is flowering and has new buds.

Every time I breathe in daphne, I'm back in my grandmother's kitchen, where upon her table she'd have a little bunch cut from her bush.

What would she have thought of this little girl?

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