Archive for April 21, 2010


April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Driving home in the late afternoon two days ago, I realized that the local dogwoods were all in peak bloom, and their variety of colors made the trip down the street glorious. Our dogwood was not in full health a few years back, so I was especially delighted, as we arrived home, to see that it looked every bit as good as its neighbors. This evening, I decided to take its picture. Alas, I went out too late in the day, what with the sun low in the west and the tree on the east side of the house. You can see the result above.

Once out, I took a few more photos, moving to the backyard, where the light was better. The azaleas are in the early stages of bloom.

So too is our west-facing lilac on the western edge of the yard.

The adjacent east-facing lilacs need another week or ten days. The nearby peonies won’t flower for a while, but they are visibly preparing. Here’s an unfurling fern.

Categories: Garden, House


April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m feeling a little foolish. Does everyone but me know of the British politician Tarquin Biscuitbarrel? I only learned about him a few hours ago, in a roundabout way.

The starting point was this Andrew Sullivan post on Sarah Palin, which linked to a review at the palingates blog of Anne Kornblut‘s recent book Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win. I went to the review at palingates and found that it was a guest post — which I recommend — written by Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrel.

Not yet knowing of the British politician whose name the guest writer had taken as her nom de plume — and assuming it was in fact a nom de plume — I decided to investigate. Searching led to three Biscuitbarrels. A Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrel, presumably the author of the review, has appeared as a commenter on several blogs and as an Amazon reviewer. (Assuming all these Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrels are one and the same, I quite like her writing, and her views.) In 1981, a Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel was one of several candidates for the British Parliament in an important by-election. And with this we get close to the original source, a 1970 Monty Python sketch parodying election night television coverage. In Luton, Silly Party candidate Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel soundly beat Sensible Party candidate Alan Jones for a seat in Parliament (with Slightly Silly Party candidate Kevin Phillips-Bong getting no votes).

How did I not know this?

Categories: Humor, Politics