Happy Valentine’s Day (as this is being uploaded on Sunday). We had some raspberry/chocolate marshmallows.
Years ago – well, decades (a lifetime?) – I studied Shotokan karate. My teacher (the sensei) liked to use a word conglomeration of patience and attention (ie, pen-sion) to explain how we should be focusing on what we were doing. Even after years and years and years away from the dojo I still use the word as it fits well regarding so many different situations.
Right now, I feel I need pen-sion to move through lockdown 3 and what has been a very cold period. Real bone-chilling cold is not regular weather for this part of England. While I have had to venture out to walk the dog, other than that and a bit of top-up food shopping I haven’t even made it to the bakery. I’m jonesing a chai latte. As it has in past years the weather will shift (it better) and become more manageable (I have to believe this). I just have to be patient and pay attention to the things that can be dealt with right now.
We’ve also had gale force winds for around five days now. Wind never bothered me before moving to this part of the world, but that’s what I get for moving near the Atlantic coast (the storms come in, the storms move out …). Loads of things have been blowing round the garden, the jasmine is stripped of leaves, and the beautiful small light blue irises I had in a pot which were in bloom have completely given up. But, we’re supposed to get better weather this week (meaning somewhat warmer and less wind) and the DIY guy should finally be able to lay the path. Which means I’ll be able to start planting. Thus, all is not lost. Pen-sion.
I have weird feelings about irises. Many are beautiful, but they are austere and very grumpy round here – ie, they want to be treated a certain way or they won’t flower. I’ve planted small ones year after year and they don’t grow in the garden (which is why they were in a pot this year). There are loads of iris plants around the village but most of them don’t bloom. Here and there you can see a bearded iris – so much promise with so little return.
I have yet to find an iris perfume I really love bar Tauer’s limited edition Orris (about an eighth of an inch left in my bottle). Everything else I’ve tried seems cold and leaves me cold (SL Iris Silver Mists turns carrot on me very quickly).
Anyway, among the Le Labo samples I got was Iris 39. I live in hope of finding something other than Orris that works for me. This is sort of nice … and rooty (notes: iris, patchouli, civet [really? really!], violet, musk, ylang, ginger, lime, cardamom and rose). To start off I get roots – slightly woody, wet cut roots – plus maybe some violet leaf, not one of my favourite notes. Things warm up slightly in the middle (the musk?) but the cold rootiness lingers. Throwing in some incense might have helped, I think. This doesn’t move much over time, drying down to still cool rootiness, with maybe patchouli making an appearance. I definitely don’t get cardamon, ylang or even lime. So, this isn’t going to be my iris. Alas.
Now, the days are lighter and I’m very thankful for that. So, what sorts of things are keeping you occupied and focused, able to counter the weird of winter? Do you grow irises and/or have a favourite iris fragrance?