Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We went out for a drive on Sunday in search of gorse, and eventually found five or six bushes on a lane out past Torrance. Some of them were over 7ft tall. Most of the seed pods hadn't opened. I took them from the tupperware box I'd collected them in - maybe a hundred pods, and put them in a wee pie dish on the windowsill this morning, as a kind of unusually brutal pot-pourri. It just so happens that I've decided to work from home this morning, and I'm glad I did because I've got the pleasure of hearing the pods pop in the sunshine.

I've always wanted a hedge with a lot of gorse in it. First of all, it's unusual and attractive in flower. Secondly, its a refuge for wee birds: wrens and dunnocks, but who knows I might be lucky and get some long tailed tits. Thirdly, it's entirely ned-proof. No human can get through gorse without serious injury. The lady at the allotments who keeps bees told me that someone had taken the top off her bee-hive during the course of last winter, and the bees had died of cold before she found out. The polis told her that people are known to hide stashes of drugs in beehives, and that would explain it. She told me that whoever had done the deed had managed to scramble through a hawthorn hedge to get to  the hive. Ha! One day I'm going to get a beehive and I'd like to see anyone trying to get through a hawthorn and gorse hedge, the blighters.

NB: the popping gorse seed pods were firing the seeds all over the sitting room.  I've put a transparent plastic shower cap over the pie dish to catch them.