Ipsden altar frontal: Chicory

Ipsden altar frontal: chicory (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Four years ago I blogged about flax plants which I felt sure were springing up in profusion along not only country lanes but even the main roads. I waxed lyrical about how it was possible that they were the repetitively self seeded remnants of flax ancestors planted during WW2 for use in webbing for parachutes and other similar necessities. In fact, I found myself so seduced by the romance of this notion that I mentally flicked away any doubts that ambushed me from time to time. Well, having embroidered these little blue flowers for the altar frontal, I must now come clean, for these plants are not flax but chicory. It is true that the two plants are very similar but the very thing that made me hesitate to call them flax – their ragged petals – was the thing that finally convinced me they were chicory. (For photos of chicory and a brief fantasy on flax, see this post from 2012).

Ipsden altar frontal: chicory

It is unfortunate that I’ve blogged these flowers just after my photographs of blue wood anemones as a quick glance might make anyone think I’m hallucinating blue flowers. But trust me, the  leaves are quite different and, for raggedness, chicory wins hands down.

This coming week we are adding tennis lessons to the young person’s activities. Fingers crossed that I won’t be needed to join in quite as much as I have had to with football. Taking instruction is not the strong point of many three year olds, so I find myself among younger more agile parents reiterating instructions to the little people as we guide them through obstacle courses of coloured cones and quoits and encourage them to balance feet and bottoms on footballs until told to fall off – which of course is the bit they really like doing. Our little one is not a born footballer (and we realised has never even seen a game on the TV as we’re more rugby and cricket watchers) but the discipline has been helpful and he’s picking up skills we never thought you needed to be taught (who knew you had to learn how to walk backwards or sidewards or needed lessons in waiting in a queue for your turn?). At the end all the children sit round one of the ‘coaches’ and pass a little football – called the sharing ball – from one to the other, saying thank you as they receive it and, for some curious reason, this is the bit of the session our and other little ones love best (the parents are quite pleased with it too).  My son (now aged 32) complains that I never taught him to tie his shoelaces or tell the time. I now realise there were rather a lot of other things I probably neglected teaching him too. Perhaps next time I see him I should check if he can walk backwards, just in case it’s holding him back…


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  1. Posted January 16, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure we invented all sorts of modes of locomotion without ever being taught… But it’s nice to know the little ones enjoy saying Thank You!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      True, Rachel, but better to start practising early what doesn’t come as easily as expected.

  2. anne
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Just to say I love the way you write. Your wry comment at the end of your post made me laugh out loud. Not many blogs do that.
    Thank you for writing.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 23, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      How nice to hear from you Anne – and what a kind comment.

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