The Language of Flowers

There is a language “little known”,
Lovers claim it as their own.
It’s symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by Nature’s wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For love Divine and sunny house
In the language of the flowers.

JWH August 8th 1913

This is the inscription in a lovely book that I have owned for many years called ‘The Language of Flowers’. This is what it looks like on the outside:

And this on the inside:

Every flower has a meaning.

This takes me on to 3 dear little watercolours I found in a charity shop. A Primrose meaning Early youth or Sadness; Nigella meaning Perplexity and Cyclamen meaning Diffidence.

They only cost 99p each and are signed by I J Welbury. They would grace a little corner in any home.




There is a small island in the Mediterranean that seems to have had more than its fair share of invasions. The island is Menorca, one of the Balearics and now part of Spain. Back in 1756 it was ruled over by the British until the French arrived and took it from them. The French were led by a man named Louis-Francois-Armand de Vigneot du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu (1696-1788) who ordered a feast to celebrate the victory. His chef, realising he had no cream to add to the eggs to make a sauce, added vegetable oil instead and so was born mayonnaise named after the capital of Menorca, Mahon (or Mao in Catalan).
If you arrive In Mahon by boat in order to reach the town you must climb this winding road:

My next picture is a coloured print of that very road which may have changed little since the invention of mayonnaise. It has a monogram of what looks like VH and it is numbered 1/75. It only cost £1.95 which isn’t much to pay for such a timeless and historic view.


Isn’t life too short to stuff a Nasturtium?


There seem to be endless recipes on how to stuff the above edible plant, commonly known as a Nasturtium. Shirley Conran in her book ‘Superwoman’ famously said that “Life is too short to stuff a mushroom”. If that is the case, then it is definitely too short to stuff a Nasturtium!

Talking of Nasturtiums this next original watercolour is of that very plant in all it’s glory and unstuffed. I think it is rather beautiful and it was painted by a Mrs C. Harvey of Henley-on- Thames. It could do with being properly framed but it only cost £2.95.


From Senet to a selfie in just 4,000 years!

Above is The Dwarf Senet with his loving wife beside him and his two children standing in for his legs. This could be the earliest form of portraiture sculpted in Ancient Egypt more than 4,000 years ago. The Greeks and Romans continued the tradition but it was during the Renaissance that portrait painting really came in to its own. Since that time portraiture has adapted itself to every kind of ‘ism’ in painting and photography with the “selfie” being the latest form.

My next painting is definitely a portrait but there are no clues as to who it is or who it was done by. It could be a man or a woman. Does it matter? In any case it is a handsome example. It is done in a Cubist style and with pen and ink and I really like it. I think the artist captured something interesting and was clearly talented. It only cost me £2.99.


(I’ll be with you) In Apple Blossom Time

The above link is for those of you below a certain age and who have never heard the song (although even I wasn’t around in the 1940s when it was written).

Which brings me on to my next picture which is in fact a watercolour painted by Jean E Wemham in May 1988. It is such a pretty little painting and reminds all of us suffering from extremes of winter weather that spring, with all its glories, is on the way. So sit back and listen to the Andrews Sisters and dream of better times to come….


Oban – which came first?

The whisky or the women? Well, the whisky of course, the women (and the men) followed later. The town grew up around the distillery which was established in 1794. It is now a resort town with as many as 25,000 visitors every year and is known not only for whisky but is sometime known as the Seafood Capital of Scotland and the Gateway to the Isles. Here is a lovely view if it from the sea.

In the background (the Colosseum lookalike) is McCaig’s Tower which can also be clearly seen dominating the view in this next piece of original art work. Sadly not signed but clearly labelled Oban and executed in pen and ink. It only cost £3.99. An absolute bargain for such a fine piece of drawing.


Never heard of Nervi?

Me neither, but here it is in all it’s glory:

Nervi is a former fishing village in North West Italy just 12 miles from Portofino. The pride of the town is the Passeggiata de Anita Garibaldi which is a 2km walkway along the cliffs to the 16th century Torre Grapallo (shown in the above photo).
I found this pen and ink drawing of Nervi’s pride and joy. It was extremely dirty as if it had been hiding in someone’s loft for a very long time. It is signed by Havat (?) and I would say it is quite old. Perhaps drawn whilst the artist was on holiday? It cost a lowly £3.95.