For more than thirty years at The Old Stile Press we, Frances & Nicolas McDowall, have been working with artist/printmakers to produce books of great beauty, hand printed in limited editions. Full details can be found at our website (link below) but we hope that our friends will visit here regularly to see what is going on at the Press.
We had skillfully avoided all suggestions for a grand party and indeed mentioned the fact only to a few friends whom we happened to be contacting anyway. One of these was Natalie d'Arbeloff who rushed to wield her Photoshop over the photograph that appears on our website to produce this wonderful image!
So, it was our Golden Wedding Anniversary yesterday and we had a very good time of it.
We ate lots of delicious seafood and drank an appropriate amount of wine, sitting looking at our valley and listening to the wind in the aspen tree. We also went to a good garden centre in search of a clutch of golden trees and shrubs to make a special corner for our garden, to record the event . . . and to add to a brace of glorious Acers that had been sent by our daughter Cressida (and family) in Glasgow!
We also went down to the river and stood in the silence of our own Meeting for Worship . . . and thought of our fifty years together. We may not get 'the same again' but we look forward keenly to whatever comes in the future.
For some reason, as we stood there, some of the words of River Man by Nick Drake (cousin by marriage, I am proud to say) ran through my mind . . .
Gonna see the river man
Gonna tell him all I can
About the plan
For lilac time
If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
And all night shows
Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn’t sure
Ever since my Grandmother called me (a teenager) to see the miracle that had been wrought in her tiny garden in Winchester . . . a self-seeded teazel in all its glory . . . this plant has been one of my absolute favourites.
This year the same miracle has happened to us. This plant grew up among the grasses and wild flowers on a bank.
All but it have been scythed and now it stands alone in all its
architectural and sculptural wonder!
As I was investigating a particular head with my camera's lens, the bumble bee just came into the shot and began to pose!