Poinsettia

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A busy and slightly crazy day that involved – among other things – a visit from the forces of law and order (don’t ask), a chat with the BAFTA-shortlisted Child on her 30th birthday (how did THAT happen??), a good telling-off from a teenage physiotherapist about the fact that I keep breaking vertebrae* and forgetting to mention it to anyone**, and a pretty wild Carmina Burana rehearsal.

I think I may need a bit of a lie-down.

Before going off to Stratford to the physio I cantered round the house looking for things to photograph, and with both Christmas cacti being unusually backward this year (though now at least budding in a coordinated fashion), my eye fell on this poinsettia. My mother had a knack with poinsettias, and managed to keep one going for several years, but I’m pretty hopeless with them – they’re generally dropping their leaves in a sulk by Christmas, and wilting terminally by Twelfth Night. This year I’m trying to do better, and avoid all the things they’re said not to like: draughts, warm rooms, cold rooms, too much and/or too little water, and being looked at funny are the main ones, as far as I can remember. So far my tender care seems to be working, and this one is putting out these sweet little buds – and look! a tiny new leaf as well.

I am a horticultural goddess.

* Two vertebrae, nine years apart. The first in 2010, doing a Fosbury flop off a ladder while decorating, and the second last Christmas Eve in a rare-bird-photography-related incident.

** By “anyone” she meant any kind of medical professional. I do, of course, talk about myself constantly, but only for attention, on the internet.