April 16th, 2021

Sorting Out An Estate

Ailz has been up in Derbyshire sorting out her godmother's estate. Her godmother died over a year ago- and the house has stood empty and untouched- but- thanks to the Covid rules this was the first time all three executors were able to get together in one place. They've arranged for the Co-op to manage probate- for a flat fee of £7,000 (sharp intake of breath) which is apparently the bargain basement price...

Ailz set off home at 4.00 o'clock this morning and arrived around 9.30, with the car loaded up with stuff for the charity shop.

She says she's even more in favour than she was of Swedish Death Cleaning- which is where you look at your possessions as if you were your own executor and clear out all the junk that nobody is going to want to inherit- thereby saving your heirs a whole load of trouble...

Snakeshead Fritillaries

These have been appearing in our garden in growing numbers for several years. I counted over a hundred this morning- mostly in a clump round one particular tree, but with several outliers. Richard Mabey calls them "one of the most local of well-known British flowers." Modern agriculture has driven them out of many of their former haunts but they can still be found in the wild in various odd places- most notably in water meadows along the Thames Valley. I don't know whether our snakeheads can be called wild or not; on the one hand they're growing in a garden but on the other we didn't knowingly put them there.

Mabey quotes the 16th century botanist Gerard as glossing the genus name fritillaria as meaning "of the table or boord upon which men plaie at chesse, which square checkers the flower doth very much resemble." Experts are divided as to whether they're a native wild flower or a garden escapee.