Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beast in me, be still.

My grandfather, Royce Spinkston, fought at Gallipoli and later in France, during WWI. He abhorred war, and was much happier gardening. The German sword below ( Deutsche Maschinenfabrik, A-G, Duisburg ), which I suppose came home with him as a trophy, was used in his garden as a stake, a much better purpose than the one for which it was made.
A hotel broker, he helped found the Australian Iris Society in 1948, and became its first Honorary Secretary and Editor. It seems that he was also Australia's major importer of irises ( his favourite flower ) at that time. A good part of my own interest in gardens has come to me through him. He wrote a vast number of  letters too, so perhaps that trait is also genetic.



22 comments:

  1. Hey thats my grandfathers bayonet!

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  2. I won't fight him for it, Billy, but he might prefer a more advanced weapon!

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  3. BEAST IN ME, BE STILL sounds like an old quote but I couldn't find it
    is it?

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  4. No, John, unless I've picked it up subliminally. On the other side of my family are some strong religious convictions.

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  5. Hello Faisal:
    What an intriguing tale of your grandfather and how interesting that he was a key figure in introducing Irises to Australia. One can well imagine his fascination with such a flower since there are so many forms and varieties. We are with you as counting them amongst our favourites.

    And, again, you have produced a most effective and thought provoking 'still life'. We do so hope that you do not destroy these, but, rather keep them to place strategically throughout the garden.

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  6. Oh! I love that after the horrid experience of war, he was able to spend his life in beauty and doing something he loved. How amazing and poetic is that!

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  7. Hello Jane and Lance,
    it's that particular clarity of scent some iris have that I love, that and their noble form.
    I will endeavour to keep my 'still lifes' intact, though I'm not sure if the elements will cooperate!

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  8. Meggs, WWI introduced a whole new, unsuspected level of brutality into the world, and I'm not surprised that it scarred so many so badly. Gardening was probably an antidote, as it continues to be.

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  9. Nick Lowe
    Beast in Me

    The beast in me
    Is caged by frail and fragile bonds
    Restless by day
    And by night, rants and rages at the stars
    God help, the beast in me
    The beast in me
    Has had to learn to live with pain
    And how to shelter from the rain
    And in the twinkling of an eye
    Might have to be restrained
    God help the beast in me

    Sometimes
    It tries to kid me that it's just a teddy bear
    Or even somehow managed
    To vanish in the air
    And that is when I must beware
    Of the beast in me
    That everybody knows
    They've seen him out dressed in my clothes
    Patently unclear
    If it's New York or New Year
    God help the beast in me
    The beast in me

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  10. Thanks, Billy, that's a truthful song from the gut.

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  11. English rocker Nick married a daughter of Mr Johnny Cash and JC did a cover version of this..both great!

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  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA0d0-0Cvnc

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  13. cripes you are testing old eyes with your words in a distance thing..very foggy!

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  14. Words in a distance? I chose the name 'Gardener in the Distance' because whenever anyone goes looking for me, I am invariably off in the distance somewhere ( lost in the garden ). And I like the idea of the hand of the gardener being undetectable, and the garden itself being the thing.
    Besides which Billy, you aren't old, and your eyes have got alot of looking to do yet!

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  15. nonono its your pale font I am on about!

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  16. The baby in the pale font,
    had for water a great want.
    So when they tried to dunk him in,
    he dived right down, as if with fin,
    that very wet, baptised enfant.

    I guess you mean the pale blue...sorry, I'll have to get numerous complaints before I change it.

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  17. we older folk will look elsewhere!

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  18. What an interesting grandfather, I have met a few people (online) who are iris passionistas and members of iris societies - I wonder if they are ex-soldiers? Re the distance thing: do you make comprimises for people like me who are short sighted?

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  19. Actually, Catmint ( and William ), I'd be only too happy to darken the colour of the text if it really is difficult to read. I hadn't noticed.

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  20. Ah I see you write poems Faisal....

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  21. Dear Faisal, no need to change anything for me. I love the 'distance' idea because it makes me think of time as well as space.

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  22. Too late! I try to get all the colours to coordinate, and I'm not sure about the navy blue, but it is a favourite colour...but who knows, I'll probably change it again anyway.

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