Sunday, 13 August 2017


'Hops... good for what ales you.'

I seem to have been to several places lately that have been liberally decorated with bines of dried hops. They look very attractive. I thought these made a pretty still life, especially when I added a texture layer. Hops are the flowers of Humulus lupulus and are, of course, the traditional flavouring for beer, as well as being used in herbal medicine and as a sleep aid.

My own recollections are a bit less benign... Years ago, at primary school, we used to be marched in a 'crocodile' down to the Victorian swimming baths. The walk took us under the darkly dripping arches of a railway viaduct and past the brewery, where there was an acrid stench of hops. I hated swimming lessons, I hated the walk and I hated the smell! I've never quite got over it - and I still can't swim very well!


  1. We were transported by rusty mini-bus to a neighbouring village where we got changed in a draughty spider-infested shed before having our half-hour in the cold, outdoor pool, which usually contained a good quantity of rotten leaves and an occasional drowned crow. I'm not much good at swimming either.

  2. Beautiful! We have some hops, planted by a friend who wanted to make beer. He's moved on but the hops are flourishing -- I am inspired to go harvest some an twine them decoratively somewhere.

  3. I learned to swim from an older cousin, who spent his high school years as a life guard.

    I've never seen hops here.


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