Strange Flowers has achieved its first half-decade: five years ago today I posted about that rare and exotic bloom Alastair, still one of the best examples of the kind of unjustly neglected individual the blog set out to celebrate.
At this milestone, I have some good news and some bad news. Both are a little sketchy on detail, but beginning (as custom dictates) with the bad news: the blog will be going into partial abeyance for the forseeable future. I’m reluctant to predict what that will actually means in terms of output, but it might be as little as a post or two a month.
The good news is that my energies will be redirected toward a new approach to our beloved Flowers. Because it’s certainly not that I have grown bored of the magnificent misfits who have stalked these pages. Quite the contrary: to me their bold, blazing otherness is more real, more vital and more inspiring than ever, and I want to honour their stories in another form. That’s all I can say for now, but be aware that in the process some past entries will be disappearing, so if you were ever inclined to delve back into the 740-odd previous posts: now would be a good time.
If you wanted a starting point, the ten most popular posts to date are:
Sissi & Romy (the Austrian Empress and Romy Schneider)
“To know her was to loathe her” (Gala Dalí)
The last Krupp (Arndt von Bohlen und Halbach)
The 12-step Sissi lifestyle plan (the Empress again!)
A Percy Grainger glossary (the Australian composer’s language experiment)
Berenice Abbott | portraits (a gallery of works by the American photographer)
Goddess of the night (Anita Berber)
Boni and the Palais Rose (Boni de Castellane at home in Paris)
Magic acts (the multiple careers of Carl Van Vechten)
Dixie Orlando (the eternal conundrum of Dawn Langley Simmons)
To everyone who has read, subscribed, linked, recommended, tweeted, re-posted, commented or emailed over the last five years: thank you. I would be thrilled to have your company for the next phase. I can’t put it any better than Quentin Crisp (who could?), so I leave you – for now – with his words:
Don’t keep looking into the sky to see what is happening. Embrace the future. All you have to do about the future is what you did about the past. Rely on your curiosity and your courage, and ride through the night.