People I love

Friday, 6 July 2012

Lady Ophelia is surprised by Lady Isabella!

This week Lady Ophelia is visiting the Isle of Man. This is an island in the ocean between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It has it's own parliament and is self governing, but for international relation purposes, it is allied to England.

The National flower is the Cushag, which is a member of the Aster family :D
"My dearest Lillian,
Richard says "BRAVO". and to tell any one who tries to slight your good name to see him about it! After all. it is nearly the 20th Century, and a more modern approach needs to be embraced by all.
We are just off the coast right now, on the Isle of Man. Did you know they rule themselves? They are not even counted as part of the United Kingdom! It is unlike anywhere else I have been. There are strange looking sheep, and cats with no tails, and the menfolk play a game in winter called "Cammag", which involves a bent stick, a little ball, and however many men you can muster!
I don't want to appear snobbish, but I was rather disappointed when Richard took me to visit Lady Isabella. I was of course, expecting some genteel lady and afternoon tea...not a huge metal monstrosity. I for one would not be flattered to have a water pump named after me. Richard says I will soon be as large as that myself...Miss Francesca had to refrain me from chasing Richard with a bent stick!
By far the most popular native flower here is the "Cushag", that grows in lovely golden bunches everywhere one looks.
Your affectionate friend, Ophelia xxx"

" My darling Ophelia,
I do not wish to cause offence, but please tell me you haven't sent me any of these "Cushag". I would be forced to destroy them immediately, as the local landowners and farmers despise this plant with a vengeance unrivalled. It is known to be poisonous to livestock, especially horses. We know it as "Ragwort". It is a terrible shame, as it hosts a most fabulous creature. namely the "Cinnabar Moth". Their caterpillars are orange and black striped, while the adult is a glorious crimson and black, quite magical to see. I do have a small patch in the corner of my garden that I ensure does not spread, just to prevent these moths disappearing from our area altogether.
Your devoted friend, Lillian xxx"

Images on my page;
The Manx coat of arms, The Laxey Wheel aka "Lady Isabella", a 19th century maternity smock, a Loaghtan sheep and a tail less Manx cat.

...and just in case you've never seen one, this is a pic of a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar I took a couple of years ago in my garden :D
Enjoy :D XXX


  1. I never knew ragwort was also called that and I've never seen one of those sad!! Thanks for the great page and the historic info once again :)
    xoxo Sioux

  2. That is a strange world. Never heard of it before. :) Nice postcard and a great story. :)

  3. I never knew ragwort was called cushag. Up here in north east Scotland they call them tansies. I wage war every year on it as I have horses and, given a chance, it would take over completely.
    Fab postcard and travel page.

    Janet xx

    1. Tansy is a totally different plant down here :D I was reading up on the toxic thing, and it seems animals tend not to eat it cos it is so bitter, but that if it gets mixed in the hay supply and dried they don't notice it. this is when they get poisoned. Hope your horses never come into contact with it :D

  4. Learnt a lot again today! Love your card, and everything is very well researched! Valerie

  5. Well you learn something new everyday. I knew about the ragwort but not about the moths loving it so!

  6. Gina, so much information! I have never heard of the Isle of Man. And, I have never seen or heard of cinnabar moth caterpillars. I wonder if we have ragwort? Take Care ;o)

  7. No doubt delightful letter from Mrs. Ofelia on the Isle of Man

  8. a great painting of the flowers, another good read. great information..

  9. Lovely episode...and more fascinating facts..I'm trying to remember them for our pub!
    Hugs xx

  10. Gina another great botanical illustration -
    Great information too

  11. A great post again. Love the envelope.

  12. Beautiful postcard again and I love the story. Great info too.
    Jen x

  13. I have always wanted to go to the Isle of Man. One day... That caterpillar is freaking cool. :)