Monday, 26 November 2012

Hello sorry to away SOOOO long, been in bed most of the time but I've been thinking of you all!

Photo: Wikipedia.     'The Poor Poet' by   Carl Spitzweg.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cirque du Soleil     Photo:- Veronique Vial.

'You want to know what living life to the fullest actually is?  It's waking up on a Monday morning with no complaints.  It's knowing you always deserve to laugh.  It's doing what feels right no matter what.  It's doing what you want to no matter how stupid you look.  It's about being yourself, because no one can tell you you're doing it wrong.'                          -Unknown-

Monday, 8 October 2012

I'm just about recovering from a brilliant laughing fit I experienced just now.

I've just started reading a book I've had on my shelves for ages, I've had it that long I can only guess where it came from, probably one of the local charity shops in the village.  The one where one of the volunteer's is a retired librarian, and they seem to get better, less mangled books.  So.... there I am sipping my illicit coffee in my favourite cup, with the conservatory doors thrown open and the sunshine (what's that? sunshine in Manchester?) streaming in, when I came across this passage and just had to read it out aloud to my long-suffering husband who was playing solitaire against his lying cheating lap-top.  The lap-top it's alive...I swear! It continually tells him he can  'go', when he definitely can't.  Anyway I'm reading out this passage from my book and quite literally I'm laughing that much that my legs are flying in the air, my feet are drumming the laminate planks and tears are streaming down my cheeks!  To set the scene - Peter the protagonist is a writer who's come up against a dreaded block, so, living in New York he decides to go for a you do.  He dons all his equipment, strapping on matte black safety gear: helmet, elbow pads, wrist protectors with Velcro fasteners and plastic reinforcers, mittens and knee pads with black plastic cups over the joints themselves. I should explain he's been ten years before this, working in London and has recently moved to New York with his wife. He's even been to a blading school at Chelsea Piers NYC!  Where he found himself the only adult male amongst large middle-aged ladies and small children, so back to self-tutoring.  The scene is set:-

'There is one physical barrier that seriously blights my blading enjoyment.  It is the West Side Highway, the eight lane stream of traffic that I am forced to cross to get to the river walk.  Although there is a pedestrian crossing, the flashing green man has been wrongly adjusted by the Traffic Department.  For intermediate bladers like myself, he provides an inadequately fleeting window of opportunity in which to blade across, and the impatient traffic sits on the line revving up for their green, like racing cars waiting for a chequered starting-flag to fall.  Nor i it unknown for them to jump the lights.  I find that under the close scrutiny of eight rows of New York drivers, my blading deteriorates significantly.  I wobble nervously and falter like a beginner.  Once I reach the other side I feel triumphant, liberated.  Until the time approaches to cross again, as it always does.
But today, today is my last crossing of the West Side Highway.  Today I have almost reached the other side when unaccountably, my left skate jams and I fall heavily - just as the lights turn in favour of a grid of trucks.  The Mack truck nearest me releases its brakes with a menacing pneumatic wheeze, kicks into gear and advances.  I look up desperately, but my perspective is too low to allow me to see the driver, too low to fix him with pleading eyes.  The truck looms dangerously and then emits a vast, throaty, customized hoot.  My whole body resonates, right to the fillings in my molars.  I scuttle desperately to the kerb, a spidery, Gothic figure in my matte black safety outfit and the goat's hooves of my black skates.  I felt that I must look like one of those Calcutta pavement cripples, cosmetically enhanced by callous relatives for more proficient begging.  I haul myself up over the concrete lip to safety, where I sit, feeling the laughter of the driver wash over me.  Fast, proficient skaters, the ones I have been trying to emulate, blade gracefully past me.
"Bad blades, man.  You OK?" yells one cheerily, as he whisks past shirtless, and without any safety gear, casually ramping some substantial obstacle.'

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Yesterday afternoon.

Our house is on a very narrow, small cul-de-sac.  It's very tight to turn a vehicle around in too.  Partially because some driveways are too narrow to get a car up, necessitating that they be drawn up, half onto the pavement half on the road, but also because all the neighbours drive there are simply too many cars to fit on their drives, so the road is made even narrower by parked cars.  Imagine then my interest when a fire-engine drove up, a ladder-engine.  Hang on, is someone's house on fire?  Look for smoke...signs of panic, shouts, people?  Not a sign.  What a relief - all quiet, just the usual Saturday afternoon in the suburbs of the city, not a soul in sight.  The engine stopped, presumably ruminating on how to get out of the situation without pranging anything.  Two lovely young firemen jump out and go to the rear to direct operations, up a bit, left a bit, forward, back, shunt shunt, eventually the great red engine managed to park up, and sat there.  And sat there... I'm watching through my bedroom window, I could just about see inside the cab they were just chatting.  I suddenly thought of all the dangerous things these young men do for us.  Bright young men doing a job not everyone could contemplate.  Downstairs now, I'm rummaging through my larder.   Do I have chocolate somewhere?  No.. but I have biscuits, completely covered with chocolate.  I fling on a sweater and some shoes and make my way outside into the sunny September afternoon.
As I reached the engine the door swung open and six lovely smiley faces peered down at me.
" I don't know why you're here." I ventured,  "But, I just wanted to give you these." handing up the packet.
" You don't know why we're here? We're here to fit smoke-alarms, do you have them?"
"I do."
"Do they work?"
"They do, yes.  Anyway...... I just wanted to thank you all for what you do.  I think you do a brilliant job! I know you sometimes get abuse and even rocks thrown at you, but the people on this road are all nice people. So...Thank you! I think you're all brilliant!"
Six lovely handsome faces grinned down at me.
"'s not often we get this kind of treatment, thank you. We're not supposed to accept gifts but seeing as they arr..r..e chocolate! Thank you very much!"
They all waved as they drove off into the afternoon, it was lovely.  Afterwards I felt emotional thinking of the brave job that they do, these ordinary men who do extraordinarily dangerous jobs for us all every day.

It's not often we get a chance to be able to say thank you, I'm so glad that I did!
Photo: Wikipedia

Friday, 28 September 2012

'....But, but -
excuse me now, please; it's morning heavenly bright,
 and irrepressible heart begs me to hurry on
 into the next exquisite moment.'

-'Trying to Be Thoughtful in the First Brights of Dawn' - Mary Oliver -

It's lovely how the dawn sky is flushed or washed with a pale lemon in a line just above and behind the trees on the golf-links.  As though a water-colour artist were beginning a painting, laying down the first washes, gliding the pale pigment across the paper.
My pen halts sitting across my thumb - listening, waiting for the next movement, to place the letters flowing from brain to paper.   There... as I look up I catch the gold of a tree.  There is one point in the dawning where the sunbeams catch-up one tree alone, clustered about by many yet only this one tree's top most leaves and branches are lit-up with the golden light of the rising morning sun.  I can see it through my window in the mass of branches and leaves of the other trees gathered around it.  It is like the subject of 'This is Your Life' and the others about clustered friends and relatives called to pay homage.
I have a small spray of creamy white freesia on the window-sill and behind there is a shallow line of condensation along the bottom of the window itself, the sun illuminates it so that gleams like sunshine on snow reminding me of a heap of tiny diamonds tipped from a bag.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

'Our senses define the edge of consciousness'.  Diane Ackerman

The air and the days suddenly, become autumnal.  It happens overnight practically and in the following dawning of the next day I can feel autumn.  It holds an excitement, a mystery, a dying...yet also an awakening.  Thoughts of cool autumn mornings, walking through mounds of jewel coloured leaves and golden grasses, their damp sodden fragrance disturbed and drifting upwards to reach my nose causing me to lift up my head, left and then right to breathe in the cool wet-feeling air and as a consequence catch sight and sound of a flock of geese, honking, flying in their ragged 'V' formation across the pearl-grey skies.

Snatches of past autumn days burst into my mind - always the overwhelming smell of rotting-down leaves, pungent and earthy and brackish pervading each scene.  Remembering a  particular road in the late afternoon now.  I'm by a run of small grey-black shops to my right, they are set back from the road, a long pavement away from the line of gold and orange leaves gathering in the drain-wells.  That grey ribbon of a roadside running down to meet the main thoroughfare and opposite me as I see the junction ahead another bank of houses and a news-agency shop up a short slight incline.  The lights are on inside and there is a feeling of pleasance, and there is an air of school over for the day, home beckoning.  A day when illness has presented me with a hiatus away from work, I am waiting for a chemist to fulfill a prescription I've been given by the doctor just up the road.  How many times have I been here, in this spot, waiting...?  Long ago when 'S' was small and I used to call here, coming into the chemist's shop to buy tiny elastic toys for her hair,  little elastic bands of bright colours with tiny kittens attached or baubles attached that I used to fasten-up the plaits we put in her long hair each day.  These scenes replay, over and over, taking me to this place, bringing me back, over and over.   

Monday, 20 August 2012

At dawn this morning the light is pale yellow, flushing the leaves of the beech tree with primrose until the sun hides behind a white cloud.  Softly a late summer wind shivers the top most branches so that the boughs sway and the dark shadows reappear deep within the summer foliage.  Something about those top branches in the trees reminds me of a time long past in Florida.  Why?  Why would swaying branches and glittering dancing leaves remind me of a holiday in Florida?   Trembling leaves, fluttering leaves, flickering, gathering dancing leaves.  The branches are so long and leggy making their movement a swaying.  Lowering and rising.  Swimming through the air.  Rustling, struggling leaves soon to be free, to fly free.  Flying- yes! But downwards, their one floating, spiralling flight down...down, freed from their anchor, freed from their tether.

..........Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired
and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that 
which you would escape.

These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.

And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes
shadow to another light.

And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a 
greater freedom.

-Khailil Gibran-

-Claude Monet-  Le Jardin 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Hello everyone........

This is just exquisite, thought you might enjoy watching!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The sound of soft summer rain, somehow poignant reminds me of stately homes and summer leaves, English lawns and a river, its surface gleaming and glancing, with shards of brightness here and there.  A silky dreamy spell, drawn with moving splashes, 'rings of bright water'.  Crystalline raindrops slinkily slide along telephone wires like passing cable-cars coming down a mountain-side.

But the rain we have today is more as though someone in the skies simply pulled the plug-up.  It barrel's down the windows and gushes over the top of the gutters.  Streams in down the inside of the French-windows and floods the conservatory floor.  We hurry to mop up with towels before the wood is soaked through.  There is no wind so the torrent just comes straight down in long silver shards, it's quite scary, there is so much power to it.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

'Some people dance in the rain and others get wet.'
-Roger Miller, Singer songwriter -

The summer reigns on, rains on.  Somewhere there will be children staring from steamed-up windows, gazing out through this fence of steel knitting-needle rain falling to earth.  Mind you...are there any children out there longing to play outside any more?  It seems I may be thinking back too far into my own past remembering.  Most probably they are all mesmerized by different screens, glass certainly, but 'windows on the world' of a different kind.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I was drinking my morning illicit cup of coffee earlier, illicit because caffeine seems to be not good for those of us with M.E. however....I enjoy it and I've had to forgo quite a few things since being ill so I've reached a point of, "Oh what the heck and allow myself one cup savouring every sip!"  Anyway I was reading a magazine article, simultaneously raising my favourite cup to my lips, I reckon if I'm doing something illicit it had better look the part  and then I came across Tim Lott's words:

'Because I had learnt, more deeply than ever before, that life is lived not through fantasies of control, but by giving in to it and trusting to the future.  Why?  Who knows?  What happens now?  Again, who knows?  And isn't that the wonderful perfect, remarkable thing about being alive?  The uncertainty.  You must love the uncertainty.  Because only when you have begun to accept that life is as insubstantial as a wisp of smoke and that you are helpless, that it will end in death and oblivion, can you discover the true joy of simply breathing, and looking, and being, just being, right here, now.'    -Tim Lott- 
 Uncertainty according to the Chambers Concise dictionary means not sure or certain, not definitely known or decided, not to be depended upon, likely to change, though it can also mean lacking confidence or hesitant.  So the fact that I'm uncertain dealing with uncertainty poses a difficulty....certainly.
Mind you, if I'm uncertain then even that difficulty itself becomes uncertain surely?  Which is what Mr Lott was saying I think, although I don't like to think that there is only oblivion after death, that's not a certainty and therefore he can't then be certain of that outcome of course.  ;)))
However....'The moment when you first wake up in the morning is that most wonderful of the twenty-four hours.  No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen.  And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot.  The possibility is always there!'  -Monica Baldwin- 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

I was about eight when I first saw the film 'The Red Balloon' it was all in black and white then, no colour, hardly any dialogue, although as child I don't think I noticed this at all, it was totally magical. I never forgot the small boy in the rain greyness of the post-war streets of Paris rescuing the sentient balloon and its befriending of him.  Recently I was enchanted again watching the newly restored coloured version.  Paris looks romantic if shabby, the skyline pearly and its people worn.  The small boy in his brown shoes runs through the cobbled streets playfully followed by the cheeky, rebellious balloon so shiny.

Why aren't balloons shiny any more?

Les Ballons
by Oscar Wilde

Against these turbid turquoise skies
The light and luminous balloons
Dip and drift like satin moons,
Drift like silken butterflies;

Reel with every windy gust,
Rise and reel like dancing girls,
Float like strange transparent pearls,
Fall and float like silver dust.

Now to the low leaves they cling,
Each with coy fantastic pose,
Each a petal of a rose
Straining at a gossamer string.

Then to the tall trees they climb,
Like thin globes of amethyst,
Wandering opals keeping tryst
With the rubies of the lime.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Angels about?

This morning sunshine after two solid days of heavy summer rain, there's been flooding all over the north- west of England.  Earlier a magpie landed on my window-ledge and looked in at me with his black shiny eyes and sharp pointy beak, whilst snowflakes of angels feathers blew on the breeze or so it seemed.  Either someone somewhere was shaking free their duvet or a million dandelion clocks had stopped ticking and tufts of time floated freely in the morning air.  Lazing along not a care in the world.
This side of my magpie stand white freesia and carnations, they capture my heart and their fragrance perfumes my day.

Questions About Angels
by Billy Collins

Of all the questions you might want to ask
about angels, the only one you ever hear
is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time
besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin
or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth
or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from the hinges
of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?
Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colours?

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,
their diet of unfiltered divine light?
What goes on inside their luminous heads?  Is there a wall
these tall presences can look over and see hell?

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole
in a river and would the hole float along endlessly
filled with silent letters of every angelic word?

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive 
in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume
the appearance of the regular mail-man and
whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

No, the medieval theologians control the court.
The only question you ever hear is about 
the dance floor on the head of a pin
where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

It is designed to make us think in millions,
billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse
into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:
one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,
a small jazz combo working in the background.

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful
eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over
to glance at his watch because she has been dancing 
forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

Copyright 1991 by Billy Collins. All rights controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Friday, 22 June 2012

At 3:45 am. the birds were singing this morning.  The light has been so bright the last two nights, hardly what you would call night at all.  The sky flushed with that blue-grey of early summer, late spring.  This time next week we will be in the thick of summer, all the lawns are taking off with growth, at the front of the house it's a jungle for the neighbourhood cats to hide in.

Speaking of the 'wages round' earlier this week reminded me of a funny story.  Our wages office at work housed two elderly ladies of twin-set and pearls, tightly permed hair and sober disposition.  In their brightly lit office they would drink endless cups of tea, not coffee and constantly there was a sound of the scrunch-crunch and rolling ratchet-rattle of old fashioned comptometers or adding-machines, which was how calculations were done in the modern world of 1967.
How did we ever get things done before calculators and computers?  Yet, even then a few miles further on into Manchester, the boffins were improving and tinkering with the humongous invention that has transformed the lives of humanity...the computer.
Mrs T and Mrs K bumbled plumply into each of the surrounding office departments on a Friday around lunch-time, handing out wage packets much like the Queen Mother did the Maundy money on Maundy-Thursday.  Munificently, as though it was money from their own coffers they were doling-out gracefully.  Mrs T was the senior employee, way past retiring age or so she appeared to me as I was then, a slim unwritten upon maiden of seventeen.  She did seem to get distracted and kerfuffled,  disarmingly she'd drift off somewhere never finishing a sentence she started.   This particular day she put her comptometer to sleep at 5:30 as was her routine.  Routines were to be adhered to especially in the most important office of the company, everything had a place or a moment for doing it otherwise the whole creation might collapse about our ears.  Therefore the wages department was put to bed for the night and Mrs T having said her farewells to colleagues made her way outside to the bus-stop.  Some moments later our manager deciding an important letter needed to catch the evening post and therefore needing a postage-stamp used his pass-key to open up the wages office door and then the safe where all the stamps were placed overnight, only to find Mrs T's handbag cosily bunged inside the safe, squashed in 'fatly' with the stamp-book and other safe-keep-ables.
"What the.....??" he must have thought to himself.
Quick as a rat up a drainpipe he was out of the office door, down the steps outside the building and sprinting to the local bus-stop where stood Mrs T with the cash box tucked into her shopping bag apparently, blithely unaware anything was amiss.
The story goes she had been on automatic-pilot and absent-mindedly put the bag instead of the cash box into the safe.  Well that's the way the rest of us had it explained to us, but I can't help thinking if after forty years she'd finally 'had enough' and decided to go AWOL for a final fling somewhere in Acapulco!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Does anyone remember what it was like on Friday's when the wages staff came around where you worked and you were handed a small buff coloured envelope with your name and works number on it?  Not only was Friday the best day of the week being the one before two days off, it was also 'pay day'. How great did it feel when you had that small brown envelope in your hands?  I can remember the sheer anticipation of prising open the very sticky glue and with two fingers reaching inside to slide out the crisp notes.  Not so long after I started work everyone went over to bank-transfers to receive their salaries and they phased out the wages round, I suppose it was safer to have the money always in the bank instead of having security firms delivering tons of money here and there and everywhere all over our towns.  I've never forgotten though that feeling of holding the real money you had just earned that week by your toil for the engines of industry, it was exciting.  Sometimes there wasn't as much inside the packet as you had reckoned you would receive, fluctuating tax deductions or pay-docked for lateness etcetera.  The best pay-days were when you were taking your annual leave the next week and then your pay-packet would be thick and bulging with an extra fortnights money for your holiday.  How brilliant it was to have your wad of cash and the excitement of a whole two weeks ahead of you with no work!

Friday, 15 June 2012


....."The time has come," the Walrus said
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax..
Of cabbages and kings..
And why the sea is boiling hot..
And whether pigs have wings."

-The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll-

Look at those long thin hands.  You can just imagine shaking hands with this weird creepy little man can't you?  His real name was Richard Engländer, he was writer born in Vienna in 1859, Peter Altenberg was his pseudonym.  Apparently he was described as being a true Bohemian and was know for his eccentric wild way of dressing and his outrageous opinions.  He was inspired by the prose poems of Baudelaire and also by postcards because they necessitated a condensed style of writing.  Speaking of his prose-pearls he said,  "They're extracts!  Extracts from life!"  His own life was fractured by more than one internment in the local asylum and his writing was an amalgam of fiction and fact.  He had his letters delivered to Cafe Central his favourite coffee-house in Vienna where he used to like to write, and where there is now a statue of him permanently seated at a table near the entrance.  Apparently he wrote the phrase,  "Are we not all only Karikatures from the truly and ideal wishes, which God and nature made with our souls and our bodies." (with the spellings and punctuation as original) in English beneath Jagerspacher's portrait of him.

He would most definitely have been delighted with the invention of blogs.  I feel a certain sympathy with him, if only for the fact that sometimes he wrote his short prose-pearls whilst propped up in bed and like me his writings were liberally peppered with wild fireworks of exclamation marks!!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

'Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on.'  
                                  Johnathan Safran Foer

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Just watched this video on another of the blogs I follow and it's SOOOO brilliant I just had to post and direct you there. doubt it's easy to put a link to the actual video itself but I don't know how, not being at all a techno.  So if you fancy have a mosey-on over to it's SUCH a great watch! Do go over, you'll smile I promise!!!

Hugs Jane

Monday, 28 May 2012

Give you two guesses who that babe in the big hat is! 
 How hot it has been here this past week, we of the northern persuasion are not used to it!  I have electric-fans..fanning constantly but I've drawn the line to wearing such a sombrero again.  I am actually 'pretend smoking' a sweetie cigarette in the photograph....I can remember that much, I bet they don't sell those any more, what do you think?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

'Blessed are the cracked......
For they shall let in the light!'


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The last thing I do each night after switching out my lamp is to open up one of the Venetian blinds.  The window is a bay and as I awake in the morning the first thing I can see are trees along the top of a hill on the golf-links and one large pear-tree lacy with white blossom.  I can kid myself I am somewhere in the country even though the sounds of the awakening city intrude.  Sometimes I can catch the most glorious dawn light, the sky slowly flushing from pink to deepest rose, and even the sound of occasional traffic cannot interfere with the serenading birdsong. I can think back and place myself aged fourteen leaning from a casement window in Wiltshire, feeling the crisp cool bite of early morning and looking down towards a damp brick laid path, then out across a meadow to brown and white cows quietly lying in the grass where they had crushed the wild mint beneath their bulk so that its sweet smell permeated the still cold air.
We would drive down to Wiltshire to visit my dads sister when she was the headmistress of a school there,  that's the school-building in my header photograph.  There was also a tied-cottage where she and my Nanny lived  a little way from the school, a perk that went with the position.  It was the end cottage in a terraced row, with a long wrap-around garden to one side, and all that lush meadow out at the rear, and to the front across a lane in the purple distance arose Roundway hill long reputed to be a haunted place.
 There were enough rooms in the cottage for us to stay and I remember mostly the gentility of the place somehow.  Those rooms with soft moss-green carpets, bookcases filled with interesting illustrated books, 'The Yellow Book' with it's racy drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, poetry books galore and all of the Wainwright books, watercolours of the lake-district and mountains, always a copy of The Telegraph folded to an unfinished crossword puzzle on the coffee table or on the arm of Nanny's chair.  I'm trying to think of how to describe the atmosphere that I can still call to mind after almost fifty years.  A shushed quiet, a feeling of time slowed down, even though there were clocks that ticked and hummed,  kettles that boiled, tea that was served in tinkling china teacups brought to the table on a silver-tray, voices that were lowered, movements that were slower, books that were read instead of television watched, good manners and respectability.  A teacher's sanctuary.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hello everyone, so sorry to be away from all your lovely blogs for ages.  Please
know I do think about you all, but been feeling particularly 'grotty', in bed or sitting
in my chair and trying my best to stay positive and send myself some healthier days
now Spring is here! I seem to get a little improvement and then slip back again.
I hope you are all enjoying the lovely Spring flowers and sunshine wherever you are
in our beautiful blue world!

Heartfelt hugs dear friends.
Jane x

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Will your passion shimmer here surreal and young?
Vividly in the psychedelic music,
This masterpiece chiselled on jewelled glass
Creates my impression of beauty.
Soft abstruse silhouette questions, how wild imagination and rhythm
Throws you a bold song,
Then is our best sense of harmony.
Sing,draw,dream,free art,
For we dazzle with real aesthetic here,
Imagine eclectic genius,
You, me and a mad blue angel dust, composing. 
I bear no form or symbol,
Yet am filled with joy and sight to see you...
Dream you-  in my world.

Photo:- 'Orion Nebula'   Smithsonian Institution.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The past lies over and within everything. When my eldest daughter was two years old we lived in Scotland in a farmhouse called Yonderton for just over two years.  'He', there to work was absent a good part of that time, leaving the two of us behind each day.  I would stand at one of the windows to catch a glimpse of his car flashing between the trees, whilst behind me the enormous house groaned and creaked and blew icy breaths even throughout the summer days.  Yonderton stands on a flat piece of ground.  Before it, the fields drop away to the road and behind the hill gently rises towards the white-blue sky. Of the three sparsely furnished rooms upstairs the master bedroom would have made four of this room I write in now.  We never slept in it.  It was just too cold and too enormous.  The furnishings supplied by our landlord farmer, comprised of two dining chairs, a bed so high you practically needed steps to get into it and an old dressing-table. So...not cosy then.  I chose the smaller room at the front for us, overlooking the meadow, so we might hear the bleating of sheep and catch sight of the sea glistening in the distance or watch the Ardrossan-Brodick ferry sailing out for the Isle of Arran and coming home to port six times daily.
Tarbert hill, four hundred and fifty-three feet of tough, sheep cropped grass stood between us and the beautiful misty blue, Isle of Arran.   Like a massive sleeping dinosaur the hillside towered across from Yonderton  at the bottom of the lane.  We climbed up one Sunday afternoon to stand at the summit buffeted by wild winds yet entranced by a view across the sheltered waters of the Firth of Clyde to the magical blue and mauve island and it's snow-capped mountains.
I can't remember being lonely, but I must have been, knowing nobody and with no neighbours close-by.  I only remember loosing my heart to this wonderful place where it was quite likely some of our Viking descendants roamed and lived.  One winter's morning we went walking and staggering up the hill just to the left on the photograph.  There were young bullocks in the field higher up so we were skirting around to enter the garden when they all came over to investigate who we were.   This woman and small child.  They weren't large beasts but never-the-less towering over the small form of my daughter, and budging and shoving me with their bulk, blowing out sweet misty smoke from black nostrils into the frosty air.  I picked her up to swing her on my hip and grabbed a small branch to poke them away, beginning to feel intimidated by a bunch of curious teenagers it seemed.  Lowering my voice an octave and hoping to sound bold and commanding,
"On with you...away with you beasts!" just as I had previously heard the cowman shout I hoped.
I never thought that I could feel in the least threatened by a herd of cows.  Not so.  They gathered behind us pushing and shoving each other as we scrambled over the fence into the garden only to find ourselves in a carpet of massed snowdrops in a part of the garden we hadn't noticed before.
'The moment you first  wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours.  No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen.  And the fact that it practically always doesn't matters not a jot.'   -Monica Baldwin-

Sunday, 15 January 2012

'Sunshiney' winter Sunday mornings are so uplifting, when I first awaken to the sounds of bird song and tinkling trills of a wind-chime singing-ringing in the cold morning breeze.  Glistening white roofs and road and cars iced with frost and for some, thoughts of a whole day free to do as they please.  No work and little pressure, chores to do but no particular time-frame, even babies seem to sense that today is of a different hue, with everyone quietly still in bed at past 8am.  I can hear sounds of children's laughter behind the party-wall, our neighbours are a young couple with a small baby.  Outside now too, a car going past returning from early Mass and a whistling paper boy.  He's walking slowly home, his canary-yellow delivery bag hanging limply from his shoulder, the 'Sunday Times' all delivered, his thoughts distracted by the aroma of frying bacon escaping from nearby houses as he passes.
I'm thinking how daft I was not to cherish those days when I could eat with abandon whatever I chose. I received no less than five different recipe books as Christmas gifts this year, I think I'm being steered or rather dragged towards the kitchen.  I need to be innovative with my choices having decided to eliminate wheat and dairy from my chewing life!
This little chap has reached into his bag of tricks and found them gone, we can all be a bit like that don't you think? 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Thought you might like to see my new snazzy socks and red pyjamas everyone!!
Biggest, brightest, happiest New Year to all my lovely blogging friends wherever you are.
Love Jane