Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Monday Apr 16 2007 01:16:39
By Cait
Dear Diary, Sunday morning starts in a ‘drinking tea whilst being caressed by the sun through the window’ kind of way. A quick look out to see who is already up and taking breakfast but there is not a soul to be seen, it must be Sunday lie-in time for all the birds and the squirrels too. But the sheep, always the early risers, they are imbibing at the stream’s edge. Aren’t they lucky that one edge of our field is bordered by the mountain’s river water, so clear and pure and full of minerals. I take the opportunity to read some more of my novel, I find it hard to put down. A low mist hangs over the green sward but it is being quickly penetrated by the sun’s rays. I have a feeling it is going to be a very warm day and I have an excited feeling in my solar plexus (or my fifth chakra if you are into chakras); it’s a free day ahead with nothing planned. I am free to do some gardening and sow my new seeds. I plan to go to the garden centre tomorrow as today (Sunday) it will be manic there. Mondays are a great day to shop and I plan to go alone tomorrow so I can have a long browse without M breathing down my neck saying ‘Is that it then?’ or ‘Have you finished?’. I have found that men and shopping don’t mix. There are three types of shops that to my mind are best done solo because I like to spend ages browsing, dreaming, deciding on what to buy and the garden centre is one of them. The others are bookshops, of course, goes without saying doesn’t it, bibliophile that I am and also clothes shops, they in particular are definitely no-go areas for the male species I think. Even though I do not usually linger in clothes shops I would rather look round on my own. Of course Internet shopping is a great invention for country dwellers as you can do it when it suits you and you don’t have to leave the house. Unfortunately we don’t have a Tesco within about fifty miles or so which means we can’t yet order basic groceries online for home delivery but we look forward to the time that we can. I realise supermarkets are not the best place to shop and I do buy as much locally as I can. I wish we had local markets and boulangeries like they do in France; that is the way I would like to shop, daily and buy fresh and organic, close to home and warm fresh bread every day. Katy my border collie has just come up, she has jumped on the bed to make a big fuss of me. She seems happy. I think she knows it is a non-work day and that I will be in her company all day. Little does she know that I am planning to giver her a brush or rather M and I are going to give her a brush as it takes two of us, one to brush and one to hold her still! As I’ve said before, she was a very nervous dog when we first acquired her but she has responded to lots of TLC and is much more trusting. She is a beautiful dog though she has a strange habit of sticking her tongue out. I’ve examined it and it almost looks too long for her mouth. I fear she is inbred but I may be wrong. She is not at all like my first border collie, Kerry, who was a pedigree bitch from Crufts champion stock in both obedience and agility. The one thing I haven’t conquered is Katy’s fear of being brushed. Mind you when my daughter was a child she had very long blonde hair which I never had cut, it would tangle madly and she didn’t like me getting near her with the hairbrush either. Perhaps I was a cruel mother, what a worrying thought, I must banish it! I vow to be gentle with Katy, I will persevere for she will feel much better and cooler when she loses her excess fur and the birds will appreciate using it for their home improvements. I wonder if I am up to tackling the ‘ground elder’ bed. I don’t think I have told you about the flowerbed in my front garden that sits aside the path leading to the porch at the front of the cottage. It is beside the hedge which divides us from the Big House and from under this hedge ground elder creeps, each year it returns to haunt me. I detest the stuff, it’s impossible to eradicate it, it’s hard to pull up and I hate its smell. And I fear that if I don’t do battle with it, it will quickly take over the whole garden. I don’t use any chemicals in the garden and I know that the only way to get rid of this horrific weed is to dig it out. However I can only do it when I am feeling strong, possibly because I know it has the upper hand. My hardy geraniums are in the same bed, they too are taking over but that I can cope with. Their spread and colour are gloriously Impressionistic and their long-time flowering is a boon. They make good ground cover too. In my neighbouring perennial bed my next challenge awaits and that is to dig up lots of wild raspberry canes which have somehow planted themselves there. M thinks it is birds that have set the seeds there. But if they are too hard for me to dig up I will ask S, my big strong son to do it, bless him. Men have their uses sometimes don’t they? Well it’s nine o’clock now and the birds are up and about. Sammy Squirrel too. I will get up too and take my breakfast al fresco if it’s warm enough. I will try and position myself so I can see the dippers’ nest (see previous blog(s) ) * It was busy in the library yesterday morning; S, my middle granddaughter, came to help me. She tells me that she wants to be a vet when she grows up (she is nine), she wants to keep ten sheep and one milking cow. I tell her that she would be better off keeping a goat as she, like all the females in our family is allergic to cow’s milk. But I tell her also that it sounds like a very nice way to live. She has all the farming experience, Daddy keeps sheep and cattle and S is his number one helper. They keep Welsh ponies too so she has also learned about equine care. I tell her to keep her goal in view, to work hard at school and if it’s meant for her it won’t pass her by. The talk in the library as usual was mostly of the weather of course but also with the farming borrowers it was the progress of lambing, with others the state of the campaign to save the local hospital, the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections (Saturday is always a ‘political’ day for some reason), the plans afoot to have a new fitness suite and a small cinema in the town and the health of various poorly residents and good news of new life of course, a new baby has just been born. Children come in looking a little sad I think because their sunny Easter holiday is nearly at an end. Teachers are in the school, already preparing for the new term which begins on Monday. Also on Monday evening it is the monthly meeting of the library’s book group and we are discussing A E Houseman’s ‘A Shropshire Lad’, not chosen by me, I am not a fan of Houseman, though I love the phrase ‘Blue remembered hills,’ That stanza is possibly the only part of the ‘Lad’ that moved me. Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again. From A Shropshire Lad I will tell you on Tuesday how the evening went. Our May book is ‘Running for the Hills’ by Horatio Clare. Now this is a book which I can recommend to you without hesitation, in fact I would go as far as to say it was my ‘book of the year’ last year. All you CL folk will love it. I beg you to read it if you haven’t already. If you have read it let me know if you agree with my views on it? * M has just told me that six Canada geese have just flown by, they visit every year. So here is a poem: Wild Geese You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things. Mary Oliver * Blessings Visits by the family Working outside, a sense of achievement Wine Sleep Lie-ins My current novel I sometimes think that this blogging business is becoming a combined self-fulfilling prophecy. For those like me who are into creative visualisation the idea has possibilities. Could it be that the combination of our beliefs, our imaginations, our desires and intentions are bringing about manifestations. It is uncanny how some of us are writing on the same subject at the same time. Will it increase? Are we all just part of one big pattern? You’d better stop me. I’m getting philosophical again. Too much time in the country does that to you, there’ll surely be a poem before nightfall. Bye for now, Caitx

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