Alexander Averin

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Thursday Mar 22 2007 23:52:02
By Cait
Dear Diary, The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone George Eliot We have an angel in these parts. He often leaves logs over the road in the forge, we never see him come. M says it is E. a good friend and neighbour of ours so we put bottles of his favourite tipple in his truck, when he is visiting next door and isn’t looking, to say thank you. I smile and say perhaps it is the angels who leave the logs or the fairies, who knows? My son, who has the Irish blood you understand, he says perhaps E has never ever left any logs perhaps it is the angels and he is just enjoying getting regular bottles of pop. We laugh. Whoever left the logs today left something else as well. Two six inch high pine trees, they might be dead as they were crushed and laying underneath the small pile of logs. M has now planted them three feet apart over the other side of the river; their sparse foliage is being gently washed by the evening rain. Who knows if they will grow into giant trees? My son has been renovating the old blacksmith’s forge, He has been pointing using a traditional lime mix. I do not want this building to just rot away, it would be such a shame. Stop Press. Although I was off work today feeling poorly with this wretched virus, I did receive a message to say that Terry Walton the Radio 2 and Radio Wales gardener will be coming to the Llanwrtyd Food Festival on Easter Saturday and will be doing a book signing session and taking part in a radio phone-in. The mayor wanted to know if they could use the library. Actually the library is closed that day, (the only Saturday in the year I get off) but as I am going to the festival anyway I did not want to refuse. I would love to meet Terry. I have heard him on the Jeremy Vine programme on Fridays speaking direct from the allotment in South Wales. Jeremy boasts that their programme is the only one on Radio 2 to have its own allotment (and a resident poet). * I lay on my bed this afternoon; feeling unwell comes over me in waves. I needed to get off to sleep and for some reason started to remember how I first discovered this cottage. I was walking along the main street of a local market town, not even thinking about looking for a property when suddenly my eyes were just drawn to an estate agent’s window, The word ‘smallholding’ jumped out at me. I looked closer and saw it was in an area I love. Something told me to go in and ask for the details so I did. My daughter, her small baby, my first grandchild and I went to view the cottage later in the week. It was a fine and dry day in my second favourite season, which is autumn, and it was sunny. There was a scent of a bonfire in the air and the sound of the babbling of the stream over the river stones. We entered the front gate just over the river bridge and walked down the small path, which ran parallel with the river. Then we walked through another little gate, which led to a small-hedged cottage garden. The beds were filled mainly with vegetables, which were in tiptop condition. All was exceedingly neat and tidy. We followed the path round to a back door, which was obviously the main entrance; everyone round here uses their back doors. The front step gleamed so brightly that you could see your face in it. The yard was so well swept it was spotless. The owners were a lovely couple. B had the most wonderful twinkle in his eyes and such an engaging smile. M was a very pleasant lady who was still smart and must have been beautiful when she was younger. They seemed so devoted. M was a cook at the local primary school and was renowned in the area for her culinary skills. We were invited in and they suggested we leave baby in the snug. We parked her baby seat on the sofa and got ready for a tour of the cottage. It was small so it wouldn’t take long. Baby was wide-awake but as soon as we put her on the sofa in the snug she fell into instant slumber. (I have mentioned before that people find this room very relaxing and it seems to have a soporific effect on all visitors). M showed us all the rooms downstairs and then took us upstairs. I immediately fell in love with the view of the river from the upstairs windows. I asked if the river level got any higher and if the river could be heard at night. M thought I was worried about flooding so she played down the river water levels but she did admit that she and B laid in bed at night on summer evenings listening to the river singing along with the accompaniment of next door’s wind chimes. Yes it was the location and the river (I’ll only say that word just the once, I will resist the temptation), which really sold the place to me. I have fallen more deeply in love with the cottage itself in the years I have lived here, especially its benevolent and peaceful atmosphere. Good vibrations. Ten years on and somehow I feel as if I have always lived here. I believe it was waiting for me. We have made changes as everyone does. It is only a little stone cottage, originally two up, two down but it has been extended over the years. There is an old salting room off the parlour and hooks in the beams where the bacon would have hung. Low ceilinged, there are there bedrooms upstairs but one we use now as a study. It overlooks the river and it is where I sit and type my blogs. Every year I wonder whether it would be a good idea to add a very simple sunroom on the end of the cottage. Nothing fancy. There is room and the views are fantastic. A good hideaway place to soak up some winter sun and chase away those winter grey-day blues perhaps? Maybe one day. I’d like to tell you how we demolished the nineteen fifties tiled fireplace but I will leave it for another day. Another wave of feeling not very well has overtaken me. I think another hot toddy of whisky, ginger and honey is called for. I am out of lemons; I seem to crave then lately. Isn’t it funny how the body seems to let you know what it needs? It is the Spring Equinox, the Sowing Tide, A common time to pick up ailments apparently as our body fluids are meant to start shifting at this time of year. Nature is in balance, light and dark are equal, though from now on light will be in the ascendancy. Perhaps the illnesses are our bodies shifting into balance. I have noticed that when I am unwell I mull things over and over in my mind; it is almost like the digging of the warmed soil ready for planting. They say Spring is a time of renewal, a time for new friends, new clothes, flowers, and a time for going out again. I will start going out last thing at night from now on. It is a soothing, meditative end to the day. If it is moonlight I can gaze at the moon, as the stone hare in my garden does and I can wish upon a star. If all is cloudy I can just listen out for the noises of the otters and the owls. I can peep in the windows of the cottage and see how cosy and inviting it looks and appreciate how lucky I am to live here. Then I can call the dogs and we go in together. Ready for another night in Dreamland. I don’t think I need list my blessings today do you? It always feels very protective and homely here; safe somehow. I wonder if all the generations of people who have lived here felt the same? I know our neighbours also think this valley is magical. People were baptised in the river years ago from the famous small chapel, which is just up the hill. Perhaps the angels really are in residence here amongst us after all. But do you think they are bringing the logs? Bye for now, Caitx PS And here a poem On Angels All was taken away from you: white dresses, wings, even existence. Yet I believe you, messengers. There, where the world is turned inside out, a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts, you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seems. Shorts is your stay here: now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear, in a melody repeated by a bird, or in the smell of apples at close of day when the light makes the orchards magic. They say somebody has invented you but to me this does not sound convincing for the humans invented themselves as well. The voice -- no doubt it is a valid proof, as it can belong only to radiant creatures, weightless and winged (after all, why not?), girdled with the lightening. I have heard that voice many a time when asleep and, what is strange, I understood more or less an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue: day draw near another one do what you can. Czeslaw Milosz


lixtroll said...

Matron is visiting again with an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

The chat-room is experiencing problems with overloading which we think is causing it to be marked as SPAM, which is in effect locking us all out :-

So in the mean time: each day please look out for the post called ANNOUNCE NEW BLOGS HERE and put your announcements in as comments on that post.

This will still leave space for one personal post per person which we can all comment on.

This is purely a temporary measure, we are keen to get the chatroom back to the weird and wonderful way it was going before - we are looking into various options at the moment (by the way, have you noticed that option is an anagram of potion) - WesterWitch! put down that cauldron!

annakarenin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annakarenin said...

hi Cait
I posted a comment a couple of nights ago when you were back posting. I think it was one I had missed. I love the way all the blogs are listed at the side so that you can just click on ones you have missed. I am enjoying reading Exmoors early stuff and Devon's to as it is so much easier to access things on this site.