Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Wednesday Apr 11 2007 23:43:39
By Cait
Dear Diary, You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. J.Krishnamurti The above quote I stole from my daughter’s blog (on another site). Guess what! The house martins are back, always a special day of the year for me. They always appear either on the day that I think of them or the next day. I mentioned them in my previous blog. There are only a few at the moment but they don’t usually all arrive together. Every year the number has been diminishing though which is worrying. The tasty dish of the day? They say Mozart is good for creative inspiration but I have Bryan Ferry who is much better looking in my headphones. The CD is ‘Dylanesque’. He is singing Bob Dylan covers; Bob is one of my favourite poets. M has just returned from visiting a friend, he said that the roads seem to be full of dead, run-over, cock pheasants which is a shame. He says it is because it is the mating season and the males are losing their traffic-sense! My daughter has just emailed me a photo of number 1 granddaughter K and two of her friends who also live way up high in the hills. The pic. is of the three girls, (ages 10 and 11), swimming last weekend in a local pool known as the Washpool. It is a rocky pool in a mountain stream, popular in the hot summer but, although it was a warm weekend, I have never known anyone swim in the pool at this time of year. These three girls must be truly hardy mountain folk and I have the photo to prove it. Today, apart from changing the beds and doing two loads of washing I avoided the rest of the indoor chores, tried not to look at the mountain of ironing and instead made straight for the garden where I had a good much longer-than-two-hours session. It was so pleasant to be out, just like summer and I spent a leisurely time ‘tidying’ the riverbank. It’s always a bit of a mess after the river has been high or in flood. I raked up all the driftwood on the bank as well; we get a lot washed up every year. It’s lovely and dry so I will store it all for kindling in the winter. After that I potted up some pretty little viola plants, so delicate and members of the heartsease family. They did ease my heart just looking at them. My next job was to sweep and clear the front pathway of dead leaves, a good energy-clearing exercise I feel. I had two wheelbarrows-full to get rid of. I saw my first butterfly today, a white one, I am guessing that it was a cabbage white. I really must gen up on the local species, make a list and try to grow nectar plants and caterpillar plants to attract them. I already have three buddleias (buddleiae?). They like nettles too so I must make sure that I leave some for them (shouldn’t be too difficult!). Actually if you have nettles in your garden it is meant to be a sign of good soil. Apparently butterflies favour purple and yellow flowers (exactly the colour of the violas that I planted). Isn’t nature wonderful? When you think that a creature as small as a butterfly can search for and distinguish colour and specific plants. I’ve seen lots of bees about the garden these last few days which pleases me no end. I saw bumble bees and the smaller honey type ones which must be F’s bees, the honey man I wrote about recently. Last year we had some wild bees nesting in our wood shed, they are no doubt still around as well. This weather has inspired us to order two new deckchairs online from Argos. Living in a remote area we do a lot of shopping over the Internet and use Argos quite a bit as they are very efficient with their deliveries. (God, I sound like an advert, sorry!). Seriously though, the net has been a boon for rural communities in so many ways, it’s a lifeline really. People liked my recipe yesterday so I thought I would share a tip I picked up at the food festival at the weekend from one of the chefs who was giving a demonstration. You may well know how to do it already, apologies if you do. (Savoury) Rice in the oven For 3 people 9 fluid ounces of rice (basmati and wild rice mixed is nice). 12 fluid ounces water Place in an oven dish with a tight lid. Bake in oven Gas Mark 4 for 25 to 30 minutes. Check from 20 minutes on. Don’t take the lid off to check, just tilt the dish and when no water is ‘running about’ it is cooked. * Today sounds like the sort of day that may be boring for you to read about but it was a day that made me feel so contented that I didn’t want to go beyond the gate. The sort of day that makes up for all the grey ones. As the local chemist said to me at the weekend, if we didn’t have bad weather we wouldn’t appreciate the good days and if the weather was perfect every day we wouldn’t appreciate it. How right he was. Yesterday some of the little lambs escaped through the field gate. It’ll be a good job when they grow too big to do so, M did a really good job getting them back where they belonged and today, so far, they have stayed in the field. They drink a lot, both the ewes and their lambs are forever coming to the river to drink, it must be the hot weather. My garden centre wishlist is growing and I feel a trip coming on. Clothes I can resist but, where shopping is concerned I have a weakness only for two things and they are books and plants. But I definitely want to buy some penstemons for a borrower of mine who is poorly, she loves them and she lost hers last year in the frost. And another lady is having chemotherapy prior to an operation so I want to buy her something too. It’s been a quiet day, no-one has called by; our neighbours are around and also enjoying being outside. I’m back to work tomorrow which is going to be hard in this weather. How I will curse at being stuck indoors on my ‘long’ day when the library is open till 7 pm. But it will be nice to see the borrowers again and I miss the books! The library itself is a very pleasant building to work in, it was built in 1990 but by a very fine architect. I am not usually a fan of modern buildings but this one is in keeping with the traditional type of buildings in the area, is built with local stone and a lot of wood is used in the interior. Blessings today? Wheelbarrows, where would we country folk be without them? And even when they wear out you can use them as planters! Other people’s blogs which are a source of inspiration and good cheer. Other people’s comments which warm my heart. The weather of course which has lifted everyone’s spirits, especially Muddy who has been out and about enjoying the bluebells. The return of my house martins. * The poem I have chosen is one from my Favourite Poems file. Well actually it runs to two files now and the second is rapidly filling. This one is by Laurie Lee, one of my favourite authors and writer of course of Cider with Rosie, one of my absolute best country books. If you haven’t read it I recommend it highly. Day of These Days Such a morning it is when love leans through geranium windows and calls with a cockerel's tongue. When red-haired girls scamper like roses over the rain-green grass; and the sun drips honey. When hedgerows grow venerable, berries dry black as blood, and holes suck in their bees. Such a morning it is when mice run whispering from the church, dragging dropped ears of harvest. When the partridge draws back his spring and shoots like a buzzing arrow over grained and mahogany fields. When no table is bare, and no beast dry, and the tramp feeds on ribs of rabbit. Well I am off for my nightly walk now, it’s my favourite time of day. Time for some stargazing, they were filling the sky last night. What could be better? Cloudwatching by day (though actually not today as I don’t think there were any) and moon and stargazing by night. The stuff dreams are made of. Before I go, if you are into meditating, here’s something to mull over in your mind. Thinking Feeling Behaving. If you change one of these, another changes. Nothing can hurt us, Only our thoughts. Bye for now, Caitx

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