Wednesday Feb 28 2007 21:53:23
Dear Diary, February is almost over. Where did it go? There is so much I want to write about I really don’t know where to start. Perhaps I should begin by telling you about where I live and who else shares my beautiful environment. It is Wednesday which is one of my no-work days, ah the joy of being part-time. In theory I have four days a week to myself but inevitably life takes over with its myriad of commitments and even when I have a ’free day’ like today the hours fly by. Everyone says that time seems to be speeding up these days. I wonder if we ourselves slowed down maybe time would do the same? I applaud the movements that are springing up, the ‘slow food’ movement for example. I am lucky that each day in my life starts slowly and in much the same way. Every morning my white cat Molly, home from a night out on the hunt in Cat Paradise, mews gently at the bedroom door and then jumps up on my bed for a cuddle. It is cupboard love of course as she is really just telling me that she is wanting her breakfast bowl of Go-Cat. What puzzles me about my cat is how she stays so clean, whiter than white in fact and even in winter when everything about the place is grey, filthy and mud-coloured. While I am still in bed I enjoy looking out of the cottage window at the wildlife. There are so many species of birds, too numerous to mention them all here. Every morning ‘Sammy Squirrel’ comes along the Scots pine fir tree branches and makes his way down the trunk and across the grass to the bird table by the riverside. He likes hanging upside down and nibbling on the peanuts in the holder. Sometimes he brings his ‘wife’. We call him Sammy because Michael always told stories to our children when they were small about ‘Sammy Squirrel’ and he painted pictures to illustrate the stories. Now he does the very same for our three grandchildren. Last summer Sammy and his wife, who strangely has no name, had two babies and we enjoyed watching them all feeding and playing together. Just close by Sammy today are the two collared doves who also live in one of the two pine trees outside my window. They are pecking at some grain, which Michael has put out. I am hoping for the patter of tiny dove-feet later in the year, As always my regular visitor the dipper is on the riverbank. We are honoured to have a pair of dippers on our land, they nest every year and the species have been present at Glandulas for well over fifty years. They are rare birds and we are extremely lucky to be able to see them so closely as they parade on their regular vantage point to watch for fish. They are quite tame really; when we are in the garden they do not fly away and are not even disturbed by the dogs. Today one of them is fishing as usual, dipping and diving, spending time under the water and resurfacing some distance away. They nest under our bridge and the local wildlife trust visit to check on them every year. One year they disturbed the nest and the birds deserted; it broke my heart as we did not see them for a whole year. Thankfully they returned in the end and there was much rejoicing. As well as my cat and my husband Michael I share the cottage with Finn, a ten-year old honey coloured lurcher and Katy, a five-year-old black and white border collie. Finn is very loving and affectionate but, being a typical lurcher, he is very greedy. He also has healing powers and always knows if someone is unwell. Katy was a very nervous dog when we got her, I fear she may be inbred, but we have given her lots of tender loving care and she is much more confident now. She is an extremely beautiful specimen and Finn the male dog is very handsome with beautiful big eyes which any bitch would die for. Outside the cottage our small holding of land is shared with many beasts of the fields and woods and with many birds of the air. Also there is much life in the river Dulas that flows through the garden. * I have been reading the March issue of Country Living today, a lovely one it is too. We have had very strong winds again and heavy rain so my plans to do a bit of tidying up in the garden had to be abandoned. I had wanted to clean the greenhouse with vinegar and hot water and sort out my pots and seed trays. I feel stirrings of excitement as March comes along; it is the anticipation of the arrival of Spring (my favourite season) and Summer who is not far behind Her. Days ahead to spend in the garden planting and pottering, one of my favourite hobbies that is, pottering. I could have a degree in that subject I think. There are plans afoot of what to grow so soon I am going to sit down for some serious organisation of the vegetable garden. First of all I need to learn how to make some raised beds of a decent height so I can avoid any unnecessary bending. I will search the Country Living Website for starters. And so dear diary I will reluctantly sign off. I could go on, there is so much I want to share with you. I hope you have not been too bored by these ramblings, any feedback would be appreciated. Tomorrow I will write you a little piece about Llanwrtyd Wells and its community library where I have the best job in the world. I am actually paid to work there in my element, which is books. Through my window I have just seen a huge flock of the little Welsh starlings flying overhead in a beautiful geometric formation like a flypast display at an air show. Symbols of the writings on this site perhaps? Reaching out far and wide, up, up and away……….
Posted by Truthhurts
March 02, 2007 09:55 PM
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Monday Feb 26 2007 12:22:04
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I am entering my blog for the competition. It is partly a nature diary but is also about humans as it describes the my life here in the country. My husband and our two children escaped from England to the beautiful hills of mid-Wales in 1990 and I have many joyous experiences to share. I do hope you will enjoy reading it. Otters at Play I live in a tiny stone cottage which nestles in a small valley amongst wild hills in a relatively undiscovered part of mid-Wales. I may not have the luxury of central heating, convenient shops or a local transport service but as far as I am concerned my home is paradise. Mine is an old blacksmith’s abode; his old tumbledown stone forge is across the road . One day I hope to be able to afford to restore it to its former glory. Part of my land is home to the river Dulas which forms a boundary between my garden and the field which I also own. The Dulas rises in the Cambrian mountains close to my home and is a tributary of the River Wye. The field is about five acres in size and is usually let out to a local farmer who happens also be my son-in-law. For a good part of the year he grazes his high quality Welsh sheep and lambs on my best quality grass. My cottage overlooks the river and the field and further beyond the field gate the land rises up to an ancient oakwood which has its roots in the foothills of the Welsh mountains. I am slowly creating a bit of a wildlife sanctuary here at Glandulas and I am very much heartened because day by day, season by season it is becoming almost like a nature reserve. Not a planned thing but somehow, like all the best things in life, if just allowed to grow, it has just evolved over the decade I have lived here. Things progressed very quickly after I took the advice of the RSPB and started feeding the birds all year round and not just in the winter season when food is very scarce. Every day in my garden there is something to look at and many an hour can be wasted just looking out of the window at the birds and other wildlife who come to visit. In the summer it really is idyllic and I have no wish to go anywhere else but am happy when I can just potter from dawn to dusk in the garden or sit on they grassy bank beside the river with a good book or pen and writing pad in my hand. On the hottest of summer days my young grandchildren will come to swim or play on the little beach which has been formed by the movement of the stones in the river’s autumn floods. I have started to record what I see on my small holding of land and to note which animals and birds visit. The list, ever-growing, has now developed into a diary which I hope may be of some interest to fellow lovers of nature and country life. I would like to be able to paint you perhaps a weekly picture of my life here but will start today and tell you of a true story of a very rare and magical event which happened in the autumn of last year. It was possibly the most wonderful wildlife occurrence I have experienced here at Glandulas, or anywhere come to that and it touched me deeply, so much so that I wrote a poem about it. This is a true story without need of sorcery or sortilege and it happened in my own garden in the middle of an Indian summer night last September. In the warmer months I position my big old brass bed right up close to the cottage’s open bedroom window which can be pulled inwards widely like a door. This I do so I can lay and listen to the noise of the river just below which is very soothing. I can also look out at the trees and, as I am on the same level as their branches, I feel as if I am sleeping up amongst the treetops. Real Enid Blyton stuff which you may recall, reminiscent of the Faraway Tree! Something must have woken me on this special occasion. It was the clearest of nights with a full moon and the sky was overcrowded with stars. The moon was shining on the river and its rippling waves were dancing in the moonshine. The heavens had woven for me a spell of silver. It was as if the stars and the full-on moon were partying and everyone in the galaxy was invited, both the beasts of the water and those humans who, although not nocturnal in their habit, were awakened. All were welcome. The reds and the golds of the autumn leaves were shown up bright and beautiful as, in laced lines of moonlight, Welsh wonder was being sown. The liquid world that lives within my beloved mountain stream had its own ring of bright water illuminated by a shining show of lights on the river accompanied by the heavy noise of splashing. It was as if the moon itself was dancing. I suddenly realised what the noises were as I made out in the river the shapes of the creatures who were partying to nature’s lightshow, lit by the heavens. They were otters, one of my favourite animals and there seemed to be several of them playing, ducking and diving. I counted them which was not too difficult to do in the moonlight. There were seven, a magical number for a magical night. I made out two adults and the rest must have been their cubs. The parents and their babes were cavorting amongst waves lit by the heavens and appeared to be chasing salmon or maybe catching eels. I wondered if it was a kind of teaching session for their little ones. I was witness to the secret lives of these otters as they moondanced on the waves of the sky-lit river. As I watched from my open bedroom window I felt as if I was a privileged lone spectator with a front row seat. In my vigil I was both transfixed and enchanted as I stayed motionless for what must have been over an hour. However, events like this which will probably only happen once in a lifetime are timeless in their essence, bewitched as I was by their nocturnal playtime made sparkling by its luminary light. After this event I made contact with Dr Fred Slater, a well known local naturalist who lives nearby, to tell him that the otters were around . He told me that otters are on the increase all over the UK now thanks to the work of wildlife trusts and naturalists but he himself still has never seen one and he added that to see one elusive otter in a lifetime is lucky, let alone seven! Since that special night I have heard the otters many times, they make several different noises and I have had fleeting glimpses of them on one or two occasions but I am hopefully awaiting their next big moonlight celebration and just hope I am invited back again! *********************************************** Dear Diary, Positivity - the theme for 2007. Day One Dear Diary, There is something called journal therapy (isn’t there a therapy applied to everything these days?) so I hope that the effects of writing to you will be noticeable and beneficial. The only diary I keep at the moment is a nature diary which I hope to turn into articles to submit for publication. It is one of those projects which I really must pursue. I kept a dream diary for a while, it certainly revealed my inner self though everything was clothed symbolically. I really must try and start one again. I am an unusual person amongst my friends in that I do not get the winter blues. I get the Christmas humbug blues though (can one say Christmas humbuggery?) as it represents everything I am against, consumerism and panic buying, waste, over-indulgence, the nasty face of capitalism. All in the name of Christianity. The Christians took over the pagan festival and now capitalism has taken over the Christian festival. Each year I say I will go away but prices are always so high, The grandchildren all want presents and I take care to give them good gifts however I feel that they do not appreciate things as they have so much given to them. I am sitting by the Rayburn cuddling the cat or is she cuddling me? She is purring loudly and I always wonder is this a voluntary or an involuntary action? I have lit some candles and I meditate to the flickering flame. A writer I really love is Sara Ban Breathnach, her books are about bringing simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy into our lives. I wanted to write a Gratitude Journal as she suggests in her books but decided just to list five blessings at the end of each day. I like to bookend my days, again an idea I picked up from her writings. So many bad things are happening in the world but also so many good things. I would like to be a Good News Reporter, it is what we all need to hear more of. Negative thoughts depress the immune system and I believe they are contagious. At the end of each entry in my diary I you will read the blessings of the day just gone. It is all part of my plan for the year which is to try and be positive, not to be a victim of circumstance but instead to be in control of my life. I will try to carry positive vibrations around me in the hope that they will raise the vibrations of others in my vicinity. So perhaps from today dear diary you can be a receptacle for all the things which call forth gratitude in my life. Day Two. Dear Diary, Christmas over, the relief is a good feeling. I seem to have been so busy with a myriad of commitments. I tried to avoid the build-up to Christmas but it was always looming and inescapable. The actual day was enjoyable. I won’t bore you with the details. Shall I instead concentrate on my thoughts and my reactions to events? Intuitions, inspirations, insights even, if I am lucky. Poetic meditations if I am luckier still. My blessings from this day? Communication by email and photographs sent to and fro in an instant, The Internet, what a wonderful resource it is, an information super-highway indeed. My regular visitors the birds in my garden. At the end of this day, sleep. Day Three Dear Diary, I love January. I am unique, though to be fair it is meant to be my lucky month as I am an Arian. My first child Verity was born in this month. I also love extremes of cold weather especially snow, rain and wind. Long bracing walks. I love winter trees, dark nights, log fires. I love snuggling, huddling and watching the firelight, losing myself in the flames. All safely gathered in. Hot foods, soups, stews, hot toddies. The only ‘blank slate’ month; it is like buying a new notebook to write in, it is always so pure and unspoiled, virginal and full of promise. Hibernation appeals too. I love to sleep and would relish going to bed at nightfall and rising at the break of day as they used to in the days before artificial lighting was invented. I feel this would be beneficial to people’s health and would save energy, our own as well as the Earth’s. I could go on but I am sure that you get the picture. So my blessing today is January and all things winter, there I’ve said it, strange as it may seem to you dear diary. Day Three. Dear Diary, I am a great believer in the influence of the planets. My New Years resolutions this year are coincidentally exactly what my online astrologer Jonathan Cainer predicts for me. He is as they say ‘spookily accurate’. I am to be proactive, turn all negatives into positives and become an instigator of solutions. The desire to change my consciousness will be overwhelming. He is right there. Blessings of the senses today. Beautiful views from my window. Warm showers. A beautiful voice on the radio. The aroma of a meal cooking on the stove and the anticipation of the pleasures of tastes to come. Day Four. Dear Diary, I did want this diary to be purely about positive things but I have been advised against this approach. However I am going to schedule joys ahead in my own personal 2007 diary and I am always going to have something to look forward to in the next hour, next day, next week, next month. Our writing group’s theme this month is ‘side effects’ which can be interpreted in any way. There is a belief that every action has a reaction and this is the way I am going to write on the subject. I am very interested in what is known as the ‘ripple’ effect. This year I have noticed that more and more people are wishing each other a happy new year and I have heard sincerity and a real hopefulness in each wish. I am doing the same and I am bestowing blessings, it really works. The only way we can change the world is to change ourselves. Blessings? Blessings and The ripple effect. The kindness of strangers. The innocence of children. Trust. Day Five. Dear Diary, This is not a run-of-the-mill day. As a result of very strong winds a pylon has come down near Crickhowell and there is a major power failure. I am the lone part-time branch librarian in a community library in Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in the UK. The library is attached to the primary school and the community hall and I am advised by the head teacher that she has been informed the fault will take a very long time to repair. She is making plans to send all her children home and the parents are arriving in dribs and drabs to collect their offspring. The unlucky little children lined up in the hall are those whose parents cannot be reached. They look so forlorn and knowing them all I almost want to take them home with me. Back in the library an alarm keeps bleeping, the phone will not work. I take an executive decision to close the library as there is no heating and it is much too dark to work. I go home secretly pleased as it is a Thursday which is my late night at the library. I drive home stopping at the garage en route to pick up some essentials: bread, milk, soup etc. Arriving home I chat to my neighbour who is off to a funeral which is being held at a rural and very remote chapel. We agree that the atmosphere at the funeral will be even more dour than usual with no lighting and no power to work the organ. And all the while I am realising how fragile our so called civilised society is and how reliant we are on electricity for all the basic services. And how easy it would be to bring about a collapse of all our main services in a very short time. My new resolutions to once more grow my own vegetables and make my own bread seem evermore sensible and necessary. I vow to stock up with vegetable seeds, flour, candles etc. I have just read a wonderful book. ‘How to be Idle’ by Tom Hodgkinson which is written on these lines, (living as freely and independently as possible) and it encompasses my very own philosophy on life. I have also read his ‘How to be Free’ which is a good read too but I would recommend his ‘Idle’ book as being the more inspiring of the two. There are ideas floating around between Michael and myself and a couple of our friends from the writers’ group to start making our own real ale. My idea is to use our very own river water. We have a name in mind which is ‘Preacher’s Ale’ A preacher used to live next door in Glandulas House and his son has written a book called ‘The Preacher’s Son’. Quite exciting for we Glandulas folk as the front cover bears a photo of Glandulas house and our wee Glandulas cottage in the old days. It is now 3 pm but the light is fading fast. The cottage is womb-like and I feel drowsy and in need of a doze. One of the blessings I look forward to in retirement is a daily nap which I plan to take in the afternoons. There will be lots of ‘dailies’ to look forward to I think. A daily walk, a daily crossword, daily meditation and of course a daily drink just after six o clock in the evening! I must stop now dear diary, my bed is calling and I fear I am showing my age. My blessings today? A cosy armchair by our ancient Rayburn. Coal, the log burner, the company of my animals. Books, wind, rain, candles, An unexpected holiday. Day Six. Dear Diary, Another power cut. I happily and guiltlessly ignore the two mountains of washing and ironing and sweep up in the cottage by hand. I am in a polishing mood so I get out the beeswax and go round shining up all the wooden furniture. The smell is fantastic. This is how I change negatives to positives. Negatives No radio Cold upstairs No computer Difficult to see in the dark No showers Positives Candlelight Hidden dust No washing or ironing to do No TV, no noise Silence Then I go outside. I love this weather for it is not too cold just very, very windy and showery. I sweep up all the laburnum seeds as the concrete yard outside the cottage is covered in them. She is a very old tree and I think she is having a last ditch fling with a final surge at reproducing herself for I have never seen the massive amount of seeds in the garden in previous years. I unblock the three drain covers as there is always a real risk of flooding here. I wander round clearing up the mess left by the wind (and the dogs!). The river is very high and is roaring past under our little wooden bridge which leads to our field. This bridge can be a bit slippery so I don’t risk crossing it with the dogs. They will have to make do with running round the cottage garden. Invigorated now and with colour in my cheeks I retreat indoors. Physically I am suited to these ’Irish’ weather conditions. The wind and the rain feel like the spray off the Atlantic in what I call my spiritual home, the west of Ireland. I write by candlelight, it is not yet dark but Michael has lit one to read by. My white cat Molly lies on my lap and I try to write legibly without disturbing her too much. I am actually sitting in what she considers to be her place on her favourite seat by the Rayburn. I am so pleased that I have the rest of the day to devote to writing. Unfortunately Mslexia magazine has arrived but I have to be strong and put it to one side. It is funny how it is sometimes much more enjoyable to read about writing rather than actually doing it. The same thing applies to cookery and gardening books too. Blessings today. Hot chocolate Magazines Warm clothes Surprise visitors A letter in the post. Day Seven. Dear Diary, You know I have always had such a passion for the written word but just now when I really should be writing them I am yearning just to read. Perhaps, with the state of the world as it is you will forgive me and understand why I need to escape it. I am reading voraciously as they say, what a lovely word which really sounds like its meaning of gobbling up. I have several books on my bedside table. The next title for our book group is Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘Heat of the Day’ but I am reading every night before I go to sleep Michelle Hanson’s Living with Mother. She wrote a column for the Guardian about how she cared for her very aged mother up to her death. She writes with such humour about what could be a depressing subject. Just the thing for my new outlook on life in this brand New Year, 2007. I have a do-it-now regime as well. No more to-do lists all over the place. I am making jottings in my diary of things which really can’t be done this minute but if a thing can possibly be done or at least started, or steps taken to start it, then that is the plan. I am scheduling ahead in the diary for tasks that must be done in the future. Forgive me dear diary for I am sounding like one of those self-help life coaching gurus. I won’t use the word ‘window’ I promise. But so far it is working really well. I am also - and I hate this word and I am sure you do too but here it is anyway - de-cluttering. Again of course. Not for the first time but I am doing it again and with even more feeling! It certainly makes me feel good; when I finish I have a great sense of achievement and I recommend it to anyone who wants to de-stress. I live in a tiny cottage anyway so the less stuff I accumulate the better. I am doing the same thing at work in my little library and it works there as well. In this modern age we are bombarded with too much information which I don’t think our minds can cope with. This is why we feel the benefits of simplifying our lives in all areas. Less is definitely more. My blessings today? Help from others, my husband, my son and from a friend. Fleeting sunshine, so rare. The calm before the storm. Flowers in the house, geraniums and fuchsias, very un-wintry I know but lovely just the same. Day Eight. Dear Diary, The sun shone all day today. I wrapped up well and went and sat on a bench out by the river. I actually sunbathed with the dogs who lay at my feet also enjoying the unexpected warmth. The garden is behaving in a spring-like fashion, everything is budding and greening. I feel slightly uneasy. I saw my first snowdrops today, the right time but somehow they look out of place in amongst the spring foliage and warm temperatures. They are usually the first flower that cheers our cold wintry spirits in January’s dark and freezing days. The nights are cold however and I have abandoned my usual habit of going outside with the dogs last thing to look at the moon and the stars (and listen out for otters). I was thinking of cliches today while watching the river which flows ceaselessly past. The phrase ‘river of life’ came to mind, what a cliché. The world is full of cliché, I imagine all languages have them. Then I grew philosophical and wondered if everything can be reduced to a cliché and is our world just a cliché in the great scheme of things? The definition of cliché is a hackneyed literary phrase and the meaning of hackneyed is common or trite. A depressing thought maybe but it could be argued that our lives are being made common and trite. I will try not to bring politics into my meanderings dear diary. Blessings. Listening to my son singing his songs and playing his guitar. Watching my lurcher and collie race around our field, joyful and exuberant. Hearing my favourite song on the radio. Receiving a poem written by ten year old grand-daughter, here the joy is doubled because she shares my passion for poetry. Day Ten Dear Diary, I am starting to enjoy writing these pages! I like the freedom to write whatever comes to mind. This morning I visited the crab apple tree who dwells in the far side of our field. He is very old and wise. His aura is protective and fatherly, very soothing. I pause a while, as they say ‘pause a while and let an angel come in’ and as usual I say a few words of blessing and as I do so a robin appears in the branches. He flutters around a bit and then lands near me on a twig. He stays for a few minutes and then flies off to a nearby hedge. This felt significant, perhaps it is an angelic messenger to let me know that they do hear my blessings. May love prevail, let peace begin with me. May peace prevail, let love begin with me. There is a seat in our cottage I call the sleepy seat. Whoever sits in it soon feels drowsy. At first people comment on how relaxed they feel and how they love the little room which we call the snug. It is a tiny room with dark oak beams and a small window which looks out across the river to our field and an ancient oak woodland on a bank of a hill. At the moment of course the winter trees are bare. I love their honest beauty and think of Sylvia Plath’s poem which in turn reminds me again of my laburnum and her seeds. There is poetry in everything. Poetry is prayer. Sylvia Plath - Winter Trees The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve. On their blotter of fog the trees Seem a botanical drawing -- Memories growing, ring on ring, A series of weddings. Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery, Truer than women, They seed so effortlessly! Tasting the winds, that are footless, Waist-deep in history -- Full of wings, otherworldliness. In this, they are Ledas. O mother of leaves and sweetness Who are these pietàs? The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but chasing nothing. Despite the sadness of Plath I find all seasons are magical. They are symbols of birth, growth, reproduction, age/decline death, rebirth. All make me convinced of the existence of an eternal life. The circle of life. Blessings today. Words. My1964 Concise Oxford dictionary. I have had it since schooldays and it contains words not known of today. Pute is an example. A favourite television programme on family history. Songs and poetry. Day Eleven. Dear Diary, After the days on days of rain there is surprising sunshine with gusty powerful winds again reaching speeds exceeding speed limits. I can no longer stand the detritus in the winter garden just outside the cottage door. A mass of sog, a brown mess, a death trap threatening to cause a foot to slip and a neck to break. Winter has blown and blown this year and I have swept and swept. Some say the wind will find small corners for nature’s wastage so it may rot away unimpeded to die a natural death and revitalize the earth. But the garden is sad, her energies seem blocked and the grassy area resembles a paddy field - my thoughts turn to the possibility of rice growing for one mad moment. So once again to clear our energies I take up the broom, not the besom which is what would have been used in the old days. I do own one but it hangs on the cottage wall by the back door. Daffodils and other bulbs are already on the rise and it is only January. My magnolia shrub is in bud as are many other shrubs but what should bring joy brings a feeling of unease, discomfort and worry about what is happening to our Earth. Again I have to quell such fears along with thoughts of George Bush, Tony Blair, Iraq and Afghanistan and their stimulation of terrorist acts. I worry about the future lives my children and grandchildren will have (sometimes I am glad I am getting on in years). Let me quickly turn to blessings of today. (I have gone strangely ‘vehicular‘) My trusty little car. Our local Heart of Wales railway line. Ferries to Ireland. Narrowboats, my dream is to own one. The Air Ambulance who have twice been my personal saviour. Day Twelve Dear Diary, I am by the Rayburn again ensconsed with Molly the cat on my lap. I am reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, her first novel and a very good read. Elizabeth Jane Howard says that anyone who picks it up will not be able to put it down and that is how it is affecting me. I just have to keep on reading it. It tells a story of a biographer who is writing about a very famous writer and how she unfolds a story which has been kept hidden for a lifetime. I am drawn into the way the tale unfolds and in the writing process of the biographer. It is a novel of course but it makes me want to write my life story in a fictional form. As I meditate on forms and labels I ask myself do books have to be anything, why can’t I just write what I feel? The book is clearing my writer’s block and I cannot wait to get back to my own life story. I heard one of my favourite authors on Desert Island Discs today, Edna O Brien. What a treat for me. I just love her poetic, lyrical way of speaking and writing. She speaks as she writes. She spoke of mothers and daughters and of how she feels her dead mother has never left her and still looks over her shoulder. This I can identify with. And her love of Ireland of course in spite of her not living there for 40 years. Her first book The Country Girls was burned in Ireland. I also identify with her love of spirituality but not of the Catholic religion. Three of her chosen records I own myself. I am inspired to try reading Ulysses again. I am still obsessed with reading. The library is always very busy in January, it must be the weather and the seasonal blues which keeps people indoors cooching (Welsh term) up with a book. However I always think it is reading weather, summer or winter though I must admit the garden takes up a lot of time in the spring and summer months. Reading is easy but writer’s block still seems to be a problem. Blessings. Book reviews. Mslexia. Websites. Blogs. Radio 4. Day Thirteen. Dear Diary, I am awakened every morning by the Today programme on Radio 4. It is always bad news guaranteed to raise my blood pressure. I am a real Grumpy Old Woman I am afraid. The government likes to stir up fear on a daily basis but I won’t buy into it so after a brief period of ranting which gets my blood moving I am usually transformed into positive mode.. You can call me an inverse paranoid as I now look for the blessings in disguise and quite relish the challenge of turning every negative into a positive. But it gets my mind working as I start commenting on whatever is being discussed. So much is wrong with this country. Politicians. The country is run by accountants. Perhaps it would pay not to listen to the news. I only read a newspaper once a week, the Guardian on a Saturday. At book group tonight we discussed the book Diana: Death of a Goddess by David Cohen. The discussion was lively as always but this time quite divided between those who think Diana was murdered and those who don’t. I am in the former group. Last month we discussed The Treehouse but it was not popular with the other members. I suspected it would be more appealing to those who write or to artists. Our discussion turned to books and whether they can change your life. I was in the minority as I believe they can. No-one else agreed with me! Blessing. I thank God I live in Wales. Day Fourteen. Dear Diary, I am burning clove oil, it is warming and head clearing. Very soothing and has sorted out my feelings. Although I do not like the taste of cloves the aroma is wonderful. Just the thing on a damp, grey winter’s afternoon. It is said to be optimistic. Sometimes I boil up some orange or lemon rinds and add some cinnamon and cloves. That also reminds me of winter. I practised some distancing from today. Sometimes it is hard to find anything positive . The news should be renamed the bad news as there is never anything good or positive in it. I am losing myself in another really good novel. I do crosswords. I can also usually also lift my spirits with music and could not live without it. Sometimes a phone call or an email from someone far away, a TV programme, a good film or the proverbial long soak in a warm aromatherapy bath will do the trick. Even housework is therapeutic if done in the right frame of mind. Or a brisk walk, or some time in nature in these beautiful Welsh hills. I am blessed to live here. I have an almost physical need for retreat and delight in solitude so walking in the hills around my cottage is perfect for me. Mother nature is also mother nurse. I read in a book somewhere that we should try to say one meaningful thing every day, do one, teach one and learn one. A wonderful thing to meditate upon. Blessings from this day. The river and its varying moods. The moon The stars The seasons and the fall of light.
What a magical experience with the Otters, how lucky!!
Posted by Truthhurts
March 02, 2007 09:56 PM