Alexander Averin

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Back to Work Day

Dear Diary,

In my headphones today I have my very own blog-music, Feel by Robbie Williams. I love his lyrics and his music, he’s quite dishy too, and I am not too old to appreciate good looks! Does one ever get too old for that I wonder?:)

By the way if you don’t want to hear my background music you can press the pause button on the purple player at the bottom of the page. It may well be you don’t share my taste or dislike a particular track. I think you can change it. A lot of the old songs hold memories for me, and may do for you too if you are about my age. God am I sounding like I am ancient? I am not really! Well I don’t feel itJ

People seem to think I am really clever in putting the music on the blog but my oldest granddaughter aged ten (!) and my daughter showed me how. I will put a link to the website for you; it is really easy to navigate and quite addictive if you are as into music as I am. And when you have made a play list of your own I will tell you how to post it. Adding it to the site is more difficult, but if I can do it anyone can.

I also have to grasp this tagging business and we’ll soon have a network, which could take our blogs far beyond Purplecooland though we can all return safe to the Common Room each night and be ‘amongst friends’.

On Tuesdays I always have that Monday morning feeling. (I told you I was Irish). Yesterday was a Bank Holiday Monday of course and it did feel different even though I get every Monday off. It was uncannily quiet around here; I think that the media had scared everyone into staying at home with their forecasts of heavy traffic everywhere. There was the usual occasional rush of motorbikers who always treat our Welsh roads like a racetrack. Not the oldie bikers on their ‘older’ bikes, they are much slower and their engines sound much nicer too. ‘Rant of the day’ over. I just hate motorbikes. We had quite a lot of old sports cars around too; there must have been some kind of rally taking place. Other than that it was so silent a lot of the time, not that our road is ever very busy.

Yesterday I had a treat as I saw two goldcrests outside the kitchen window, pecking in the gravel garden. Gravel garden sounds posher than it actually is, which is the beginnings of a gravel garden. I am growing lavenders, heathers, verbena bonariensis, various types of poppies including both yellow and orange Welsh ones. Also buddleias, primroses, cowslips, creeping jenny, oh all sorts, I won’t list them all. I am afraid that the whole garden has been abandoned lately, over these last days when I have been ‘otherwise engaged’.

Soft rain is falling and I am reminded of Sara Teasdale’s poem. I’ll post it again for those of you who may have missed it. Soft rain reminds me of my spiritual home and suits my pale Irish skin, does wonders for the complexion.

There will come soft rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sarah Teasdale

It is a sad poem but don’t despair, bear with me as a happy one will come later.

Blessings today?
(From yesterday).

Scented candles. My daughter bought me a lovely one back from London, meant to mask cooking smells, like fish for example. It was too good to keep in the kitchen and I have been carrying it from room to room. Its headiness so calming even when my patience was being tested (Don’t ask!).

Silence. We don’t get enough do we? It too has healing power.

Solitude, this should go with the above blessing sometimes I think. Sometimes the only company I want is my own. I cherish its powers.

Angel cards, Thank you Faith, you were spot on.

Homemade bread made by M.

On Sunday M and I went to St Fagan’s, the Museum of Welsh Life which is near Cardiff. We went with my daughter’s ‘outlaws’ as a treat after the ordeal we have all been through. We took a picnic and had a great time. There are lots of old cottages, farmhouses etc which have been ‘moved’ and rebuilt on the new site. That itself is an amazing feat. If you are ever in Wales I can recommend it as being worth a visit and admission is FREE. There is an indoor museum as well. Gardens and lots of lovely areas to picnic outside.

I am so enjoying reading everyone’s blogs and I see new people are still arriving in Purplecooland. Visually the blogs are a delight and filled with wonderful photos (remember how dull the entries were over in you know where?). They are for me each day ‘Something To Look Forward To’. Another list perhaps?

Seriously though, I am so grateful to Westerwitch and Co. for making all this possible. They do deserve a medal. What we have achieved is a far superior read than that advert-full monthly mag. which will never grace my shelves again. Our community’s blogs reflect real country living and are a comfort, an education and an inspiration.

But I don’t have enough hours in the day to read and comment as much as I would like. M is making noises about getting his own laptop as I am on the computer so much. At least the snooker has been on TV these last few days, that is a distraction for him! It’s lucky in a way that our son is working away at the moment as it gives me more time to blog. I can see us having our own separate connections before long. I wonder how the rest of you manage?

Talking of Cider with Rosie which of course we weren’t. It is one of my favourite books and I have been looking at it again for my writing course. I just love this poem by U A Fanthorpe and hope you will too.

Dear Mr Lee

Dear Mr Lee (Mr Smart says
it's rude to call you Laurie, but that's
how I think of you, having lived with you
really all year), Dear Mr Lee
(Laurie) I just want you to know
I used to hate English, and Mr Smart
is roughly my least favourite person,
and as for Shakespeare (we're doing him too)
I think he's a national disaster, with all those jokes
that Mr Smart has to explain why they're jokes,
and even then no one thinks they're funny,
And T. Hughes and P. Larkin and that lot
in our anthology, not exactly a laugh a minute,
pretty gloomy really, so that's why
I wanted to say Dear Laurie (sorry) your book's
the one that made up for the others, if you
could see my copy you'd know it's lived
with me, stained with Coke and Kitkat
and when I had a cold, and I often
take you to bed with me to cheer me up
so Dear Laurie, I want to say sorry,
I didn't want to write a character-sketch
of your mother under headings, it seemed
wrong somehow when you'd made her so lovely,
and I didn't much like those questions
about social welfare in the rural community
and the seasons as perceived by an adolescent,
I didn't think you'd want your book
read that way, but bits of it I know by heart,
and I wish I had your uncles and your half-sisters
and lived in Slad, though Mr Smart says your view
of the class struggle is naïve, and the examiners
won't be impressed by me knowing so much by heart,
they'll be looking for terse and cogent answers
to their questions, but I'm not much good at terse and cogent,
I'd just like to be like you, not mind about being poor,
see everything bright and strange, the way you do,
and I've got the next one out of the Public Library,
about Spain, and I asked Mum about learning
to play the fiddle, but Mr Smart says Spain isn't
like that any more, it's all Timeshare villas
and Torremolinos, and how old were you
when you became a poet? (Mr Smart says for anyone
with my punctuation to consider poetry as a career
is enough to make the angels weep).

PS Dear Laurie, please don't feel guilty for
me failing the exam, it wasn't your fault,
it was mine, and Shakespeare's
and maybe Mr Smart's, I still love Cider
it hasn't made any difference.

U A Fanthorpe

Well I could go on and on about poetry but…….

I can’t escape the fact that I have to go to work today.

Bathroom here I come…….

Work is the curse of the blogging classes…..

Bye for now,
God Bless,

PS It is so upsetting hearing about Madeleine, the missing three year old in Portugal. My nephew and his wife have booked to go there in June and are meant to be staying in a similar resort area. They have two little children, I wonder if they will still go. To my mind there is no worse crime than the abduction or abuse of a child. I am praying that Madeleine will be found. Please pray with me.


Pipany said...

Hello Cait. Loved your blog, as always. I used to teach U A Fanthorpe's poetry to sixth formers in another life and I LOVE Cider with Rosie! Beautiful blessing too xx

CAMILLA said...

Hello dear Cait,
Lovely blog, and your picture of Robin. Forgot to ask you, do you have a favourite poet. I have Cider with Rosie on my bookself, wonderful book. Have you also read THE WELL LOVED STRANGER BY VALERIE GROVE, it is a Biography on Laurie Lee, published by Viking of THE PENGUIN GROUP, 1999. I think you may like this book Cait.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely glorious Cait, so relaxed and flowing. After a week off colour, your blog is a delight, thank you!