Alexander Averin

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Friday again

Dear Diary,

Thursday morning

I am waking up, listening to the radio and I hear the talk is of the benefits of sleep. I love my bed, I daren’t go near it during the day or I am tempted to get in it. But come the night-time, night owl that I am, I don't want to waste a moment and so I delay going to bed for as long as possible. Of course I suffer for it the next day and all the following days which, if I continue the pattern, the suffering builds up until I am exhausted.

According to the guy on the radio, whoever he is, none of us are getting enough sleep and we are all suffering from anxieties, tension and low cognitive function. So the Irish are right then when they say sleep is the answer to most problems. I must admit I feel (and at my age look!) a whole lot better if I go to bed early. Early for me being ten or eleven o’clock Very early is 9 o’clock.


Three wishes time.
Fairy godmother, I wish I didn’t have such busy dreams. I wish for good weather for a friend who is off to the Dordogne on Friday. Showers are forecast for every day; I hope they have got it wrong for her sake. I think too of all those folk who are suffering in hospital, or undergoing painful treatment. I have a couple of friends in that situation.


I am collecting my favourite films as they come to mind. So far I have:

Anything with Robert Mitchum in
The Railway Children
Lady and the Tramp (original version)
Beautiful Mind
Fahrenheit 9/11
Brief Encounter
The Snowman
Dead Poet’s Society
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Love Actually
Pretty Woman
The Remains of the Day
Notting Hill
Local Hero
You’ve got Mail
American Beauty
The English Patient
Bridget Jones Diary
The Green Mile
Field of Dreams
Whistle down the Wind
Calendar Girls
Rabbit Proof Fence
The Quiet Man
Ryan’s Daughter
Ladies in Lavender

I have changed my book choice for the book group to read in September as the library service can’t get any copies of Kaye Gibbon’s Charms for the Easy Life. If you have a copy they are selling at very high prices secondhand! I have chosen one of my other favourites instead which is Unless, the last book written by the Canadian author, the late Carol Shields. In 2002 it was short listed for the Orange prize and to my mind it should have won. Shields was one of my favourite writers and when she died it was such a loss to the literary scene. But there are still many other good Canadian and American authors.


My dinner guest list is almost ready. Is there a limit on numbers? Perhaps we could have several sittings on different days. It would be fun dividing the guests up into groups wouldn’t it?

Here’s mine, not complete yet.

Spike Milligan
Tony Benn
Nelson Mandela
(my three heroes)
The Dalai Lama
Mary Robinson, ex-president of Ireland
Eric Clapton
Robin Williams
Peter Ustinov
Princess Diana
Jo Brand
Alan Titchmarsh
Richard Branson
J K Rowling
Roald Dahl

I’m a bit low on females which is worrying. I will put my thinking cap on and try and think of a few more.

Of course you all know who will be cooking - JC!


A favourite poem of mine by Irish poet Padraic Colum 1881-

Old Woman of the Roads

O, to have a little house!

To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!
Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house - a house of my own
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

Padraic Colum

Before I sign off,

Carol Shields wrote the book Unless when she knew she was terminally ill. There is a wonderful George Eliot quote at the beginning which is very ‘deep.’ yet somehow so comforting.

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

I’ll leave you to think about that one.

Bye for now,



Love the painting cait very beautiful. Don't know either of those books I shall have to search them out.

The Country Craft Angel said...

LOvely, as always. And the painting is absolutely beautiful.

I couldn't sleep in day time-never sleep at night. I don't sleep well much of the time and slip into sleep habits and patterms easily.

So many of your films would be on my favourite list-English Patient, Green Mile, Love Actually and The Snowman especially.

warm wishes to you Cait

PS-thank you for your kind comments on Orange Man Blog-I never wished to find my mother for many reasons but understand you looking for yours and the different emotions you must feel. I hope you are finding the writing cathartic.x

Suffolkmum said...

Who is the painting by? I want it!! I had to laugh in recognition at this blog - my Irish blood must be coming out, I am obsessed with sleeping! Like you, I have to avoid my bed in the day or I'd just jump in - but at night I'm always putting off bedtime. My list of films would be very similar, and I love 'Unless' too. Didn't know the poem though, lovely.

Inthemud said...

Just as I went on to your blog I had a disaster in the kitchen and a spillage to mop up, your lovely music kept me clam whilst I did it!

Know what you mean about sleep, I'm always an early to bed early to rise.
Your film list is very similar to mine. I keep a record of every film I see and every book I read in a note book.

Your final George Elliott quote very thought provoking.

Lovely blog as usual.

Suffolkmum said...

Hi Cait, don't have your email yet, so just to let you know some of the names I've come across so far on the Irish side - my grandmother was a McGurk, it would appear that they were an Ulster family from County Tyrone. I also have a lot of Sheridans on that side, haven't been able to do much tracing of them but family lore says they were from Galway. On my mother's side we have Wilsons from Dublin (possibly anglo-Irish? not a very Irish name though they were Catholic), and Reardon/Riordans from Cork.

annakarenin said...

Tim relf on the other site recommended Carol Shields and I remembered reading one of her books when it was on the booker short list he told me it was Unless but I didn't realise that she knew she was dying when she wrote it. He recommended Happenstance as his fav which I am intending to get hold of. Have just finished the Stone Diaries which MiL lent she wanted to know what I thought so will be discussing it with her this weekend.

muddyboots said...

l sleep a lot, not during the day but l need 8 hours proper sleep a night, more if l get the chance, if my sleep pattern is interupted l get really craby, beware snorring hubby.

CAMILLA said...

Lovely blog dear Cait, and beautiful picture, along with calming music. Yes agree - Princess Diana onto the list which I forgot to include. I remember when she died, I had just finished working four night shifts in a row as nurse. My husband woke me in the morning, to give me the news, I was devastated.She was loved by many, but sadly others did not understand her. I do not know of those books, will check them out, thank you.
Camilla.xx P.S. Thank you for your kind sympathy.

Pondside said...

Hi Cait - so glad you like Carol Sheilds - she is also one of my favorite. I recently saw 'Unless' as a play - very good! Did you know that Carol lived near me? I didn't know her, but this is a small place and our circles bumped into one another. Some other Canadians are Ann-Marie MacDonald and Jane Urquhart - look for them!
I wish we could chat about your family search. My children are both adopted and each has a different view of searching - I support both each as it's their choice.

PreseliMags said...

Hi Cait, I know exactly what you mean about going to bed - I never want to go, but once there, never want to get out again! I've recently read, and very much enjoyed, Unless. I highly recommend it.

Exmoorjane said...

Quickly quickly before I forget - Milla is here, Cait! Just not blogging as much as before (groan) but her last one is utterly hilarious - be prepared to howl with laughter..... jxxx
Now I will go back and read your blog - I knew that if I dared read it first, I'd forget about Milla (not that I could ever really do that - she'd smack me). jxx

Exmoorjane said...

God, Cait, brain like a sieve.... forgot to say Thank You for my tarot card..... How funny though, as I was only talking to Michele (my psychic author) about the tarot yesterday and how I haven't done it for absolutely ages..... It was very kind of you..... I think The Lovers is very auspicious. I wouldhave half expected The Tower!!! jxxx

Verityx said...

That painting is lovely, it looks like you and E...!