Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

A Long Blog

Oh God, it’s another long one. Bear with me. I start off with a few notes and go off on a ramble……. it’s my day off you see and procrastination must be part of it as there are jobs I hate to do later. Ouch!

No poems today but, for a change, a spattering of my favourite quotations.

Dear Diary,

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly

They say animals are our guides to the spiritual world and spiritually they are more advanced than we humans. I am inclined to agree.

But I disagree with those other so-called animal experts who say dogs do not understand words. I was thinking of all the words that I know Finn, our lurcher, undoubtedly recognises.

So far I have listed the following:

S (son’s name)
V (daughter’s name)
K (other dog’s name)
Lay Down
Where’s Daddy?
Go and Find Daddy
Wee Wee
Get Down
Shake a Paw
Naughty Boy
Who’s That?
See Them Off!

There are others but these are those I can think of so far. It is NOT tone of voice; it is the words that are recognised. Do you agree?

I think Finn knows I am writing about him because he has come and laid down beside me…….

Dogs are telepathic. They read my mind and I only have to think of taking them for a walk for example and they start getting excited. I am sure I can read their minds but I know it works both ways, they know when I am sad or feeling unwell. They know when one of our ’pack’ is on their way home. They know who is at the door without seeing them and never bark if it is a ‘favoured’ person. There are some special people they have accepted unquestionably who they have never barked at. At the same time there are a few they will never take to; the coalman for example, but it could be the lorry they don’t like. But they should surely be used to it by now as it comes once a fortnight.

I am back on the family tree research again as we have free access in the library to - I will add a link to this page. All libraries in the UK have free access till March 2008. But if any of you want me to look anything up let me know. I am doing some searching in my lunch hours.

M has been spurred on by our daughter and myself and has started a blog! I won’t give you a link unless any of you are into airguns? He does write about other things but so far it is mainly ‘blokeish’ stuff and mainly airgun-related. Yawn yawn…………….

Blessings (a long list it seems).

My dear son-in-law who has a birthday today. Pen Blwydd Hapus A! He has been through a hard time recently; hopefully we can draw a line under it all now. He is a very special person, I knew within five minutes of meeting him that my daughter’s life would be ‘safe’ with him. She was quite young when they first met but I had no worries about their relationship. Do you know what I mean? There are some people who you connect with instantly and know they are mature and are ‘good’ people.

Recipe Books. They make great reading even if I am not in the mood for cooking. I haven’t been in the mood lately. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy cooking, it’s the Having To Do It Every Day that gets me. I get phases of enthusiasm. Do others feel like me I wonder? I know my daughter does and she is a great cook. And she has five mouths to feed every day…

The instruction we find in books is like fire.
We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others and it becomes the prophecy of all.

Voltaire c694-778

I have a few favourite cookbooks. The old and trusty St Delia was my first and she is still reliable. I have her Complete Cookery Course and have owned it since it first came out many years ago. Everything works, is exact and tastes damned good. I always like St Nigel (Slater). His book Appetite is one of my much loved. His Kitchen Diaries too is inspiring. The old favourite tattered paperback which is the ‘Pauper’s Cookbook’ by Jocasta Innes, every one of her recipes, a lot of them French, are just wonderful. I also like Jean-Christophe Novelli , but that’s another story, not all food related :>).

Seriously though, these cooks have such enthusiasm it is infectious. Remember en theos, Greek for ‘with God.

I am a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, I don’t like things planned in advance. The biggest problem here is the distance from the shops. We are over-run with eggs at the moment as my daughter has a surfeit. Her new chicken are laying more than one egg each a day (Has anyone else heard of this happening?). And M is looking after a neighbour’s chicken so we are getting all their eggs too. I fancied making Eggs Florentine but have no spinach, not even frozen. It’s miles to the shops that is the problem. I envy those of you with your Tesco home deliveries (ssshhh, hush my mouth, I didn’t really say that did I?). But we are having a Tesco coming to the area soon, a blessing in disguise??

I would rather we had regular decent markets in our little towns like the French do. And daily deliveries of fresh bread. They have life sorted.

I love recipes that are healthy, quick, cheap, can sometimes be made in advance or made in one pan. So things like stir-fries, curries, stews, anything QUICK. I hate slaving over a hot stove and then seeing it all devoured in an instant!

It will soon be salads-in-the-garden kind of no-cooking I hope.

Though overall I still subscribe to the healthy benefits of chocolate and wine don’t you?

Ebay. I am an Ebay virgin but am thinking of having a go at selling something. I hate the site, it is aesthetically such a b***** mess. I long to de-clutter it and make it ‘beautiful’. Still friends have inspired me to give it a try. I will let you know how I get on. I know a lot of you out there are very experienced sellers.


The news is so bad at the moment that I especially appreciate the following blessing.


Children, Chocolate and Wine posts. So many are really, really funny and so well written that they brighten my day. So much talent there, you purplecooers know who they are.

I love impressionists, Rory Bremner and Alastair McGowan for example. TV Programmes such as Catherine Tate, The Simpsons, My Family, Have I Got News For You, many more….. And a few on Radio 4 too.

Friends and relatives too with their special brand of humour.

Honey. My first cup of tea laced with the stuff. Always gets me going.

Summer dresses. Hoping it will be summer again soon…

My lovely borrowers at the very busy library. I come home exhausted but happy, who could ask for more than that from a job? The children at the adjoining school are one of the lights in my life; their enthusiasm for books is such a joy. For them a seed has been planted which should grow into a lifelong passion.

Rain, liquid sunshine. We do need it.

Hairdressers, magicians!

Musical instruments. My favourites are the guitar, the uilean pipes, the wooden flute, the harp and the bodrhan. I love drums, it must be so cathartic to play them.

Some instruments touch the soul, the Uilean pipes for example, they touch me deep inside (my sister-in-law says the same and she has the Irish blood too).

I have asked God for one thing, to be able to have a really wonderful singing voice in my next life. It must be exhilarating to be a great singer.

Listening to some music makes me cry, the Welsh and the Irish national anthems for example. And even the one in my headphones at this very moment by Snow Patrol (on the blog). It shows you how music can change your energies.

I may be in danger of repeating myself when I am writing my blessings. At my age I am always in danger of repeating myself.

But does it matter?
Does anything matter?
Nothing really matters.
Only love.

(The last saying is one of my own mantras, having endured perhaps more than my fair share of ’difficult times’ it has been my lesson in this life).

Well I had better stop now. If you’ve read this far many congratulations and thank yous.

I now have boring paperwork to attend do, which involves money and adding up (for me it is a curse), wish me luck.

And I must fit in a walk with the dogs today.

If I am walking with two men each of them will serve as my teacher.

I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
(C551-478 BC)

We must be the change we want to see in the world

Bye for now,

I am still lighting a candle for Madeleine, I know some of you are too.


snailbeachshepherdess said...

Hello Cait - that was lovely - and the music - have got a playlist nearly done now -takes an age doesn't it? Cookery books - cannot manage without a delia! Music - a Welsh male voice choir singing Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer - cant find that on playlists!
Have spent many days in and around smallest city next time I'll find the library!

toady said...

Don't worry about Ebay it's a doddle. I'm a veteran of 83 transactions buying and selling, I love it. And I agree dogs do understand words. Our Bo understands all the one's you listed and he can tell the time. Toady

Suffolkmum said...

Lovely relaxing meandering blog , Cait, I love your long ones! How great to have the free access to the ancestry records. I've got back as far as the 1841 census, but am stumped as to what to do now, especially as I've recently discovered that many of my ancestors came over from Ireland after the famine, hard to trace. I love many of the same cookery writers - I bought a lovely one recently, Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros. How nice that you are obviously close to your son-in-law. My Mum saw a photo of R when I'd only reently met him - photo was of a group of friends and we had only just got together - literally days. My Mum took one look at the photo and said she thought she knew him (she didn't). She then said 'he's the one you'll end up with'! I love that Snow Patrol track too.
ps I'd like to get some of Patrick Kavanagh's poems - I looked on Amazon and there are so many, do you have any recommendations for a good general anthology? Sory for the long comment!

bradan said...

The Irish anthem makes me want to cry too, my Dad was always so proud of it. My Mum was half Welsh and she used to open the windows on 1st March and play Hen wlad fy nhadau really loud! (not sure if I've written that properly, btw.)
I have boring paperwork as well, I rather foolishly agreed to be Treasurer for my son's Camanachd club and am supposed to be updating the accounts today - but much nicer reading blogs!

The Country Craft Angel said...

I was looking all over to see where the music was coming from and I realised it was your blog when I finished reading!! Very clever!

That was a lovely blog-read with a cup of tea and bisuits in hand.

My dog is telepathic too-I blogged about him a while back-looks into my soul sometimes with his 'seal like' eyes.

I also love to read cook books-some nights I will just grab a pile and sit with them, dreaming and planning or getting ideas.

I am a big e-bayer and experienced seller-be warned it is also addictive! I shall watch your progress with interest-it is great fun-I used to be a real snob about it but love selling my crafts on it.

I also wish I had a really good singing voice-I can sing in tune and should have had voice coaching as I definitely have a soprano range! I will let you in on my secret-I wish I could go on STARS IN YOUR EYES!!-I would be Olivia Newton John or Karen Carpenter!!

warm wishes

Eden said...

love the Ghandi -- it is so true. I hope you get the singing voice you want -- maybe we'll be in the same choir 'cause i'd love a good vice (har har, oops I mean voice) too. Never sold on ebay but boyught a few things and always worked well. Good luck with it.

muddyboots said...

l nearly jumped out of my skin. where was that music coming from the radio wasn't turned on? l agree dogs are telepathic, they JUST know what l am going to do next they even know what time l will be up & about. L'm also not a plan months ahead person, a difinate spur of the moment. Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today. my guardain angel drives fast........

Inthemud said...

Hello Cait, That was a lovely long blog, but full of interesting things.
I do so agree that dogs understand words, mine certainly does.

Ebay: used to use it a lot last year and bought and sold all sorts but got bored and nothing I need at present so don't use it much now.

I continue to hold Madeleine in my prayers wishing for her safe keeping.


I'm with Voltaire

JacquiMcR said...

Cait, as always your blogs are inspirational. I loved the music and have played it three times so far (I have it on a tape but haven't listened to it in such a long while).

Cookery books - simple and quick has to be Rachel Allen.

I am lighting candles for madelaine.

Take care - Jacqui x

elizabethm said...

love this one Cait, thank you. nigel slater is my absolute favourite but also like tessa kiros for the lovely look of the books as much as anything and hugh fearnley whittingstall for the consistency of his philosophy. my son in law is ace too!

Milkmaid said...

I'm glad your blog is long, allows time to listen to the music, Love your observations about dogs, I'm definitely the pack leader as far as mine two are concerned and 'den' is their favourite word

Frances said...

Hello Cait. I agree with all the above comments that your blogs are something very special, inspirational, and the sort that can connect us.
Cookery books. Over here, they are called cookbooks. Not quite the same ring?
I have quite a few on my shelves, and some I love as books, even though I have never actually tried a single recipe.
We loved dear Julia Child who led us across to France. I also learned a lot from Marcella Hazan, who seems very practical in her Italian lessons.
Growing up in Virginia, I have a few cookbook collections put together by various schools, church groups, etc, to raise funds. They are testimonials to a certain time, because of the particular ingredients. (Some of these, canned soups, a certain cracker, a particular cake mix, just are not on the planet anymore, and not missed. All the same, the little books are in a way history books, too.)
Thanks again for the music.

JacquiMcR said...

Hi Cait, thank you so much for your comments on my blog. Although I am scottish, my grandmother is Irish and as a child I spent all my summer holidays there. Now married I still go back and forward about twice a year with my own family and probably will eventually end up there once my children are grown.

I did know that Pete McCarthy was dead because not long before he died he was giving a talk in Glasgow and my husband(a big fan) passed him in the street. As they were both in a hurry he didn't stop him and now it is one of his big regrets that he didn't get to tell him how much he enjoyed his writing.

Your play list is fab and has lots of things that I would have. Have you heard "by clydes bonnie banks" or more commonly known as "black is the colour of my true loves hair" by Christy Moore. I think its one that you might enjoy.

Sorry for taking up all your space - take care - Jacqui x

Fennie said...

Love the music, Cait, and the tales. On singing I am quite hopeless when it comes to singing in tune with anybody else but it is wonderful to sing and sometimes when I know I am alone (really alone) I blast out as much sound as I can - it's a wonderful sensation - with the sound coming up from somewhere around your knees.

Pondside said...

Hi Cait - lovely music on your blog - takes me home to Cape Breton. Also loved your poem.
Go for the ebay experience and then write about it!