Alexander Averin

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Weekend So Far

The first painting is another by the Irish artist Paul Henry. Two fisherman going out in a curragh.

The second photos are of a home made magic lantern 'going up' at a party next door.

Talking of Ireland.
A Kerryman man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug." His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his Guinness.

Dear Diary,

Saturday Morning.

Hard to wake as I have only had about five hours sleep as I was babysitting last night. Part of me hopes it will be a quiet morning in the library, it may well be as it is another Bank Holiday and people often think I will be closed on such weekends. But we only get the Easter Saturdays off.

But I had a lovely time with the girls though. S, E and I went through the farmyard and the sheds into the field to collect the eggs. Only one chicken, The Loner, was about, in the lambing shed so we set off to find the others. S, only nine but already a very competent farmer, was confident that she would find them and she did. She went straight to the cattle shed and the chicken were already on their way out coming to meet her. They dutifully followed her back to their house and lined up to go in. I was impressed! E and I collected the eggs; there were five and one was huge and bound to be a double yolker. S looks after the chickens single-handedly and the novelty hasn’t worn off, she is a very special girl. (I can say that as I am a granny and we grannies can boast to our heart’s content). She is also very artistic and before we went a-farming she had shown me her latest pics. I had been reading about watercolour pencils in the blogs that very day and S showed me her set which the other Nanny had bought her. I had never even heard of them before I read purple coo so it was another one of those coincidences. She also showed me her charcoals and ordinary colour pencils as well as the pastels that I bought her at Christmas.

K, the eldest granddaughter is very, very nearly 11 and she is a keen writer. She has joined the children’s group, the Powys Writing Squad and is off to the Hay Festival next week for a creative writing class, lucky girl.

We watched the DVD of Chitty Bang Bang and K, eleven next Thursday, a typical Gemini, a mine of information, informs me that this old screenplay is by Roald Dahl and it was written by Ian Fleming (news to me, but she is reading the DVD box). She then informs me of fiIms that Dick Van Dyke has been in relatively recently! I was never a lover of musicals and must admit none of us stayed the course. E was so tired she wanted to go to bed as did S a while later and shortly followed by K. I read a book to E, the youngest, who is five. It was Dogger by Shirley Hughes and I was taken back to the days of reading Alfie books to my own young children. I adore Hughes’ stories and illustrations. Then, story over, E is seemingly no longer tired and we have a very long and cosy conversation. E is just so wise-beyond-her-years and her vocabulary wide; she thinks deeply about everything she says and we cover a variety of subjects about events in her life; past, present and future.

So at 10.45 pm they were all tucked up and soon fast asleep.

I had a quick look at CCW, well you have to don’t you or withdrawal symptoms set in) and then settled down to watch Jonathan Ross, soon gave up on that one too. Later was Jools Holland, much more up my street, and I did enjoy. Then I found a book of Irish poetry which I had given to my daughter as a present a few years ago. I picked out a few gems to share with you another day.

When I drove home after 1am it was under a cold moon but She loomed large and low and lit my way home.

Saturday morning

I wake, just about.

The squirrels are en famille outside the window, totally at home now in the garden, especially by the bird table. The wood pigeons and the doves too are constant visitors as is that most attractive bird, the jay. Shy birds those jays, they rarely venture out of the woodland except at certain times of the year when they are seeking food to feed young I guess. Little jaylets. The heron is always around and the magpies. The red kites are circling overhead in our field as are the buzzards. The birds and creatures seem to take it in turns to seek sustenance or if they happen to be there together they co-exist happily. More often than not, however, they seem to have their own inbuilt clock.

I am beginning to think my home should be called the Bird Sanctuary not Ty ‘r Gof (house of the blacksmith).


Drizzly, cloudy, very cool.

A-reading-and-an-afternoon-nap-but-not-a-gardening kind of day. Very quiet around these parts considering it is a Bank Holiday.

M brings me tea very early after another late night. I had planned to go to bed earlier last night but we had an unexpected invite to go for a drink with two very dear friends. I prefer spur-of-the-moment social occasions and we enjoyed a happy evening in a local hostelry back in the Smallest Town where our friends live. Preparations are getting underway there for the Man V Horse which is in a fortnight’s time.

Our friends have exciting news as they have been to visit a medium for the first time and it was a productive visit. M and I (and other members of my family) have much experience of this sort of thing so we loved hearing B and C’s story.

After my tea I doze a lot and then start to listen to the Archers, drifting in and out of the programme and waking to Desert Island Discs with Paul McKenna. I fall asleep during Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven which is rather worrying. I finally wake having been assailed by dreams which were very strange and filled with frogs and fish and flowing rivers. And people losing their jobs (not me).

Hunger calls.

It is a relief to escape from my slumbers and I get up. A quick breakfast of two of S’s fresh eggs, soft-boiled, accompanied by Marmite soldiers and then I run a long warm and oily bath. I lay and listen to the Gardeners’ Question Time which is being broadcast straight from a wet n’ windy Hay Festival.


My much-loved wind-up radio.
The chap who invented it is a genius. I heard on the radio this morning that he failed his eleven-plus. Discussions on the radio confirmed my own belief that people who passed that, myself included, were coached for the exam. Back in the late fifties I was lucky enough to have a jewel of a teacher, a Miss Bray at an ordinary South London junior school and I am sure the massive preparations that she gave her pupils helped a lot of us succeed. Not only that but she was kindness personified. The school was Winterbourne in Thornton Heath and If anyone knows the family of this woman I would love to find them. Miss Bray is long gone now I would imagine (my maths is no good !). But I learned all about verbal reasoning that type of thing and she made it FUN.

More blessings.

Sunday mornings

Antiques Roadshow. Michael Aspel. Another South London person.

My Saturday Guardian. I love the Review section and the magazine. All very literary. I like the writers’ rooms section and today it is one of my very favourites, Edna O’Brien, no less.

Chocolate puddings. I will say no more. It is a craving thing.

Jack Savoretti who I hear is playing live in New York as a support to Corinne Bailey Rae. I would love to hear the reviews. Frances are you there?

Three more blessings for you as it is Sunday.

Mediums and all psychic people whose reach is beyond this Earth.

Baths, sometimes only a bath will do.

The Archers. But I am getting a little bored by story lines that seem to drag on. Same thing is happening on Eastenders (whoops have I confessed to another this-time-shameful addiction ?:>)

I was going to write about how to make magic flying lanterns but I am a little worried after reading Zoe’s post. (Zoe are you married to the fireman?)

Actually I know a very nice fireman (yes I know I am lucky girls!) whose advice I will seek before posting anything dangerous.

I will refrain from a long and rambling rant today and will only mention two words which are ‘police’ and ‘stop and question’ (that is not two is it? Told you I was no good at maths!). I believe it is the duty of all women of a certain age to rant, are we not the wise and so experienced ones after all? Some cultures recognise that fact but then some others would call us crones.

I had tried writing some haiku but the muse would not come. I love haiku. The best I can do is below and it is a few-syllables- short-of-a-haiku (bit like me really!).

A happy Sunday to you,

Dreams are prayers; I kid you not; long may we weave the dreams.

So I will sign off now but below is a little poem wot I wrote in the bath. It’s something about the influence of the water don’t you know? Elemental and all that.

Bye for now,


This was the family’s language
So lies within my soul
In stories and in dreams
My genes will speak its name
And in my sleep I speak it

At times ornate
Its garlands are spread
Bedecked and bejewelled
with long-stretched imagination
And sounds of banshees wailing
Keening to the wind
And spatterings of ghosts
With lies that are truths
And truths that deceive
(In the name of religion)
All but the all-knowing

Cait O’ Connor



As always so much of interest to rad and such lovely visual pictures conjured up, glad you like the painting he is something a bit different.

elizabethm said...

loved your song today. we are just aobut to get chickens and have had 15 month old grandson here today. with luck he will become as competent as your nine year old.

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog today. Our hens are laying well at the moment and my daughter finds eggs all the farm.
I was very interested to hear about the medium. I've had dealings with them and have quite a few stories to tell. Perhaps I'll blog about them one day.
Very entertaining.

lampworkbeader said...

I love your blog, music, literature, art - I haven't even worked out how to put a picture on mine yet.

CJ said...

I've been MIA for a week or two and stopped by to catch up. Your blog is like a long drink of cool, sweet water...Music, conversation, poetry and art, what could be better!

Pondside said...

I think you've had a perfect few days - grandchildren, reading, tea, bath, bedm music...ahhhhhh. I always enjoy the music that you put on your blog site.

Fennie said...

Lovely music, lovely dreamy blog. My Sunday (shamefully) has been recovering slowly from overindulgence at yesterday's (indoor thanks to the weather)barbecue - 12 of us and browsing in an antique mart.

The Country Craft Angel said...

Loved this Cait.
I love Chickens, even though I don't have them (I will one day)
I love watercolour pencils and have done since I was about 12-13. I love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (although the Child catcher still terrifies me!)
Oh, yes...and I loved baths...

warm wishes

CAMILLA said...

Lovely blog Cait, ah, that takes me back, Heard It From The Grapevine - wonderful. Have just about learned how to do pics, have not got a clue how to do the music thing! The weather here in Norfolk is constant rain, dogs did not want to venture out in it today, not like them. Music, Literature, Art, there is nothing finer. Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday Cait.

Frances said...

Cait, thanks for your comment to me. I will surely search out some word on Mr. Savoretti.
Work is so upon me, that I have not yet even read the New York Times that was dropped at my door this morning.
Work again tomorrow, on our Memorial Day holiday.
But, be assured, I will look for some reviews and let you know what they say.
Just reading and listening to your blog always takes me to a wondrous place, making me realize possibilities.

jackofall said...

Another good read. Yes, instructions on the paper lanterns would be good, they looked a great success.

Posie Rosie said...

Hello Cait, lovely blog as always. I love collecting the chickens eggs, feels like you have found gold every time. Your grandchildren sound lovely. Distance reiki does help, even just knowing my lovely aunt is there sending caring thoughts works wonders. Also find sacral cranial therapy is fantastic.

CJ said...

Well, lets see MIA is missing in standard excuse when real life intrudes on my blog time...reading as well as writing! I love blogging so much I only go MIA when there's a real crisis on the go ;) Follow my email link on my blog and I'll set out the tagging steps for you as I understand them. (no I'm no fundi but I have learned where to find some of the answers)

mueja said...


Anonymous said...

lovley blogs i really enjoy reading them i love a good soak in bath and glass of wine xx jep

Milkmaid said...

I find your blogs very restful, I think it's the soothing music, I love jays, we had a family a few years ago, but haven't seen them recently, I did see a woodpecker on Sunday
Love your list of films, so many of my favs there too

Suffolkmum said...

Just catching up as I haven't been online for a few days. Your grand-daughters sound wonderful, lovely images of them being so competent around the animals. We are bg fans of Shirely Hughes in this house too. Loved your poem.

CAMILLA said...

Morning Cait,
I have my granddaughter staying with me this morning, she will be thirteen year of age in October. She, like me, loves writing poetry, and is a keen reader. At the moment she is in the middle of writing a 1,000 word short story for a competition of Young Writer's in our local newspaper. The prize is lots of books from Waterstone's. If she comes second or third place, her school will receive vouchers. Your writing's are packed with so much interest, keep writing. I saw a Jay in the garden yesterday, at least I think it was a Jay.