Alexander Averin

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Books Again and The Sea.

Dear Diary,

The photos are of Jamie Owen and Derek Brockway from BBC Wales, their books and the BBC Bus. (details in this blog below).

In the previous blog below you will see a poem and a picture I picked and posted in the early hours of this morning. Rather foolishly I started up my Norton Anti-Virus scan system as I keep getting an annoying pop-up on the computer. Once I started old Norton I didn’t like to stop him and it took ****** hours so I started dipping into poetry books as is my habit. I picked one of my favourites from a book that features Irish painters as well as Irish poets.

I can’t believe I have been blogless for over a week. It’s been one of those weeks, things to do and things on my mind. Playing catch-up, or rather wanting to but not doing so. Work has been very busy too which is good but still tiring. I didn’t even make the party on Thursday as it was my late night at work and I was exhausted. But I did have all the music set up for you and I hope you enjoyed hearing all your requests and had a good sing-a-long and dance-around.

I couldn’t even have a drink on party-night as I had to go to bed early and sober. Four of us from the book group had to go to Newtown to the BBC Wales bus which was doing an outside broadcast by the Jamie Owen programme. We had to talk about the two books we’d been asked to review for Welsh Book of the Year. Mr Cassini by Lloyd Jones was the novel and Growth Rings by Christine Evans was the poetry book we were asked to read, two of the shortlisted titles.

Mr Cassini was an excellent book; I can’t recommend it highly enough. It tells, in a series of dreams the story of a man’s journey to dredge up a lost and buried childhood. It is a surreal novel, multi-layered, highly original, intelligent and full of Welsh myth and magic. It must win the prize as far as I am concerned. (Please make me happy and go to BBC Wales arts page and vote for it on my behalf… or at least read it). If you are Welsh you will love it I am sure but even if you are like me just a mere incomer (having lived here only seventeen years) you will probably also enjoy it. However I have to say that not all of the book group loved it as much as me; some did, but even the group members who thought it ‘weird’ did concede that it was very well written. Perhaps then I could liken it to Marmite and call it a love it or hate it book. But it is a very rare book that appeals to everyone and why should it?

R and I were on air live and Jamie asked us questions. Only a few minutes but nerve wracking especially as he didn’t ask the questions I was told he would. I waffled on as best I could, left out most of what I meant to say but never mind. I wouldn’t be as nervous another time now I know what it entails. Then at the end of the programme the four of us from the group were recorded discussing the poetry book. We talked for fifteen minutes and they will edit it down to four minutes and it’s going out next week.

We sat on the bus for an hour and a half and were able to watch Jamie do the programme, play some great music and interview the other guests who were a local historian, a Welsh monk and a Welsh National Orchestra conductor. A very interesting morning. Derek Brockway the weatherman was there too. (Only the readers in Wales will have a clue who I am talking about, I apologise). We call him Uncle Derek at home as he has such a sweet way about him (good looking too!). Jamie has the loveliest voice; as I sat on the bus I likened the sound of it to melting chocolate and Derek of course was the sparkling wine to go with it (so I was thinking of you all).

Next weekend I am off to Lewes in East Sussex to stay with C, my newfound sister. We have only known of each other’s existence for a short while and B and T my (adoptive) brother and sister-in-law are also coming along for the weekend. We are going to visit an architectural exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea (my brother is an architect) and have a meal in their very nice restaurant which overlooks the English Channel. Then it will be back to Lewes for a spot of the craic. My sister was brought up in Tralee, lucky girl, so grew up by the sea in Ireland, our native home.

I never like leaving my little country haven in the summer months. Only Ireland, the sea or my family, old and new, can tempt me away. I suffer from homesickness, it’s a family trait I am told.

There is something about the sea and the vastness of the ocean which fulfils an elemental need in all of us I think; perhaps it is because we are meant to have originated from there? Everyone I know seems to want to live by the sea. It certainly appeals to me, being able to look out at ‘nothingness’ and watching the ocean in her many moods, both wild and gentle. My Moon is in Scorpio so that is why emotionally I am drawn to be by water. It’s probably why I love my little river cottage so. But my little river can also rage and roar, you would never think so when you see her in Summer, when she ’shrinks’ to the size of a brook. I will dig out and post some pics of her in flood. When she rises she is truly frightening then, so powerful, noisy and fast flowing, you wouldn’t stand a chance if she took you away. (just like me really :-).

I’m going to stop now, my blogs are always too long. Why can’t they be short and sweet? Less often says more after all. N, my dear writing tutor has taught me that. But I have been away for a while so forgive me. I’m going to catch up on blog reading if I can get on the computer, might be difficult as my two menfolk are hovering. And later I will be writing some more of the old ‘life story’.

At eight o’clock tonight I will be joining in and sending healing, love and hugs to those who need it, the purple coo folk included. who will know who they are.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this action spread and more people round the world sent peace, love and healing to their fellow humans at the same time once a week? And lit a candle too.
(From a Distance is playing as I write this, coincidence again?).

Although I don’t belong to any religion I believe in the power of thought.

The universe looks less and less like a great machine and more and more like a great thought.
~Sir James Jeans, physicist.

Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger
than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Before I go here is a (sea) poem.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the seagull crying.
I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife:
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield

Bye for now,


Inthemud said...

Hi Cait,
I , too, haven't been able to get on to blog or read much lately, life pretty busy, had 2 sets of guests staying so lots of extra laundry and food to cook, as well as normal job.Soph & boyfrind seem happier now, her friends leave today so we'll see how things go.
Liked your photos.
The BBC prog sounded interesting.
So you're coming over this way to E Sussex, so you won't be far from me! We went over to Alfriston in East last week, visited NT old Clergy house fascinating.It's all Bloombury set stuff around there, very interesting.
Have a good week.
Warmest Wishes
Elaine x

Pondside said...

Good morning Cait. Your past week sounds very interesting. Thanks for posting the photos, as it helps put into context the BBC bus and the personalities. What an experience that must have been! I hope you have a wonderful trip to visit with your new-found sister. My children are both adopted - Son and Heir has no interest in looking but Lillypad is - just dead ends so far, but we are hopeful that one of the threads she's spun out will bring someone back to her.
I was listening to k.d.Lang last night and thought you might like her rendition of "Helpless" - it's on the site on your blog page.
..oh, and your blogs are not too long, although my comments surely are!

bradan said...

Hi Cait, interesting to hear about your radio interwiew. My youngest son has been on the radio 4 times, all in Gaelic. He wasn't really nervous but I was! You are very brave to do it - I couldn't. Did you speak in Welsh?
Your photgraphs are wonderful, it looks so peaceful there.

Anonymous said...

A lovely, interesting blog and not too long at all. I love reading about other people's lives, perhaps it's because I'm a nosey old bag!!
That BBC bus and programme sound really exciting. I don't listen to the radio enough I know. I live by the sea, about 3 miles away from Bamburgh and I have to admit it's wonderful. I really wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
See you 8pm.
Crystal x

Suffolkmum said...

Again, one of my old time favourite poems. Another one that was read at my Uncle's funeral (he wasa sailor). Lovely and soothing as ever to see a blog from you again. I haven't blogged for a week now either, sometimes a rest is required. The radio interview sonds interesting. I have to admit to a curiosity about your new-found family. When/if you want to write about it, I'm sure it will be a fascinating and emotional story.

bodran... said...

hi cait,I'll look out for that book, very dishy bloke on the photo by the way...shame you can't make it this thursday it would have been lovely to meet..xx

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Cait,
A wonderful interesting blog, and thank you for your concern and your kind comments. Husband still quite ill, but I was thankful at least for your Hug this evening, needed that, so lonely at the moment. Was it you who asked me about painting I gave my daughter, sorry if I am a tad forgetful, a lot on my mind at present. Warm Wishes to you.
Camilla.xx P.S. Thank you so much for music of The White Room, by Cream.

The Country Craft Angel said...

HOw interesting your week has been.

I have to say I usually hate long blogs and once they go down the page I start to flit with my interest. However I NEVER have that with yours. I usually have a cup of tea and read through in my leisure and I find your writing very calming/lilting somehow. I always enjoy them.

I think the idea of the weekly hug/positive vibes is a very good one Cait. There are many people out there who are troubled and I totally agree that you cannot underestimate the power of positive thought.

warmest wishes

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Hi cait...lovely to find you back ...your blog hit home well and truly ...have always yearned to live by the sea...and yesterday spent hours looking in Estate Agents in Aberystwth and Aberaeron...HE says 'lets go for it!' But..but.... but...I can't ...can I?
Lovely poem..I can remember reciting it for an English competition ...and winning!! I still knew the words..I closed my eyes and tested myself!

CAMILLA said...

Gorgeous pictures Cait,
Thank you for putting The Cream on Jukebox, unfortunately I cannot hear it, is that because as you say, it is full at the moment?

Hopping Moon said...

I love Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes - so much i got some friends to send me a book of his from USA - it was the dullest thing with not one wise or spiritual or interesting comment in it - I couldn't believe it!!

Woozle1967 said...

Hi Cait - ditto the not enough time to read/blog/comment! Have been trying to do all the things I should be doing and have "allowed" myself some catch-up time tonight!

Loved all your photos - your cottage looks amazingly gorgeous.

I would have been terrified being on air and would have dried up with nerves, so good on you my girl! I take my hat off to you.

I'm going to put a spanner in the works with the sea thing! I love to visit the coast for holidays but have NEVER wanted to live by it. I'm a countryside rather than seaside kind of girl, but ADORE rivers and valleys, so your place would appeal to me too! I love the Wye valley and J and I go kayaking from Symonds Yat, which isn't far from us. There's something about river valleys that seem so timeless and mystical to me - I think it's to do with the trees that are more abundant in these areas than along the coast. I have a thing for trees - inherited from my mum - and always feel a pull to wooded landscapes.xx