Alexander Averin

Friday, 27 July 2007

Better Late Than Never

A couple of Arthur Rackham pics, just because I love them.

Dear Diary,

(I am late posting this blog. Written yesterday morning).

I haven’t blogged for a while. Life gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it?

You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.
Katie Byron

Poor old Shambo.

I am with the monks on this one.

As long as the animal remains in isolation it would have seemed the best solution to me. And I do know about TB, I am old enough to have personal experience in my family of the effects the disease.

As I write this, my dear cat Molly is all over me, wanting my attention. She, like Shambo (was) is bursting with health and the thought of her being killed is horrific to say the least. She looks so comfy and contented as only a cat can, like the cat that got the cream. Don’t get me wrong, I do have sympathy for the farmers in the same situation, my daughter is married to a farmer. But to these monks all life is sacred.

One of my borrowers came up with an interesting angle. He said that if a human had TB would we kill him rather than let him mix with cattle? Don’t you sometimes think that we humans are both a domineering and arrogant species sometimes? Poor old Shambo, rest in Peace.

On a brighter note my Angel Card today is Joy, that’s a good one to have. I will seek out joy in my day. I have a friend called Joyful, what a lovely name to own. And another good thing. It is not raining! The river is quite low.

Outside the squirrels are busy, as are the birds. Does anyone know a cheap online source of peanuts and seed for the birds and the squirrels? They are eating us out of house and home.

I am hoping next week is more like summer as my stepson and family are coming from Norfolk to stay for a short holiday with us here in Wales . They are staying with my daughter, D’s half-sister, on the farm.

The poor farmers in these parts haven’t been able to cut any grass for weeks and if, as predicted, next week is dry they will be very busy. Luckily D likes getting stuck in and helping out on the farm so I guess/hope he might be busy. It will be silage this year, not much chance of hay. It’s a shame as our field usually has a good yield of hay. Usually it has been cut and cleared by now and the field free to walk in. It is such a shame that it is still out of bounds for me and the dogs. I can’t get near the long grass as I suffer from hay fever.

I am actually longing for sunshine, yes even me, a self-confessed lover of rain. You can definitely have too much of a good thing can’t you? Our vitamin D levels will be so low if we don’t get any sun on our skin. And I think we need a good summer to set us up for the winter, both physically and mentally. Let’s hope and pray that we get a lovely and long Indian summer.

Un Peu Loufouque has given us good advice about keeping our flower beds unkempt and the grass long in order to save the bumblebee. They like to shelter amongst the 'wildness'. I am queen of the unkempt border and as you know I call my garden a ‘wild garden’ in order to cover a multitude of sins. Now I can also say I am saving the bees…

I watched Miss Potter last night, it was quite a pleasant film but I felt it lacked something. Does anyone know what I mean?

M is off to see a man about a gun (an airgun I hasten to add!), well two men actually and he may be some time. I am going to get out of bed and get cracking. Even K my border collie is nagging me to get up. First I have to listen to Thomas Keneally on Desert Island Discs.


M has had a comment on his blog from Anna K and I must say it has made his day. Thank you Anna!

He has looked at Anna’s blog and said, like me, what a lovely person she is, not just her photo (!) and what lovely children.

As Faith said……It’s funny how reading people’s blogs gives one a feeling of the ‘spirit’ of a person. So if you ever meet face to face you must feel that you know them intimately yet have never spoken and have no idea of how they look, how they behave, their mannerisms etc.

Well before I leave you here are my blessings:

Some days it is hard to think of new ones and I am so tempted to repeat some of the old ones that keep resurfacing in my mind. At least that proves that blessings persist. Here are a few new and old ones.


I had a comment on my blog, on one of my music videos, from a stranger. That was a nice surprise. I wonder how he found me. He too is a Johnny Walker fan (not the whisky, though come to think of it….). I love Johnny’s taste in music. There’s something wonderful about a nice surprise - like a shock it hits you in the solar plexus but in such a pleasant way.

Visits from dear family members who live far away.

Forthcoming time off and visits to other family far away.

Enchanting images found on the Internet and shared on the blog.

Gifts from friends.

We had a convivial evening this week with some newish friends (I am related to one in a way but that is another (long) story). They gave us some of their frozen home-made chestnut mushroom soup to take home and try. We had it for supper last night after my ‘long day’ in the library. It was absolutely delicious. I’m a great soup maker myself but funnily enough I haven’t ever made mushroom soup. Mushrooms are often for sale quite cheaply so I think I will be making some soup with them myself soon. I’ve mentioned my home-grown artichoke soup in an earlier blog; that was out of this world and this mushroom soup was on a par with that. J also gave me some of her blackcurrant jam. I had some for breakfast and it was the best I have ever tasted. And to top it all M returned from their house just now with two warm home made rolls from them and they too were heavenly. So gifts and surprises together in this blessing.

Before I fly here is a poem by Simon Armitage. Nothing to do with the blog, I just love it.

You're Beautiful

Because you're classically trained
I’m ugly because I associate piano wire with strangulation

You’re beautiful because you stop to read cards in newsagent windows
About lost cats and missing dogs.
I’m ugly because of what I did to that jelly fish with a lolly-stick and a big stone

You’re beautiful because for you politeness is instinctive and not a marketing
I’m ugly because desperation is impossibly to hide

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

You’re beautiful because you believe in coincidence and the power of thought
I’m ugly because I proved god to be a mathematical impossibility

You’re beautiful because you prefer homemade soup to the packet stuff
I’m ugly because once at a dinner party
I defended the aristocracy and I wasn’t even drunk

You’re beautiful because you can’t work the remote control
I’m ugly because of satellite television and 24 hr rolling news

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

You’re beautiful because you cry at funerals as well as weddings
I’m ugly because I think of children as a species from a different world

You’re beautiful because you look great in any colour including red
I’m ugly because I think shopping is strictly for the acquisition of material goods

You’re beautiful because when you were born, undiscovered planets
Lined up to peep over your cradle and lay gifts of gravity and light
At your miniature feet

I’m ugly for saying ?love at first sight? is another form of mistaken identity,
And the most human of responses is to gloat

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

You’re beautiful because you’ve never seen the inside of a car-wash
I’m ugly because I always ask for a receipt

You’re beautiful for sending a box of shoes to the third world
I’m ugly because i remember the phone numbers of ex-girlfriends
And the year Schubert was born

You’re beautiful because you sponsored a parrot in a zoo
I’m ugly because I when I sigh it’s like the slow collapse of a circus tent

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

You’re beautiful because you can point to at a man in uniform and laugh
I’m ugly because I was a police informer in a pervious life

You’re beautiful because you drink three litres of water and eat three pieces
Of fruit a day.
I’m ugly for taking the line that a meal without meat is a beautiful woman
With one eye

You’re beautiful because you don’t see love as a competition and you know
how to lose
I’m beautiful because I kissed the FA cup and held it up to the crowd

You’re beautiful because of a single buttercup in the top button hole of your
I’m ugly because I said the world strongest woman was a muscle man in a

You’re beautiful because you couldn’t live in a lighthouse.
I’m ugly for making hand-shadows in front of the giant bulb, So when they
look up,
The captains of vessels in distress see the ears of a rabbit, or a eye of a fox,
Or the legs of a galloping horse.

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

Ugly like he is
Beautiful like hers
Beautiful like Venus,
Ugly like his
Beautiful like she is
Ugly like Mars

Simon Armitage

Bye for now,


CAMILLA said...

Oh Cait, what a wonderful blog, but then again that is not surprising, you'rs are all wonderful. Packed with so many interests. I just love that poem, there is "food" for thought there.

Yes, I know what you mean about animals Cait, I feel exactly the same as you about poor Shambo. When my daughter's cat got run over recently I was so heartbroken, I kept remembering how he used to come up to me, and jump on my lap and was purring, he was such a lovely cat William. Where in Norfolk do your family live? I live in North Norfolk.

I adore Arthur Rackham illustrations, a favourite of mine is Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, although they are all truly wonderful. Have never tried Artichoke soup, just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Eek! did I say water, apparantly we have never experienced rain like it since 1760. BTW Cait, the weather forecast for mid-week next, is goign to be HOT, in the late eighty's so they say.


Her on the Hill said...

Hi Cait - a very late night read and listen for me and how wonderful it was. Took me right out of my life into yours. Some strands crossing. Rain, mainly! But also a cat called Molly. Love the music you attach - it transports the reader to another place, adds layers to your words. Thank you.

Enjoy the sun when it comes. I'm off to find some now.


Anonymous said...

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here is the website i was talking about where i made an extra $800 dollars last month..... Later!the website is here

bodran... said...

Hi cait, i love A rackman to.
As for the weather Argghh i'm a rain lover to but this is to much, but looking out we have glorious sunshine for the village sport's! so it will be cider on the grass [ well maybe chairs] and tug of war, then tractor pulling through the village.xx Tell me about artichoke soup please and i'll go and rescue mine from my unkempt garden and do something with them.x

lampworkbeader said...

Hi Cait, I've been thinking about what you said about Shambo. I have sympathy with the death of any animal but I feel strongly that killing an animal potentially infected with TB is the lesser of many evils. TB is a horrendous disease and many modern strains are drug resistant. Given the choice between the health of a human and the life of an animal. I would choose the human life.

Faith said...

Goodness what an amazingly weird but good poem!

I am also an Arthur Rackham fan - who couldnt be?

I will let you know when I've done my five mood busting things - I see Elizabeth did hers today.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you about Miss Potter - I bought the DVD and gave it away, without even sitting through to the end. I found it simply boring.

Cats are divine creatures aren't they. Beautiful, sleek, independent. Mine is such a joy.

The farms here have come to the end of silage thank heavens! Hoping we might get on combining next week. No rain now for 2 days, arh touch wood quick. Fantastic breeze blowing through the crops, God's reward for our patience.

Beautiful poem. Crystal xx

Verityx said...


The human strain of TB is a different one from that which effects cattle.

Our vet said that she had never actually seen an animal showing signs of TB, nor have any of the farmers I know. Animals are routinely tested now every time they move or go to market not just the two yearly tests which were the norm before. By 'before', I think I mean before the goverment became anti-farming and anti- sustainability.

Our present government is happy to rely upon cheap inports, taking advanrage of the strong pound. Meanwhile many farmers beleive in a compelling conspiricacy theory which suggests that cattle are being culled simply to cut numbers or daunt British producers.
TB cannot even be passed to humans in the meat and more often than not is dormant in the beasts, often previously undetected perhaps but also unnoticed.

All the vets I have spoken to admit that the whole issue of TB testing is extremely dubious, way too stringent (costing farmers money every time they move cattle) and absolutely pointless to boot. These vets are working for the 'Ministry of Ag' and are on a whacking great wage.

I'm with the monks, not because they should have special treatment but because we should ALL stand up to this government and its sly propagandist tactics.

bradan said...

Sorry you have had so much rain, Cait. We have been lucky here and had lots of sunny days.
Yes, it is sad about Shambo and for the monks who value life so highly.
Could you maybe put the recipe for artichoke soup on the food forum, would love to try it. xx

Milkmaid said...

Miss Potter, good concept, poorly delivered, not seen it all yet, keep falling a sleep in the middle,
Not sure what to think about Shambo, difficult to have one rule for all the farmers and another for others, i do know there is a discrepancy in compensation, Scottish and Welsh farmers are compensated on actual value, English on a flat rate which is no where near market value and I think the movement testing depends if you are in a TB hotspot
The badger issue has been too much of a distraction away from really tackling TB

Blossomcottage said...

I am going to print this off and give it the time it deserves when I am relaxed in the bath, I so love coming to your page and listening to the music.