Alexander Averin

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Burning Candles

Dear Diary,

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.

Jiddu Khrishnamurti

Sunday. A Sun Day, indeed it is.

A Lie-In!

I have opened the bedroom window wide. Pure Welsh air, warmth and sunshine stream in. Can this be true, or am I still dreaming?

I stayed up far too late last night as usual, this time I was catching up on reading others’ blogs. Now I feel tired, will I ever learn? I really must stop trying to burn the candle at both ends but the trouble is I have always been a night owl. Why are people owls or larks? Is it a genetic thing? Or something to do with our time of birth? Sleep is so necessary for a healthy immune system, it is number one on the list (see Matthew Manning book below).

As I enjoy my morning cuppa I dip into various books that are piled up beside my bed. Our book group has evenings where we discuss ‘Books on my Bedside Table’, they are always popular and I usually take in a huge pile to pass round. At the moment I have at hand the following:

1001 ways to Save the Planet
by Esme Floyd. This is a really good-easy-to-read book, crammed full of green ideas that everyone can and should think about taking up.

Writing in the Age of Silence
by Sara Paretsky, the crime writer. This is a non-fiction book about her life and how she got into writing. Very interesting so far.

Your Mind Can Heal Your Body
by Matthew Manning. Matthew is one of my favourite healers so I had to borrow this new one by him.

Stonelight by Sheena Pugh. This is an oldish volume of poetry by a great poet who was born in Birmingham but has made her home in Wales.

I am still waiting for ‘We were the Mulvaneys’ by Joyce Carol Oates. I thought the library service had a copy but I can’t find it on the catalogue. I have suggested they buy a copy but I have ordered one from Amazon as it is the Purple Coo book group’s current choice. I am in need of a good novel, something I can get lost in.

I am tempted by another idea I got from Matthew Manning’s book which is to paint the walls in my little parlour in a honeygoldy colour. The room is currently all-white because I wanted to make it appear more spacious. Our little snug is already a honeygold colour and it always feels sunny in there, whatever the weather. Warm and happy somehow. I am so fed up with the lack of sunshine this year that I think I will just have to bring it indoors in my own way. Matthew apparently has gold stars as well on the walls in his house in Suffolk! I may leave those out although I do have lots of dangly things hanging from the beams, mostly angels and fairy lights, but I do have a gold star and a gold moon amongst them.

I’m very interested in colour therapy and I am a great believer in its powers.

Last night, or rather in the early hours when I was on the computer the dogs became very excited, whelping and whining excited, not their ‘there’s a stranger about barking/growling excited‘. But I bravely went down and double checked that there was no burglar about! I guessed it was the otters in the river, they always bring this reaction out in the dogs. So I did NOT let them out to frighten them away. I dared not open the back door as it may have scared them off.

It’s a pity there was no moonlight to see the otters by (see one of my earliest blogs for my true story of otters in the moonlight). I really must get the hang of this linking business, so much to learn with computers isn’t there? One never stops learning, it’s a bit like life really.

Before I go my daughter has been updating me on the TB in cattle story. She and her husband farm both sheep and cattle so she is writing from experience. I thought it was all black and white but apparently, like most present day media/political scenarios, what we are fed is a murky shade of grey.

The easiest thing is to copy her comment on my blog.

The human strain of TB is a different one from that which affects 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 government became anti-farming and anti- sustainability.

Our present government is happy to rely upon cheap imports, taking advantage of the strong pound. Meanwhile many farmers believe in a compelling conspiracy 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’

And now to completely change the subject from the controversial to the romantic, let’s get back into the past and to a poem - the old and well known classic Irish poem, that is a big favourite of mine.

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

I will sign off now, I have a date with the Archers - a lot more farming issues to catch up with on there - and then Desert Island Discs. Chores, indoors and out, a roast dinner maybe and then later we are meeting up with D and family who are arriving from Norfolk.

So much to do and so little time…

Wish I’d gone to bed earlier,

Bye for now,


laurie said...

our living room is a honeygold. our house is small, and the rooms are small. but our house is drenched in color. no room is white. and it's really energizing this way. (a yellow front porch, a red kitchen, a green bedroom, a yellow bedroom, a blue bedroom, and a mint-green bathroom.)

i say, go with color. white is stark and draining. color is full of life.

Anonymous said...

As always, a lovely blog to read. Beautiful poetry and excellent information concerning farming. I haven't heard anything about TB. We have sheep, no cattle but I will ask my husband about it all.

The colour reminded me firstly of the old BBC picture!

Best wishes, Crystal xx

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, I have got the Mulvaneys. I haven't read it yet though. If you want to wait I can always send it to you. I got my copy from Amazon.


WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh I love the sound of honey gold - it brings visions of warmth and light and yet coziness . . .As Crystal says there is always so much in your Blog. I am not a vegetarian - I would like to be - but actually become ill if I don't eat meat . . however I do think the way that many of our animals are treated is quite shamefull and agree with all the things pointed out in your blog . . . .

ChrisH said...

I love Yeats - and the poem is one of my favourites. And yes... we have some Welsh sunshine today too - it's a lovely fresh day, isn't it lovely?

annakarenin said...

I am with you on the issue of the monks bull I think blanket culling is wrong and had my reservations over the foot and mouth crises and the was the gov handled BSj. However my son's nursery teacher told me recently that she caught T.B of some local sheep about a year ago and was extremelly ill apparantly her cat caught it off them and passed it on to her. She was doubly upset because she lost her cat.

Another wonderful quote at the beginning of your blog you are excellent at picking out things like that I have a whole list saved and when winter proper comes I am intending to copy them into a personal diary to keep by my bed so that will be my bedside literature.

Faith said...

Do you know Cait, I think I will say to Hub3 when we makeover this room why don't we do it honeygold. He had the whole cottage painted what he calls cowshed white when he moved in - before we got together - and I think it really MIGHT do something for us to have it that colour.

Suffolkmum said...

I had to laugh when I read this Cait- in another of our weird coincidences, Matthew lived - until about 6 weeks ago - 2 doors away from me. He has just moved to a neighbouring village.
I adore that poem too, I often read it.

CAMILLA said...

Another fascinating Diary Cait, I love your imagination, and your zest for life. The poem is wonderful I had read that a long time ago I think. I have always loved the Otters they are so mischievious, did you see them on Spring-Watch recently? I have William Morris Wallpaper in the living area, but I have been meaning to change it, as it is rather bold, and does not do my paintings justice, would look better on plain wall I think. My kitchen and study walls are a Yellow/Gold colour, and it is a very soothing colour I agree.

Thank you for the info on the books Cait, I have noted them down.
Erpingham I think is about 40 minutes from us, I live in Reepham, a small Georgian Town first established in 1211.

I read today that poor Shambo has been slaughtered, I felt so angry and upset when I read it, but I know this has been a very controversial debate of late. Heck! I had better hit the sack, it's 2am in the morning. Thank you for all your kind comments Cait.


Posie Rosie said...

As always a lovely blog, with brilliant music. My bed is surrounded by books too, and the scottish wind billows through the window each morning. Cheers, Posie x

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Mmmmm like the sound of honey gold. When I first came here I NEEDED vibrant kitchen, dark terracotta lounge, turquoise/lilac/pink dining through that phase ...thank goodness. Now we are uniform magnolia but with vibrant splashes of red carpet, Persian rug, blue and white china.
TB ...neighbour has just had to send one of his beautiful cows to be slaughtered because of a test...she was heavy in calf as well..a tragedy and a waste!!
WB Yeats him.
Couldn't track the Mulvaneys down in Dorset either until I found WHS in Blandford Forum....keep going its worth it

Fennie said...

Wow, Cait, Sonny and Cher - gosh takes me back a bit. So interesting to read that bit about TB. Makes me feel justified defending Sambo!

I've blogged today about Baobab trees but the blog has a bit towards the end that you might be able to incorporate into your 'pick me up' compendium.

FunkyMunky said...

I love colour too. Hate anything dull!

Interesting point about larks & owls - I always believed I was a lark as I hated wasting daylight hours and even on the best nights out I would suddenly fantasise about my bed (to sleep in) ... however, since hubby started working permanent late shifts just over a year ago, we're never in bed before 2am - usually nearer 3!!

Lovely music as always - I was serenaded by Melanie as I read!!

Pondside said...

Mmmmmm - Van Morrison singing Brown Eyed Girl - and that was my request!
Lovely blog again Cait. I enjoyed the Yeats poem very much as I hadn't read it in years.
So sorry to hear about the bovine TB. When I read comments such as your daughters I ask myself what we are doing to ourselves and our beasts in the name of global economy etc

Woozle1967 said...

Hi Cait - our living room is in Farrow and Ball "Cord" in this cottage as the natural light goes really well with this colour. In our old house we had F&B's "Hay" - it's funny how the light can dictate just the right shade, isn't it?

I'm a night owl rather than a lark - and tend to sit up too late trying to catch up on blogs. But, like you, life is getting in the way of computer at the moment, and I am making the most of being able to be outside. Winter and dark nights are all too close.

Enjoy the sunshine.xx

Anonymous said...

Colour, always colour, you can't beat it. White is far too stark and draining of energy I always think. Like yourself, spent ages trying to catch up on everyone elses blog last night; wound up crossed eyed and dizzy.

Glorious blog - as always - love the WBY, here's one for you "Nil aon tintean, mar do tintean fein" - there's no fireside like your own fireside. Your fireside sounds like heaven. Otters eh? You lucky thing you!

p.s., Have just finished painting the hall, stairs and landing Golden Bay [lovely warm yellow] the kitchen is Primrose yellow. Yellows are great mood lifters.