Alexander Averin

Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Fall

Dear Diary,

The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living.

Russian proverb

It’s a long time since my last blog. And I am afraid this will have to be a shortish one.

Life has got in the way of blogging, it does that sometimes doesn’t it? Work, home and family commitments. Chores, trying to play catch-up, yet never winning and never managing to do all that I want to. It is Saturday night now and I am going to do some blog reading as well this weekend if it kills me. I have missed reading all my favourites.

The pics are three more by Paul Henry, my favourite Irish artist. I hope you like them too.

Yesterday M and I went to Llandeilo on the train. We went to buy a poetry book, it’s a long story really but the poet, Maurice Barnes, lives in the house in Dorset that was the childhood home of M’s grandmother. Family tree searching led us to him. I traced a copy of a book Barnes had published some years ago, to a secondhand bookshop in Llandeilo, a town on the Heart of Wales railway line. So we combined a trip out with a visit to buy it. M, being over a certain age, gets free travel on this line and his latest ’hobby’ is travelling along it, sampling real ale pubs en route, taking photos and doing little write-ups about the pubs. Sounds like a good way of spending one’s retirement and it makes me very envious. I warn you, that is what happens when you marry a much ’older man’, he gets to retire long before you do! Of course if he is a rich ‘older man’ then that would not be a problem.

Llandeilo is a lovely Welsh town and we enjoyed a good pub lunch in The Angel, we sat outside in the walled garden and it was so warm that it felt like the south of France, not West Wales in October!

M found another gem in the bookshop, well two actually, two books by one of his favourite authors, a writer called Jeffery Farnol. He wrote in the 1930’s and is relatively unknown. From what I have read, I can only liken him to Shakespeare! I had not read any of his work before but here is a wee sample - the first paragraph from ‘Over the Hills

I heard it first of a bright midsummer night in the dark coppice beyond the Ten-acre meadow; a sound of faerie, marvellous wild yet very sweetly mournful; a sound that seemed to echo the sighing of wind amid desolate trees, the gurgling sob of misty waters; a sound, indeed, that seemed to hold for me a magic and mystery, like stars and moon and the deep wonder of this brooding night - and yet this sound no more than a man’s whistling.

Farnol was a very romantic author who certainly had a way with words but I wonder why he is not well known? I shall have to do some research. M read him when he was a child at home, he is still a voracious reader, always has his head in a book, it’s a good job I work in a library as I can keep him well supplied with reading matter, both the old and the new titles.

I’m sorry this has to be a quickie blog tonight, I have lots of other reading and writing to do but….

before I go, here is a poem. The theme is New England.

As it is Fall time again and leaves are only just becoming colourful in this part of Wales, I dream of a holiday in New England, somewhere I have never been but feel sure I have lived in a past life. M will be checking his lottery ticket shortly, one can always hope…. But I am not discontented here in Wales with Autumn’s beauty all around me. I am a real home bird actually, it is so hard to get me to leave and I quickly become homesick when I do stray away from my cottage. Still, New England would be one place that could tempt me, along with Ireland of course and France.

New England Mind

My mind matches this understated land.
Outdoors the pencilled tree, the wind-carved drift,
Indoors the constant fire, the careful thrift
Are facts that I accept and understand.

I have brought in red berries and green boughs-
Berries of black alder, boughs of pine.
They and the sunlight on them, both are mine.
I need no florist flowers in my house.

Having lived here the years that are my best,
I call it home. I am content to stay.
I have no bird's desire to fly away.
I envy neither north, east, south, nor west.

My outer world and inner make a pair.
But would the two be always of a kind?
Another latitude, another mind?
Or would I be New England anywhere?

Robert Francis -

Bye for now,


lampworkbeader said...

More of those beautiful paintings. Thankyou.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

OOoooo I was not familiar with the artist - but I really really like his paintings.

I know you are busy Cait - so appreciate you taking the time to give us one of your brilliant blogs.

I am older than HS - although only by three years - guess I will technically retire before he does . . .possibly not rich enough for him not to worry though . . . .LOL.

Pondside said...

Hi Cait - yes, that is Failte over my door - written on a piece of Cape Breton Island slate - a piece of home.
I am always happy when you feature Paul Henry on your blog - I love the paintings. Maybe someday I'll find a print over here....or go to Ireland and find one.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Dear Cait,

I am just like you at the moment, I have not had enough time to catch up with Reading and Blogs, I would love to post mine too when time permits.

Thank you so much Cait, for introducing me to the Poet - Farnol, I had not heard of him and I adore that Poem. I will endeavour to seek out that Book, and Over The Hills. Beautiful paintings too Cait by Paul Henry, thank you for sharing with us.


Kaycie said...

Beautiful pictures. I really enjoy all the art you post.

Cait, there is an award for you over at my place.

Suffolkmum said...

Oh, Jeffrey Farnol! Gosh that rang a very old bell for me. My Dad always used to read him - though I have no idea if he still has any old books - and I don't actually remember reading any myself, but I do remember that name. I loved the quoted passage. And that middle painting has really got under my skin, they're all great though.

bodran... said...

To retire and travel on a train to sample real ales and read, that's what i want to do when i retire! now even. lovely paintings xx like you i need to catch up with everyones blogs xx

Pipany said...

What a beautiful proverb Cait. I love these little gems that make you stop and view the world in a slightly different way. I guess it's the 'stopping' that matters in this manic world isn't it? xx

Pili pala said...

Dear Cait thank you for all the lovely poems music and beautiful paintings. I agree so much with your view on life and living

Pili pala said...

Dear Cait thank you for all the lovely poems music and beautiful paintings. I agree so much with your view on life and living