Alexander Averin

Monday, 6 October 2008

Passion and rest

Header picture, Connemara Farm is an oil painting by Elizabeth Ryan

Dear Diary,

“Rest in reason; move in passion

Kahlil Gibran

I’m writing this in the snug, sitting on my cosy armchair by the ancient Rayburn; you will often find me in here now with my two dogs and my cat for company. The washing is hanging from the beams, it’s reached the airing stage now. I look straight out on to the river and the field of sheep and beyond that, an oak wood, still green, not yet bare of leaf.

Five things I am into:

This is a piece of homework for Purplecoo. (I’m sure I’ve done this subject before?). The deadline is today so I am getting it in quick to avoid detention…… again.
I wish I was able to put 'worthy' things down like painting, sewing, decorating, gardening, exercising daily, cooking great recipes every night and writing wonderful works of literature. Doing Good Deeds would be a nice one as well. Hey Ho.

My list is like me at present, a bit feeble, but here goes:

Reading is always scrumptious, but even more so in the seasons of autumn or winter. I’m more likely to be found ‘living’ in a novel at this time, call it escapism if you like but I'm seeking out the unputdownable if possible.

A Good Book is a Good Friend. I had a leather bookmark with that on once, well I still do have it in my collection. Did I tell you I collect bookmarks?

I lose myself in a book if I can. I ‘cooch up‘ (as they say here in Wales)on the sofa and snuggle down, or in bed, or by the Rayburn, or in front of the woodburner - anywhere cosy. The woodburner is lit at around dusk every evening now and is definitely Something To Look Forward To.

Working in a library means that I am exposed to loads of books (absolute bliss for a bibliophile like me) and I also have many books recommended to me by borrowers. Good reads. I also recommend my much-loved titles to the borrowers of course, that is part of my job as a librarian. (Karen, please note the use of that word.... librarian).
Promoting reading and the love of books is a passion of mine.

I have just finished one such book, it was recommended to me by several borrowers. It is Eve Green by Susan Fletcher and I think it is an excellent novel. It did win the Whitbread First Novel award a while ago, you may have read it? There is Welsh local interest, quite by chance, and the quality of the writing is excellent, quite poetic in places.

Sleeping and napping become more enjoyable too as the nights start to draw in and the temperatures drop. (Full blown hibernation is not allowed unfortunately because it would definitely get my vote).
Now don’t tell anyone about this next one will you but I’ve even started …

Watching more TV. Perhaps it is because I am still feeling weak after the flu but I am currently into programmes like the One Show, Eggheads, Strictly Come Dancing, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Antiques Roadshow and a few (loads?) more, others I can’t remember.
(Question Time I never miss).

I haven’t deserted dear Radio 4 though, that channel is still my Good and lifetime Companion, especially in the kitchen and the bedroom.

Long Walks.
I intend to get into brisk walking again when I am fully better. I went on one last week but it was too soon after my bug and I felt bad again the next day. Possibly because on the same day I also cleaned the cottage from top to bottom and did a couple of hours in the garden and did some shopping and recycling etc etc. Will I ever learn?

My other passion at present is genealogy. I always turn back to this in the darker months and I am eagerly on the trail of dead people in Ireland, France and the East End of London.

Last but not least (I always have to stick in a cliché, I only do it to annoy you understand).

Writing…… of course! That takes up a lot of time. Blogging, reading others’ blogs, commenting, visiting Purplecoo, commenting.

I have my novel-in-the-making and as today is a day off I guess I had better dig it out. Reading good books with ’good writing’ always inspires me to write, are you the same?

And speaking of good writers, here’s one.

The Visionary

Silent is the house: all are laid asleep:
One alone looks out o’er the snow-wreaths deep,
Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze
That whirls the wildering drift, and bends the groaning trees.

Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor;
Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door;
The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far:
I trim it well, to be the wanderer’s guiding-star.

Frown, my haughty sire! chide, my angry dame!
Set your slaves to spy; threaten me with shame:
But neither sire nor dame nor prying serf shall know,
What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow.

What I love shall come like visitant of air,
Safe in secret power from lurking human snare;
What loves me, no word of mine shall e’er betray,
Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay.

Burn, then, little lamp; glimmer straight and clear—
Hush! a rustling wing stirs, methinks, the air:
He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me;
Strange Power! I trust thy might; trust thou my constancy.

Emily Brontë

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Pat Posner said...

Lovely post, Cait.

I tend to read old favourites more in Autumn and Winter - including childhood favourites. Maybe it's the 'double-cosy' feeling it gives, old friends and roaring fire, dark outside, cocoa to drink.

Frances said...

Beautiful Cait, I can just feel how it might be where you are as the cooler, shorter Autumn days begin to arrive.

It is a time to re-arrange ourselves. Think more of indoors, and say our fond farewells to the hours spent outdoors.

I am so glad that it seems that your river has returned to normal.
I am still curious to learn if any of your possessions, which were swept away in the flooding, might have turned up and be recovered?

Over here in our big city, we observe the changing seasons in a more artificial way. All the same, I just love fall here ... all the arts and cultural events begin to appear on the calendar.

(Hoping that this fall does not have our finances on a downward spiral ... too soon to know.)


Kaycie said...

I love curling up with a book by the fire. That weather hasn't arrived here, yet. We've another month or so. Our lows are still creeping into the low 60s some nights.

I love Antiques Roadshow, too, though I watch the American version as often as the British one. There is something fascinating about old things, and I love it when people find out they own an absolute treasure.

Wonderful post, Cait.

Ellie said...

Lovely post - and some good thoughts on how to enjoy the cold dark months ahead - I shall go and seek some of your recommendations in Kingsbridge library.

Fire Byrd said...

Reading curled by the Rayburn.... oh yes please. Not quite the same by a gas cooker!!

Anonymous said...

I love your list, Cait. It's very cosy to watch telly on a dark evening and snuggle up in front of the cosy fire.

CJ xx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am "into" much of the same. Edward and I both love these cooler, longer nights, and naps in the afternoon are such a treat this time of year.

I love the Bronte poem. I was unfamiliar with that one. Thanks!

Pam said...

You're living my perfect life Cait. Reading,and writing, napping,watching t.v.,going for long walks and living in Wales!*sigh*

Irene said...

Hi Cait,

I love reading about your life in and around your cottage and it seems to me you are living my life in another reincarnation. Maybe some day I will show up there as well and live your life between the books and the hills and the drying laundry. In the meantime, I am perfectly happy living my own imperfect, but interesting life here in the Netherlands. I don't have a wood burning stove, I think that is what is missing. Drying laundry on a rack I have in the bathroom or outside if the weather permits. I think a woman named Cait O'Connor should do nothing but poetic things all her days long. Own up to that Gaelic part of you. I'll own up to my Dutch part and get rosy cheeks from the blistery wind.

Annie Bright said...

What a beautiful post, Cait.

I too am tracing dead people in the East End of London, Ireland and France! I've just received a very interesting lead from Ireland that's very exciting!

KAREN said...

They're all great things to be into - especially Strictly Come Dancing :o) I recently started trying to trace my grandfather's family after writing a story with a genealogy theme!

ChrisH said...

I loved that Susan Fletcher novel too. A lovely post again, Cait, I shall be thinking of you cooched up with a good book!

The Dutchess said...

Very beautiful blog..and I see you love the work of Emily..I will be visiting you again..Greets from Holland

CAMILLA said...

A truly wonderful post of your Passion and Rest Cait.

Love the Gibran painting, so too the Poem by Bronte, she is another of my favourites.

The Gene Toons is soo funny, think I should stick one of these on my memo board, reminds me of me, no rollers though.

I do not watch much TV but I love the Antiques Roadshow and the One Show.

Thank you for the info on the Susan Fletcher book, will put in a request for this at local Library.

I adore Bookmarks too, I was given a very pretty antique fine glold one by nurses with a lovely poetry book when I left the hospital ward years ago.

Like you Cait I enjoy reading books, it has been neglected of late so I am going to make an effort of snuggling down with a novel.

Best of luck with continual genealogy, fascinating to find the 'roots' of your family far and wide.

Thank you for your kind comments on my blogs Cait.


CAMILLA said...

P.S. Forgot to say Cait, do hope you are now feeling much better, and happy reading in front of that cosy fire.


Cormac Mac Art said...

Dia duit as Eire!

I like the photos and paintings. Hope to read more from you in time.

Is mise, le meas, Cormac.

Pipany said...

Hello Cait. Hope you are beginning to feel more like yourself. Lovely list, much of which I agree with. Reading is such a passion and if the book is a good one I can usually be found nursing a burn or two from reading whilst cooking. Snuggling up is autumn is the best isn't it? So glad you like the door hangings xx