Alexander Averin

Sunday, 4 January 2009

All Things Cold and a Prayer for Peace

Dear Diary,

I shall start with a poem today, I was inspired looking out of my window when I awoke.

Minus 12

Iced-up; the river seems un-moving.
Edged with lumps of white that are
sculptural; frozen and un-bowing.
The river slows ahead and stops
and at its bend surrendering,
so strangely still, she yields to Nature,
whose Chill is far too much a contest for her Dance
and she pauses in the ice-flow’s stony grip.
Proudly, a narrowed channel fights its way
and far beneath the great covering of white ice,
(those sheets where in my fancy
those water-nymphs may skate or skid),
I cannot help but trust she flows
and cannot help but pray that she will never sleep.

Everywhere of late there has been nothing else but the talk of the Great Cold. It has been so cold that 0 degrees is beginning to feel like warm to us. I wake this morning and somehow suspect it is more like -12 and I am amazed to see that the river is frozen. I vow to invest in a Max-Min thermometer; our neighbours have one hanging by their back door. There is some odd satisfaction in knowing or being able to relate to others what the temperature is/has been.

As a child of the fifties I was used to having ice on the inside of my windows but lately in the UK we have not been blessed with such ‘proper’ winters. I remember one in the 1980’s when, back in Sussex, the temperature was -8 for several nights.

It was -4 at 5 pm last evening, I know that because my car has a temperature gauge and I bore passengers by reading it as it fluctuates on my journeys up and down hills and mountains. It was -8 locally during the day. It feels like -12 today but I am only guessing. I have put an extra duvet on the bed and won’t go into details but I am well layered-up!

Molly the cat ventures out but soon returns. One dog is almost wrapped around the Rayburn; the other is cooched up on his pillows on the floor beside my bed, right next to the heater. He (Finn) was twelve on New Year’s Day and we spoil him in honour of his great age by letting him sleep in the bedroom and he lies on proper pillows (and has his own doggy pillow cases of course!). The two dogs rarely cooch up together, in fact the cat and Finn are more ‘loving’ to each other, regularly grooming and washing each other. (I will try and post you a photo).

I shall have to go and fetch more logs in as I think we will be getting through a lot in these coming days. We store them in the old forge across the road and carry them over in the wheelbarrow to store in the front porch. Snow is forecast for some areas, maybe tomorrow morning. Luckily our freezer is not empty and we have enough tinned and dried foods to see us through should we be snowed in. I have to replenish the bird feeders, run the dogs, and drive to the local shop to get a Sunday paper which is a little indulgence I still enjoy. Then I will retreat to the warm cottage and get a dinner cooking.

So are there blessings?

There always are. Here are just a few.

Duvets. I need say no more.

New Years. And their Resolutions or Predictions maybe? I shall soon be blogging about this as it is the subject for our writing group’s next exercise.

Hot Soups. Foods with a kick. Curries, Stews, Roasts. Dumplings. No more elaboration needed here either.

Sundays. My favourite day of the week. I have enjoyed this Christmas holiday period (did I really write that?) inasmuch as each day has merged and become like a Sunday and given over to a break from the much-despised routine that life can become.

Last... but never let it be said it is the least….. The joy that is Reading a Good Book. I get such pleasure in my job by seeing borrowers feel that same delight and anticipation of finding warmth, both physical and spiritual and a genuine comfort from escape into others’ creativity where others’ words can take them into others’ worlds.

Will that be enough?

I could add the wonder that is a great voice, a voice of an angel in fact, such as Leona Lewis’s who is singing to me as I type. I play Run over and over as I love the lyrics and the way the melody rises in volume and power.

That’s enough for now. Chores await.

I send you all warm wishes and also a huge prayer for Peace in the world.

“I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”

Albert Einstein
1879 - 1955

Go mbeanna Dia duit,



Stay warm Cait, treat yourself to a hot toddy. Sunday papers and Desert Island Discs that's what Sunday is all about methinks. Work beckons tomorrow :( TFx

Frances said...

Cait, the Sunday that you describe would suit me perfectly! Perhaps I will be able to recreate that mood/pace tomorrow when I will have a day off.

I am very glad that you have got plenty of wood not too far away to help keep you warm.

The poem is lovely. You had me watching that river trying to learn from its adaptation to winter.

Also, thank you for the prayer for peace. I would love to hear many more of those.


Pondside said...

The Great Cold indeed! We are still deep in snow over here too.
This was a wonderful Sunday post. I wanted to 'cooch' up with the dogs - this is a word I've never heard, but it is one I'll borrow...thank you!

LittleBrownDog said...

Yes, indeed it is very cold, Cait, but it sounds as though you have all you need inside. Lovely poem, and a beautiful quotation.


snailbeachshepherdess said...

They say snow is still on the menu - get those logs across the road quickly!

elizabethm said...

Another person who is addicted to the thermometer on the car! I drive my family mad too. It sounds as though it is even colder with you than it is up here and we are in earth as hard as iron times on this hill.
happy New Year Cait and I am glad to know you enjoyed your Christmas. xx

Kaycie said...

We're having a cold day today after a frigid night, about -7 C. The sun is warm, though, and our weather is wild here. Tonight and tomorrow, more of the same, then by Wednesday, it will be about 13 C, if the weatherman can be believed.

Sundays are indeed the best. I hope you've enjoyed yours.

laurie said...

duvets, yes! january is always a two-duvet month for us here. it was 7 degrees above (fahrenheit--which is about -14 celsius) when i walked the dogs today, but with no wind and the sun out it was quite pleasant. you do have to wear an awful lot of clothes, though.

(as garrison keillor says, there is no bad weather; just bad clothing.)

i do have the edgar sawtelle book on my nightstand. i haven't read it yet, but doug read it last summer. i need to pick it up very soon...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Hot soups, good books, and dogs. A recipe for a wonderful Sunday indeed! I always know when it's going to be a cold night...Edward sleeps on my feet!

I loved your poem!!

DJ Kirkby said...

Duvets...lovely feather duvets and pillows. I call my bed my nest. Love the photo. xo

Pipany said...

Hello Cait and a very Happy New Year to you. Beautiful picture which has made me realise the cold I have grumbled (who me?!) about down here is nothing more than a little chill! xx

Sally's Chateau said...

Agree about the good book and what better time to curl up than when its cold outside, think we are due a cold spell too although nothing like depicted on your photographs (i hope) !!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Brrrrr I too remember ice on the inside of my bedrooms windows.

I love the photograph - that is beautiful and the poem and your blog.

kissa said...

The days of this holiday have merged and like you snuggling under the duvet is a delight when nothing has to be done immedately. The poem is lovely and the quotation at the end is ever relevant sadly as war goes on. :-)

CAMILLA said...

Cannot believe I missed this post Cait.

Your Sunday sounds like one I would love to have.

Lovely photo and Poem in your wonderful post Cait.