Alexander Averin

Friday, 30 January 2009

The Sixteenth Letter

Dear Diary,

I am writing this in the Parlour, it’s a mid-winter mid-afternoon, the light is fading fast and would you believe it we have a Power-cut. In my little winter-dark cottage I can just about see to write but will soon have to light some candles which will be no hardship as I so adore candlelight. I miss my computer though and withdrawal symptoms will surely come upon me if the leccy is off for too long. It’s Peaceful though and I have company - the dogs are cooched up at my feet on the rug in front of the Rayburn.

Peace is a Big Word. A big ‘I wish for the world’ word. I Ponder on Peace and that old, but somehow ever-young, song comes to mind. written by John Lennon, God rest him,


You may wonder why I am capitalising all these ‘P’ words?

This is why.

Mountainear has written a brilliant post - she was set this task

1. Write about ten things you love that begin with a given letter.

2. Post the list on your blog.

3. When people comment on your list, you assign them a new letter and the game continues.

I was so inspired by what she had written that I thought I would have a go and Mountainear sent me the letter ‘P’. I was Pleased.

Never one to obey rules, I have bent them a little. I haven’t counted my ‘P’s’ and I have included disliked ‘P’ words as well.

Mountainear and I are both members of Purplecoo and after my first love (Poetry of course!) Purplecoo was the next thing that leapt into my mind. Such is the Power of the Purple, don’t you know.

Perhaps I had better get the ‘bad stuff’ out of the way first. It’s all about balance and there are some rather ‘negative’ ‘P’ words that surfaced when I had a good think (OK, OK, I lie … when I frantically searched the dictionary). I’ll just list them shall I? Dwelling on negatives is a Bad Thing - that way depression lies. So, in no particular order these are my ‘disliked’ ‘P’ words:

Politicians (don’t laugh, not all of them, not Tony Benn, Vince Cable who seems to be making sense or Obama of course).

Pain (no-one can argue with that one, only a masochist maybe?).

Poverty (will it ever end?)

Panic (Actually I don’t do panic).

Pessimism (a scourge).

Privilege (another scourge).

Phobias (so many abound, amongst us all).

Pity (for sometimes it can annoy).

Poison (but good, or rather bad, for rats?)

Prohibition (And all things Big Brother)

That’s got those out of the way. Can you think of any more?

And so back to the the more Pleasing ‘P’ words.


I am an Aries with a Moon in Scorpio which makes me Pretty Passionate. Passions are something I like to pursue, nurture, develop and share (and possibly bore you with) on this wee blog of mine. I’ve mentioned Poetry so need not say too much more. I try to write it, I read plenty and post any that I think you may also enjoy. But there is also Prose, of course; I love that too. Ah, the pleasure that can leap off a Piece of Paper on a Page of a book.

Magical Passion appeals too. Am I a bit of a Pagan on the quiet? Psychic, into Potions, given to Prophecy and a believer in Pixies?

I’ve started a new Passion just recently, you may have noticed? I’m taking Photographs. I live with an expert Photographer with many years’ experience which he gained way before the digital age so I haven’t dared dabble in the past. But now I own a small Nikon compact digital camera which, although I am a technophobe and all fingers and thumbs, makes it easy for me to just point and click. I can even transfer the images to the computer and there is the joy of being able to delete the rubbish. It’s an instant kind of gratification, so different from the old days when we had to wait days or weeks for a film to come back (and then they were always a disappointment).

I love looking at Paintings too and Pictures are another thing I love to blog. Here is one by my favourite Irish artist Paul Henry. It is a view of one of my favourite places inthe world, close to my (maternal) family roots, it is Great Blasket Island in County Kerry, Ireland.

Paradise is a word I might over-use as some days I think I live there; I never take my beautiful environment here in Wales for granted, possibly because I was born and grew up in the ‘Smoke’.

What else do I wish for in this world? Positivity. May we all be optimistic and hopeful and may everyone achieve their Potential. Why else are we put here on Earth but so to do?

There are Pampery words too. It’s not all deeply serious. I am thinking of soft Pillows and heady Perfumes. Scent is so important to me, I like to surround myself with oils, scented candles, sometimes a scented Pomander or even a bowl of Pot-Pourri will be enough. With candles can come flowers of course. I love Pink Poppies in Summer; Purple Pansies in Winter.

Patchwork is another love of mine, would that I were Patient enough to make my own quilts and throws. Patience is a virtue word of course and a most important one.

And colours? Pastels appeal, they are both soothing and flattering both to wear and to surround oneself with. But I still have a need for warm/hot reds/pinks and deep purples

Thank you for reading. If you have got this far then congratulations. But many reading this may be descendants of Pioneers, those brave, strong People who Persisted against all odds and never gave up.

I can't leave you without a Poem:

Promises, Promises by Paul Muldoon
I am stretched out under the lean-to
Of an old tobacco-shed
On a farm in North Carolina.
A cardinal sings from the dogwood
For the love of marijuana.
His song goes over my head.
There is such splendour in the grass
I might be the picture of happiness.
Yet I am utterly bereft
Of the low hills, the open-ended sky,
The wave upon wave of pasture
Rolling in, and just as surely
Falling short of my bare feet.
Whatever is passing is passing me by.

I am with Raleigh, near the Atlantic,
Where we have built a stockade
Around our little colony.
Give him his scallop-shell of quiet,
His staff of faith to walk upon,
His scrip of joy, immortal diet—
We are some eighty souls
On whom Raleigh will hoist his sails.
He will return, years afterwards,
To wonder where and why
We might have altogether disappeared,
Only to glimpse us here and there
As one fair strand in her braid,
The blue in an Indian girl's dead eye.

I am stretched out under the lean-to
Of an old tobacco-shed
On a farm in North Carolina,
When someone or other, warm, naked,
Stirs within my own skeleton
And stands on tip-toe to look out
Over the horizon,
Through the zones, across the Ocean.
The cardinal sings from a redbud
For the love of one slender and shy,
The flight after flight of stairs
To her room in Bayswater,
The damson freckle on her throat
That I kissed when we kissed Goodbye.

And a Posy

I’ll sign off now,

I wish you Peace and Prosperity (but in the Present economic climate that may be just a wish too far?),

Bye for now,


If you fancy having a go at this letter lark let me know. I shall take great delight in choosing one of the 26 just for you.


Anonymous said...

What a WONDERFUL idea - and I would be so happy to try this letter-thing, and pass it on through my blog to any of my followers who would care to do likewise.
(P.S. I love your 'P' words)

bradan said...

Lovely blog, Cait.
Re 'Pain' - Kahlil Gibran says “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” So maybe there is some point to it!

I love the painting of An Blascaod Mór. Tomás Ó Criomhthain's book 'An t-Oileánach', about the Islands, is one of my favourite books in the whole world. Oh and I love 'Imagine', too. xx


What a perfect post :)

Can I play please? (Any letter but X or Z Cait)

BTW I'm liking your new blog header


Elizabethd said...

How lovely Cait, I did enjoy reading your selection of P words.

lampworkbeader said...

Plenty of Powerful Points to Ponder, Cait

Pondside said...

A perfectly pleasing purchase of 'p's Cait.
I loved the painting - he is my favorite of all the artists you feature. I want to walk right onto the beaches and into the houses.
I'm a descendent of pioneers on my father's side - came from Scotland in the 1750's with nothing but their own strong backs, an ax and the clothes they wore. If they'd had more they'd have stayed in Scotland. Their stories, handed down, are terrifying and inspiring.
I'll have a letter too please.

Fennie said...

Great list, Cait. But I will bow out of offering to take a letter this time. Interesting your way of looking at good words and bad words and embroidering those with poem and painting.

willow said...

Imagine always gives me goosebumps. The Paul Henry painting is wonderful and I am feeling the sea air on my face from Promises, Promises. ((sigh))

Raph G. Neckmann said...

A wonderful collection of P words which have left me feeling positive and inspired!

I love the painting.

Cowgirl said...

Why, Cait, that was just Perfect! And loved the Poem too... right now I'm going to PM you on Purple Coo, about something you said!

Debs said...

Fabulous post. I love John Lennon's Imagine, it's so beautiful though I couldn't listen to it for years after he died as it was too upsetting.

I love sitting in candle light, but would soon fret if I couldn't use my computer. Lovely for an evening though.

mountainear said...

An excellent read Cait - lot's of things to take in. I found myself nodding in agreement with you - poetry, paintings and pictures in particular - and not taking for granted the Paradise that is our Welsh homeland.

Elizabeth said...

My dear Cait,
This post was such a delight.
You are right about politicians -your exceptions T.Benn and Obama please me.
There is also a Senator called Bernie Sanders from Vermont who is quite the socialist which pleases me to bits.
I wonder if you have the same camera Nikon Coolpix which has quite changed my life and turned me into a shutterbug par excellence.
Painting, poetry, photography - yes, yes, P is rich indeed.
And the poem - such richness in simple language.
Needless to say, I'd love to play your alphabet game.
All best wishes.

Fire Byrd said...

Oh yes please, this looks like a really good way to put off chores and the such like whilst words are selected.
Love the header and the posy, so perfectly pretty.

Fire Byrd said...

Bustling bumptious beautiful B it is then. Thank you

Pat Posner said...

Great Post, Cait
A Pleasure to read as usual


ChrisH said...

Yes, I'm with Feenie, I shall just feast my eyes on your blog!

Margie said...

Hi Cait, just found you through Vee, we are not too far away from each other, I love Muldoon's poetry and John Lennon's music, going back to read all the P references, glad to have found you on this blessed day, Happy La Feile Bhride. Margie.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Perfect, peerless prose, poetry and posy!

CAMILLA said...

What a wonderful post Cait, as always beautiful pictures, and that Poem..... love it, I will order from library, I had not heard of this Poet before Cait, thank you for posting.

Hoping that your power supply stays with you, although I often have candles burning they do have a very calming effect.

I love your selection of 'P' words Cait.


CAMILLA said...

Forgot to mention Cait, that song of Imagine is one of my favourites, never tire of listening to it.


Alissa Nicolau said...

Good Morning,

I have found you through the blog About New York. She created a post about the letter A with a mixture of photos and words and I loved it. I have done posts based around colors before, lots of fun. I would like the challenge of a letter though. I think it might be difficult with our simple white landscape outdoors but I am willing to give it a try. So please, oh please, take a moment and dream up the perfect letter for me to explore through photos.

Thank you - Alissa

p.s. - If more info about me helps... a little boy will be tagging along with me on the letter/photo adventure!

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