Alexander Averin

Friday, 23 January 2009


Dear Diary,

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I slept in late and didn’t even wake till a quarter past nine, probably because I was up last night watching Question Time and then I went to bed with my little torch and Adrian Mole - I am so enjoying the latest by one of my favourite authors, Sue Townsend. It is of course The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole - nearly every page has me laughing out loud.

The heavy rain that was forecast for us (with the usual risk of localised flooding) doesn’t seem to have materialised as the river level hasn’t risen. As soon as I comment to M about the rain not arriving I see a few spots starting to fall but it seems to be a battle as the Sun is doing her best to shine. The wind is joining in too and the boughs of the pine trees are swaying a little more than gently. There is one treat though; I can see one of the collared doves in the garden feeding on bird food that has fallen from the ‘feeding station’. Haven’t seen him for months.

The rain and Sun are fighting it out. They come, they go. In the end no doubt they will happily co-exist together, and there will surely come a rainbow or two today. I must get out with my camera and try to capture one or two. I’m also looking for shadow photos as I have promised to post one or two for Elizabeth.

Here are a few shadowy ones I have found while digging around in my files. They are only snaps.

This is part of a ruin in France, at the top of a steep hill in the mountains. I forget the name of it but will look it up and post the location.

Taken in S.W. France, I forget the name of this place too. Anyone recognise it?

A couple of our garden. Why the first is on the left I don't know....

The next one is a view of an oak wood near our cottage and was taken by M.

Lane has a photo Meme - one must post the fourth photo in the fourth file in one’s online album - my photo filing system is haphazard to say the least but here goes.

This is M's fourth pic in his fourth album. It is our river.

Here is mine. It’s of my cat Molly in her (upstairs) sleeping place in the little study. At night she sleeps in the snug in a cosy fleecy nest on a chair by the Rayburn.

It’s a cat’s life isn’t it? I do envy her sometimes.

A borrower said to me yesterday ‘It will soon be Spring’ and do you know, she is right! This sunny lady is in her eighties and is another role model for me when I reach that age I feel. She is a great reader and plantswoman and is eagerly awaiting the warmer days when she can spend time in her garden.


Seasons and Change - even in one day it is never boring. I would hate to live somewhere where there was not such a ‘varied’ climate.

Weather? I seem to love it all, especially its extremes. Heavy rain, gales, storms. I love rain, both the soft kind and the torrential. I love to walk in the rain (it does wonders for the complexion!). The only thing I can’t stand is extreme heat; I blame my Irish genes for that.

A new chair for the computer, I bought it online from Viking because it was very much reduced. I spend a lot of time at the computer and my neck (which has been broken in the past) is starting to be affected, but now I am not suffering - I am really spoilt. It’s so comfy, is adjustable height-wise and swivels round a treat so I am having great fun with it - wait till the girls discover it’s fun element.

Scent. Someone recommended an online company selling ‘natural’ beauty products and at last I have found something that I have been searching for for ages. It is a lavender and rosemary cologne made in Jersey. Years ago I used to wear a lavender cologne that had a hint of ginger with it, so it was soothing and yet spicy at the same time, (bit like me?). It was discontinued and I haven’t been able to find anything like it. This one is lavender and rosemary but is just perfect and not too expensive; it’s suitable for men or women. I always have liked the men’s aftershavey type scents.

One last blessing?

The things President Obama has done already. I am pleased because there is no time to waste. I read that he is a Derek Walcott fan. I am too, I posted one of his poems once on this blog, I will try to dig it out. Obama is also a friend of the poet Elizabeth Alexander who read the Inauguration poem on Tuesday. I love this.

Praise Song for the Day

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.
All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.
Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.
We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.
I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.
Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.

Elizabeth Alexander

Barack Obama is like a ray of sunshine and I wish him well in trying his best to cast away the shadows that have been blighting this world.

Sunshine and shadow, it’s what life is all about I guess.

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Nan said...

Wasn't that the most wonderful writing! Interesting, warm-hearted, and just beautiful. Thank you. (and my Irish/Scots genes don't like the heat either) Is that really, really your cottage and garden?

willow said...

Thank you for posting the Alexander poem. I was going to look for it online today! Your new header is glorious and I just had to stare at it for a while when I opened your blog.

I got a new computer chair a few months back, too. It rolls and I glide around on the ceramic tile like a little girl! ;^)

Lane said...

Beautiful photos Cait.

I really liked Elizabeth Alexander's poem and the way she read it.

Your chair sounds wonderful:-)

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh Cait, you (and M) take the most amazing photos. I so love to come here and sit quietly for a while. Your photos calm my mind. Thank you.


Beautiful photos and words Cait. I love the poem. Thank you. May you see a rainbow today :) TFx

Pipany said...

Well, that was the perfect read for the beginning if the weekend. thank you Cait. Beautiful pictures. Something about the play of light and shadow isn't there. I too am excited by Obama and the fact that he is changing things already. Poor man, so much seems to rest on his shoulder but at least he is rising to it so far. Happy weekend Cait xx

Fennie said...

Love those pictures, Cait - the high contrast of shade and shadow. The one with the chair and the water - your garden - does look appealing You are lucky.

I think Obama has given us all a challenge and I am saddened that so much of the response to his inaugural speech was superficial. He is trying to bring about a profound change but we have to change our attitudes to bring this wider change about. Sadly there is little sign of that in the British Press.

Elizabeth said...

Such lovely shadows.
Loved the ones from France.
So glad you found the scent you like - it's little pleasures like these that make life lovely.
I agree with willow your new header is a delight.
We are so pleased with all Barack has done so far and hope for much more.
We need all the sunshine we can get.

Pondside said...

Great post for an early Saturday morning read, Cait. Your photos are beautiful - I want to walk up that allee or sit by your river.
I too am very happy to have Mr Obama in the White House - it's like the unpleasant neighbour has moved out and a thoroughly decent family has moved in.

Cowgirl said...

Finally time to read a blog or two, and loved yours, Cait! Particularly liked that idea of sun and rain co-existing to create some rainbows! How lovely.

elizabethm said...

Great photos and very intereting blog. I am with you on Obama - let us hope he can achieve even half of what is expected of him.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ooh, I do love the new look at top!! And I did not realize that you were quite the photographer! The ruin window in France is just sublime. Now I must look for Adrian Mole myself...I do like books that have me laughing with every page!!

Lovely post, and I am happy you are as grateful for President Obama as we are!!

Nan said...

Cait, I came back finally, and the cottage pic is gone! I do love the other, but is the cottage one somewhere else??

Cait O'Connor said...

Sorry Nan, I just change the header pic from time to time now, I haven't lost the cottage pic, will put it on my next blog post for you.

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

Sorry I have come here late just trying to catch up. Everything in this post sooo beautiful and your gorgeous Cat in basket, we used to have a White cat named Socks, all White except for his feet.

I was going to ask you about the computer chair Cait, I need one desperately for the desk while on computer, will take a look on Viking.

As Nan said, I love the cottage picture too Cait, and love your new blog page.


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