Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Morning Musings

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln, American 16th US President who helped to bring about the emancipation of slaves.

Dear Diary,

Apologies for being absent for far too many days; the clement weather has drawn me outside away from the desk and my strained back has been painful but touch wood it seems better these last few days. Rest and sleep are always the best thing. I have an appointment with my cranial osteopath this afternoon and she is a true miracle-worker. It is such a gentle way of treating and I cannot understand how it works but it does and that is all that matters. I am convinced that different complementary therapies suit different people.

I had a little wander round taking a few photos of the garden in the early morning.

The garden is becoming overrun with weeds as, because of my back, I have not been able to do any gardening. I am quite depressed about that. There are still many blossoms though which I am enjoying and many bees are too which pleases me and doubly so as we have a beekeeper as a neighbour. We do have a few housemartins nesting in the eaves, I was worried that they hadn't arrived; their numbers diminish each year though which is a shame. I haven't heard the cuckoo but it has been heard a few miles away. The dippers are nesting under the bridge. (ssshhh). The red kites and buzzards are around, the herons too and the wild ducks. Foxes, squirrels, all manner of creatures are in the vicinity and when I take the dogs in the field all they want to do is sniff and follow their trails.

M and I have just been whitewashing the outside of our garage, a job long overdue but satisfying to do once started. There is pleasure in knowing the paint will soon dry because here in Wales we are blessed with yet another very hot day.

I received my Irish books newsletter by email this morning and two of the reviews jumped out at me, one is about Great Blasket, my favourite island off the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry and the second is about Time, or rather the lack of it and tips on making it stretch. I could certainly do with some of those. Here are the reviews in case you are interested.

Blasket Spirit: Stories from the Islands by Anita Fennelly
(Paperback; 13 Euro / 18 USD / 10 UK; 210 pages)

Seeking solitude after personal crisis, Anita Fennelly spent a
summer alone on the Great Blasket Island. This is her account, written by candlelight, of the gradual thawing of her personal
isolation through the friendship of the characters of Blasket
Island life today: fishermen, ferrymen, backpackers, islanders
descendants, a dolphin, a weaver, a trio of seals and even a
former taoiseach. Anita weaves a tapestry of tales: ghost stories
told by the fireside, stories of love and hatred, stories
celebrating womanhood. Ultimately, Anita’s own story is one of
healing, survival and hope. Blasket Spirit reveals a timeless
place where the souls of the past and present are inextricably
linked with the emotional and physical struggles of island life.
Into this story of personal healing and recovery, the island
stories, its people and places and wildlife are interwoven to
form an original and multi-layered memoir.


Not Enough Hours: The Secrets of Making Every Second Count
by Owen Fitzpatrick
(Large Format Paperback; 14 Euro / 19 USD / 11 UK; 382 pages)

Have you taken on far more than you can handle? Is your life an
exhausting cycle of commuting, work, housework, children and bed?
Find it impossible to say no? Does the pace of modern life leave
you breathless? Are there just not enough hours in your day? Then
this is the book for you! We've all heard of the credit crunch
but many of us also face a time crunch every day, where we just
can't seem to fit everything into 24 hours. The world seems to be
moving at a faster speed than ever. And in Ireland, we have a
unique approach to time. Owen Fitzpatrick, presenter of RTA's
Not Enough Hours, shows how you can take control of your life so
that you make the most of every second. He describes where our
concept of time comes from, and how people s perception of time
differs. He profiles the seven time victims - the workaholic, the
perfectionist, the walk over, the hurrier, the worrier, the busy
bee and the time stranger and outlines the six time eaters. His
TimeWise programme explains in simple terms how to solve all of
your time problems in four easy steps analyse, prioritise,
organise, actualise. And he brings it all down to earth with tips
on finding time for yourself, time for love, time for children,
time for work, and even time for household chores. With a wealth
of practical examples from the RTÉ series and from other
people's lives, Not Enough Hours is a simple, easy-to-read,
no-nonsense guide for anybody who wants to have the time of their
lives. You'll save yourself a lot of time by reading it!

I am in despair about the state of our democracy. Our disgraced politicians are behaving like rats, devouring each other as the ship goes down and instead of getting on with their jobs of running the country they are now out to destroy their leader and take him down with them. There are villains, nay criminals in all parties and they are getting away with their crimes!

(Would we? No!)

God knows what the answer is, save complete root and branch reform.

Do we get the politicians we deserve I wonder? Some folk (me included) have said it all started going downhill with Margaret Thatcher’s dictatorship when selfish greed and the pursuit of riches became most people’s aim in life and rather than the personal qualities of a person’s character that was important, it was how much money one had that was equated with status (and b***** everyone else!). Society as a concept was dismissed and it was every man for himself (or woman for herself). It was because of this climate in the 1980’s that we dropped out and escaped from Surrey/ Sussex to the wilds of Wales as we wanted to live a simple life and be apart from that mindset.

I was listening to the radio the other day and caught part of an interview with an American male. He seemed to be talking such sense, seemed so gentle and intelligent - it took a few minutes for me to realise it was Barack Obama! Would that we had someone in the UK as eloquent and committed to purpose as the US President appears to be.


Memories of the magic of Great Blasket and being alone with M on the island many years ago.

Writing by candlelight - that appeals to me.

My new solar/wind up radio - I have two now, one for upstairs and one down. Better reception and free leccy!



Cranial Osteopathy, sleep and rest.

Ah well that’s all for now,

Enjoy the day and may each second stretch for you.

God bless,


PS I have posted a few pics and a short poem on my Cait’s photos blog.


Edward said...

Lovely blog - sorry your back's bad, but fingers crossed for the cranial osteopathy. Loved the pictures, totally agree about our skunked democracy (delighted to see the back of the egregious Blears today) and loved the sound of Not Enough Hours: The Secrets of Making Every Second Count. Maybe I'll get two - one for Milla as well.

Frances said...

Hello Cait,

Edward's already written much of what I was going to say.

Your blogs are always something very special. I liked the part about writing by candlelight!

I would love to know more about your escape from Surrey. How you all actually got the courage to make such switch. Many people never get beyond making a a wish, don't get round to really making that wish come true.


Kaycie said...

Such a beautiful picture in your header today.

I hope that you're right and your back is healing. I know how frustrating it can be when injury keeps you from your garden.

Lovely blog today, Cait.

Pondside said...

Hi Cait - I hope your back improves before too much of the spring/summer has gone by. I well know that feeling of being held back (no pun intended - really - I always felt like I was tethered just out of reach of what I wanted to do).
Not Enough Hours sounds like a book many of us should look up. I'll stop by Munro's today and ask about it. Lately I often feel overwhelmed by it all.

ChrisH said...

Hasn't this weather been glorious. I hope you're feeling better now.


Beautiful as always Cait. Kerry is such a wondeful place to visit :)

BTW I live within spitting distance of Loseley House near Guildford :) TFx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am happy to hear your back is feeling a bit better. Don't worry about the weeds. They'll still be there when you're all better!! I love the photo of your poppies. Such a happy flower.

Seems as though you feel about the Thatcher years just as I do about our Reagan ones. I feel our slide started there as well. Everyman for himself type mentality was launched and we are reaping the results. But, I do wake up every day feeling a bit lighter now that Mr. Obama is in the White House. I still can't believe our good fortune in him.

Lane said...

Americans are blessed to have such a leader.

I need that Not Enough Hours book. Badly!:-)

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

So pleased to hear your back is feeling so much better, osteopathy can do wonders.

Such a lovely post you have given us Cait, and thank you for the mention of book, think I will seek this one out, time does indeed fly by.

I listened to the American President on the TV recently, he gave such a wonderful speech.

I too sometimes write by candlelight. Love the picture of the Poppies Cait.