Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

March Ramblings

Dear Diary,

It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.
J. Krishnamurti

It has been too long since my last posting so I can only offer many apologies. I have been suffering from a berludy virus that is doing the rounds.  I am still not fully better so bear with me, I am a wee bit fragile.  I had a break of fever in the night and felt so much better, so much so that I got up for an hour and checked emails etc while supping on ginger tea.

What am I doing now? Very little, keeping warm having dosed myself with strong analgesics, cough mixture and herbal teas.  I am trying to avoid going t o the GP and going down the antibiotic route.


Radio 4.  How could I live without it?

The  book programme at 6.30 pm on BBC2 every evening with Anne Robinson (don’t worry, she  has softened and is excellent in this, she has also apologised to the Welsh!).  She and Chris Evans also made a fantastic case against closing libraries on TV recently so both have gone up in my estimation.

A ‘comforter’ which I bought in a lovely craft shop in a  local market town recently.  It is Fairtrade, made in Nepal and just the thing for my sore throat.  It is knitted in multicolour; turquoise, rusty red, burgundy, greens and  dark pinks.   I am a firm believier in colour healing. It is also very soft and soothing to my neck and throat., if I had the energy I would photograph it for you.

The weather is also comforting me, it is bright and blue. cloudless and sunny (!), as it was yesterday for St David’s Day.  The sky was a mass of blue then too which made the day special.  I spotted several children in national costume which was sweet.   The yellow sun here in Wales made up for the lack of daffodils in my garden  which  are nowhere near out yet.  I have instead bought some wee pots of the lovely dwarf varieties and they are very cheering.  Yellow is the perfect colour to lift us from winter blues.

A new magazine to get lost in.

Some new books ordered from the library:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog., Muriel Barbery
Life in a Cottage Garden, Carol Klein
Stranger in the Mirror, Jane Shilling.
Life Alignment, Philippa Lubbock
A Discovery of Witches, Deborah E Harkness
Bird Cloud, Annie Proulx
21 golden rules for cosmic ordering, Barbel Mohr
A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry

A no-work today day luckily.

A poem is brewing in me, a line came to me during the night.

I made a breakthrough in my husband’s genealogy trail yesterday when I  found  a relative in France, thanks to the Ancestry website.

The birds in my garden, better than TV sometimes, I could watch them for hours.

My daphne is flowering, its colour is a perfect mauve.

I am soon going to make a big pot of spicy and  hopefully curing, vegetable soup.   I had a very tasty bowl of spiced parsnip soup in the aforementioned craft shop last week, very spicy indeed, just how I like it.  And along with most delicious home-made bread it was delicious.

March is underway, thank God.  A friend and I have come to an agreement, we would like to abolish two months from the calendar and they are December (my number one hate it is so stressful, pressured and I hate it!) and also February as most folk are a tad depressed, exhausted, or are suffering from some virus or possibly all three.

But now the only way  is up and

(wait for it a cliché  is coming)

Spring is just around the corner……………………..

But just before I go here is  a newly discovered poem by Elizabeth Bishop.

The End Of March


It was cold and windy, scarcely the day
to take a walk on that long beach
Everything was withdrawn as far as possible,
indrawn: the tide far out, the ocean shrunken,
seabirds in ones or twos.
The rackety, icy, offshore wind
numbed our faces on one side;
disrupted the formation
of a lone flight of Canada geese;
and blew back the low, inaudible rollers
in upright, steely mist.

The sky was darker than the water
--it was the color of mutton-fat jade.
Along the wet sand, in rubber boots, we followed
a track of big dog-prints (so big
they were more like lion-prints). Then we came on
lengths and lengths, endless, of wet white string,
looping up to the tide-line, down to the water,
over and over. Finally, they did end:
a thick white snarl, man-size, awash,
rising on every wave, a sodden ghost,
falling back, sodden, giving up the ghost...
A kite string?--But no kite.

I wanted to get as far as my proto-dream-house,
my crypto-dream-house, that crooked box
set up on pilings, shingled green,
a sort of artichoke of a house, but greener
(boiled with bicarbonate of soda?),
protected from spring tides by a palisade
of--are they railroad ties?
(Many things about this place are dubious.)
I'd like to retire there and do nothing,
or nothing much, forever, in two bare rooms:
look through binoculars, read boring books,
old, long, long books, and write down useless notes,
talk to myself, and, foggy days,
watch the droplets slipping, heavy with light.
At night, a grog a l'américaine.
I'd blaze it with a kitchen match
and lovely diaphanous blue flame
would waver, doubled in the window.
There must be a stove; there is a chimney,
askew, but braced with wires,
and electricity, possibly
--at least, at the back another wire
limply leashes the whole affair
to something off behind the dunes.
A light to read by--perfect! But--impossible.
And that day the wind was much too cold
even to get that far,
and of course the house was boarded up.

On the way back our faces froze on the other side.
The sun came out for just a minute.
For just a minute, set in their bezels of sand,
the drab, damp, scattered stones
were multi-colored,
and all those high enough threw out long shadows,
individual shadows, then pulled them in again.
They could have been teasing the lion sun,
except that now he was behind them
--a sun who'd walked the beach the last low tide,
making those big, majestic paw-prints,
who perhaps had batted a kite out of the sky to play with.



Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Colour healing. What a wonderful thought. I have always wanted to redecorate hospital room with same same concept in mind. Such cheerless places they often are!

I'm so sorry you've been ill. Hopefully you'll feel better and better with each new step towards Spring.

And how I do wish we had Radio 4 over here! I listened a lot last week whilst in London.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Sorry you've been under the weather, but, it sounds like you're on the mend. Love the idea of color healing.

Herbal tea, comfy blanket, good music, and bird t.v. is sure to lift the spirit!

mollygolver said...

Get well soon Cait. I enjoy the Anne Robinson/Chris Evans book programme as well. Love the poem!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

It's such a miserable time of the year that ins some ways, being sick feels right. Get to bed and heal!

So glad that you've had such wonderful blessings and beauty around you during your illness, and that you can feel them as blessings.

Feel better, Cait!

jane said...

So sorry you are not well - it is the warm rays of sunshine that Spring will bring that you need -and to see those daffodils bursting forth in your garden xx

Bee said...

I didn't know that E Bishop poem -- it is so wonderfully expressive and detailed. It sounded like my walk today -- frozen cheeks, yes, although no beach.

I have filled the house with bouquets of daffodils and pussy willows and forsythia. I don't really care for yellow in a summer garden, but it the ONLY colour for March. Do treat yourself to lots of flowers -- and also to a hot bath and a glass of whisky to kick off that cold.!

btw, I'd really like to read Bird Cloud -- have you been listening to it on Radio 4? -- but I think she was a bit mad to build a house in that cold, isolated place.

Frances said...

Cait, it seems as if you are on the mend. I've also had a little under-the-weather time, and am delighted to see the blue sky and the promise of finding some daffodils over in Central Park on my next walk.

Meanwhile, I've also been treasuring tea, soup, and being wrapped up in colorful knitted/crocheted blankets. And some quiet time also helps me feel better, giving rise to some creative thoughts.

Thank you, also, for the E Bishop poem.


Fire Byrd said...

The Mistry book is a sad treat. Beautifully written.
I caught radio 4s Mark Lawson interviewing Ann Robinson last week. What a life she has led and come bouncing back more than once. That alongside her wonderful book programme, Sister Wendy was a real treat on MOnday, have made me think about her anew.
Hope you're feeling better, although being sick does mean you get to stay home and read all those books!

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

Sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly, do hope you are on top form again soon. I have also been out of salts, put it off as long as I could but in the end, this morning in fact saw GP, yep...antibiotics which I loathe too.!

Cait - love the painting by Vettriano, had not seen this one before, wondering if it is one of the artist's latest? My son's partner is potty about this artist.

Beautiful Poems Cait.

Yes, I saw Anne Robinson yesterday evening on the book programme, Debbo of Devonshire, and the lady actress who starred in Downton Abbey read some of reviews. Looking forward to seeing all these programmes on the books.

Daffodils do cheer, they were my mother's favourite spring flower.

Cannot imagine life without Radio 4either Cait.

The scarf you describe in gorgeous colours sounds lovely Cait.

Stay warm and snug Cait, lots more of that lovely soup, I think soup is always good when one is feeling unwell.


Teresa said...

Pei pa koa is pretty decent cough medicine (from herbal as I remembered), great non alcoholic medicine, some western cough medicine are more effective, but this is non drowsy.

You can access info online @

Mark said...

I saw a bullfinch a hedge today, magnificent things and so bright - yes, spring is on its way

Susan said...

Love the lion sun imagery of the Bishop poem and your many thoughts, a poem brewing...hope you are now right as rain health-wise.