Alexander Averin

Saturday, 5 November 2011


Dear Diary,

I'll start with one of my favourite quotations on the subject of success and which has nothing to do with the acquisition of money.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been enjoying listening to Irish radio a lot recently and it is great to get a feel of what is going on in my spiritual home even though I can't actually live there. Living in the wild hills of Wales as I do, I find that I can get a better reception for Irish radio than for British and it is very easy just to switch over the wavelengths from Radio 4 so that it will go straight onto RTE.  I love Radio 4 of course, couldn't live without it to be honest -  but if I fancy a change or there is a programme I don't enjoy I switch over.  I do enjoy the laid back Irish way of broadcasting. Nothing and no-one is rushed, conversations seem to go on for ever but are never boring, there is no sense of urgency or clock-watching, all is intelligent and covered in depth and there is of course much attention to all things literary, political, local, personal, sporting etc.  As a broadcaster on Radio 4 said recently (she also admitted listening to Irish radio at home! - people always sound as if they have just wandered into a pub or something and it is all so relaxed.  I listen to the Today programme on Radio 4 every morning but lately it is driving me mad the way everything is so much more 'rushed' (especially the weather!)  and the way the interviewers interrupt so much (not John Humphreys but Sara someoneorother does this a lot. 

Continuing the Irish theme here is a poem from the wonderful Irish poetry publisher Salmon, the book is A Journey in Poetry 1981-2007 and the poem is about a border collie (the poet is American).  

There is a photo of my border collie above; her name is Kitty not Kilty Sue but I have to admit that when she was young she did have a very slight  tendency to behave a bit like Kilty Sue.  She is a reformed character now though and perfectly well-behaved though I sometimes think she too has the look of of a slightly retarded devil-dog (or as I say probably an inbred one!).

Kilty Sue

Instincts jammed by lack of sheep
in this region, she attends to babies, ducklings-
anything small and in need of care.
A border collie whose eyes, opposite
shades of brown, offer the look
of a slightly retarded devil-dog.  And
if you must know, she bites people:
my brother presumably because he was mean
to me at a younger age; the UPS man
because he carried a package too quickly towards
my pregnant sister; my mother-in-law, I suppose,
to keep in shape.  And various relatives
and strangers – Kilty Sue reminds them
of the precise location of the Achilles tendon.
Mind you, she never actually rips it out,
but merely offers a sharp touch.  Like a pin-prick,
only deeper, her bites spring out
from a sudden vortex of silence.  When Kilty Sue howls –
in a voice high and piercing as a drunken soprano,
and you wish your ears would just drop off and die –
you are safe.  She is  protecting you.

Marck L Beggs

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai Dia duit,



Vee said...

A lot of attention is paid here as well to how frantic or rushed a newsbroadcaster is. Another on my newscaster list is "breathless." There are a few gals who are breathless and even a few of the guys. It's unpleasant and makes me long for the calmer sorts of years gone by.

A fun poem. Your border collie looks too much of a love to have ever been too naughty or too protective.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I myself listen to a lot of Scottish radio. It reminds me of being there, which always makes me happy.

So happy to see a photograph of your beautiful dog! What a love! Wishing you both a lovely weekend!

Pam said...

Wonderful poem Cait and beautiful dog. Agree with Vee - what's with the breathless? Some of our women news presenters in Oz sound like they've been on the receiving end of a light punch in the stomach with a sort of resigned sigh. Just straight forward presentation would be fine with me thanks. No guys here have felt the need to present the news this way as yet, and I don't think a rushed agenda fits with the Australian ethos either. I know I would love Irish radio.

Fennie said...

Thanks for the tip, Cait. I'll have to try listening to RTE myself, though what the reception would be like here I don't know. I agree with all you say about Radio 4 (at least some of it) being rushed. French radio and television is more relaxed too, I find.

Mac n' Janet said...

I have always liked border collies and for a while was considering getting one and did a bit of reading about them and their herding instinct. The site said that if there is nothing to herd they'll herd your children and the number 1 reason people return these dogs is because of this.
Still, I think they;'re wonderful dogs and I loved the poem.

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

I love the Quote and the Poem.

Radio 4 is a favourite of mine too, do not know if I can access Radio Ireland but I will definately try later Cait.

I totally agree with you on how news and weather programmes are rushed, was only thinking about this the other day, it does spoil it so.

Aw bless little Kitty, she looks a lovely Collie.

Love your Header picture to your post Cait.

Enjoy the rest of your relaxing Sunday Cait.


Mark said...

I've been reading your blog for ages andjust realised I don't really know what 'Go mbeannai Dia duit' translates as.

Glad you sorted the commenting problem.

Angela Bell said...

Thanks for dropping in on Bright Star,we seem to have a lotin common!
Both library workers! Power to the service !!!!!.I look forward to reading your posts.Have you heard the Wterboys album of Yeats poetry?

Elizabeth said...

In the US, Public broadcasting is a very small part of the market but very thoughtful and funny.
I should listen to it more often........
greetings from New York.

Ruth said...

I would like to listen to that laid back Irish radio. It's amazing how interesting listening in on the ruminations of others is!

Poets United said...

Thank you for joining Poets United. I have added your blog to our blogroll so others can discover you and your wonderful poetry. Poets United is what you make of it so explore, comment often and it will lead to folks doing so in return. We look forward to visiting your blog and reading your poetry.

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand

mary said...

My mother used to like listening to the Irish traffic news. Just because she liked to hear the litany of roads that she remembered from her younger days.