Alexander Averin

Friday 26 October 2007

Early Morning Rambles

Dear Diary,

The video is one by Christy Moore, one of my favourite Irish musicians. If you play it, do Pause the other music player on this page or you will get a cacophany.

Today's blog is very late in the posting and it's a bit of a ramble. But hey ho it's Friday.......

I would love to live Like a river flows Carried by the surprise Of its own unfolding

John O’Donohue

I wake two minutes before I hear the Radio 4 Today programme which is my usual wake-up call at 7 am. But it’s still dark! As I make my way to the bathroom it still feels like the middle of the night. I am soon back in bed and M brings me the reviving cup that cheers, laced with honey and I sip it while listening to the news or rather the Bad News which is what our news bulletins should be called, don’t you think? The sweetness in the honey seems to go straight to my bloodstream, I slowly feel its effects and start to feel better. I have always been allergic to mornings, the reward or rather the punishment for being something of a night owl. The day also slowly lightens and by 8 am all is clear, but it’s a grey and cloudy vista, there are to be no magical mists today.

Last night the Moon was Full. I had real trouble getting off to sleep, so did M. And my dreams this past week have all been troubled and disturbing ones. Sometimes these are bad dreams that feature other people in my circle and I wake feeling concerned about them and hope that all will be well. From time to time in my life I have kept a Dream Diary and know too well that dreams can be very revealing, such is the power of their symbolism.

Today is my long day at work so after just a little bit of a read I get up and then it’s my shower, yoga, porridge routine. I am accompanied from now on by music, which helps to lift my spirits.

Yesterday was another glorious Autumn day, cold but a sunshiny blue sky day that made me feel glad to be alive. I spent time in the garden, sweeping, tidying, getting it ready for bed. I just do an hour at a time now and potter to my heart’s content. Ah pottering; now that should be added to my blog profile really as it’s one of my favourite pastimes and ranks up there along with Cloudwatching, Sleeping and Taking Naps.

I’ve planted some bulbs, miniature narcissi, crocus, and alliums so far, but will buy a few more this weekend. I also planted up some troughs with winter heathers, those lovely dusky pink ones. I’ve replaced my hanging pots of fuchsias with winter violas, purple ones of course. They hang outside the back door because folk hereabouts all use the back door as their ‘main’ entrance.

The breadmaker is producing heavenly tasting loaves, probably the best I’ve ever tasted, apart from Irish soda bread of course, now I wonder if it will produce that for me?

M made bread pudding for me yesterday with some leftover ‘ends’ of the loaves and it too was delicious. I worked with a woman once, a fellow Londoner, who called bread pudding Irish Wedding Cake. I wasn’t offended, especially as I much prefer it to fruit cake anyway and I dislike wedding or Christmas cake, especially their marzipan and the oft too-sweet icing.

A has put sheep in our field again so I am now taking the dogs beyond the ‘estate’ for walks so as not to disturb the flock. I also want to lose weight so some more long and brisk walking is called for. I am taking medication (aromatase inhibitors) whose side effects are weight gain round the middle and also a slight loss of appetite. So I still put on weight but without the corresponding sinfulness of eating too much tasty food. Cruel eh?

Ah, but we must accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…..

Blessings Today?

I shall soon have a little time off work, a week or so to play catch-up: get on with writing, some for my course and also other stuff. Time to walk, to read, to garden, do a spot of painting in the cottage and to work on the family tree. We are having a few days away seeing family as well, as M and my brother have birthdays near each other.

The aforementioned Bread Pudding. Delia Smith style.
Here is the recipe. I grew up with the stuff but M who is not a Londoner first tasted it on Petticoat Lane one cold winter’s morning and fell in love with it.

Old fashioned bread pudding a la Delia Smith,
or St Delia as I call her.

8oz bread any type, can cut crusts off but I don’t worry.
Half pint milk
2 oz butter
3 oz sugar any type, we use brown/molasses
2 level tsps mixed spice
6 ozs mixed fruit
Grated rind of half an orange (M used lemon and it was nice)
Freshly grated nutmeg

My tip, a secret ingredient:
Don’t forget also the sprinkle of LOVE, I take it you all have a jar in your kitchen?

Break bread up and soak in milk for 30 minutes. Stir it all up first. Add melted butter, sugar, spice, beat with a fork till not lumpy, add fruit and rind. Spread in buttered baking dish and sprinkle with nutmeg and LOVE. Bake in pre-heated oven (Gas 5 ish) about an hour and a quarter/till done. For a touch of white wickedness sprinkle a wee bit of (white) sugar over when it comes out of the oven.

Nice hot with custard and some love it cold as well (I do!).

A new Diana Cooper book. This one is called Angel Answers and is proving very interesting. I’ll do a proper review another day.

My computer is still working OK so far (Touch Wood!).


Purplecoo, I don’t think I’ve put the site down as a blessing before and I should have, it is a very Big Blessing.

Before I go here is a poem.

Extract from the Prophet
KahliI Gibran

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

I must not forget that the clocks Fall Backwards tomorrow. Then it’s all change, the dark evenings set in and the mornings lighten. I don’t know which is worse!

Bye for now,
& God Bless,


bradan said...

I love that extract from The Prophet, esp the line 'Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding' it can teach us so much.
Go mbeannaĆ­ Dia duit a'Cait xx

laurie said...

gosh, you have a nice life.

i love christy moore, too.

Frances said...

Hello Cait,

I hope that your upcoming time off will be as much a treat as my own little holiday is becoming.

The way in which you begin your day just takes me to the country. My own early morn is so different.

Like you, however, I do wake before the beeps of my alarm clock. I am usually wrested by the light, but as winter approaches, I will sleep later into the morning. But. Usually it is up for me a little before 7, then I switch on the television to get my dose of what horrors have occured overnight. I kid myself that I want to know if it will rain, or what the temperature will be.

Usually fall asleep just a little more. Then up and awake I am. Either I have a breakfast first and then shower, or do the reverse. But it is always coffee that gets me really mobile.

Have a beautiful weekend.


CAMILLA said...

Cait - Your Blogs are mouth-watering, just like Delia's Pudding, delicious.

I too like Radio 4, usually have Woman's Hour on the Radio when setting out on a later round. We are of the same, I am more of an Owl than a Lark. It is the time when I can collect my creative thoughts in the calmness, and listen quietly to a piece of my favourite music gently being played.

I love the Autumn, the changing colours of the leaves, the crispness of the cold air, and lighting the hearth, all snug and cosy. Bought some Hyacinth Bulbs yesterday, but it is only the deep glorious Blue that I like, love it's wonderful scent.

Thank you for the recipe Cait, one of my Son's favourites. Ah, Petticoat Lane, remember that years ago. Thank you too for that beautiful Poem.


Kitty said...

Just lovely Cait. Your list of favourite pastimes and mine is the same - pottering, sleeping...

That pudding sounds good - I would love a bread maker, one more thing to add to the list!

Kim said...

I think the thing I love most about your blog is the amazing variety of things you touch on in one post. The images today are quite gorgeous. And I have to try that bread pudding. Hot and smothered with custard. Sounds absolutely divine.

Lois said...

Just sitting here surfing through blogs, and I came upon yours. Thanks for introducing me to Christy Moore, my Husband, put his paper down, and came over to the computer to hear what I was listening to. I googled Christy, and we listened to a few more.
Nice moment for us on a slow Sunday morning.

Suffolkmum said...

I'm another one who shares the same pastimes. A lovely blog - made me think of those lines by Yeats about 'peace comes dropping slow'. I like the sound of the bread pudding, I hate Chrsitmas cake/wedding cale too.