Alexander Averin

Thursday 21 June 2012

Mother is a verb, not a noun. Proverb

Dear Diary,

A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.  
Emily Dickinson

Artist Marie Witte

This is a continuation from my previous post.

Now Cherie Blair is getting her oar in and has criticised women who give up their career when they have children, labelling them unambitious and suggesting the decision impacts negatively on their kids.

I often meet people who say they could never have a dog because they work all day and it ‘wouldn’t be fair on the dog’.  How ironical that many of today’s parents are quite happy to leave their children every day with strangers.  These children will never have the one to one relationship and social life which is vital for proper development.  I would also think that these parents will come to regret this decision later in life once their children have flown the nest, which happens all too quickly.  Childhood is precious and child rearing is probably the most important job in the world.

I visited one of these nurseries once, when I was a student nurse. Parents ‘dropped off’ their children every day and some of them were quite young babies.  Some of them would be there for twelve hours. It reminded me of a dungeon, underground and windowless, I couldn’t believe it – I wouldn’t have left my dog there all day for one day let alone for the duration of a good part of her growing up life.

Many schools now have breakfast clubs which is really sad, they may have been set up for the right reasons but what sort of message is it sending out?  And surely many working parents will also use them just to lengthen the time spent away from their children. And now David Cameron wants to lengthen the hours of the schools’ babysitting service even more (see previous post). Perhaps I am cynical but the phrase social engineering keeps coming to mind, 

I know some folk have to work because, for whatever reason, they are really struggling income wise but I believe that the majority of parents who farm out their children are just plain greedy.  I escaped to Wales from the south east of England back in the nineties and even at that time the sole aim of a lot of people was to get an even bigger house and to do so they were taking on huge mortgages; their desire was to outdo their neighbours in every way and to acquire more and more materialistically. What many take for granted now I did without (and still do) but I worked as a mother full-time and stayed home with my children -  and they were the happiest days of my life.

As for ambition, my only ambition was then and is now for my children (and now my grandchildren) to be happy.

If I am old fashioned I take it as a compliment.

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,

Wednesday 20 June 2012

A Rant

Dear Diary,

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.  
Neil Postman
The Disappearance of Childhood 

One wonders why some people have children?  A fashion accessory perhaps?

 Read this article in the Telegraph - child abuse I call it.

On top of this David Cameron thinks parents (from an underclass in society only?) need to be taught parenting skills (this comes from someone who has always had a nanny for his own children and who, along with his wife, leaves his eight year old in a pub toilet and goes home without her).

This farming out of children is a time bomb waiting to go off because these children will be affected psychologically. We should be aiming for a society where one parent is able to stay at home for a few years (and that is all it is out of one's life) and give children the proper care they deserve. 

Rant over,


Sunday 17 June 2012

Molly's Blog

Dear Diary,

It is Sunday and I am having a day off from blogging. My cat has offered to stand in for me. Be gentle with her if you do comment; Molly is a novice and this is actually her very first attempt at writing (please leave a few comments though or she will lose confidence).

My Name Is Molly

My name is Molly (she had to choose an Irish name for me even though I’m Welsh!).

Once a farm kitten, I am now a proper cat and as I said I am of Wales.  I live in an old blacksmith’s cottage on a small holding of land by a river.

I am white, I am wild and I am very, very wise.

I am pure white (all over) and no I am not an albino, I am not deaf and I am not blind. And my eyes are not pink, they are the clearest green.

I live with Cait, my familiar, the ‘witch’. Yes I know most witches own a black cat, trust mine to be different. I think she got confused being a white witch and all (well I think she’s one and I'm not alone there I can tell you).  She wonders how I stay so white living in this grubby, muddy, area, I have never been otherwise; it is a Big Mystery.

What follows is what they call on these blog things an 

About Me

I am no longer a youngster and my days of motherhood are long gone. I appreciate nowadays a slow and rhythmical routine. When I was young and in my prime I raised two litters and gave birth to a mix of all black and all white babies each time and in equal numbers. And I’ll tell you something else, very coincidental.  My twin sister Mia (who lived with me) had litters at the same time and she did exactly the same. Yes it was the same father and you’ve guessed it, he was a pure all black’un.  Tom cats are sooooo promiscuous.  It would be racist to say that black ones are even more so and anyway I know that males are all the same. My familiar says she wouldn’t have a tom in the house as they are always straying or spraying (I don’t know which is worse). He was a handsome fella though....... 

Anyway, quite a while after my second brood were found new homes in the area I was taken to that place where they do things to you to make you better if you are poorly. I don’t know what they did to me though because I had a long sleep and when I woke up I didn’t feel that good. Soon recovered though and didn’t have any more babies after that.  She called it being ‘spayed’. 

In case you are wondering what happened to my twin Mia, this is where you may need a hanky, I know that humans are prone to ‘leaking’ from their eyes when they are moved emotionally. (Unlike cats who never reveal their deepest feelings). Well one day my dearest Mia went out the catflap, never returned and was never seen again. She was a tad wilder than me but she always came home. There was no sign of her. She had not been run over. Foxes were blamed, locals with guns, we just hadn’t a clue.  We were all devastated. She and I used to lie like yin and yang on the armchair by the old Rayburn, after Mia disappeared I never went near that chair for over a year and between you and me it broke my heart losing my other half.

Patience is my middle name, my fur has never flown, I never scratch or bite, never have but then my familiar is (usually) a gentle soul and we get on well together. I love children and tolerate dogs, in fact I loved Finn the dear old lurcher who sadly moved on to Animal Heaven quite recently, God bless him. 

I only just about tolerate the collie though.

Cait (my familiar) tells me often that she wants to come back as a cat in her next life and to live in a nice home with loving owners. I take that as a compliment. Did I mention that she talks to me a lot? She talks to the dog too (and plants!). Better keep it quiet.  I do question her sanity.

Anyway I digress as usual. Here are my:

Hobbies and Interests

I am fully qualified in Zen.  My days usually pass pleasantly and are interspersed with:

spells of meditation and meal-breaks,


nightime forays into the wilderness which surrounds this old cottage (paradise for cats),

birdwatching from the windowsills,

serious sleeping,

lightly dozing,

sun basking, (rare lately),

rolling over and over (it takes me back to my youth),

chasing shadows,



being superior to the collie,

catching birds, mice, and lots more creatures but this is never appreciated,

sitting on Cait’s lap and watching the thing by the computer which moves a lot and she calls a mouse (she is mad),

acting unruly if I feel like it, refusing to be ruled, tamed or authorised in any way,

not always answering to my name being called (it depends if there is a chance of food),

enjoying being self obsessed,  ‘sufficent to the self thereof’,

jumping on certain people’s laps whether they want me to or not,
ignoring folk I don’t take to.

jumping on my familiar’s bed in the mornings and gently ‘nudging’ her into getting up to feed me my breakfast crunchies.

Nocturnal in my habits, I sleep by day on an armchair beside the old Rayburn on a cushion and I have my very own multicoloured blanket of crocheted wool. I sometimes (since Finn has died) curl up on the rug with the collie.

Humans have much to learn from my ways, don’t you think?



Saturday 16 June 2012

Ty yr Gof

Dear Diary

It has been such a long time since I have blogged properly.Today I just want to draw attention to the school meals blog called Never Seconds written by a nine year old girl Martha Payne - her local council did try and ban her from continuing with it even though her school were encouraging her and this is partly why I am promoting it.  She has raised a lot of money for charity along the way. Do visit, the idea is brilliant and what a great way to start her career in journalism. More power to her and to the freedom of speech..........

I am sorry I have not been visiting blogs of late but am pleased to say I am back to normal wellness now and I have given up my job so I shall have more time for writing and pursuing my many other interests. I shall miss the borrowers at the library and the books but hope to retain my links with both.

I shall finish with a poem. It is about my home in Wales but the picture (above) is not of my cottage it is in fact a cottage in my spiritual home (Ireland).  I stumbled on this very fine artist Donald Curran - do check out his paintings.

There I have given you two very fine places to visit on this wet and windy summer's day.

More power to you,


Nearly forgot....................

Ty yr Gof
(Blacksmith’s Cottage)

I’m old now, set in stone and slow to heat,
needing a flame within,always burning,
to warm my heart and circulate my blood
but mine’s a kind of beauty that can snare
those with a soul.

I sit beside the Dulas bank, I watch
her waters rise and fall; for ever and
ever over stones without end she will
whisper or roar, she will amble or race.

Centuries of heartbeats have drummed down deep
within my walls; births, deaths, peace, war, through storms
and calm and all that bravely goes between
I have been loved.

Did I neglect to mention the mountains?
They surround me on all sides, they fold me,
they hold me and they share all my secrets,
strengthening my spell with the power of  peace,
cast beneath the magic of the Dulas moon.

Cait O’Connor

Monday 11 June 2012

Leeds, (it's just a poem).


I don’t live in Leeds, I die there, slowly
Banished there by my peers, or shall I just
be kind and call it my fate.  Leeds left deep
scars in my psyche when their team beat mine in
the FA Cup:  (Leeds 3, Crystal Palace 1).
Then, when a girl from Leeds joined my school
I learned what bluntness meant; it stayed with me.

My energies drain now in its suburbs.
At night I dream of the Kingdom of Elmet,
the forest of Loidis, sheep producing
white woollen cloth, flaxen fields of yellow-grey.
Finishing mills, giving way to foundries,
iron and industry incarnating to
Leeds and its locals; Loiners, blunt of speech,
hard of eye.  My southern softness  seems so 
out of sync so I walk by the Aire,
look to the Atlantic, escape to the
Pennines, my heart just  longing  for Wales.

Cait O’Connor

Sunday 10 June 2012

Ode to a Donkey

Ode to a Donkey

I first saw you in a Breton field,
recognised a familiarity.
We were adoptees, overly-laden,
our mothers were both beasts of burden too.

Like my dog and me we did not need to speak.
Scarred, haunted somewhat, sad-eyed and stubborn,
our pasts were a fable of sorts, a legend
but you wore a holy cross for all to see.

Your back carried my children but you would
not be overloaded.  Long-lived and much
longer-loved, you were the bravest and the
best of beasts, a dear and darling donkey.

Cait O’Connor