Alexander Averin

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Ordinary Love - U2

From the Mandela Film , Long Walk to Freedom

Ordinary Love
No Ordinary Song

The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that's been lost before
Wants to find us again
I can't fight you anymore
It's you I'm fighting for
The sea throws rocks together
But time leaves us polished stones
We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
We cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love
Birds fly high in the summer sky
And rest on the breeze
The same wind will take care of you and
I will build our house in the trees
Your heart is on my sleeve
Did you put there with a magic marker
For years I would believe
That the world couldn't wash it away
'Cause we can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
We cannot reach any higher

If we can't deal with ordinary love
Are we tough enough
For ordinary love
We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
We cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love
We can't fall any further
If we can't feel ordinary love
We cannot reach any higher
If we can't deal with ordinary love


Saturday 23 November 2013

So Many Books

(The artist for my header pic is a Russian artist named Demakov Yevgeniy)

So many books, so little time.
Frank Zappa

Woman Reading
Artist - Tavik Frantisek Simon

What makes a perfect winter’s Saturday apart from constant sunshine, blue skies and a temptingly beautiful frosty landscape outside my window?  (Answer a few lines down).  To be honest, as they say in these parts, the sun started to go down soon after three o’clock but it was certainly much appreciated while it lasted. I did the supermarket sweep as quickly as I could this morning and then returned to examine what the book angel had left for me.

Library books! Hot off the press too, some of them.   Like buses they have all come at once ,but aren’t libraries wonderful? 

These are the books I ordered, now waiting to be read, in no particular order.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Migashida.  I heard parts of this on Radio 4 and found it so enlightening and interesting. I think everyone should read it. A rare and important insight into the mind of an autistic child.


Sisters of the East End by Helen Batten.  If you enjoyed the Jennifer Worth books that inspired the Call the Midwife series on BBC then this should be a must read. Heart-warming tales of nursing and midwifery from the Sisters who worked with Jennifer Worth.
Staying on the’old’ London theme.  As well as being my birthplace, I have East End family connections so snapped this one up.

My Lost London by Len Goodman, the Lovely Strictly Come Dancing judge. The book is crammed with fabulous old black and white photos of London as well as Len’s reminiscences.

In Len's own words:
I was almost born within the sound of Bow Bells, nearly born in Wales, but ended up being born in Kent. But never mind all that, I'm a Londoner, through and through. I spent my early childhood in Bethnal Green and even when we moved to live across the other side of the Thames I spent as much time as I could in the East End. I worked on the docks in London, played football all over London and once I took up dancing I was forever travelling around London. Like every person my age I'm nostalgic for what's no longer around. Don't get me wrong I don't think it was all much better in the ol' days, but it does get on my wick when some of the best things about life before the internet are in danger of being forgotten. What do I miss? Well I think lots of kids miss doing all the things we could do when I was growing up. I miss the characters, the markets, how we made our own fun and once I was old enough, the old boozers or a trip up the wild West End for a real night out. I love walking around London, seeing what's changed. I remember where buildings or even whole streets used to be, the old markets, like Covent Garden and Spitalfields, where I used to go dancing above Burton's The Tailors or down the Palais. My book will give me the chance to take you back to the London I remember as a kid, as a teenager and as a young man about town. Remembering all that was great about London will help bring back some of the good times that we had back in the last century.


Maeve’s Times by the much-missed and dearly loved Maeve Binchy. These are selected writings for the Irish Times which span five decades.
Book description:
'As someone who fell off a chair not long ago trying to hear they what they were saying at the next table in a restaurant, I suppose I am obsessively interested in what some might consider the trivia of other people's lives'

Maeve Binchy is well-known for her bestselling novels, the most recent of which was A WEEK IN WINTER. But for many years Maeve was a journalist, writing for The Irish Times.

From 'The Student Train' to 'Plane Bores', 'Bathroom Joggers' to 'When Beckett met Binchy', these articles have all the warmth, wit and humanity of her fiction. Arranged in decades, from the 1960s to the 2000s, and including Maeve's first and last ever piece of writing for The Irish Times, the columns also give a fascinating insight into the author herself.

With an introduction written by her husband, the writer Gordon Snell, this collection of timeless writing reminds us of why the leading Irish writer was so universally loved.

Journey into Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard.  There are lots of books published  on the theme of meditation, mindfulness and relaxation etc but this is new one of the simplest and the best I have ever seen.  I recommend it highly. Below is the book description.
Mindfulness is a new way of experiencing life; it's about reconnecting with our original way of being and moving into the now. Through the practice of mindfulness you can find a path to better living, reduced stress, higher levels of energy and enthusiasm and increased self-confidence. Journey into Mindfulness explains the principles of mindfulness, a meditation cognitive therapy, in a simple yet inspiring way and comes with practical exercises that suit both the beginner and the experienced practitioner.

Living in the moment can be harder than we think in a tech-filled world of to-do lists. This gentle guide shows you easy, enjoyable and effective ways to slow down and develop awareness of your thoughts, actions and the environment. Exercises include step-by-step breathing and sound meditations, eating, walking meditations and movement sequences inspired by chi gong, tai chi and yoga to bring the mind and body into the present moment.

In this fully-illustrated book by leading mindfulness educator and author Dr. Patrizia Collard, discover the meditations and body moves to combat stress and anxiety, deal with fear and procrastination, eat better, manage change, love more, and ultimately feel the joy of being 'in the now'. You can learn: mindful eating, how to get out of a low mood, what to do with anger, how to embrace ageing, brilliant stress-reduction techniques, and how to get beyond fear. Use this book to reconnect with the simple moments in life; by truly living moment-by-moment rather than merely existing, your life will change for the better.

Diary of a Heretic by Mark Townsend
If you are interested in religions, be they paganism, druidry or Christianity this man's personal story may interest you.

In June 2007 Rev. Mark Townsend resigned from his ministry as a priest after his decision to share his story of brokenness and failure with the hierarchy. This book is the irreverent and whimsical, yet honest and gut-wrenching, story of his struggle to hold on to a faith within a world that seemed to be against him. It is a story that brings hope to all those who feel the established Western religious path has lost sight of compassion, grace and the one who could easily have been called Friend of Failures. As the author gradually digs himself out of the consequential gutter the reader will discover that all such failures can be redeemed and may even produce glittering nuggets of gold. More importantly, the reader will begin to see that his or her own failure can also lead to real moments of magic - so long as it is not repressed but accepted. A major underlying theme of the whole diary is the notion that real magic does exist, and that the magical traditions such as Druidry can be a major blessing for those who crave for something more.

Finally one of local interest which covers an interest of mine  - the  sacred springs, holy wells and spas of Wales. Written by Phil Cope who is a fine writer and photographer, I may well end up buying this one.  Borderlands by Phil Cope
I can't find a photo of this book online so will take one myself asap.

I am still desperately needing a good novel to get lost in – I am nearing the end of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey which I can recommend. It’s a good winter read and the sort of novel to savour in short bursts, not one to race through.  I am waiting for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to arrive from the library but must look out some more novels to order. Can anyone recommend any good ones?

Well I mustn’t linger, the evening is closing in and the armchair by the cosy Rayburn is calling............... but which book shall I read first?  And what is on your bedside table?

Happy Reading,

Bye for now,



Thursday 21 November 2013


After breakfast this morning I swept leaves from the back yard which is something I have passed many hours doing this autumn. I don't mind doing it because it keeps me fit and certainly beats going to the gym. When the job is done I love to put the leaves on the compost heap knowing that they will soon rot down and turn into the most sumptuous compost. 

When I had finished my sweeping I sat down on what I call my park bench which sits between two tall pine trees by the river and I was 'taken by the skies', as I so often am, so I popped indoors for my camera to take photos of the view. The pics can be found here, next door, please do call by if you have time and take a peek.

How have you spent this sweet November morning I wonder?

Wednesday 13 November 2013

For Katy

Katy in the snow


Katy in the sun


Finn and Katy

Finn, the lurcher

Mary Oliver is probably my favourite poet and I would normally have bought her new book Dog Songs by now as it has been out for some time.  Unfortunately it appeared soon after we lost our second dog, (my own dog really, Katy the border collie) and I could not face reading 'doggy' poems. 
Katy was a good age and her health had been deteriorating for some time but the end, when it came, had to be  dealt with quickly and I am still not over it.  I have never been without a dog since I was ten years old but I do not feel able to have another one yet, whether I will one day I do not know.  
Loss is so hard to bear and seems to get harder not easier with the loss of each dog or cat.  My current cat Molly is seventeen next year and so she too will be the next animal to move on.  Such is life, death is part of it and I know I must dwell on the good times and all the love we have shared. 
I wrote a poem to dear Finn, who sadly died last year which can be read here but have been too upset so far to write one yet for Katy.
In the meantime I shall dedicate this poem by Mary Oliver to her.

For Katy.

The Sweetness of Dogs

What do you say Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full moon.
So we go
And the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself; one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,
I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face, as though I were
his perfect moon.
Mary Oliver

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit.


Sunday 10 November 2013


Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life
Marcus Aurelius
I am very easily pleased, the above quote could have been writen for me.

I only collect a few things:

Images and photos of washing lines for one.
I thought I was peculiar in that but a lot of people seem to appreciate them too.
I have given up taking photos of other people's washing for fear of being arrested.
(I also love hanging out washing.  I wonder what that says about me?).

I take photos of gateways lately, not very original I know, but I have started so will have to finish.

Bookmarks.  I have a shoebox overflowing with these, they are hard to display though.

Words which I may catch 'on the wind', that resonate with me, are melodic or sweet sounding, words like deft,capsized, soothsayer, these just happen to be the latest three words in my little black book.

I also collect Wise Words and Quotations, I have reams of those, piles of journals littered with them, all collected over the years, 

Would you like (another) one of these for today?  Hot off the press?

You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens
Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia Duit.

PS  Do tell me of anything you squirrel away.
PPS There is a pony picture here and two more quotes.
Have you noticed you get two blog posts for the price of one lately?

Friday 8 November 2013

Friday Fairies

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laughter broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies - Peter Pan
J M Barrie
Peter Pan
And the Fairies Ran Away With Our Clothes
Charles Sims


Song of Fairies Robbing an Orchard

We, the Fairies, blithe and antic,
Of dimensions not gigantic,
Though the moonshine mostly keep us,
Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.

Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
Stolen kisses much completer,
Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
Stolen, stolen, be your apples.

When to bed the world are bobbing,
Then's the time for orchard-robbing;
Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling,
Were it not for stealing, stealing.

Leigh Hunt

There are some cat photos here

Thursday 7 November 2013

Calling of the Sea


Just a pic of my rudbeckia and a sweet butterfly to remind me of late summer

Now we are a week in to November

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

Herman Melville
(Best known for his novels of the sea, especially Moby Dick).

His quotation made me smile.
I loved the image of 'knocking people's hats off' and fully understood that feeling (sometimes!) and share the calling of the sea.
Talking of the sea, I have discovered a wonderful artist, Robert Kelsey. 
'Robert Kelsey has developed a creative reputation from his faithful depictions of the coastal landscapes of Western Scotland and its adjacent islands. Well travelled, Kelsey also often paints such disparate locations as the Mediterranean, Suffolk and Cornwall. One cannot mention Kelsey’s artistic skill without observing his dedication to the form of light and colour, to which he brings an unparalleled accuracy.'
And I would like to post one of his pictures which, for me, may satisfy today's 'callings of the sea'.   
It's that dream house again.................

Isle of  Coll

PS  I have also blogged a wee pic  here today; do call by if you've time.


Saturday 2 November 2013


The New Novel
Winslow Homer 1877


She always was a different kind of child
who thought and schemed and dreamed her days away
while telling secret stories in her head,
always despised dull colouring books;
refused to stay between restricting  lines.
Never was a matching-shoes
-and- handbag kind of girl, or felt the need
 to be a bride, dressed head-to- toe in white,
passed across from one man to another.
She won’t do fashion, can’t abide the hype;
hates wasting words with others in small talk,
would never tow a line, act like a sheep,
and really needs to spend some days alone.
Last night she found her soulmate with her in
a dream and took him with her on a walk,
they recognised each other’s hearts and held each other’s  hands.  
A dream so joyful just because it felt so right,
she knew she dreamed him, did he also dream her there?


Cait O’Connor