Monthly Archives: February 2015

Guest Post from Bhutan 2

My neighbour, Sue, has returned from the fabulous sounding International Bhutan Arts Festival and has posted these beautiful photos of their expedition to Buddha Point and The Tiger’s Nest. Click on any photo for more detail and the caption. Interesting that the litter notices are all in English.


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Seeds, Crocuses and Long Tails

1    It’s almost March and we went off to the garden centre to buy seeds. One of our raised beds is going to be devoted to flowers for  for the bees and for cutting. We will still be growing three raised beds of veggies.

2   The sun was shining through the tree at the garden centre casting lovely shadows and underneath were a mass of small crocuses.

Tree and crocuses

Tree and crocuses

Crocuses for Nicky

Crocuses for Nicky, with love

3   A family of Long Tail Tits has been at the feeders today. They are very skittish and hard to catch on camera. There were eight there at one moment, just two left by the time I had my camera ready and those two were gone in a moment.

Long Tail Tits

Long Tail Tits


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Friendship Scarf, Flower Bobbles and Purple Cabbage

1   I heard last night that my present for my lovely Sister-in-law had arrived safely so now I can tell you about the secret project that I mentioned well before Christmas. I knitted V a Friendship Scarf in her favourite colour. I just loved  the description of the scarf which seemed so appropriate.

 Say ‘I’m thinking of you’ with a hand-knit scarf of lace hearts. Simple and quick to knit on just 29 stitches.
The scarf begins with a wavy eyelet rib stitch symbolising the twists and turns of life and ends with a band of interlocking hearts to express the bonds of loving friendship.

Here it is, the pattern picture and my scarf. Click to see the detail. It wasn’t quick for me! I started it before Christmas, had a hiatus over Christmas and my operation and got knitting again as soon as my brain kicked back into gear! I got the pattern from Craftsy.

2   There were some spare flowers from my Spring Wreath that I showed you yesterday so KJ suggested that I sew hair bands on the back so that Grandbaby T can wear some flowers in her hair. They are in the birthday parcel.

Flower bobbles

Flower bobbles

3   I went to choir again today – life is getting back to normal – and noticed this little purple cabbage growing outside Peapod’s cafe. I’m sure it has a proper name! I like the way it holds the raindrops.

Purple cabbage

Purple cabbage


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Spring Crochet, Poem and Godot

1   Attic 24 inspired the project which I have finished today and which is to be a birthday present for Grand-baby T who has a  bed all decorated with flowers and who, I am hoping, will love this. I have thoroughly enjoyed making it and made use of Lesley Stanfield’s delightful book, 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. Click on any photo in the gallery for detail.

2   I saw this delightful little poem the other day and it just seemed right for today. Snow is expected in Atlanta where my brother and Sister-in-law live and Spring is showing here – not too far away for the rest of you I hope.

Winter Poem – Nikki Giovanni

once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower

3    This cartoon came my way via Facebook today and it made me laugh! An ex-pupil who is now a teacher himself wrote to tell me that he remembered studying part of the play when in Year 7. We also worked on one of my favourite poems, The Hunchback in the Park by Dylan Thomas and a non-fiction text on homelessness from Shelter. It was a brilliant  project if I say so myself!




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Waves, Lunch, and Cake

We went to the Blue Bar in Porthtowan for lunch. It has been all spruced up over the winter and was very inviting. Our lunch was delicious and the waves outside were huge and glistening in the sunshine.

This afternoon I made a St Clements Cake. It is an orange drizzle cake with lemon icing and is named after the English Nursery Rhyme,Oranges and Lemons, that goes

Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of Saint Clement’s
I owe you five farthings
Say the bells of Saint Martin’s
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich
Say the bells of Shoreditch
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
I do not know
Say the great bells of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Pancakes and fritters
Say the bells of Saint Peter’s
Two sticks and an apple
Say the bells of Whitechapel

The older version goes like this with a very different last line!

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

St Clement's Cake

St Clement’s Cake


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Live Quietly, Daffodils and An Artefact

1   Some good advice here – a philosophy that I heartily believe in. Thank you, Robert for the photo.

Live quietly in the moment

Live quietly in the moment

2   I love the delicacy of these very pale daffodils.

Pale daffodils in a Jane Hamlyn salt-glaze jug

Pale daffodils in a Jane Hamlyn salt-glaze jug

3  This artefact was dug up in our garden when I was a child but we have never known what it was. Any ideas? It is about 4″ high, made of metal and quite heavy for its size.

What do you think this could be?

What do you think this could be?

I have written a diary recounting my recovery from my Total Hip Replacement. You can read it here or go to the horizontal menu at the top of any page.


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Hyacinth, Puppy Poem and A Visit + A P.S.

1   Last Saturday our other lovely neighbour brought us a pot of tightly closed hyacinth bulbs because they were going away for half term. Rather than leave them to blush unseen and waste their sweetness on the empty air, H brought them to us. They have bloomed and their scent is still glorious so when the family returns this evening, I shall return them so that they can also gain pleasure from the pink delicacy of these beautiful hyacinths.

Pink hyacinths

Pink hyacinths

2   BBC Radio 4 has a lovely programme on Sunday afternoons called Poetry Please. This afternoon the poems were all either written by teenagers, starting with The Force that Through the Green Fuse written by Dylan Thomas when he was only 19 or for teenagers or about teenagers. The poem I am about to share with you fits both those latter categories – and I hope it amuses you rather than causing offence! It is by Adrian Mitchell. one of the Liverpool poets, and was written in 1996.

A Puppy Called Puberty.

It was like keeping a puppy in your underpants

A secret puppy you weren’t allowed to show to anyone

Not even your best friend or your worst enemy

You wanted to pat him stroke him cuddle him

All the time but you weren’t supposed to touch him

He only slept for five minutes at a time

Then he’d suddenly perk up his head

In the middle of school medical inspection

And always on bus rides

So you had to climb down from the upper deck

All bent double to smuggle the puppy off the bus

Without the buxom conductress spotting

Your wicked and ticketless stowaway.

Jumping up, wet-nosed, eagerly wagging –

He only stopped being a nuisance

When you were alone together

Pretending to do your homework

But really gazing at each other

Through hot and hazy daydreams

Of those beautiful schoolgirls on the bus

With kittens bouncing in their sweaters.

3   Daughter No 3 is arriving tonight for a few days which will be just lovely.
Many of you know that I had a Total Hip Replacement on 29th December 2014. I have been writing my diary of the events and consequences. You can find the links to My Hip Op Diaries in the horizontal menu at the top of any page and I would love to hear your reaction to any of it if you have time to leave a comment.

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Beauty, flowers, photography, poetry, Postaday 2015


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My City, More Singing and New Books

1   Another trip to Truro today, the city where I grew up and the city that I love. Here is a video that will give you a flavour of this beautiful place. Click on the red link.

2  We went to Truro specifically because one of the choirs I sing with, The Ingleheart Singers were giving a free lunchtime concert in the Cathedral. I haven’t been able to rehearse with them for some time but what a privilege it was to be in the audience and listen to that glorious sound soaring in the wonderful space that is our Cathedral. We had a group photo taken at the end so I am in it even though, on this occasion, I wasn’t singing!

The Ingleheart Singers at Truro Cathedral, thanks to Tina for this photo

The Ingleheart Singers at Truro Cathedral, thanks to Tina for this photo

Here they are singing Oxygen, written by our own lovely choir leader, Claire Ingleheart. Click on the video link to see and listen. 


3   While we were in the city, we also went to the Bookshop (how could one not?) and I bought 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield for my special project and the next in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith, J K Rowling’s pseudonym for her adult novels. I just finished the first one and couldn’t wait to get started on the next one, delightfully entertaining, well plotted and well written.


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Wedding Plans, Poem and Spring Flowers

I spent a delightful morning beginning to plan  a Humanist Wedding Ceremony for July with a lovely couple today. I really love this very happy job!

This poem, High Flight, is one of Mr S’s favourites having found it some years ago. It was written by John Magee, Poet and Soldier, 1922–1941. In his seventh flight in a Spitfire Mk I, he had flown up to 33,000 feet. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck by words he had read in another poem — “To touch the face of God.” He completed his verse soon after landing. It never fails to move both of us and you can truly imagine the feelings of freedom as he ‘chased the shouting wind along’

 “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

Spring is showing in various parts of the garden – crocuses in the little herb wall, little Tète à Tète daffodils in the Monkey planter made for me by a local artist, Jeremy Beswick, and Snowdrops close to the house.


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Chinese New Year, Singing and Braised Pork with Plums

1   It’s Chinese New Year  新年快乐 / 新年快樂 Happy New Year to you all.

Year of the Goat/Sheep

Year of the Goat/Sheep

2   It was wonderful to be back singing again with The Suitcase Singers. Thank you for the Days! This sign was in the car park just outside the Zed Shed.

Fish and Fishing

Fish and Fishing


2     To celebrate we have cooked a fabulous meal requiring many delicious spices among them Star Anise which is both pretty and very tasty.

Star Anise

Star Anise   

Our dinner was Chinese Braised pork with Plums served with pak Choi and Jasmine Rice.

Our dinner

Our dinner



Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Beauty, Food, photography, Postaday 2015, singing


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