Monthly Archives: January 2017

Stories, Plait and Puddles

We have a very precious twenty four hours with Not-quite-Littlest-LiveWire and we have had a lovely day, reading stories, playing hide and seek, rooting through the old toys and stomping through puddles. 

Choosing the next story from the children’s story book shelf that used to belong to our four.

Getting ready for our walk, B happened upon a nearly finished hat and decided to wear it anyway. It fitted beautifully around her plait.

There were splashable puddles all along the path and I just managed to catch a reflection of B and her Grandfather’s legs!


Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Beauty, Grandchildren


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Orange, Comma and Hope

This beauty, name needed, is in my lovely neighbour’s conservatory.


As an English teacher, this amused me.

a cat and a comma

In these increasingly difficult times, I have to believe the following.

Better days are on the way

As my very wise Mum used to say when things were bad, “This too will pass,” and she was always right. I have to believe it is so now and that we will rise up against the bad stuff, together, and we will make these bad times, these frightening times, be only temporary.



Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Beauty, nature, Photography, postaday2017


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Big Birdwatch, Fledgling and Snowdrops

It has been the Big Birdwatch weekend where we record all the birds we see in our garden in one hour. We had our usual visitors – Blackbirds, Goldfinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, Jackdaws, Seagulls and Magpies but none of our specials – no Long-tail Tits (my favourites) no Woodpecker and no Buzzards.



Our Fledgling sculpture often has a bird on its upturned beak but not today, just a Chaffinch in the long grass.


Our Snowdrops are beginning to look beautiful!




Sky, Sea and Kindness

This morning the sky reflected the weather forecast – sunshine and showers.


Our trip to the sea was cold!


I have given you this beautiful poem before. The last few lines were quoted today in The Guardian by Sarah Perry who commented that this poem is “always pertinent – now more than ever, as civilisation cracks like thin ice over a deep black lake.”  It is also important that we hold on to optimism.  The poem is based on a true event. Larkin says he had fed the hedgehog some weeks before and then lost sight of him until he mowed the lawn. He was said to be very distressed about it, as you would be, and this poem was the result. Beautifully crafted, of course.

The Mower

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed.  It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably.  Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Philip Larkin, Collected Poems (Faber and Faber 1988).

My conversations with WordPress have resulted in my uploading photos to Flickr and then linking them to this blog – a bit more work but it does work! Thank you to the Happiness Engineers who have helped me.


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Primroses, Naomi Shihab Nye and Jabberwocky

I will resolve the photos issue over the weekend. In the meantime, here are two poems for your delectation and an old photo of Primroses in our garden as we have lots in flower today despite the cold.


I love this one for its understanding of loneliness. I love the writing of Naomi Shihab Nye. If you put her name into my search you will see that I have chosen poems by her before. Kindness, is my favourite.

The Rider – Naomi  Shihab Nye

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll,  is simply a logophile’s dream – all those lovely made up words that fit into the context so that the reader somehow knows what they all mean.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

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Grandparents, Research and Kindness

Being a Grandparent is a very special privilege. Thanks to a lovely friend also lucky enough to have the privilege for sending me this alphabet. grandparents-from-hilary

I have spent much of this week researching and writing for our project, Until the Day Break, and there are no photos to be had today.14708352_187894228323675_6685479087297589056_n I am still in conversation with WordPress.Ah, kindness


Posted by on January 26, 2017 in Beauty, Grandchildren, Kindness, Words


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Optimism, Wild Art and Balloons


WordPress are telling me that I cannot upload any photos as there is no room. I don’t understand this as I have just renewed my Premium rate contract with them.  I wanted to show you some of the artwork done by the young people who meet weekly with WILD, an amazing organisation who work with young parents all across Cornwall. I was invited to their 25th Birthday Party this afternoon and was moved and inspired by what they do – how they give young parents confidence, hope, strength, optimism and practical help. I can give you a link so that you can look them up and see what wonderful work they do.

When I hear from the WordPress Happiness Engineers, I’ll add the photos later.

I have had help and will sort the problem tomorrow.


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Duet, Knitting and Crocuses

This video of a four year old girl singing a duet with her Dad has made my day! In a world as crazy as this one seems just now, family love, talent and friendship are to be celebrated. Please click on the link.

I have a new knitting project which has to be completed by March.


The Crocuses that I showed you in bud are now gloriously out and beautiful.




Roasted Cauliflower, Vegan Meringues and New Buses

This was a wonderful new way to cook cauliflower, covered with a Romescu sauce and roasted, sitting on a bed of red onions and sun dried tomatoes. Delicious!

I made Avocado humus for lunch yesterday and usually throw the liquid from the chickpeas out but I had heard of making meringues with it so I looked it up and, hey presto, mini red fruit pavlovas for desert! Not an egg in sight but, as we are not vegan, we did put creme fraiche on top!

We have new buses in Cornwall and I really like following them as they all have different slogans painted on the back. This one was at the bus stop on the steep hill near the station, hence the angle.


Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Beauty, Food, Humour


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Avocado, Carn Brea and Camellia

I haven’t seen an avocado with a lovely green stripe like this before, the stripe here echoing the beautifully coloured flesh inside.dscn9367

I always find it fascinating to see how Carn Brea  Castle and the Bassett Monument appear to change places as we go on our walk around the Great Flat Lode behind our house. Look closely in the second photo and you can see the light right through one of the castle windows.dscn9394 dscn9397

There are lots of Camellias in bloom right now, brightening up quite a gloomy day.dscn9399


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