Monthly Archives: February 2023

Story, Painting and Greenham Songs

I loved today’s writing workshop and especially the activity that came in little eggs! Each egg contained the traditional words for starting a story from various countries around the world – ours being “Once upon a time…….”  From that start we each wrote a story for 10 mins and I have never known time fly by quite so quickly. Mine was the Irish beginning. I shall ask our Ukrainian friends for the story beginning they use.

A List of Beginnings

Arabic: ‘There was, oh what there was (or there wasn’t) in the oldest of days and ages and
Armenian: ‘There was, there was not…’
‘Three apples fall from the sky/heaven. One for the writer, one for the storyteller, one for the
Czech: ‘Beyond seven mountain ranges, beyond seven rivers…’
Esperanto: ‘In a time already long past, when it was still of use to cast a spell…’
Estonian: ‘Beyond seven lands and seas, there lived a…’
Filipino: ‘At the beginning of time’, or ‘At the first time…’
German: ‘Back in the days when it was still of help to wish for a thing…’
Gujarati: ‘This is an old story.’
Hungarian: ‘Once there was, where there wasn’t, there was a…’
Irish: ‘A long, long, long time ago it was (and there was a king in Galway)’
Japanese: ‘Long ago, long ago…’
Korean: ‘In the time when a tiger used to smoke…’
Koti (Mozambique): ‘Once upon a time, there was a truly great friendship…’
Lithuanian: ‘Beyond nine seas, beyond nine lagoons…’
Persian: ‘Someone was, someone wasn’t…’
Romanian: ‘There once was, (as never before), because if there wasn’t, it wouldn’t have been
Russian: ‘In some kingdom, in some land, there lived/there was…’
Slovak: ‘When the water was being strewn and the sand poured…’
Tanzania: ‘I remember something that our father told me, and that is this:’
Turkish: ‘There was/lived in an exotic land far, far away, a/an…’

Walking through town later, I came across two sign-writers, very carefully repainting our direction signs. They were happy for me to take their photo, found it a very funny request and I could hear them laughing all the way down the street!

Just back from a brilliant evening of remembering the amazing protest camp at Greenham Common, hearing from some  women who were actually there and singing some of their songs. Here’s one. ‘Hey Sister, Don’t You Weep.’



Ingredients, Cake and Fruity Snack

I love baking as regular readers will know and when I read the recipe for Ginger and Parsnip Cake in the current National Trust magazine.  I knew it would be my next bake.

This is the cake awaiting its cream cheese and ginger icing.

Sadly, my new diet means I shouldn’t eat cake so I’ve enjoyed a delicious fruit platter.

Plum, satsumas, ginger pieces and toasted cashews


Posted by on February 27, 2023 in baking, photography, Postaday 2023



A Painting, A Poem and A Border

Poetry for Ukraine
Artwork is by Ukrainian artist Anastasia. Her work can be found in her Etsy shop called AyToysArt.

I have been given permission to share both the remarkable poem and the beautiful and moving artwork with you.

Poetry for Ukraine

A powerfully beautiful poem from on the ground: John Gordon Sennett is from the Jersey Shore and lives in Ukraine with his wife, Natasha and dog, Philly Cheesesteak.
Night in Chernivtsi
Street lights no longer shine on the backstreets of Chernivtsi
Stars twinkle in and out above the low ridge of a distant mountain
Random apartments give the blue light glow of TV from their windows
One dog barks, another one starts and soon after a cacophony of howls
Silver moonlight, shines off the shiny new rooftop across the street
The smoke of the cigar rises and fades lingering for only moments
Ukrainian cognac coats the lips, mingles with the cigar taste
Then mixes with it and brings out one of life’s simple treasures
And they are dancing in the streets now in liberated Kherson
Peace for now but all here know that it will not yet be a lasting one
We celebrate anyway, we go on, we fight, we write, we do what we have to
Defeat does not exist in our reality and neither does the offer of surrender
Who is foolish enough to negotiate with the devil?
Or even to speak with him as if he is a civilized being?
No, the troops of ours will roll on until he leaves this bountiful land
We will roll on doing the work it takes to win this awful, unfair war
Shevchenko on his hill will stand and salute all those who continue the fight
All the greats of Ukraine who told us that it was so will rise from the ashes
And dance when the victory of Ukraine finally comes and wraps us within
Our souls and spirits know it, feel it, smell it and taste it
Our bodies may be worn, hungry, tired, abused, injured and broken
But it is within that counts and together, we all know that
So we will light our candles in our churches and pray before icons
Some of us will fast for the coming Nativity season and St. Nicholas Day
We are used to giving up things so others may fight, may win and may continue
United no matter what our race, creed or identity in the battle with evil
All of us will stand against it in our own way, raise whatever weapons we may have at our disposal
We strike down that evil that has come from the ugly east
With pen, with sword, with voice, with guns, artillery and drones
Stand with us if you believe in freedom is all that we ask

There was work to do at the allotment this afternoon, just general tidying up ready for the start of the planting and sowing season. Our Tete a Tete border is lovely and bright.


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A Good Read, Weather Vane and Daffodils

I’m quite surprised that the book I have just finished was first published twenty years ago and it passed me by. “The Secret Life of Bees” has also been made into a film and that passed me by too. A good friend brought the book around for me to read a few weeks ago and I am so glad she did as I have loved it. It’s described as a ‘coming of age’ story but don’t let that put  you off. It’s more about strength of character, standing up for what you believe in, perhaps about motherhood and I loved the way it was written and constructed. And you do learn about bees!

On our walk the other day, I spotted a weather vane that I like.

Ukraine is in our hearts and minds much of the time. `I love the colours here.


Posted by on February 25, 2023 in books, nature, photography, Postaday 2023


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Slava Ukraini, Kedgeree and A Poem

From Cornwall Council this morning:   “A one minute silence is being held across the UK at 11am today to mark one year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  Please join us at that time for a moment of reflection and to pay tribute to the incredible courage of the Ukrainian people.” We did.
We think of our Dear Friends in The Hooligan Art Community and their families, especially tonight as they perform Bunker Cabaret in Somerset House on this anniversary..
It was only when I dished up our evening meal that I realised that the colours were perfect for today.
At John’s Farewell last Saturday, one of his own thoughtful poems was read. .

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Remembering John the Fish

John the Fish, photo by Greg Martin : Cornwall Live

Our lovely friend, John Langford, affectionately known as John the Fish, died last month and the celebration of his life was held last Saturday. The hall was absolutely packed with people wanting to show their love for this very special man.

Beautifully decorated coffin Photo by Sue Ellery-Hill

On the display table of memorabilia. Photo Sue Ellery-Hill

Live music Photo by Sue Ellery-Hill

John has been spoken of with love and admiration in all the media from our local papers and news site, Cornwall Live,  to Radio 3 where he was mentioned by Petroc Trelawny and his rendering of a Cornish folk song, “Little Eyes” was played.  He was best known as a folk singer and that was how we first knew of him when in the 60’s he’d be the resident singer at the Mitchell folk club where my younger brother would go to play. His name came from his earlier days when he was a fisherman in Newlyn.  (See the newspaper cuttings below)

John became a Humanist Celebrant as you will have read in the Cornwall Live article. His work was greatly appreciated and when we met him and Carrie recently at a Ralph McTell concert, we were touched that one of his couples came over to make themselves known and to thank him.
My parents knew John and Carrie from the beginnings of the Cornwall Humanists group so when my Mum died in 1993, we turned to the Humanists to conduct a non-religious ceremony for us. Another friend conducted the Ceremony and  John sang John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ for us all at Mum’s request.
When we returned to Cornwall in 2008, John asked me to join the Celebrants and was my much-valued mentor as I began to conduct wedding and baby naming ceremonies.

Learning about Baby Namings by watching John at work

At one of the dinners we used to have with John and Carrie and other friends, I made a little thank you gift in the glasswork that I love doing. It was to celebrate John’s time as a fisherman.

The next two photos, which will need enlarging, are of a lovely interview done by Steve Hunt some time ago and tell you much of John’s his own words.

What follows is a brief quotation from the article in the West Briton 2nd February. It’s a lovely summary of this much-loved man.


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Salad Leaves, Snowdrops and Azalea

A lovely collection of  fresh and tasty mixed salad leaves came home from Community Roots yesterday and we had them for lunch.

The sun shone today and we went for a walk in the woodland at a local garden centre in hopes that the Magnolias might be in flower. The buds are almost ready. There were lots of Snowdrops, Daffodils, Primroses, Camellias and Azaleas so there was plenty of Spring colour to enjoy.


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Writing, Spring and Pancakes

A different Tuesday today as I started a writing course while the lovely Mr S went off to Community Roots. It was held in The Writers’ Block at The Ladder and was lots of fun as well as being somewhat challenging. I was quite pleased with what I wrote.  The venue is full of magical items to get one’s brain in action!  One of my favourites was a beautiful paper sculpture of a forest and a man in a top hat and tails.  Several people used this as a starting point for one of the exercises.

Two feathers in a cupboard were what set me off on one exercise.

One of our little border in the front garden is full of Spring.

It’s Pancake Day.  Our savoury ones were stuffed with veggie chilli and the sweet ones wrapped around a banana, with a drizzle of maple syrup and topped with toasted slivered almonds – delicious.


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A Tyre, A Flower and A Song for You

Singing at the Eco Park this afternoon my eye was caught by a planted up tyre.

Camellia flowers are beautiful at the moment, even when they fall.

I thought you might like to hear one of our songs from this afternoon, “My Flower, My Companion and Me”



Farewell, A Field and A Feather

It has been brilliant having LiveWire 3 writing the blog so beautifully while I have been under the weather. Thank you to those of you who commented for her to read. She has been delighted with the response to her stint as Guest Blogger.

We waved Farewell to the family this morning and I enjoyed seeing one of the GWR engines that is named for a member of the public who has done good works and ‘made a difference.’ Radio Cornwall also runs the scheme and Don Gardner,  who runs our local food bank, also has an engine named for him. I have yet to see that one.  You can just make us out as we wait to wave at the train.

I love the delicacy of feathers.

We love to watch this field as it is ploughed, sown, the crop grows and is harvested. I’ll try to get the whole sequence this year. It is near a garden centre that we like to visit so I should be able to get the photos.


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