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Category Archives: friendship

White Dahlia, Pink Amaryllis and Friendship

Our white Dahlias are very lovely this year. They seem to have found their feet at last.

White Dahlia in our garden

I have been singing with friends this afternoon, getting ready for a performance in November. Their garden is glorious but only this photo worked today as I am getting to know how my new camera works.

Amaryllis in J&M’s garden

My Blog is dedicated to my lovely friend, Kath, who died six years ago today. In Sonnet 104, Shakespeare talks about the value of friendship and the fact that enduring friendship remains intact despite the “process of the seasons” and the passing of the years.

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride;
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen;
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.
  For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred:
  Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.
I have written almost every day with Kath in mind, a total so far of 2,309 posts in her memory.
 

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Cornish Lane, Wooden Cat and John Keats

I love our Cornish lanes with gnarled old trees which form a tunnel over the lane.

Cornish lane

For many years we have had a small wooden cat, bought when we no longer had our cats having given them to our daughter so that they could live in the countryside and we, just retired, could go on holidays without having to find cat-sitters.  He has been sitting in our hall since we came back to Cornwall almost ten years ago.  Last week, one of our dear friends had to say goodbye to her much-loved cat, Bussie, and wondered if anyone had a small cat ornament that she would put in her rather special beach garden. We both felt that it was time for our lovely wooden cat to be passed on to Sue who is absolutely delighted and has painted him in Bussie’s colouring already and he now sits in the beach garden. It has been lovely for us to do something so simple to make our friend so happy.

Bussie, the wooden replica, from us to Sue

For some reason that I cannot fathom, thinking about cats put me in mind of John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn, another poem, one verse of which we had to learn by heart many years ago. In groups then and in unison,  we had to recite our verse and others recited the other verses. It was not a favourite then but maybe the last two lines lodged in my brain all those years ago.

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness, 
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, 
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express 
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: 
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape 
       Of deities or mortals, or of both, 
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? 
       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? 
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? 
               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard 
       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; 
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d, 
       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: 
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 
       Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; 
               Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, 
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; 
       She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, 
               For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed 
         Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; 
And, happy melodist, unwearied, 
         For ever piping songs for ever new; 
More happy love! more happy, happy love! 
         For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d, 
                For ever panting, and for ever young; 
All breathing human passion far above, 
         That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d, 
                A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 
Who are these coming to the sacrifice? 
         To what green altar, O mysterious priest, 
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, 
         And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? 
What little town by river or sea shore, 
         Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, 
                Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? 
And, little town, thy streets for evermore 
         Will silent be; and not a soul to tell 
                Why thou art desolate, can e’er return. 
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede 
         Of marble men and maidens overwrought, 
With forest branches and the trodden weed; 
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought 
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 
         When old age shall this generation waste, 
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe 
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, 
         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all 
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
 

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Purple Berries, Godrevy and A Birthday Cake

I don’t know what these berries are that are in our front garden but I love the colour.

What are these berries?

We went for lunch and a walk today at Godrevy where the beach was beautiful as always.

It was our lovely neighbour’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and tonight was the first opportunity to have her round for a birthday dinner. I made a Blackberry and Apple Swiss Roll for her birthday cake. It tasted wonderful!

Swiss roll all rolled up and ready to load with home made jam and cream

Swiss roll served up

 

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A Lane, Some Crumble and Maps

Our friends had a day out at Tintagel and Port Isaac and we had a day harvesting the last of the beans and strolling down to the supermarket along the stream.

The lane to the supermarket

I cooked up a storm for our last supper together here – Cassoulet, a new recipe for an old favourite and it was delicious, followed by Blackberry and Apple Crumble, Mum’s recipe which I know P is very fond of.

Leftovers of Blackberry and Apple Crumble

We spent the latter part of the evening poring over maps, firstly of Cornwall to decide how to spend tomorrow and then of Montana for our next trip to USA getting local advice from our Dear Friends.

 

A Day Out with Very Dear Friends

Join us on our day out – to St  Ives on the train, one of the best rides ever along the Cornish coast, in St Ives, to Mounts Bay and thence to Chysauster Ancient Village, home for a break and on up to Carn Brea and home for a relaxed and happy dinner with delicious fresh Runner Beans from the garden.  Click on any photo for more detail.

 

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Making Jam, A Rose and Magpies

The family picked lots of Blackberries up the lane and I froze them for the moment I might have time to make jam and that I did this morning – Blackberry and Apple Jam and it is delicious.

Blackberry and Apple Jam

Just as the jam was all potted up, the doorbell rang and we could scarcely see who was at the door for the foliage and the goldenness of a beautiful rose plant – Crown Princess Margareta.  Thank you so much D&R – we said no presents and we meant it but this fragrant rose is gorgeous and will be given pride of place in our garden.

Fragrant and beautiful

I watched these two Magpies for some time from the study window. The lower one seems to be the younger, all fluffed up and being watched over by his Dad or we wonder if he has been in a fight?  I was concerned to see the lack of feathers on his head and his tail seems to be somewhat awry.  Any thoughts, Dear Reader?

Father and Son?

Bald baby or been attacked?

 

 

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Brown Sugar Bear, Banana Cake and A Sunflower

My lovely Sister-in-Law sent me a brown sugar bear from America and I just love how he keeps the brown sugar from going hard so that it mixes straightaway. He always looks so surprised when I take him out of the bag!

Brown sugar bear

We bought loads of bananas for when the LiveWires were here but they didn’t all get eaten so today I used three very over-ripe ones and a fresh one to make the best Sticky Banana Cake ever!  I’ll post the recipe soon.

Sticky Banana Cake with Raisins

Our walk this afternoon in the mizzle took us past the local allotments where we called in to thank our lovely neighbour for her gift of beans and courgettes. She wasn’t there but I took a photo of one of her beautiful Sunflowers. The beans were very tasty with our supper; the courgettes we have saved for tomorrow.

Pale Sunflower in the Cornish mizzle

 

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