Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Poem, A Dog and Wisteria

Regular readers will know how I appreciate a good poem, one that speaks to me. A one time pupil who became a student in our Training School, then a colleague and latterly a friend has written a delightful poem telling of the sudden temperature change that has been seen all over the UK today though without any hail or snow here in Cornwall. Natalie has given me permission to use her poem in tonight’s blog. Thank you, Natalie, I love the picture conjured up by your words.  The alliteration in

Sending the dog doollally
Dancing a dervish
Round the living room

is perfect!

Bella, photo taken by Natalie Doig


The temperature slumped
The light was sucked from
Us by cumulus nimbus,
Glooming black shroud,
Cracked open with a jolt
Of pink lightening,
And spitting balls of ice,
Which bounced on the lawn
Sending the dog doollally
Dancing a dervish
Round the living room
Spilling tea in scampering happiness,
At least someone was astonished
By April’s apocalyptic weather
Wagging her tail
Until the sun reemerged.

By Natalie Doig

I did take a photo of some gorgeous Wisteria but my camera didn’t have its memory card in – sorry!




So Many Different Lengths Of Time – Poem by Brian Patten

So Many Different Lengths Of Time – Poem by Brian Patten

How long does a man live after all?
A thousand days or only one?
One week or a few centuries?
How long does a man spend living or dying
and what do we mean when we say gone forever?

Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification.
We can go to the philosophers
but they will weary of our questions.
We can go to the priests and rabbis
but they might be busy with administrations.

So, how long does a man live after all?
And how much does he live while he lives?
We fret and ask so many questions –
then when it comes to us
the answer is so simple after all.

A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us,
for as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
for as long as we ourselves live,
holding memories in common, a man lives.

His lover will carry his man’s scent, his touch:
his children will carry the weight of his love.
One friend will carry his arguments,
another will hum his favourite tunes,
another will still share his terrors.

And the days will pass with baffled faces,
then the weeks, then the months,
then there will be a day when no question is asked,
and the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach
and the puffed faces will calm.
And on that day he will not have ceased
but will have ceased to be separated by death.

How long does a man live after all?
A man lives so many different lengths of time.

For Bill Mitchell whom we all love.
We heard later in the evening that Bill had died peacefully with his beloved beside him. Go well, dear Bill, go well.

Shadows, Flower and Bob Hicok

When the sun shines into our sitting room in the evening it lights up the glass Agapanthus that we bought on The Scillies years ago and sometimes, as now, the shadow has colour in it.

There are Marguerites in flower in a neighbours’ garden. This is the centre of one. Aren’t the colours lovely?

I subscribe to Knopf Poetry throughout April, a month of poetry. This one by Bob Hicok came in a day or two ago and is brilliant! We are all HUMAN!  As my lovely SIL says – we both get the poems -” I love the subtle message of “We’re all PEOPLE, people!” ”

We’ve come a long way toward getting nowhere
My obsession with Jews is an obsession
with one Jew. I look at her walking
and wonder what anyone could have
against Jews, at her sleeping
or hunting for her keys in the morning,
which she does often, lose her keys
when she has to go to work, suggesting
she doesn’t want to, and maybe this
is the problem with Jews:
they don’t want to leave. Or they eat
lots of chicken. Or worry the black
of their skirts doesn’t match the black
of their tops. Or like children more
than babies. Or fret over their mothers.
My Jewish problem is figuring out
why America in 2016 has a dab
of 1930s German Fascism to it—
people at political rallies
yelling crap about the Jews.
If I thought it would do any good,
I’d go to Topeka or wherever
and bring Eve with her troubled wardrobe
and her love of chicken and fascination
with children between two and thirteen,
when they can talk but before
they’ve begun planning the murder
of their parents, bring her face-to-face
with the screamers and ask, So these
are the freckles you hate? I would—we have
a lot of Amex points and I’ve never been
to Topeka or wherever, and I’m sure wherever
is very nice. And whenever we travel
to wherever, whatever people say
and however they say it, Eve’s freckles
will be the same, kind of cute
and kind of Jewish,
just like all her other parts
that do and do not have freckles,
in an inventory I alone
get to take, though trust me—
after repeated inspection, I can attest
that underneath it all, she, like many
of the people you know or are,
is ticklish, wrinkly, sexy, scarred—
since Jews really are relentless
when it comes to being human.



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Iris, Seeds and John Keats

We spotted this beautiful Iris in a border today. I love the planting of the violet Iris with the orange Wallflowers behind.

It will be our Golden Wedding later this Summer and I am planting lots of pale gold flowers in the hope of having gold all over the garden. These Nasturtiums are the first to go in – to the monkey planter and somewhere else.

The following poem is well known and lovely. In this world which is having some dark moments, it is worth remembering that ‘in spite of all’ beauty and love will transcend the bad and the ugly. Hold onto that thought. With love to all my readers.

from Endymion

A Poetic Romance


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

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Another Bus, Easter Eggs and Edward Thomas

A bus passed us today and I just managed to get a photo as it sped past. I am loving these buses with Cornish dialect on them!  The buses are emblazoned with the phrase “flam-new girt lickers” which means “brand new large objects”

I have decorated our Easter tree today, on my own this year as no Grandbabies are visiting until next half term.

Edward Thomas died on this day in 1917. He enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles in 1915 and was killed by an unexploding shell on Easter Monday 1917, the first day of the Battle of Arras. His body showed no sign of external injury but his watch stopped and his pocket diary buckled by the force of the blast. Here is one of his poems for you. I love his work.


Lights Out
I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forest where all must lose
Their way, however straight,
Or winding, soon or late;
They cannot choose.
Many a road and track
That, since the dawn’s first crack,
Up to the forest brink,
Deceived the travellers,
Suddenly now blurs,
And in they sink.
Here love ends,
Despair, ambition ends;
All pleasure and all trouble,
Although most sweet or bitter,
Here ends in sleep that is sweeter
Than tasks most noble.
There is not any book
Or face of dearest look
That I would not turn from now
To go into the unknown
I must enter, and leave, alone,
I know not how.
The tall forest towers;
Its cloudy foliage lowers
Ahead, shelf above shelf;
Its silence I hear and obey
That I may lose my way
And myself.

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Window, Tulips and A Glass of Wine

I noticed a very pretty stained glass window in our lovely town for the first time today.

Our Tulip border is looking gorgeous, just one rogue red one among the pale pink and white ones. The purple ones are only just starting to bloom and the blue Muscari are finishing off. I do love Spring flowers.

It has been a glorious day today and the first where we could sit out quite late with a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. It is beginning to feel like the beginning of Summer!  Our friend, Shelagh, tell us it is snowing again in Vermont!


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Violet, Dustbin and A Card

Look carefully and you will see a little Violet in the branches of the tree, at least 8′ above the ground

Friday is dustbin day and one of our neighbours has decorated their bin so that it doesn’t get mixed up!

I called in at my favourite shop for presents and cards, Cornish Bird In The Sticks, today to find a card for nearly Littlest LIveWire who will be 4 years old next week!


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