Wednesday 31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out the slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place of blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

From In Memoriam AHH, Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Cold and clear

It was a world of air like daggers, freezing the heart on that high hillside.

Christmas reviewed

The shopping

The cooks  

The baubles

The flu

Monday 29 December 2008

Farewell Rogers

Rogers November 1995 - December 23rd 2008

Saturday 20 December 2008

Waiting for British Gas...

Coal scuttles at dawn.
And one very happy cat.

Thursday 18 December 2008

Silly blogger

Today there would have been some lovely pictures of the early morning park and our end of term full English breakfast in the cafe,
but I forgot to put the memory card back in the camera.

We'll just have to have a re-run.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Tuesday 16 December 2008


I nearly didn't notice these properly until it was too late -
the extraordinarily detailed illustrations on the door inside my mother's old freezer,
which finally froze its last fish finger.

It had obviously had aspirations to greater culinary heights.

Gammons, bacon, sausages, spare ribs, loin chops, pig's trotters?


Lobster Thermidor?

Pheasant pate?

Home grown vegetable glut?

Jugged hare?

Coq au vin?

Roast venison and home made bread?

Fruit cocktail?


Charlotte Russe?

Monday 15 December 2008

Making merry with mince pies and minestrone

on a Monday

Poole Twintone cups waiting for Glogg

Emily...................................... Maddy

Maddy's peg angel

Avis, just back from Japan

Peg angel and Christmas pixie.

Sunday 14 December 2008

The December pantry

Along the broad shelves round the walls were pots of jam, blackberry and apple, from the woods and orchard, Victoria plum from the trees on house and barn, black currant from the garden, and red currant jelly, damson cheese from the half wild ancient trees which grew everywhere, leaning over walls, dropping their blue fruit on paths and walls, in pigsty and orchard, in field and water trough, so that Susan thought they were wild as hips and haws. Pickles and spices filled old brown pots decorated with crosses and flowers, like the pitchers and crocks of Will Shakespeare's time.

Friday 12 December 2008

The Country Child's December

The fields lay with their unevennesses gone and paths obliterated, smooth white slopes
criss-crossed by black lines running up to the woods.
More than ever the woods seemed under a spell, like a toy in the forest,
with little wooden animals and men;
a brown horse led by a stiff little red-scarfed man to a yellow stable door;
round, white,woolly sheep clustering around a blue trough of orange mangolds;
red cows drinking from a square, white trough, and returning to a painted cow-house.

Thursday 11 December 2008


The curtain track fell off the big bay window today.
I thought I'd be able to pop it back up again but I was wrong.