Wednesday 28 March 2012

Battle zone

While it may all look very tranquil here on the blog,

be not deceived,

for I am sporting

a fine assortment of plasters,

for my many and varied

 house and garden related injuries.

The gashed thumb from a dried fern.
The sliced index finger from a falling bread knife,
(expertly caught by its serrated edge).
The squashed toe from the falling  steam iron.

It's a wonder I can type at all.

Monday 26 March 2012

Deep blue yonder

When not gazing up into the barely believable blue skies,
I have had my head down in one of the scary cupboards,
sorting out old sheet music.
This one gets its moment in the sun today
just because it coordinates.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Star on Sunday

When you are the last of four children
the photographers have rather drifted away
from their duties as family chroniclers.
So even as the only boy, 
you have to get used to playing a supporting role.

This you have done admirably.
Happy birthday J.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Sun arises

One hour later tomorrow morning.

Friday 23 March 2012

Daylight robbery

A misty dawn,

 over the rookery.

 The rooks resume construction

of their nests.

One of them is considerably more impressive than the others,

because one of them is a robber rook
who steals the choicest twigs
from his hard working neighbours.
As their nests diminish,
so his grows.
It has at least three storeys now.
I believe he is waiting for them to
install their new feather bed.
Then his dream home
will be complete.

See here for similar nefarious doings:

Monday 19 March 2012

Caught by the light too*

The silhouette.
It's the only way to go now.
See here.

The passport photo

As another birthday fast approaches
so too does the ten year passport renewal.

They wouldn't let me wear a jaunty hat,
present my good side,
or prop my double chin 
on a diverting yellow-gloved hand.

Bananas it is then.

United Fruit Company advertisement
from Reader's Digest April 1954.

Saturday 17 March 2012


Watery it may seem, but this is saltmarsh.

A hose pipe ban comes into force on April 5th
after two unusually dry winters have left reservoirs,
aquifers and rivers below normal levels here in the south east.
It rained on us a little today while we collected our son 
for the Easter break, but not nearly enough.
It's a controversial subject, well covered here.

The Telegraph March 13th

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Errands and oranges

It was a bitty day full of short bursts of activity
starting with an hour of Pilates
and finishing with yet another pair of broken glasses.

It took three trips to find a locksmith who could
cut new keys for me.
There was a very retro visit to a bank to pay in cheques,
to a real person behind a window.
I dodged into the dry cleaners twice,
took old medicines to the pharmacist to dispose of,
posted a cheque to the window cleaners,
because I keep missing them on account of being out on errands,
organised a headboard for the new bed,
tried to locate the owner of a membership card
 found on the pavement and looking rather vital,
made enquiries of a specialist for someone whose son
has just been diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy in New York,
rang the shop that sells my candle cups;
she wants some more for Mothering Sunday,
found my usual good source of vintage cups, closed,
made unsuccessful forays into several charity shops 
which aren't a patch on the thrift shops in the States
if blogs are to be believed,
but found three of these, which might do,

reverse parked badly into four parking spaces,
(as rare as hen's teeth where I live,
so you can't pass one up,
 even if it is a cruel and risky challenge),
and then discovered after I had left one 
 that I was going to have to return
to the selfsame spot because my glasses fell apart
just as I arrived home.
On the plus side, I passed a display of these:

the mankiest looking Jamaican oranges
and recognised them for what they are -
pure gold.

Now I must address the urgent questions posed 
in a 23 point document that has just pinged in.
I think it might have to wait.
My spare glasses really aren't up to it.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Monday 12 March 2012

A new favourite walk?

I think this nature reserve must have everything on my tick list
for a good walk.
There are 267 hectares of ancient woodland, heathland, meadows, 
glens, waterfalls, babbling streams, cliffs and coastline
in Hastings Country Park.

We started at the bottom by the net drying sheds at
Rock a Nore and climbed,
(because the East Hill funicular railway was not open)

and climbed, 

for our reward

and then descended steeply into dripping, ferny glens
where the ramsons and bluebells will flower

in a few weeks' time.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

If I should live to be

this age, without mishap,
 I may have had to upgrade my regimen,
in order to achieve this
quite remarkable degree of strength and flexibility.

Meanwhile perhaps I can improve my mental elasticity
by learning to recite this poem.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

The long and winding road

I don't know if this is a Ford,
but as we drove behind it,

I was put in mind of
Henry Ford's oft quoted assertion that,

'Any customer can have a car painted any colour
that he wants so long as it is black.'

And here's something else he said, less often quoted,

'I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was twenty six.
Religion offered nothing to the point.
even work could not give me complete satisfaction.
Work is futile if we cannot utilise the experience 
we collect in one life in the next.
When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had
found a universal plan I realised that there was 
a chance to work out my ideas.
Time was no longer limited.
I was no longer a slave to the hands of a clock.
Genius is experience. 
Some people seem to think that it is a gift or a talent,
but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives.
Some are older souls than others, and so they know more.
The discovery of reincarnation put my mind at ease.
I would like to communicate to others
the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.' 

Monday 5 March 2012


The evening sun is reaching in
through new windows.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Shopping with Father

The ironmonger was my father's domain.
He was perpetually engaged in DIY projects
involving vast sheets of hardboard to cover up 
all those pesky Victorian panelled doors
and polystyrene tiles to insulate our frigid bathroom.

I liked going there chiefly because Mr Glickman
kept a box of Maltesers under the counter
and when the last brown paper bag of nails
had been spun by its corners
he would slide the red box across to me.
One was taken. Never more.