Friday, September 24, 2010

What am I reading - What am I listening to.....

While looking for something entirely different I came across a small leather bound Bible that belonged to my Mother, - so finely scripted on delicate gold edged paper and inscribed 'To my dear wife, Easter 1931'.

As you can imagine it is a book I treasure, and  am concerned about the condition of the cover, which is badly worn.  It came to me that on the bookshelves beside our bed there was a small handmade cloth case to hold such a book, and so I went to find it.

I was surprised to open it and find within Muriel Spark's first novel, The Comforters, published in 1957 (the year my mother died).  I cannot remember ever having the book, or reading it - but then that is not unusual.  When Charles and I were first married he had his uniforms and the clothes he left behind when he joined the Airforce, - I had my trousseau and some other old clothes, and we had our wedding presents!

Today!!  Oh, today we have accumulated so much STUFF.  With six children and 65 years of marriage it is no wonder I come across things that are a total surprise to me, - things that I can never remember having seen before, and have no idea how they were acquired or spirited into the place where they were deposited, found comfort and settled down to stay for the duration.

I like the Muriel Spark novels I have read, and The Comforters is a small book, a paperback, easily handled in bed (not like John Fowles Wormholes) and so I tucked my Mother's bible in the cloth case and have just started The Comforters.

And what am I listening to?

I have had to take myself in hand, so to speak, regarding the socks I am knitting for Christmas presents - thirteen pair!  The summer was so desultary, - I was not in the least inspired to knit, and told myself that I could soon catch up my knitting schedule in the fall, and easily be finished by Christmas.  However, my old nemesis, procrastination, has sprung unbidden into September and I find myself sitting with idle hands in any number of places where I could be clicking the needles and getting on with the job.

I hit upon the clever (I thought) idea of multi-tasking in the evenings, and listening to an absorbing e-book while my hands unconsciously turned heels and cast off toes.  I downloaded Wallace Stegner, whose writing I am enamoured of but whose book "All the little live ones" I have somehow missed reading.

And just as soon as I am finished in the kitchen tonight I am going to put it to the test.  Unfortunately I have been known to fall asleep while listening to e-books, but I am hoping the combination of gripping the knitting needles, and finding the book gripping my imagination, will be enough to make the venture successful.

Do think of me now and then and send encouraging thoughts this way....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Last Day of Summer

Only a few more hours to go before Autumn officially arrives to set up house.

She has sent a few preliminary reminders of her intentions
to visit, but overnight we will watch the season change from
a glorious summery day to the first day of an equally glorious fall.

Singing day for Charles, and my plans for the morning
involved a lot of rather distasteful chores, like vacuuming and making order out of chaos 
in the linen closet.  No picture, - you really wouldn't want to see it!

But what is one to do on the last day of summer when it dawns clear and bright
with nary a cloud in the sky, and an early morning survey
finds the sunflowers heavy with little birds feeding,

the apples hanging ripe on the trees in the orchard,

the sky so deep and rich a blue

and a dozen or so things crying out for attention in the garden.

A perfect day for transplanting the barn flowers and the yellow daisies
into the bed where the poppy bloomed in July
before the coutch grass invasion.

I spent an hour digging out the grass, searching for every small prolific inch of it that just itches to
 re-establish itself and spring up to greet me in March, and then replaced the grass with the plants, which should have lots of time to put down roots before the serious frost arrives.

Although Charles and Sid both tell me that it is going to be a long cold winter, judging by the width of the stripe on the woolly caterpillars - this way of judging the coming season passed
on to them both from Charles' father, 
and though unique probably quite a dependable sign.

When the planting was done I went and got the camera and a cup of coffee, wandering around in the garden, tidying the iris and pulling out the little mint plants that foiled me in the spring.

The asters and sedum glow in the sunshine, and the white of a shasta that I had cut down earlier when it got unruly provides a lovely contrast.

I spent the last half hour of a wonderfully contented morning  gathering some windfalls
from the Mac tree just across the fence.  So many people love
this old variety, - it is sweet and crisp at this time of year,
a joy to bite into and marvelous for apple sauce.

As I finish this post there is just six minutes to go before summer turns to
wave her last farewell, - I imagine her going west, with the moon just coming up behind her
over the Cawston hills.

The forecast is for rain tomorrow, but today was a warm and well loved treasure.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The VIP letter today is J

J is for Jingo

And here is Hugh Laurie together with Stephen Fry and others to entertain you in a less irascible manner than he does on House, with the song Oh By JINGO

For more J's -  by Jingo, ABC Wednesday is the place to go - here.

And for more entertainment by Laurie and Fry visit some of the fun Videos posted on Youtube featuring them as JEEVES and Wooster........

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We go for a lovely drive today, taking the camera along

I am not expecting to see so many colourful signs of fall until October, but through a rain spattered windshield and the occasional bit of sunshine Charles and I drive along the Cawston Bench, and then down the back roads around by Ginty's Pond, and he is so patient about stopping and so sharp-eyed about seeing things that I miss, that we ended up snapping almost two hundred pictures.

Here are a few........ other pictures of a wild unsettled sky I have posted 

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof;  there thou may'st rest,
And tune they jully voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lust song of fruit and flowers.
William Blake, To Autumn, 1783

Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun'
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run'
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more;
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'er brimm'd their clammy cells.
John Keats, To Autumn