Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Lady with Tissue.  A courtesan or Geisha Girl in other words, no need for further explanation.  Here you can see the patient hours of work restoring a scroll.  For a start they do not have a permanent place on the wall, but are displayed over time.  During the time not on display they will be rolled and kept in a special box.  Every part of the materials come from specialist makers.  In Japan craft people are treasured for their particular skills.  It is called Preservers of  Important Intangible Cultural Properties.  Somewhere on this blog I have photos of some, they are like museum items on display it is strange.
There are actual tissues that have to be removed from either side of the scroll, this is done with water, and new tissues attached by the same method.  At the back of the scroll you will see tiny strips of paper holding the creases, each and everyone is removed and new ones replaced.  This is not a small job.  I have also written somewhere about the ten year glue, which is made over that period of time, and when the glue that you stir so religiously each year is made, it is then that you have moved from an apprenticeship to full time conservator.  see links below.
There was so much I admired in Paul's  neat nature but it all came from this attention to detail and working for long periods of time on old scrolls.  My untidiness was a great weight for him to bear ;) but love always won through.

the finished madam

still to be corrected, see the terrible creases.

removing the strips

And of course a specially tied neat scroll to go into its box from Japan

Making Aged Paste link  and another one

Tissue thin paintings link

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday 30th March

Cat Tales

I have been busy cooking, and answering messages on my phone, which seems to have gone AWOL over the weekend.  It is nice to know people are thinking about you.  My daughter has decided to clean all her kitchen cupboards, whilst my ex sister-in-law in Switzerland is rejoicing in the fact that the whole world has now joined her in self-isolation.  She has been ill for years and of course suffers with immune deficiency.  Marc, her son, runs a Sushi firm, which started from nothing and now makes a tidy sum. He has had some adventures over the years, starting with the Lausanne Festivals where he sold food, to a terrible accident in which he broke so many bones, to now looking after his family and getting their food in this time of crisis.  My daughter said he is taking on the role of his grandfather, Conrad, and there is something very pleasing in that.

I do not like Sushi, Paul loved it but it was difficult to get in Pickering.  I remember with one of his clients we went to a top sushi restaurant in London, and I obediently ate some raw fish, it wasn't bad but goes against the grain of my nature.  Cultures are different of course, I would have loved with Paul to have gone round the Swiss factory.  The funny thing is Switzerland is landlocked and the only fish you see are the ones in fish tanks outside restaurants. Karen's grandpa wrote a poem about fillet de perche/fish and chips which always makes me laugh.

Lucy got into the Japanese cupboard and found a Xmas cracker, which she chewed up, luckily it did not go bang, but there were marbles in it, which reminded me of school games out in the playground.  I always liked 'Jacks' tossing them in the air and then catching them on the back of your hand.  Looking it up and they were called 'knucklebones', from a sheep's bones.  It seems so strange now, children spend time with handheld game machines, whilst people of my age, spent hours throwing a ball against the wall in weird and wonderful games, skipping and chanting, and marbles and jacks. I suspect today's children will grow up more quick brained than us!

Old blog

Sunday, March 29, 2020


I was going to write in my usual foolish way about eggs.  My two bantams are well into spring laying and I often find myself wondering what to make with them.  Today 'eggy bread' and it brought back the memory of the breakfast at the inn in Solva.  Eggy bread with fried bacon and a small pot of honey.  It was delicious.  Then I thought I will go and find the photos for Solva, stopping on the way at Middle Mill for the looms for Joanne to see.  These are old photos and they have much improved over the years, but it is where a fascination with looms first set up in my heart.   Solva Woollen Mill

I have two external hard drives and as I thumbed through the latest, tears of course, I came across Paul's photos which had been put on the drive.  There amongst the folders I found a whole sequence of work he had done on a client's scroll, which I had patiently photographed for him. Maybe next week I shall gather some of the photographs together but for now the sadness creeps in.  He was totally bored with his work towards the end and was pleased to retire from it.
There was one funny story to be told from this era though.  One day two men arrived in a taxi from London,  Cockney from head to toe.  Paul looked at them horrified, 'theyr'e flippin gangsters' he told me.  They had brought a huge screen in a dilapidated condition, and he wasn't going to do it but was unnerved as to how to say it.  Luckily they took it with humour.  Funnily enough the screen relates to eggs because it had a rather nice cockerel featured!

Heard this this morning, very cheerful ;)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday 27th March

Today I went to the Co-op, I need not shop for another 3 weeks probably, though milk will become an issue. The floor in the Co-op was marked out in 6 foot spaces, there were notices of only two items on any purchase.  The floors and the shelves were being cleaned,  fairly easy as there was not much on them.  Sense and sensibility prevails thank goodness.  A pet shop couple lives in the next village and he will deliver in the district, there is a milkman as well.  So alone in solitary splendour I will watch the world go by and hope that this turmoil for people will come to an end.  I feel very sorry for America now going through a crisis of such magnitude, with a leader who should at least have his mouth washed out with soap!  But, and it is an important but, there are millions of sensible people in America who will take the reins of power and do sensible things.
Have you noticed the disappearance of B***** when one calamity exceeds another?  Corbyn left government yesterday, did not watch the final act but The Independent wrote a beautifully worded article on it... 'Farewell Jeremy Corbyn, it's your country now.'

"Corbyn may never have entered government, but the government is nonetheless still investigating innovative digital ways in which it might fine us if we leave our houses without permission, turning a once conspicuously consuming society into a digital panopticon. Not even in his most dystopian fantasies did George Orwell ever dare to dream so big.
Of course, the churlish among you may cling to the notion that all this has in fact been achieved not through Corbyn’s very long years of very well-paid and entirely ineffective public service, but by a bat who bit a pangolin then crapped on the floor of a Chinese market."
And if you want to know what panopticon means, which I did, it was devised by Jeremy Bentham in the 19th century.

The panopticon is a disciplinary concept brought to life in the form of a central observation tower placed within a circle of prison cells. From the tower, a guard can see every cell and inmate but the inmates can't see into the tower. Prisoners will never know whether or not they are being watched.

Food for thought, and did not Pat say something about 1984, a book I have never read because I don't like scary books, childish maybe.  At the moment we need strong forces but when it is all over we need to go back to a liberal society, and laws that allow freedom of expression.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday's nonsense

Is it not extraordinary my daughter said that the conservative party has turned socialist.  I will leave you to think that one out. But they are funding many people through this crisis, and those needed the most the workers.  Then we have the gallant NHS nurses and doctors taking risks to nurse those most ill.  The message is loud and clear - self isolate, do not put unnecessary strain on the system.
Here in the village it is quiet, took Lucy to the land where we planted the trees on Sunday.  It is about an acre following the line of the river on one side and the road on the other.  Butterbur, that strange flowering plant trails along the path and is host to plenty of honey bees, even saw a butterfly on one of the flowers, red admiral I think.  The willow branches with emerging catkins sprayed across the path and caught my hair, reminding me of Tolkien's poem - Old Man Willow.
There are yellow brimstones in the garden, a good sign that the year has at lasted started under way.
As for my family, long phone conversations and they seem to be coping, my son works hard from home, whilst my daughter and three grandchildren self isolate with Teddy the dog, who has occasional bouts of sickness and diarrhoea, due to old age.  The girls keep to their bedrooms working on school tasks.

My daughter told of one incident in Lidl when she shopped. Having to pay, she stood in line of correctly spaced out customers.  The woman in front had an overloaded trolley, which was being sorted at the till and some things taken out, it will be a good thing when some form of rationing can be applied.  An old man pushed ahead in front of my daughter, she then felt  guilty to the people behind for not saying anything, he then dropped all his money on the floor.  Now whether to help him, and maybe put him at risk flashed through her mind, luckily the assistant came round and picked it up for him.  These are the small incidents that occur, the dilemmas people face.

There is gloom and there is hope, the ruins of Rievaulx are testament to that. Even as they crumble they are beautiful, reminding us of great craftmanship and hope.  Even today firms are turning round and making the equipment needed  to combat the illness. And so even Ozimandias might have got it wrong!

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wednesday 25th March

Taking a leaf out of John's (Going gently) video approach, I wandered down the side path videoing  the church.  Well the picture might be uninteresting but the birds definitely added their chorus. Lucy as well, all that banging in the background is her trying to get between the side of the oil tank and the fence which is narrow.  She has to climb over the recycling boxes in this rather pointless exercise of hers, and been warned that if she can't get out, I am not calling a fire engine, she will just have to slim down in there.
Green Eyes came down on the lawn and played yesterday, often I will look up from the kitchen sink and see her watching me over the wall.  She demands feeding three times a day.
Is it time to worry, or live in the moment, the latter I think.

Other news events, the clever old jackdaws are flying up onto the bird feeder, knocking them sideways and scattering the seed below.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Relax and enjoy

Today, once more I have been lost in memory.  It started with Anna Dillon's painting of the downs, both in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, she came to a megalithic meeting at the Red Lion in Avebury and Paul and I met her.  It reminded me of all the churches Paul and I visited around Avebury.  Then of course another memory flashed by, this time Robin (1904-1988) and Heather Tanner, they worked and lived round that part of Wiltshire at Kington Langley.
Watch the half hour video of this lovely couple above, and his exquisitely engraved prints capturing the old English countryside long lost and perhaps more importantly the wild flowers.  They, always inseparable, collaborated on a book which you will see towards the end.
Deborah Harvey, a poet from Bristol, you will see her name on the side bar, wrote about an outing to their Arts and Craft house, Old Chapel Field in Kington Langley in a blog here.

It is coffee time, join me if you will. 

The Hovel

Old Chapel Field House

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday 23rd march

There is something rather sad that as spring arrives, so we must be confined to house.  Today, early morning a white world of ice, the car windows thickly encrusted with ice.  A couple of fire engines have just gone past noisily, early morning fire, or more shocking a car accident.
People have not been social distancing over the weekend, but strayed out to the coasts and forests to enjoy the weather.  They may well regret it, NHS staff are pleading with us to stay put and so we should.
Half a dozen of us also worked together yesterday to plant the trees on the large piece of wasteland that skirts the river.  Brought our own tools, dug holes, fixed stakes and ties.  And so.......

On F/B the BBC has been putting out funny little stories of animals in an effort to cheer us up I presume, the one thing you learn about wild animals confined in zoos is their ability to be affectionate.

I forgot to praise Rod on Saturday who after mowing the lawn also took all the large branches from the dead bush I had cut down.  It was a privet I think and the scouring wind that blew down both paths by the side of the house, plus the rain of course, must have killed it.  He also offered to bring his drill to mend our gate.  These gates have always been a total disaster but I put up with them.

Gardening brought out the pleasures of spring as I cut down dead stems, the plants coming to life underneath, small leaves unfurling, a rosemary in flower and a bright yellow bush of what I think might be some kind of forsythia. A childhood favourite is flowering redcurrant, something I loved as a child, its cats pee smell so strong but now I can hardly smell it.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Lighting Candles

A video of Colette and Jack the dog in Ireland, it captures how the natural world looks at this time and the bird song will gently flow through your head.  Do I believe in the Great Mother Earth, Gaia, call her what you will.  The answer must be if you have to have a belief this is as good as anything. Colette has many videos online, her voice is soothing as she muses through her life.

I see our 'all boomers must die' advocate has spoken again, copy and paste is for those who can't form words in their own heads and today he/she is dismissed for lack of originality.

Big surprise this morning a wood pecker was hanging from the peanut holder, I had heard him yesterday evening tapping away.  The birds are so busy, crows, rooks and jackdaws flying around with twigs busily nest building.

We are in a state of flux, not just you and me, but the whole caboodle of the world and last night I worried about my son. Type 1 diabetic, he is healthy, slim and eats properly but did I ever think that there would not be enough food for him, or even insulin, though I do believe insulin has been stockpiled.

Maps: They give great pleasure as you trace the contours of the land, the rivers meandering down to the sea.  Though not so far from here we have the River Derwent which flows inwards.  There is a village you pass through to go to Malton, it is called Great Barugh, pronounced would you believe it Great Bath.  It sits on top of a  hill and there is a Little Barugh as well, there is a Roman camp site situated somewhere in the fields.  I suspect it would have been the midway halt camp between Malton and Cawthorne Camps.

The name "Barugh" means 'rise of the land' which has its origins in Anglo-Saxon. The name was first recorded as Berg and Berch in 1086 and comes from Old English beorg 'hill.

You can see the River Dove (dark river) which I visited at Farndale, joining our river Seven.
Another intriguingly named river is the Riccal, here instead of A/S naming we have the Norman name establishing ownership.

"The name originates in the fourteenth century as Ricolvegraines means Rye Calf, where Calf is a small island near a larger one. This describes the way the river, and those nearby, form islands as their nature changes due to meandering.

And to trace its history further,

Cowhouse Beck and Bonfield Gill meet at the end of Lund Ridge at Coning's Birks in Hag Wood to form the Riccal. The river meanders south and south-east through woodland, passing the villages of Carlton and Pockley. It emerges into open countryside to the east of Helmsley and passes under the A170 and continues south towards Harome. Here it turns east south-east to join the River Rye at High Waterholmes in Ryedale just a half mile from the confluence of the River Rye and River Dove.

Such names seem far away from the computer jargon I meet on this machine as I type.  This other world was wedded to farming in the past, in the low lying  Vale of Pickering, where Carr, another word you will meet round here, means a place of bog or scrub, this is the place where the rivers off the moors drain their waters.

Lighting candles which I do most Sundays.  For it is what Paul did, and burning incense.  He would also strike the little bowl in the library room three times as well.  So keep strong everyone and take care.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday 21st March

Not sure if this would stop the aggressive action at the supermarkets in England that are going on, but there are ways of addressing problems.  The world has somersaulted into a dire catastrophe in a matter of days, social spaces are closed, the old confined to their homes, children not going to school, and a large part of the workforce staying at home. I suppose the answer is 'stay calm' and if you have the reading capacity these papers from Sage will do.

But to beauty, and surely nothing but creativity is caught up in this tapestry made by Nadia Mohamed of the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre .  There is a whole series of photos on F/B of the work as it unfolded

Whilst feeding the animals in the garden, a patch of blue in the lawn revealed itself as violets, a heart stopping moment, that this old piece of turf still retained in its soil the past wild plants.

YP has challenged me to go a particular walk in my area, over supposedly free public footpaths.  Yes on the ordinance survey map they appear, but the farmers have quietly shut them down, in some case with barbed wire or locked gates.  One such public footpath starts (I'm an expert;) across the road and goes past a large old house.  Unfortunately they removed the old p/f sign there and when challenged by us locals, she broke down about how she did not want people wandering by her house.  Keith our local hero organises clearing branches/brambles etc parties of the local paths, and this one was done, and the local ramblers also came and walked the path. Our freedoms do get restricted by petty nimbyism and need to be challenged.  Keith this weekend has organised a tree planting on the ground over the bridge, and has managed to get several trees rather than the single tree the council was giving out free ;)

Heart warming was an email from my friend yesterday, who said would I like her to come and sort out Paul's Japanese garden border at the side of the house. He carefully pinned labels on to the wall of plant names, and at one end a Japanese Bodhisattva the other a Japanese lantern

What else, well in my magpie corner of photos, a photograph  from Brigit Strawbridge Howard ( she was once married to that King of Restoration of Old Chateaus, Dick Strawbridge, in France who is DIYing  himself to fame along with his new wife).
Actually much prefer Brigit, who has written a book on bees - Dancing With Bees, and put this on yesterday, as a welcome to the Vernal Spring, and guess where it comes from? A Ladybird book on the arrival of spring............

Ladybird book 'What to look out for in Spring'. Charles F. Tunnicliffe (1901-1979)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Yesterday's news

Brunhilde Stupinger - Austrian painter
How did the day go?  Well it was sunny, hardly any wind, and some shopping done.  Walked Lucy down Salton Lane, met the new pup that has moved into the cottage across the road.  Did not go over as he was being carried, not allowed on the ground at the moment.  An excited little dog came galloping out of the house on the corner with one furious owner in hot pursuit swearing away.  Dog luckily negotiated a car coming down the lane and rushed back home.

Rod, the gardener who mows the lawns round here, spent a long time chatting over the wall.  He is stunned by all that is happening, a load of bills just paid and he is not sure what work he will have in the future.  His family holiday this weekend in Wales has been cancelled.  He will mow the lawn tomorrow and take away the dead branches of the bush I have been chopping down.

Whilst out shopping minus mobile phone, my daughter had been phoning, four times, think she was worried as to where I had got to, so we had a long conversation, she is happy to have her children home, though Ben will have to go back to his job in London next week, unless it closes.

Good things;  Cowslips have appeared in the garden, along with lungwort and the 'tete et tete' little daffodil and the village is awash with different kinds of daffodils.  The barn owl flew overhead whilst out walking and a bumblebee danced round as I talked to Rod.  Little 'Green Eyes' sat on the church wall sunning herself, and the big black cat sauntered by, she gave him an affectionate greeting.

There is a nagging suspicion behind my mind that there is something they are not telling us, but it is best to hunker down, and perhaps skewer a troll or two ;)

I forgot, Spring has sprung and it is another beautiful day.  Paul Nash's Landscape of the Vernal Equinox seems appropriate, as we enter a new dark age.  And, if you can get on to Vimeo - a timelapse

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday 19th March

Gird up your loins!

It is 8 o clock, just come back from an early weekly shop in the Co-Op, vegetables and fruit there are plenty of.  But shelves are starting to empty on other stuff.  But not too worry there is still food in the warehouses.  I was more worried that I did not have any carrots, and dog food.
The village has now been made aware of what there is available, Harriet at the pub will run a takeaway service, of either hot or cold food.  I think this pulling together will happen in most of the country. An email from our parish council, or Joe ;)

"As we all know, the current Coronavirus is having a tremendous impact on all parts of our society. We are all aware of the current restrictions and the potential of further recommendations from Government as we face a very difficult situation over the coming months. I just wanted to say that it is so important that we continue to look after each other during this difficult time. It is therefore important if anyone within our community requires help that we can organise to support them. This includes; 1. Collection of medicines 2. Collection of groceries 3. Any other support needs. I am sure that many of us within the community would be prepared to help and so I will circulate a list of volunteers over the next 48 hours. If you need help or can offer support, please contact me."

The world turned upside down by something so minute we can't see it, talk of closing down London may be the next thing on the list, circumstances are changing all the time.  My neighbour over the road, talking to him yesterday, about his wife who has been suffering from cancer for a long time.  He doesn't know whether to take her to hospital or not for the next round of chemotherapy.  These are the problems people face. 

There is the bad news and the good news, the other day I said listen to the three wise men, those who watch the 5.0. clock pronouncements from our illustrious leader and scientific advisers.  Well that was slightly tongue in cheek, it did occur to me that we should have different shades of words to describe what we are saying, our sarcastic/ironic tones are often difficult to express by the written word.  But Johnson is the only front line spokesman at the moment and we have to heed them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Snippet 2

Pay your taxes, let cash flow through society.  That is what I picked up this morning as I pottered through the news.  The first thing I saw was a so-called funny,  Germans do not believe in charity they pay their taxes.  Forget the likes of Branson bawling for more money, he has already fleeced the NHS, demand he pays the proper tax rate.

Old people, except the very poor, can survive this dramatic turn of events, it is those on low wages, no contracts who will have the greatest worry.  It is the tourist industry that will be hit, the service industry, all those restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums, we won't attend.  Spare a thought, spare a dime.

Take care of your family, turn outward, not inward, from a virus that is all mouth at the moment, listen to the three wise men as they pronounce daily, but always question what is happening.


Hilary Mantel - The Mirror and the Light, episodes on Sound each day.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Salton Church

Things that interest me but not others.  I live but two miles from the small hamlet of Salton, with its interesting church, photos you will find here. Apparently in the 12th century the Scots tried to burn down the church it had a thatched roof, and according to what I have read, it happened twice. Again at a later date.   We forget the bloody history of wars that Britain went through, mostly of course because of the tribal nature of its inhabitants.  That at one stage of its history before the Norman invasion, there was a series of smaller kingdoms such as Elmet, Deira and Bernicia, and the midlands were called Mercia.

Battle after battle for supremacy of course and Yorkshire being near the Scottish tribes was the first to feel the brunt of the raids from the North.  Can you imagine the small bands of Scottish men that came on raiding escapades over the moors.  The poor farmers and their families up on the moors slaughtered by hungry savage men for the food and cattle.  then of course the armies, quickly assembled by the Yorkshire barons to fight the insurgents off.  Kings battling for power, all added to the plight of the ordinary person in service to his lord.  Well we live through a relatively calm time now but history documents a different tale.

Stephen’s reign was known as the Nineteen Long Winters. During this period the Scots, under King David I, twice invaded England. On the first occasion, in 1136, the Scots were bought off, but they left behind a garrison at Malton, where Eustace FitzJohn was left in charge. The most serious incursion was in 1138, when the Scots, aided by some English? traitors, advanced through Northumberland and Durham and arrived in the North Riding. King Stephen was otherwise occupied, and the Yorkshire barons were left to their own devices. They gathered in York, where the redoubtable Archbishop Thurston took the lead. He ordered his priests to muster the men of each parish and to lead them against the invaders. Thurston himself, although old and infirm, was with difficulty dissuaded from acting as a general. The army which marched to meet the Scots near Northallerton included many of the famous Yorkshire barons—the Mowbrays, the de Lacys and the Percys. Battle was joined in a field three miles north of Northallerton, on 22 August 1138, and after two hours of fierce fighting the Scots were routed. Thurston’s suffragan, the Bishop of Orkney, said Mass for the French-Norman and English soldiers in front of a ship’s mast fastened to a ‘mighty huge chariot supported with wheels’. On top of the mast was a pyx—a silver box, containing the wafer bread of the Mass, ‘that Christ Himself might be their leader in the fight’. On cross­pieces below the pyx were fixed the sacred banners of St Peter of York, St Cuthbert of Durham, St Wilfred of Ripon and St John of Beverley. The battle thus became known as the Battle of the Standard.


On yet another occasion the Scots paid a visit to Salton. From 1318 to 1322, during the reign of Edward II, Scottish armies made havoc in the north of England. They laid Ryedale waste, they burned Scarborough, Northallerton, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge; at Myton on the Swale they massacred an army of monks, canons, serving-men and farm labourers which William Melton, Archbishop of York, had collected. It was at some time during these four unquiet years that they came to Salton. They must have done much damage in the village, for, in the reign of Edward III, the Prebendary of Salton asked the king to reduce the value of the assessment of his Yorkshire estate because it had been much wasted by the Scots. This request was granted by the king, and Archbishop Zouche, Lord Treasurer of England, granted a certificate to the Prebendary of Salton reducing the valuation of his estate at Salton from £41 to £21.


The first one for your delectation;) Writing has become so vindicative of late but I think it wants to appeal to a younger audience who like the vibrancy of hate.  Not saying by the way that I agree/disagree, only that I picked it up on my travels.

Inspector Montalbano, some of us in blog land are enjoying.  A lighthearted, one could almost say frivolous look at an Italian crime series.  Old now, but the sun, blue skies and the mythical town of Vigata in soft mellowed honey stone adds to its charm.  Always an attractive female in each story to lure our inspector away from faithfulness to his long term partner Livia, but she has decided to work a plane ride away from him so perhaps she must take the consequences.

What else, someone mentioned 'Remains of Elmet' a book of poetry by Ted Hughes with lovely dark and grainy photographs by Fay Godwin.  So I found it, Hughes believes that the country of Elmet centred itself around the Calder valley to quote him from his notes........

Well read.
 "Elmet was the last independent Celtic kingdom in  England and originally stretched out over the vale of York.  I imagine it shrank back into the gorge of the upper Calder under historic pressures, before the Celtic survivors were politically absorbed into England.  But even into the 17th century this narrow cleft and its side ginnels, under the glaciated moors, were still a 'badlands' a sanctuary for refugees from the law."

Whenever one picks up a book, the mind becomes lost in the words, like the book, and even perhaps the dark Welsh poet R.S.Thomas, Hughes is full of gloom and darkness.  If I had time I would type out a thousand poems, one like Haworth Parsonage on the three weird sisters or the Bronte sisters as we know them but there are other things to do.
Namaste ;)

I cleaned the small silver it had grown black

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Marie Lucas-Robiquet, French 1858-1959

Got up this morning rather late, 6.15. and as I put the kettle on a barn owl flew through the garden, a sign of hope I think.  'Green Eyes' the kitten popped her head above the church wall, she normally appears about 8.0.  I think her routine is being upset by her mother and a big black cat that has suddenly appeared, they come and eat her food.  My friend says that Jo's kittens are being scared by the people over the road.  Jo is away and has a house sitter for all her animals but should be back soon.

When she stood on the front doorstep, we both held out arms at a metre length laughing, how the world is changing.  I shall go with 'Namaste' a respectful sign of welcome it is not particularly Buddhist but drapes itself round the words me/bow/you.  We have decided to keep an eye out for each other, though she has done this for me since Paul died.

We chattered yesterday afternoon, 'I' and me, about trees, the council has at last replied (several weeks) about the planting of one tree, but there is hope we will be able to plant more in various corners.  Trees are getting a rough ride in this, builders cut them down, or worse, net them so that the birds  can't get to them.  The council in Sheffield, contracted the cutting down of trees in the city well over a year ago, but 'people power' stepped out to save them and now an agreement has been reached to protect and plant more trees. 

So I get my smaller rigid heddle loom out, and then precede to put the warp on the wrong roller, what do I do? cut it off.  Lucy has also got two balls of wool and turned them into a great tangled mess, she just loves being naughty. 

Photos; How they grow, if I live to see a few more years, I will probably turn into a great grandmother, a privilege for which I am grateful.

Matilda and Lillie. Almost grown up, such sweet faces, you would never believe the bickering that goes on between them

A photo taken years ago at The Red Lion, Avebury. We had megalithic meetings there.  Still keep in touch with most of them on F/B

A view of Whitby down the 99 steps

They grow too quickly

Friday, March 13, 2020

Culling photos

A quiet morning, the strong winds of yesterday have disappeared.  A couple of sentences on the present crisis.   And this next is written with tongue in cheek!  On reflection I don't want to be 'culled' quite happy to go quietly.  Decided this morning that if I can't get out of the bath, my one favourite treat a hot bath, than I will depart peacefully.

These are some paintings I would like on my wall, a palette of soft greens and greys the first one. The bottom two are by Danish artists, taken from female artists in history, probably 19th century. I have never had any luck with hollyhocks, though you will find them outside a Wiltshire cottage growing in hardly any soil, being delightfully exuberant in their growth.

I quite like the word 'culled' so what else took my fancy, well it was the funny cartoons this time.  My photos are taking the cut to make space on a rapidly filling laptop.


Picked up this essay this morning, and may I say it does not make happy reading for either American or British people, think it was Tom Degan who highlighted it.  Found his blog - The Rant too uptight for me but perhaps I shall reinstate him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


"Let's all agree to hunker down at home as much as possible, wash our hands religiously, avoid crowded spaces, stop hoarding medical equipment, and ask that our government be proactive with testing and truthful and transparent about the numbers. And let's do all of the above without calling any of it "panic." At this point, it's not panic, but practicality."

I would not actually refer to what is happening but a disturbing account by an Italian doctor of what it is actually like in an Italian hospital taken over by this virus made me think.  The truth of the matter is they don't have the necessary equipment to treat all the people coming into hospital, it turns into chaos and overworked and tired brave doctors and nurses cannot keep up with the demand.  If the same should happen here, our hospitals won't cope either.
So lets pray we all act sensibly and stop flitting around demanding our rights and foolishly stocking up on loo paper.

Me I shall buy enough food for my little animal community, and still shop at the Co-op on a weekly basis who are all taking it quite sanguinely.

Spring flowers are coming up as they should, storms come and go.  Also strangely enough there are a lot of spiders coming out of the woodwork, at least a two inch one gave me a scare in the loo this morning.  Also been watching one of those TED lectures on longevity, not that I want to live for a long time.  But apparently there is a 'Blue Zone longevity' one in Sardinia, another in the Japanese island of Okinawa.  It seems a mostly plant based diet and moving around naturally, also being social - not difficult at all!

Do love those little gold laced primroses.