December 2015

Christmas Spirit


This is a picture of one of the fantastic gingerbread houses Kate made for the school fair.

And here is the other

Now, How is this for a story of generosity.....

My clever daughter made these as raffle prizes at her son's school's Christmas fair to raise money for several local charities and the Christmas spirit was apparent when the winner of the cottage offered it to be auctioned there and then. Everyone had been able to have a good look at it and so there were plenty of bids.

And now another very generous act as the winner of the auction donated the house to web: www.moment-um.org - one of the fair's charities which supports children with life threatening illnesses and their families.

This charity gave the house "to a family whose 6 year old daughter had sadly died of cancer that weekend. She has a 3 year old sibling and the family were obviously concerned about making Christmas bearable for her as they hadn't been able to prepare at all in recent weeks. It's terribly sad but at least this house an bring some small happiness." Quoted from an email sent from a representative of the charity.

It is so nice to think of the generosity triggered by my daughter's gingerbread house.









Autumn 2015

From Desert Island discs, 16 October 2015

The castaway was Lemn Sissay, and I am ashamed to confess that I had never heard of him until that day

The transcripted excerpt that follows , his thoughts on poetry and his musical choice is some of the most beautiful prose.

“Poetry can serve a person just by being read out at a funeral or at a wedding or the birth of a child. Actually poetry is around people a lot more than at those times.

Poetry has a bridge between the spirit world and the physical. And that’s why it’s in The Bible, it’s in The Koran. that’s why the Buddhist faith uses it. So when you feel a desperate need for that bridge at a wedding, at a funeral, when you’re leaving work after 25years there’s always someone who says”Right - I’ve got a poem for you John”and it’s a funny poem but it’s kind of poignant.It’s a wonderful thing to see a poem read at a funeral or a wedding. And if you go round gravestones you find poems are the last thing people leave to them.

Why is that?

It’s because poetry is the bridge between the now and then, the past and the future, it’s an incredibly powerful thing and it’s around us all the time.”

Now he is describing his second disc choice - "Says" by Nils Frahm

“This will lift up the sun at sunrise

This will lower it at sunset

This will throw up the stars at midnight.”


The music starts playing while that was said


Then towards the end of the programme he says


“Poetry is the voice at the back of the mind - W H Auden said something very similar. T he idea that what you’re doing was poetry when it is effective is you are articulating with words feelings that people cannot quite grasp and name themselves"


I think I have transcribed it accurately, but I'm not totally sure of that final part.







Catch Up Summer 2015

"I am the daughter of earth and  water, And the nursling of the sky;  I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;  I change, but I cannot die."This is from The Cloud by Shelley and is quoted by Deborah Harkness in the excellent third part of her  All Souls trilogy.  And has been in my mind ever since.  And despite being not so keen at the beginning,   how glad I am that I read it to the end. In fact,  I couldn't put it down!

I am currently reading and  very much enjoying In fact not very much at all.  Enough said.   Hmm, not sure that that makes very much sense.

But I am enjoying the BBC  production  Doctor Foster, a six part weekly

I like the  main characrpter and loved her delivery of

                                    "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned

                                     Nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned." - fromWilliam Congreve's The Mourning Bride.

Knitting and crochet and all things crafty have not stopped but have taken a back seat during the past 18months since Michael's diagnosis of  prostate cancer and instead of crafting wehave enjoyed time walking in our  little bits of woodland.

Although I have managed to finish a stripy crochet blanket!

And this year we spent 8 weeks in France with lots of our family coming to stay.

And a very special week in the middle of our French holiday, on a gulet sailing round the little bays and islands off the  Turkish coast.  We had such a lovely time.  Blue sky, sun, warm sea delicious Turkish style food air conditioned cabins....all perfect. We want to go again!

This was our boat! It slept 12 plus the crew and as there were only 7 of us we had plenty of room.