Sunday, 16 February 2020

Universal Truth






 Apple Blossom time


Dear Reader,

Wondering what to watch after supper this week we ran out of DVDs so tried to find a good film on Netflix.  We saw that the  'Pianist' was a possibility and put it on.  But although the story is obviously admirable about a Jewish pianist living in Warsaw during the last war, unfortunately I couldn't watch it as it was too violent, the scenes of Gestapo brutality were revolting.  At least they were for me.  So we turned it off. We looked for something else and I saw a film called 'Anne, with an e', which seems to be the story of Anne of Green Gables.  And it is glorious.  I remember reading the book in my teens and these sixty years later I still find myself moved by it, and love every minute.  Do give it a try if you haven't seen it.


*
D.H. Lawrence, 1916 in Cornwall.
'Here the winds are so black and terrible.  They rush with such force that the house shudders, though the old walls are very solid and thick.  Only occasionally the gulls rise very slowly into the air.  And all the while the wind rushes and thuds and booms, and all the while the sea is hoarse and heavy.  It is strange, one forgets the rest of life. It shuts one in within its massive violent world.   Sometimes a wave bursts with a great explosion against one of the outlying rocks, and there is a tremendous ghost standing on the sea, a great tall whiteness.'

*



Universal Truth

Everyone knows
that Philip Larkin wrote:

'They fuck you up
your mum and dad,
they may not mean to,
but they do'.

And what Philip Larkin knew
I know to be true.

*

With very best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 9 February 2020

In Her Spare Room


                                                                                        Speckeldy Hen






                                                                                  The Wind in the Willows


Dear reader,


While staying on holiday years ago, in a rented house in Norfolk,  I wrote this poem.


In Her Spare Room

I see these books,
draw in a breath,
as cherished memories
race into my head.

These are:

Akenfield
Portraits of an English Village
Swallows and Amazons
The Speckledy Hen
The Little Flowers of St. Francis
My Friend Flicka
The Wind in the Willows
Tales of Old Inns


The owner of this house
is unknown to me,
but her collection
of treasured books
tells me a little of her,
what makes her who she is,
what makes me who I am.


*



The plight or the flight of the bumblebee is in the news this week.  They are suffering mass extinction due to rising temperatures.  It is feared that some bumblebees could vanish in the next few decades - Britain has already lost two species and the great yellow bumblebee can now only be found in Scotland.  There are fewer bumblebee species in areas that have got warmer, with the greatest declines in areas which exceeded the insects' temperature limits.

Bumblebees are vulnerable to climate change because high temperatures can cause heat exhaustion or reduce the supply of flowers which they need for nectar.  Their numbers are also falling because of intensive farming which leads to habitat loss, toxic pesticides and killer parasites.  Bumblebees play a key role in pollinating crops, meaning their declining numbers could heavily impact the British food  industry.

*


Please take note if you keep a rabbit.

Giving rabbits a partner makes them happy as they are sociable animals and suffer from loneliness on their own.  The traditional practice of keeping one rabbit alone 'can cause misery' for the animals the British Veterinary Association said.


*

I used to have a rabbit, he was called Zambezee.  I think he had a miserable life; well he certainly didn't have a partner.  He just sat in his cage looking sad, no doubt wishing he had a female rabbit for company.

*



                                                                    

With best wishes, Patricia                                                                           


Sunday, 2 February 2020

Something Touching






Dear Reader,

It is interesting isn't it how people seem to be divided as to whether they like cats or dogs?  For myself I am very fond of dogs and don't feel affinity with cats.  Cats seem to be very independent and pursue their own lives without taking much notice of their owners, or anyone else for that matter.  I feel really sad not having a dog but living in a town house makes it too difficult, with dirty paws from constant walks to contend with.

From the diary of James Woodforde, February 1st, 1799 in Norfolk

'Very hard frost with much snow and very rough easterly wind.....I don't know that I ever felt a more severe day.  The turnips all froze to blocks, obliged to split them with beetle and wedges, and some difficulty to get them on account of the snow - their tops entirely gone and they lay as apples on the ground'.
                                                                          *


A bit different from this February then.  I wore a cotton dress yesterday and felt just about right.


                                                                          *


Something Touching

What is it about houses I visit
that catches me in the throat?

Jennie's four antique bears
sitting in the rocking chair,

orange flames brightening the room
a view over the Evenlode valley,

sweet smelling logs
and ginger biscuits, chocolate coated.

A happy cat, treacle-coloured eyes
strolled about, chose a chair
then curled up, slept.


                                                                          *

Very best wishes, Patricia