Saturday, 26 May 2018

Holding Hands

                             The Road Less Travelled                                             

Dear Reader,

From Gilbert White's diary, 1786, Hampshire

'Much gossamer.  The air is full of floating cotton from the willows'.

From Richard Jefferies, 1881, Surrey

'Do not like cloudless skies so much as the clouds tramping on one behind the other.  The cloudless sky does not look so large.  The sparkles on the water- like butterflies flapping their wings'.

I spent last week in beautiful Cornwall.  Shopped in Falmouth, walked on glorious beaches, visited a fantastic a garden, Trebah, which led right down to the sea, and ate some delicious fish at home and in restaurants.  Our cottage was in Flushing opposite Falmouth which we reached by way of a small ferry.  In fact I was a bit worried about falling down the slippery steps to get into it and was helped by daughter Tiffany and the Ferry Man.  We were so lucky with the weather, blue skies and warm sunshine.

Gossamer is a fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, seen especially in autumn.   Or it could be a light, thin, and insubstantial or delicate material or substance.

Holding Hands

The rock pools were difficult
to climb through
but she held my hand, tightly,
encouraged me to walk on.
"Come on Mum" she would say
and we would wend our way
 back home, hand in hand.

Fast forward a few years
and I have a hospital visit.
She holds my hand tightly
encourages me to walk on.
"Come on Mum" she says
and we find the Radiology Dept.

Later holding hands tightly,
we find the car park
wend our way home.
Very best wishes, Patricia

Photographs by Kaye Leggett

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Love unlocked

Dear Reader,

The theme this week has got to be love.  What an amazing wedding Prince Harry and Meghan had, beautiful is every way.  Bishop Michael Curry the head of the Episcopalian Church in America, who has been active in issues of social justice, speaking out on immigration policy and marriage equality, was magnificent and his message of Love was emotional and heart warming.  The Beatles song: "All you need is Love" was always my favourite and one I considered to be the real truth.  With loving friends and family, and if you are lucky a partner, most things can be resolved and even if this is not the case just being loved and loving is great support for getting through.   At least that is what I think.  Do write to me if you don't agree :

A line or two of:
 Sonnet 116   William Shakespeare

Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom
If this be error and upon me prove'd
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Love Unlocked

What can I say about love
that has not been said?
I have little to add except
my sweetheart proffered
a unique key
to the door of possibilites
through loving me.


Very best wishes and love perhaps, Patricia

Friday, 11 May 2018


Dear Reader,

                                                                            Cornish Country Gardens

I am going to Cornwall this week so no time for research into something interesting, or at least, what I think is interesting! and I hope you do too.  So I will just up-date you on the seagull story.

Apparently junk food may not only be bad for humans - it could also make seagulls more aggressive,
according to a researcher looking at their behaviour.  This researcher, one Rebecca Lakin, is studying the impact of urban environment on young gulls across the city, and whether feasting on stolen fish and chips makes them increasingly angry. This study compares the chips and ice cream diet of urban gulls with the traditional menu of fish and clams of their island cousins.  In her research she explores how food digested by gulls will affect them later in life.



I was fourteen
when I first heard
the call of the rooks
their eerie cries.

From a Cornish cottage garden
I walked down through
dark woods to the beach,
a remote place,
just dunes, sand, the sea
and me, a confused, angry teenager,
with the rooks caw-cawing in my ears
disturbing my thoughts.

Even now, in later years,
whenever I hear whispers from the wind,
or sea lapping over large grey stones
ever forward, ever backward,
glimpse a faraway horizon
and see twilight descending
darkening the sky,
the rooks in large black groups
flying high towards
their eveniong bed,
cawing, cawing, cawing,
my heart misses a beat
and an unexplained sadness
overcomes me.

With very best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Universal Truth

Dear Reader,
                                                                             Foundling Hospital


                                                                               Foundling Hospital today

I heard on Radio 4 this morning the story of a man who was a 'foundling' having been left on a street during World War 11.  Not knowing much about foundlings I researched and found the following information.   Foundling is an historic term applied to children, usually babies, that have been abandoned by parents and discovered and cared for by others.   Abandoned children were not unusual in the eighteenth century when the Foundling Hospital was established.  In Europe where Catholic-run institutions had been caring for orphans and foundlings from as early as the thirteenth century, the UK relied on the Poor Law to cater for needy families at a parish level.

By the Early 1700s the situation for struggling parents was particularly acute in London.   Mothers unable to care for their children as a result of poverty had few options, leading some to abandon their babies on doorsteps or outside churches or even on rubbish heaps.  This was the situation that confronted Thomas Coran on his return form America in 1704.  It took him seventeen years of dogged campaigning before he finally received a Royal Charter enabling him to establish a Foundling Hospital ' for the care and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children'.

Today, access to contraception, State support for families on low income and changed attitudes to illegitimacy mean that child abandonment is very unusual in the UK.  But in China it had been estimated that 10,000 children are abandoned every year.


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.


Very best wishes, Patricia