Sunday, 18 November 2018


                                                                                     Afternoon Tea

Dear Reader,

It seems as if the British seagull has decided to leave our shores and depart to France.  At the French seaside there are much richer pickings than there are, say, in Bournemouth, because, perhaps, of the many notices there are around our seaside towns and villages alerting people to nefarious seagull activities.   Notwithstanding the fact that the gulls ignore such notices, the French authorities are trying to get rid of the offenders too.  For instance in Trouville-sur-Mer in Normandy, northern France, claims  have been made that it is the first town to test a special drone that can spot seagull nests and spray them with steriliser, as its deputy mayor warned that the birds could "make off with a baby".

Seagulls are profoundly changing their living habits from eating fish and building nests on cliffs, to livings in towns and becoming carnivorous.   In England local fishermen in seaside locations
say the gulls regularly dive-bomb them on their trawlers but they can do nothing but shout at them because the gulls have been a protected species since 2009.

David Cameron is said to have called for a "big conversation" on the issue after gulls killed a Yorkshire terrier in Newquay, a chihuahua puppy in Devon and a pet tortoise in Cornwall.  British MPs recently called for a change in the law to allow the protected status of seagulls to be axed so that their populations could be better controlled.


D.H. Lawrence wrote this in Oxfordshire, 1915, and I thought after Remembrance Sunday last week it would be of interest.  Lawrence was a conscientious  objector.

"When I drive across this country with autumn falling and rustling to pieces, I am so sad, for my country, for this great wave of civilisation,  2000 years, which is now collapsing, that it is hard to live.  So much beauty and pathos of old things passing away and no new things coming: this house (Garsington Manor)- it is England - my God, it breaks my soul - their England, these shafted windows, the elm-trees, the blue distance - the past, the great past, crumbling down, breaking down, not under the force of coming birds, but under the weight of many exhausted lovely yellow leaves, that drift over the lawn, and over the pond, like the soldiers, passing away darkness of winter -no, I can't bear it.  For the winter stretches ahead, where all vision is lost and all memory dies out."



The little girl waits
peers down the road
sees the other children
as mothers hug them
help them into cars
drive away for family teas
to houses where
warmth and love abounds

she puts her satchel down
takes out a sweet for comfort
a small tear rolls down her cheek
someone will remember, surely
she thought,
but the dusk gathered
and nobody came.


With very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dearest Patricia, how sad and poignant for our very unsettling times I found the D.H.Lawrence piece. And your poem, heartbreaking. Sending much love. MXX