Friday, January 30, 2009

Back to nature?

Marta and I go for a walk once a week, at quite a pace, and put the world to rights, air our problems and commune with nature - then go and replace the calories we've used, and, possibly, ward off dementia by drinking coffee.

Yesterday took us to Thrapston, and the old gravel pits and then round the Titchmarsh lake. Probably about 5 miles in all. Our walk rewarded us with sights such as a lone heron waiting patiently for fish, and later, two swans, posing for a Valentine's Day card, as their heads and necks formed a perfect 'love heart' shape. Too far away to photograph, of course and the pose didn't last long.

Then a daytime fox walked close below the bird hide and ran off to hunt water birds. Again I was too busy watching to think of the camera.

Bright sunshine, a chill wind, muddy paths - exhilarating stuff.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another doodle

Written from a few prompts. In bold print.

Bad luck it’s a girl!
Now we’re in a world
without help for the task in our mind,’
My klone said to me
as we sat with our tea.
‘Using her’d be just like driving blind’

‘Oh come on,’ I replied
‘It’s time that we tried
to detox this here poisoned chalice.
No, don’t make that gesture,
dear klone, I request you
and kindly refrain from such malice.

For you may be male,
but that ‘k’ makes me quail
it means you’ve changed sex in the kloning.
A girl just like me
will be perfect, you’ll see.
Now button it. Stop all your moaning.'

Friday, January 23, 2009

Writing doodles

Two 'poedoodles' and no they're not crossbred dogs.

She walks and walks for miles to clear her mind
To silence killing cries from times long past
The winter crisps her fingers sharp as bone
With interwoven strands of mistletoe
Though times were hard, forgotten all her loves
Simplicity of purpose led her forth
Across a placid ocean she still stares
Transformed into a birch, stripped of her leaves
Within her icy veins no blood now flows.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Such long dark days when spring has not emerged
from winter’s chrysalis; when rain pours down
from darkened skies; and children go to school
encased in shiny coats. The drip of rain
the swish of tyres on road, an engine’s growl.
Across the road, a front door’s outside lamp
Still shines at way past ten, as though ignored.
The dirty blotting paper air sucks up
what light there is. No colours here to cheer
Unless I count the brightness slick and harsh
Of umbrellas grown like toadstools overnight.
Give me instead a tourist paradise,
of sun and snow and glistening mountain peaks.
No doubt I’ll find one on the internet.

Both (pretty much) in iambic pentameter with variations and no rhyme. Does it show that the very last line of the second one happened when I ran out of stuff to say? It doesn't matter - they're doodles!

And I've just noticed two much rain in the second one, as well. Ah well ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1911 census

No dark secrets revealed, no big surprises. Each of my four grandparents was exactly where I expected to find them, though with one or two unexpected people in their households.

Sarah Nuttall aged 24, was living at Penniment Lodge farm with her parents and younger sister. She was employed as a school teacher in the elementary school. Her 86 year-old grandfather, and five year-old niece were staying with them, and another school teacher was visiting. There were also two farm workers - a cowman and a horseman.

Alfred Shelton, aged 22, was working as a coal miner/hewer and living with his aunt and uncle in Stanton Hill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucy Briggs was in Albert St, Stonegravels, with her widowed mother, two brothers and a boarder.

Herbert Merricks, aged 21, was working as a pottery labourer in Chesterfield, and living with his father and mother in Queen Street. His brother and sister were still at home and there is a one-month-old Arthur Potts down as his parents' 'adopted son'. This must be a family connection through Herbert's mother, whose maiden name was Potts.

There's also a good very brief info piece on 1911 in the Guardian.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I shoulda taken my tripod with me.

Another inside view of outside. I should get over being self-conscious about these shots and play the part.
And again - this would have been better as a closer mirror shot.
I quite like the fuzzy reflections here.
Through another cafe window
Harry disappears into the distance pursued by multi-coloured tadpoles.

Four pm at Leicester market.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

When gorse is out of bloom...

Here I am in the New Forest on New Years Day - kissing is not out of season as the gorse is blooming lovely. I'm showing off my real walkers' gear - gaiters indeed. Note the cunning mittens which open into fingerless gloves, too.

Snow and sun

I went out this lunchtime and retraced part of yesterday's walk. Snow still on the ground, though some places are green.

From the old track above the tunnel. I think that's my shadow on the hill top.
View across the railway to the Welland valley
one of many sheep
bright and snowy

Monday, January 05, 2009

Beyond Christmas

In Lyndhurst churchyard
Lyndhurst church
Colours in the water
New Years Day in the New Forest
Chloé, Sharon, (Silas), Harry.

Skating in Bristol - Dec 30th. Big rink and away from traffic. Mick, Chloé, Sharon.


Back home after the walk and 'le plat maison' gets used in the oven at last.
Me, Esther, Harry

Adrian, Esther, Harry at Eyebrook.

I made a Christmas present

Slipper socks with soles, almost complete. Took a while, and I made the soles from cloth padded with old sleeping bag wadding, and added non-slip surface - the stuff you can buy to put under rugs, or on shelves. It does look a little odd in the top pic. How long will it last? Well, my others have gone through several washes.

Pre-Christmas gallivants

No, it's not real snow, though it was cold enough to convince.
It almost loooks the way the architects imagined it - I imagine.
New mall in Leicester.
View through another café window
Starbucks in Leicester. Chilly day.
Tree shapes and lights from café

At Don Paddy's in Uppingham - a well earned cuppa.

Bringing home the tree from Fineshade

Welford canal walk - 11 Dec 08

with Marta.


Costa Coffee shop in Corby - and a cool view.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A few snippets from the last few months

Sam on the track.
'Atmospheric' shot of Harry with the sun low in the sky.
On the ice at Nottingham, in the market place, with a German Christmas market in the background. Much better than Leicester.
Rambling types approaching Neville Holt. Dec 1st.
Ice rink in Leicester in November - not a great site, too much traffic, not near the action. And look at their ice-smoothers.
Isaac around the end of October.