Saturday, 31 May 2008

The Unbearable Cuteness of Being

This tiny little rabbit
was motionless among the clover leaves.

It could have lain soft in the palm of my hand.

While I wondered what on earth to do
with a tiny little rabbit

It suddenly sprang up and ran away,
white scut flipping over the grass tufts.

Friday, 30 May 2008

A Day Without Rain

We were over optimistic, MissM and I,

we set off in sunshine

to buy bikinis and shorts

and little black peep-toe shoes

but we soon realised that

we should have taken umbrellas.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Travel Insurance

MasterM will be in South Africa for 6 weeks
meeting up with friends that he made
when he was at school near Pietermaritzburg.
He has organised the whole holiday himself
and MrM has provided travel consultancy.

MrM emails MasterM
I would like to organise travel insurance for you today.
Please check these lists of hazardous activities
and tell me which category is appropriate
MasterM emails MrM
think i might be a category b kind of man
but 'the use of skeletons'
in category e sounds quite appealing

later discussion

Are you quite sure that category b will be sufficient?
What else are you doing?
Climbing Table Mountain?
Yes the cable car...
Does it cover sharkfishing?
What about bull-running?
...but I am not planning to be the person
who hits them on the nose with rolled up newspapers
so it won't be the most expensive category.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Camera Envy

If it is a very wet Bank Holiday Monday what do you do?

You visit John Lewis at High Wycombe and buy cameras.
If you are fortunate you will be served by James
who is uber-knowledgeable about cameras.
He knows about pixel squeezing and warm colour tones.
He can advise on downloading to iPods and build quality.
We researched our subject and went prepared
but James knew more than us.
That is why we go to John Lewis.

MasterM was advised to get a robust Canon camera
with a variety of different shooting modes
including time lapse photography.
He needs to photograph his friends
eating biltong and drinking Castle lager.
He may need to photograph wild animals.
There will be sports matches.
MasterM is off to South Africa this summer.

MissM was advised to get a Sony camera.
MissM spends a lot of time photographing her friends
and her friends are always smiling.
Sony have a special feature - Smile Shutter -
which takes photographs when you smile.
MissM will need this all the time this summer
because MissM is also going to South Africa.

It is vital that MasterM and MissM have good cameras
because MrM and MrsM are not going to South Africa
and they want to see LOTS OF PHOTOGRAPHS.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

A Parable

In 1987 a great wind struck. It was not expected but even if it had been there would have been no defence. Trees of great antiquity fell – whole swathes of woodland were lost.

The first sensation was overwhelming shock. The ragged gaps in the landscape and the torn stumps were silent witness to the violence.

But then the gaps were filled with seeds that had lain dormant in the shade under the trees and in the spring, bulbs grew where none had grown before. On sunny days there were new vistas to see and people delighted in the pools of light where there had only been dark.

There were new opportunities for planting. Trees that had been too large or misshapen were replaced by vigorous new saplings. It was a time of optimism.

And people made benches and bowls from the beautiful wood.

Now it is twenty years later and the saplings have grown into mature trees. They are part of the landscape of our hearts. If they were to be lost in another great wind we would mourn their loss but we must not forget the lesson of the last great wind.

Each loss is an opportunity for renewal if we face it with courage

Monday, 26 May 2008

Reader - we ate them!

MasterM amused us greatly at supper
by recounting the following anecdote:

He was introduced to some prospective parents
who were being shown around the school
by one of his friends R from the Rugby team.

The parents thought that they recognised MasterM
- did he live in South West London? -
"No..." he replied.
They were still sure that they recognised him
(perhaps they read this blog)

Friend R " I expect you saw him on Crimewatch"
MasterM "No, it was probably Baywatch".

Every school report that we have had about MasterM
has referred to his dry sense of humour.
There are worse ways to make your mark in a school.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Rabbit Family

We were given the Rabbit Family at Easter.

It was love at first sight.
It was impossible to eat them
because...well, it would have been a bit...

Imagine my despair when I discovered
that they were melting in the sunshine.
I'm trying hard not to be sentimental
- they are only chocolate rabbits -
but it is hopeless.
I felt quite tearful when MrM said
'Does this mean we can eat them at last?'

It is the whole Venus and Mars thing.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

The Train Home

MasterM is coming home after a party.
He texts MrM

im on the slow train home
ill see you in ten hours maybe

its been nice knowing you son

its been nice knowing you dad
i may see you in the afterlife
im pretty sure this train stops there
it stops everywhere else

The Road Home

Yesterday MissM and I were on the busy roads
that separate school and home.
It was late evening.
I asked her to get the camera out of my bag.
I wanted to remember this sunset.

I said
'Please take some photos for me'
She said
'It is just cars and road'

I said
'I want a lorry'
She said
'Here's a lorry'

I said
'Find an interesting bridge'
She said
'Will this bridge work?'

I said
'Take this one straight into the sun'
She said
'That was a great photo'

I said
'See those shadows? Catch those'
She said
'I just did!'

It makes me ache to see these pictures.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Flowers in a Landscape

I want you to see what I see:

Buttercups bright against tall hedgerows,

wide banks of Flag Iris among the reeds,

a hay meadow of startling beauty.

Here, among the tall grass and Dandelions

are the plump flowers of Bird's-foot Trefoil

and by your feet, silvery Cinquefoil.

And, if you allow yourself to be still,
your head slowly fills with birdsong.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

New Friends

One of the joys of blogging is that every now and then
somebody you have never met stops by and says 'hello'.
And then you go to visit them and before long
you know about their children,
and their hairdresser,
and even what they are having for supper.

And sometimes I wish that I could have a little drinks party
and wander around and introduce people.
I would say "Monica - have you met Tracey?
You are both quilting artists so you might already know each other."

(who will be escorted by her husband,Mr Lush,
and her chimneysweep)
must meet the entrancing Maryam.
They are both Americans abroad,
far away from Target and Reese's Pieces.

I feel sure that Vanessa would enjoy meeting Florence.
Florence will love Vanessa's books
and Vanessa will be charmed by the stories of the little Teacakes

Readers Guide is a sailor
and so she can talk about boats with GMS.
I won't let him monopolise her all evening
because she might want to discuss books with Ali.

Lynn and Val have both got three year olds.
Lynn will be fascinated by Val's Science for Children series

Does Alice know Fifi?
They are both wonderful Australians with special writing styles.

I am going to keep Sarah all to myself
Is that selfish?
I want to know how many brothers she actually has...
every time I leave a message there is a new brother.
Perhaps she lives in a monastery...I need to know.

Here are some late arrivals straight from the sports fields:
Anne and Amy who can compare notes on sporty daughters.

And now, while I go off and find the cocktail umbrellas
and maraschino cherries, just make yourself at home.
If there is a new friend that you think I ought to invite
just let me know - the more the merrier!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A lucky moment in Treviso

There are websites
that give long and detailed instructions
for taking better photographs.
There are lists of expensive equipment,
opaque technical terms,
tricks and techniques.

I look at this photograph and wonder
that a chance combination of angle and light
and a steady hand
can create magic.

It is not the photographer
it is luck.

It is as well to be honest.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The First Rose of Summer

Boule de Neige

An appropriate name for a chilly May.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Tangled Threads

I keep my cotton threads in this old cigar box.

It was used for other things before I inherited it.

Here is the pale blue that made
the Tana lawn dress with pin tucks

and the deep red for my taffeta ball gown.

There is green for a Robin Hood costume
and purple for a tiny flapper dress;

pale pink for ballet shoes
and white for endless name tapes.

If I pull at the end of a thread
I find that they are intertwined.

It is not easy to untangle these threads
but it can be done, little by little,
if you are patient.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Goats' Cheese and Spinach Flamme

I am not going to pretend that I made this:

It has been a busy week with lots of driving,
shirts to be ironed for formal events
a late night dash when MrM missed the last train home,
and enough rain to sap the morale.
I feel quite distracted by the list of things
that have to be done over the next month.

At least I chopped the tomato.

MrM entertained me greatly yesterday
by suggesting alternative titles for the post:

The Bow-Wow Factor
I'm the Furriest of Them All
Yankee Doodle Poodle
The Dog's B&&$*#%
Give me the Fur of a Yorkshire Terrier

I explained that although they were Very Funny
they Lowered the Tone.
He replied "I think the Pun-ters would be amused"

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Paws for Thought

Fur Talk

Stylists are vital for your self image - go regularly.
Make sure that the stylist understands your lifestyle:
Discuss low maintenance styles that you can shake dry.
You may wish to take your favourite shampoo with you
(I'm mad about Aloe Vera and Oatmeal at the moment)
Try to find a stylist that also does peticures.
Enjoy the complimentary beverages.

Do not bite your stylist.


Check out my new Secret Boyfriend!
(scroll down to the pic of him in the bath!!!!)

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Domesticali is Terrific - the Blogger with the Mostest

There will now be a short broadcast
on behalf of the
Domesticali Appreciation Society.
I am the Founder and Principal Spokesperson
but you are all welcome to join.

I met Ali Hudson on a blind date in December
and soon discovered that she has
a wicked sense of humour and an infectious giggle.
We got on so well that we felt able
to adopt Kristina within a couple of hours.

Ali is the sort of person
that everybody wants on their team
- she is the best joiner-in ever -
If you suggest something she says 'Yes!!'
and then works out how to make it happen.
She can magic a corkscrew out of thin air
(don't ask me how I know that - it is embarrassing)
and has a compulsive habit of giving
amazingly thoughtful handmade presents.

Her blog is funny and wide ranging
and explores family topics honestly.
She also has tremendous commitment
to the blogging community
and deals with the issues that arise occasionally
with great integrity and thoughtfulness.

In fact, now I come to think of it,
if we were in a balloon basket and it was sinking
I would probably throw myself out first.

I am so glad to have met her.

Isn't it incredible the way
that blogging can enable
the most unlikely of friendships.


Some eye candy

for all you keen gardeners,

allotment holders and vegetarians.

So....that's you....Angie,

Ginnie and Ginny, Tracy and Tracy.

These pictures should have you dreaming of harvest time.


edited to add:

I am driving along
and MrM is checking the comments on his BlackBerry
(this is what our life is like)

There is one here from Fairlie and she says:
At the risk of exposing myself
as a vegetable-gardening-ignoramus...
what are the ones in the third pic?

I don't know - I think they are kohlrabi.

Well, you tell Fairlie from me that
an ignoramus is NOT a person
who doesn't know the answer
but a person who doesn't know AND doesn't ask. you know.