Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Summer House

This week's challenge is to write 100 words about the picture below.


Lovely picture.

 picture of window with wooden shutters and a wooden frame

                                                  The Summer-house

                                 I sought our summer-house today. I thought
                                 to make it mine – now, in your absence – to untwine
                                 time’s clinging tendrils. I thought to short-
                                 circuit all the days we spent there, un-cross
                                 its tangled spaces, absorb all traces of you –
                                 dissolve them in the acid of my loss.

                                It wouldn’t let me in. Your line of trees,
                                limes in their summer-prime, trained to your ways,
                                smoke-screened the window with a haze of
                                liquid green, unyielding to my gaze. The shutters,
                                wide, like arms to fold me in, just pinned me back:
                                suppose, with someone else, you lay within?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Inspirational 2!

Napoleon, summoning the night

It’s been a cold, wet, wild, windy, weatherbeaten week here on the edge of the world. The kind of week when a little bit of inspiration goes a long way. So I thought I'd share a few things with you all - even though some of you are away in far off places enjoying yourselves - like - New York, and - well, yes, Lisbon!

For those of you stuck at home like me, take a minute to break free of toil and care and let your mind float away...

Rather like this:

Photo by Tone Batt

And - while you're in the right frame of mind, read, learn and inwardly digest this excellent advice:

'Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something ...no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.' Christopher Morley

Hear, hear! 

For both these gems I sincerely thank Unbought Delicacies - a lovely blog brought to me by a friend, whom I also thank!

Next up, here is some music.  I don't know if you have been watching BBC's The Choir, but it is truly fantastic! More crying. In fact all Gareth Malone's Choir programmes are guaranteed to make me cry. If you haven't seen The Choir - Military Wives, then try and watch it - just make sure you have a large box of tissues readily to hand, as it rather spoils things to have to go and look for one half-way through. If you can't see the whole programme for whatever reason, here is a wonderful clip of them singing in London - fantastic! Better still if you can see the background to how they got there!

Gareth Malone also did the marvellous programme 'Boys Don't Sing'.

When you have finished drying your eyes, feast them on these amazing ceramics. Being an ignorant hayseed, I didn't know anything about William de Morgan until quite recently. 
Oh boy.
Now I lie in bed wondering how I can break into the V&A, or possibly the Met, or anywhere else really, to steal one of his amazing pieces and keep it under my bed; so that I can surreptitiously pull it out, night and morning, and drool.
On reflection I think it is quite dusty underneath my bed, and there was once a mouse, eating the conkers I had put there to ENSURE that no spider every dared come anywhere NEAR me during the night - so perhaps I won't put it there.
It will just have to go on the dresser in the kitchen, and if anyone says, 'Isn't that the famous William de Morgan piece...?' I'll just reply, in a nonchalant fashion - 'Oh that old thing? No, no, my husband was just playing around in his ceramic class...'

Sadly I couldn't find a picture of my favourite piece, to show you (possibly because it's already under my bed) - but these are still wondrous.

Get ready.

Goodness, how I do love hares!

Zebras are pretty cool too - especially this one, but you don't see so many of them round here.

Quite frankly, I want to eat the glaze on that vase in the middle. It is - words fail me. Edible.

How can this be ceramic?

Aren't they lovely?

You can look at lots of his lovely stuff at William de Morgan's images
(Except the ones I've stolen, of course.)

I wish I could show you the whole of Frozen Planet - the next treat in store. I can't. But if you aren't watching it, or can't watch it, then make a plan - any plan - even indecently illegal plans - and DO watch it. It is quite amazing. The photography is breathtaking (and I mean that quite literally) I also spend at least half the programme with my eyes squinting shut because I can't bear to watch. There are no holds barred here, and it really brings you close up and personal with the unbelievable daily struggle and gamble that is life on this planet.
Life is tough.
If you are an animal it can be really tough.
If you are an animal in the outer reaches of the north or south pole, it is seriously on the edge.

An official taste of Frozen Planet
A not so official taste of Frozen Planet

My next gem is an interesting picture for you to look at: It's edgy. 
I like edgy things. 
They often make you think.

It's one of my husband's pieces. A drypoint print.

Lastly, to celebrate the fact that November, with all it's associated miseries, is nearly over (sorry, anyone who likes November, but it really isn't my favourite month) - here is a poem that I wrote.


A bitter wind blows through November trees
across a garden that now grieves for spring, for summer,
the extravagant glory of autumn.  I scoop wet stems and leaves
into a ragged heap, sheaves of a forlorn harvest
destined to rot.  The bile of the year collecting in sallow piles,
these trophies that the weary year forgot.
Pale buds too nondescript to name, one last bright
flame of flower against the earth where nothing new will
this year come to birth.  I wrench out roots, discard dead stalks.
Nothing will come of this.  The shoots that promise life
beyond my reach, distanced by hard-pruned days, each
a life sentence.  Oh, swiftly come
the bright sharp knife of winter to release me from
the tomb of this enfolding death, splinter this stale decaying
of the earth, scythe the drab days, fragment the inert self.