Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.

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Opposites attract

The weather this  morning was appalling. Gone were the plans to go for a stroll. Instead we stayed inside, all occupied with our own pursuits. It made me ponder on how we react to situations, dependent on our mood and situation. So here is a parallel text.

Rain lashes at the window

Sun peeps from behind the clouds      /         The sun is in hiding

Somewhere there must be a rainbow        /        Struggling to fight through

             I huddle inside         /       I hide inside

                    Protected from the weather       /      Retreating from the weather

              Warm and cosy     /     Feeling trapped

           Listening to the wind       /      Listening to the wind

                Chime music in my ear        /       Howl around the building

Absorbed in my crochet      /       Busying my hands

                The time passes        /        The time crawls by

Until at last I stir and stretch   /    Until at last I rise

Having weathered the storm

The weather cheered up after lunch. We went ten-pin bowling. Admired the rainbow over the estuary. And this evening I played with some crochet, completing yet another angel, plus a star and a bauble. The day was completed with homemade damson gin and some chocolate. A good time.


Lunch with a goldfinch

Lunch is usually eaten at the back of the house, overlooking the garden, where I can watch the birds on the feeders. Normally there are blue tits, chaffinches, sparrows, starlings, and the robin, as photographed here (he is rather beautiful, isn’t he?). They all hop about, squabbling over the fat balls, chasing each other off, doing the most incredible aerial acrobatics, and generally keeping me entertained. Today’s visitor was a bit more unusual – a goldfinch. A delight to watch on the niger seed. I hadn’t got my camera to hand, so here’s a word picture for you.

Sat at the table

Eating a sandwich

A flash of gold catches my eye

I glance up

And there

On the feeder

A goldfinch swings

Puffed up against the cold

Bright red head

Golden flashes on its wings

Lunching with me


NB: for those who don’t know what a goldfinch is, check out this link http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/goldfinch/index.aspx


Lists and life

Having a little spare time, I decided to explore some other blogs. I came across this one: Bucket List Publications by Lesley Carter – http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/ . I had great fun reading some of her blogs, and admiring the things she gets up to. I’ve had my own ‘bucket list’ for 14 years now. Not that I knew the phrase ‘bucket list’ at that stage. It was a list of things I’d like to do at some point in my life, and places I’d like to go. Bucket list is a lot shorter to type! It started because a friend and I kept seeing things and saying ‘I’d like to do that – one day’, then forgetting all about it.

Life has grown and expanded with the list. A random selection…. The Marriage of Figaro was a wonderful performance to attend, one Valentines Day. The flying lesson was exhilarating, a sense of freedom as the plane took off, and spectacular views of Eryri. A trip to New Zealand included swimming with wild dolphins – the more you wiggle around, the more they’re interested in you. Floating on a raft through a cave lit with glow-worms on the ceiling. I walked around a volcano caldera (thankfully a dormant one). Back in the UK, I learnt to drive – now that really was a triumph. I combined two of the items and saw a live cricket match, while enjoying strawberries and champagne for breakfast.

The Northern Lights laughed down at me, over in Norway. A wonderfully crisp cold evening with reindeer stew in a Sami tent, reindeer sledging across snowy fields, lit just by starlight, and the Northern lights glowing overhead as I made snow angels. New potatoes grown by me were harvested for on Christmas Day for lunch. Red Kites soared above me in Rhayader, a kingfisher peeped out at my mother and I in Bath, and an otter rolled in the shallows off the coast of Mull.

A year was spent writing a piece of poetry every day (OK, some was more doggerel than poetry, but I wrote every day), and another year taking a photograph every day. Quiet Spaces published my article on Light (http://www.quietspaces.org.uk/pages/1801s.htm#ALightforMyPath) . The Reader Magazine printed my article on the Psalms (http://www.readers.cofe.anglican.org/u_d_lib_pub/m1051.pdf). The blanket I crocheted adorns my bed, my patchwork quilt I snuggle up in on the settee. My Fair-isle mittens and hat keep my ears warm.

This year two miles was finally run – in 23 minutes. The boat span me round in the Corrywreckan whirlpool. Six pieces of art went in an exhibition and – even better – were sold. Mad friends joined me in getting wet as we went white-water rafting.

The current list has on it some small delights and some large dreams. Seeing – or listening to – the bog bush cricket, trying to ski, going sailing, parachute jump, visiting the Shetlands, seeing the poison garden at Alnwick castle, visiting Chelsea physic garden. Make a piece of stained glass, go canoeing, ride a horse on the beach, visit Venice and Vienna, explore Paris (driven round it several times, but never stopped there), go to Ailsa Craig, make some bobbin lace, have a go at woodcarving and French polishing, make a sand sculpture, listen to buskers in New York, go on a tour of vineyards in France, learn to speak Portuguese… I might manage to do some of these this year…

All this has been and is great fun. Life is for living, in all its fullness. Although I love the adrenaline boosting things, while I enjoy travelling and seeing new places, meeting new people, sometimes it’s the small things that mean much more, and take more effort to do. Always take the opportunity when it arises. Such joys are to be shared. Find a friend and drag them along with you. Stare at the stars on New Year’s Eve, drinking hot chocolate and wrapped in a waterproof rug. Jump in a puddle and watch the ripples form. Blow some bubbles. Create. Laugh. Love. Live.