Friday, 29 October 2010

Autumn Colour


The Japanese Maple tree in the garden is ablaze!

And I have seen the Berry Man walking through Borough Market:

Perhaps it signals a bountiful harvest and season ahead.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Parakeets and poetry

Sonata and Smitonius today:

We are having a real family week-end, as Sonata is over in London, and we went grave hunting (the way you do). Having discovered that Sonata's great-grandparents were buried in Twickenham Cemetery.

It was an easy grave to find, being close to the entrance, but the grave was in pieces and we needed to re-arrange it to take this picture.

We are hoping, if it doesn't prove too expensive, to have it re-assembled and made secure. The inscription said: "In loving memory of Peter, beloved husband of Dora O'Donnell, died the 8th of June 1916, aged 63 years and their granddaughter May. Darling child of Percy and Anne O'Donnell died 18th June 1918 aged 9 1/2 years. "Until the day dawns". Dora, as it happens, is there too though she has no inscription, having died at the start of the War when people had other priorities. Here is Dora on a British seaside holiday:

But she started life in Kamptee (India) in 1862, the daughter of a military man. And then married a splendid looking Irish bandmaster who took her all over the Empire (as it was). With them, is little Gladys May, their grand-daughter, born in Muree Hills (India), in 1908 and brought up eventually in England by them. Poor little mite had lost her mother, and her father was at war. So it was particularly fitting that the birds circling the trees overhead were, to our surprise, green parakeets. You can see one flying in this photo:

We also received in time for this visit a copy of "The poetry of P.A.T O'Donnell", edited by Robin Gilbert (who also wrote a biographical sketch). Robin was one of his pupils, also a poet, who has worked hard to bring the poems and sketches back into print. P.A.T. was, of course, another descendant of Peter and Dora.

Here is one of his poems, which is quite seasonal:


Furled fall, lemon and rust, in shoals to sleep
in the sun's pools, the legions of the leaves.
False, this deciduous peace.

Autumnal consummation, like a sigh
shaping the heart for rest, an amber draught,
solves the sharp thoughts that tease.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Stocking Up For The Months To Come

We've had fabulous sunny days this week , one after the other , and people .... and cats ....are snatching every chance to bask .

And those who could were making for the river

Even sewing the binding on this little quilt was a pleasure in the last of this afternoon's sun .

Meanwhile , we're overdosing on these

At this rate , I'll have as thick a layer of insulating fat as a bear . All I'll need is a cave , come the winter .

Friday, 8 October 2010

The eyes have it...


Yesterday was a day I had not been looking forward to. I had an appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital for an iridotomy. I dreaded having my eye balls prodded again, being zapped and was worried about how my eye sight would be afterwards. On the other hand, given that they warned me I was on the verge of an acute attack of sudden onset Glaucoma due to narrow angles (two minutes in a hospital and look at all the new words I get to learn!), I wasn't about to refuse the option.

I have brown eyes, and, as I learnt, this means I needed two sets of laser treatments on both eyes. It was an excrutiating experience (I won't go into details), but appears to have been succesful as the pressure in both eyes dropped. The added bonus is that the world looks a lot brighter, sharper and well defined now than it did. Now that I have stopped having to put drops in on the hour every (waking) hour, I intend to pop down to the pub to celebrate!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Boredom Threshold


I can't cope with boredom better than anyone else . I always have two books with me on train journeys and at least three crosswords . Not that I'm often bored on journeys actually. One's fellow passengers are a constant delight and the rare exception can easily be banished by an Ipod . And big stations or ferries are vastly entertaining .
But this week was exceptional . After a couple of days feeling pale and peculiar , I had a day's course on speech development in small children . ( "They learn from you , they learn from each other ". Golly ! ) One Powerpoint presentation followed another , with a pause for lunch ( Can't some people eat a lot , when it's all laid on?) And then yesterday was spent watching a Dutch party conference , all 6 hours of it , in mounting disbelief at the naivety of reasonably normal looking people , till I was reduced to yelling "Wake UP!!" at the screen . And it's not even my party ..... I weedily vote Green , since , as a foreigner , I can only vote in local elections anyway .

So today called for hyper activity .

There were buttons to sort

Material to admire and put away

Pieces to be cut out for next quilt while current quilt's border and backing had to be chosen

and last quilt's photos put in file .

My new toy had to be played with which resulted in the beginnings of a patchwork cat .

Pumpkin soup had to be made and a chicken roasted .

My latest audio book had to listened to . Many thanks to mountainear ( to be found on our sidebar ) for the lead to !

A teetering pile of guddle had to be put in tidy new boxes .....

"But this is what you do almost every weekend ", you'll say and you'd be right . But it's never boring . In fact it's oddly relaxing to potter about achieving not a lot .

But what's your idea of a good Sunday ?