Wednesday, 27 March 2013
"I'm sure that was a Swallow!"
I'm sorry Ivy but 'One swallow does not make a summer'.
A traditional British saying, being an allusion to the return of migrating swallows at the start of the summer season. From a remark by Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE): "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy."
On 20th March Martin Mere bird sanctuary recorded an early Swallow or 'Barn Swallow' if you like (which I don't) perched on wires near the car park at 9.40am. Lancashire is to the North of us. It’s unusual to record a Swallow before a Sand Martin and the average date for arrival in Lancashire is the 25th March though the trend is getting earlier. This Swallow misjudged things.
Despite the snow, Ivy puss decided to explore again.
"Let's have a little wander..."
“It’s much nicer looking out than being out.”
“What was that? Either an Ostrich landed on the conservatory roof or a chunk of snow fell off the rooftop.”
“I blame you for all this white stuff.”
“Did someone mention food?”
“I’m sure I can smell cooking.”
"See you all again soon."
Posted by John Edwards at 16:07
Saturday, 23 March 2013
It’s been a fortnight since I told you what has been going on in my world.
Mothers’ Day in the UK was 10th March. Ivy felt a bit left out of the process. "Can't I have a present please?"
Some gardening got done. The snowdrops are still looking good.
Cowslips are out.
But most of the garden doesn’t get any sunshine and is still covered in frost and the ponds are frozen over.
There are lots of other things to photograph around the garden. Like these clematis seeds.
On 15th March Ivy had her collar off.
The back door had its cat flap fitted.
And Ivy was allowed out.
“So this is the big wide world.”
Like all cats the first thing she did was climb and before long the sound of piteous meowing was heard from the top of the twenty five foot hedge.
“It’s alright you standing there saying come down. How?”
There’s a different variety of Snowdrop under the back hedge. Well, I might as well be taking photos while she’s finding her way down to ground level again.
On 21st March I was out in the Spring sunshine photographing Daffodils.
It’s a good job I hadn’t got anything too sharp in my hands when the catten kept jumping on my back.
22nd March – Three inches of snow.
It totally bemused someone. She kept looking round – first at the snow and then at me. "Is this stuff your fault?"
“I don’t think I fancy going out there. It smells cold.”
And over twelve inches in drifts.
While I was taking this photo
Someone decided to walk out onto the window ledge
And fell off.
She investigated for about five minutes.
And then it was back to the most sensible place in the house.
Foolishly Partner-who-loves-tea and I went out to the shops. P-w-l-t is the one with the red scarf.
It’s beginning to melt
but more snow is forecast and they reckon it will freeze overnight. Oh joy!
Posted by John Edwards at 16:54
Monday, 18 March 2013
“The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.”
― Saki, ‘Reginald’
― Saki, ‘Reginald’
I don’t recall GB introducing me to many authors though I do remember learning a lot about British Constitution as he played tapes in the bedroom while learning about it for his A Level. But it was certainly he who told me about Saki (Hector Hugh Munro 1870-1916). I must have been about thirteen and GB eighteen when he began raving about Saki and ‘The Unbearable Bassington’. Not the foaming at the mouth type raving – just the being very enthusiastic type raving. As a result I picked up ‘The Square Egg and other stories’ and was equally hooked. I worked my way through many of his short stories. Even at that age I collected quotations and these were a couple of my favourites.
“There may have been many disillusionments in the lives of the medieval saints, but they would scarcely have been better pleased if they could have foreseen that their names would be associated chiefly with racehorses and the cheaper clarets.” (from ‘Reginald at the Carlton’)
“I'm living so far beyond my means that we may almost be said to be living apart." (from 'The Unbearable Bassington')
"Of whose intelligence in particular?" asked Tobermory coldly.
"Oh, well, mine for instance," said Mavis with a feeble laugh.
"You put me in an embarrassing position," said Tobermory, whose tone and attitude certainly did not suggest a shred of embarrassment. "When your inclusion in this house-party was suggested Sir Wilfrid protested that you were the most brainless woman of his acquaintance, and that there was a wide distinction between hospitality and the care of the feeble-minded. Lady Blemley replied that your lack of brain-power was the precise quality which had earned you your invitation, as you were the only person she could think of who might be idiotic enough to buy their old car. You know, the one they call 'The Envy of Sisyphus,' because it goes quite nicely up-hill if you push it.”
Sadly Munro was one of a number of authors who was killed in the trenches in World War One. There is an anthology by Tim Cross called "The Lost Voices of World War I: An International Anthology of Writers, Poets & Playwrights" with works by more than fifty authors who died in the four years of fighting in the Great War. It helps to make one aware of how much talent was lost when these young men died. To quote from a website on the subject 'Cross says, "A complete list of all poets, playwrights, writers, artists, architects and composers who died as a result of the First World War is an impossible task," but even so he has compiled a list of approximately 750 names. The list includes only people who had already accomplished something of note in their fields; we are left to ponder how many of the 9,000,000 young men lost in the war might have gone on to do great things in the arts, sciences, medicine, and politics.'
Only one week before the end of the war, whilst attempting to traverse the Sambre canal, the War Poet Wilfred Owen was shot and killed. The news of his death, on 4 November 1918, arrived at his parents' house in Shrewsbury on Armistice Day. For his courage and leadership in the October 1918 Joncourt action, Owen was awarded the Military Cross.
Posted by John Edwards at 10:54
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