Monday, 22 August 2016

'Parting is such sweet sorrow'




No, I'm not going anywhere. I've just been thinking about the parting cup. That is the last cup we share with friends for one reason or another. This is one of my favourite songs, written by Bob Dylan a long time ago. Do read it slowly and take in the words. It always brings a tear to my eye.

Restless Farewell – Bob Dylan

Oh all the money that in my whole life I did spend
Be it mine right or wrongfully

I let it slip gladly past the hands of my friends
To tie up the time most forcefully
But the bottles are done
We’ve killed each one
And the table’s full and overflowed
And the corner signSays it’s closing time
So I’ll bid farewell and be down the road

Oh ev’ry girl that ever I’ve touched
I did not do it harmfully
And ev’ry girl that ever I’ve hurt
I did not do it knowin’ly
But to remain as friends
And make amends
You need the time and stay behind
And since my feet are now fast
And point away from the past
I’ll bid farewell and be down the line

Oh ev’ry foe that ever I faced
The cause was there before we came
And ev’ry cause that ever I fought
I fought it full without regret or shame
But the dark does die
As the curtain is drawn and somebody’s eyes
Must meet the dawn
And if I see the day
I’d only have to stay
So I’ll bid farewell in the night and be gone

Oh, ev’ry thought that’s strung a knot in my mind
I might go insane if it couldn’t be sprung
But it’s not to stand naked under unknowin’ eyes
It’s for myself and my friends my stories are sung
But the time ain’t tall, yet on time you depend
And no word is possessed by no special friend
And though the line is cut
It ain’t quite the end
I’ll just bid farewell till we meet again

Oh a false clock tries to tick out my time
To disgrace, distract, and bother me
And the dirt of gossip blows into my face
And the dust of rumors covers me
But if the arrow is straight
And the point is slick
It can pierce through dust no matter how thick
So I’ll make my stand
And remain as I am
And bid farewell and not give a damn





It is adapted from an old Scottish traditional song called 'The Parting Glass' which was sung at the end of a gathering of friends before Robbie Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne. The song is also popular in Ireland and amongst Irish communities.

Here is Sinaed O'Connor's beautiful version:




As we get older, we can't help but wonder if this or that will be the last time we ever do that thing or see that person. Life creeps up on us and suddenly there is more sand in the bottle of the hourglass than there is at the top! This isn't necessarily a bad thing because we have stored up so many memories over the years and we are able to dip into them whenever we feel like it! They come to us unexpectedly sometimes and give us pleasure in the remembering.

So what do you do to remember? Do you just sit and think or maybe look through old photo albums? Perhaps meeting up with an old friend who has shared the same memories as you opens the channels of memory. I do all of that and more. Music, smells, all those things bring back those lovely times of the past, which are all the better in the looking back!


Walking along the canal path at Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England, recently, I came upon this interesting looking plant, which was new to me. It was growing abundantly along the side of the canal, separated from the path and reminded me of a small orchid.

When I got home, I looked it up and this is what I found:

'Indian Balsam

Impatiens glandulifera

Introduced as a garden plant from the Himalayas in 1839, and naturalised along waterways and in waste places, this tall, stout-stemmed species grows 100-200 cm high.  It is hairless and the stems reddish. There is no mistaking the rather orchid-like, mave, dangling flowers.

Flower: purplish pink, 2-5.4 cm, petals 5, forming a broad, lower lip and hood; sepals 3, lower forming a mauve, spurred bag.

Flower arrangement: long-stalked racemes arising from leaf-axils.

Flowering time: July - October.

Leaf: opposite or in threes, 5-18 cm long, elliptic, toothed; reddish glands along basal margins.

Fruit: capsule, club-shaped, opening by 5 valves, which spring into coils, shooting out seeds.'

Information from 'Illustrated Guide to Wild Flowers' by Stephen Blackmore

The Indian Balsam flowers were just behind me as I stood admiring the lock keeper's cottage below.


You can see more of my walk along the towpath here.

Star

Friday, 29 July 2016

Where women work


Do you like to see where other people live and work? I know I do, so today I'm sharing with you my little workspace. This is my study, if you will. This is where I have my computer, files, books etc. and I love it. This is where I am when I write to you. This used to be my dining room, but we needed the room where all this stuff was before so everything had to be rearranged. It took some doing and it's a bit of a squash but now everything is to hand and so far I haven't lost anything.


My cottage is small, but it has many rooms and corners. I like it that way. Larry and I are not minimalists, as you can see!

I took the pictures from each aspect. The door you see below leads off to the kitchen (left) and the toilet (right).



Now, I would like to see where you are when you write or spend time on your computer? What is your den like?

Star

Friday, 22 July 2016

Sammy update July 2016


This is my grandson Sammy. He's three now and a very fun-loving little boy. He has been to the seaside recently and here you can see him enjoying himself in the sand.

Mummy had some me-time too.


With Daddy exploring the shoreline! When I look at this picture below, I think that to a child, all is well so long as you hold tight to Daddy or Mummy's hand. The whole ocean is spread out before you, but no need to worry about the roar of the waves or those strange looking creatures that you find on the sand.  All will be well. Just keep your parent in sight. Doesn't he look small in this one!


Here is Sammy having fun in a tent with his cousins.  He's the one in the middle.


and back on the sand to build sand-castles.



It's hard to run on the sand especially with Daddy chasing you!


Isn't he just gorgeous!


Dylan update with Ruby



This is my first photo with my new grand-daughter, Ruby Skye, and her older brother Dylan. I am a very proud Oma indeed.  They came to visit with me this morning and we had coffee in the garden and fun with the grandchildren. Ruby is one month old already. I can't believe how the time has flown during this last month.

Dylan broke up from school yesterday for a six week break. This is his first school year and he came home with a very good school report the other day. In England the children break up for the summer around about the 21st July and go back on or near the 5th September.

Dylan loves his little sister so much.  It is wonderful to see the two of them together and watch Ruby's eyes focusing on her brother while she smiles.  She already knows his voice and enjoys his presence.

Dylan has been rewarded for his wonderful year at school with a new bicycle and he is so proud and delighted with it. He rode it round here this morning to show it off.





He is riding it uphill on stabilizers and it was a little hard to get it going at first, but he will soon get the hang of it.  Happy memories!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

We have a new Prime Minister


My goodness! What a lot has happened over here since I last blogged on here. As of tomorrow (Wednesday), we will have a new Prime Minister, Theresa May. She has lots of experience and will be a wonderful Prime Minister, I'm sure (I hope). Her main opponent was Andrea Leadsom, but her lack of experience at the top went against her and Theresa May had more support.  Larry was amazed at how quickly things happen over here and wished it could be the same in America. I said we always took our time to deliberate, but once the decisions were made, we moved fast.

I have been following the political events closely and blogged about it here, if you care to look.

The new blogs are through a different Google Account, which was purely unintentional. Somehow I ended up in a different place. Google is attempting to rule the world, I think and I have found all sorts of interesting corridors to wander down.

I have been fascinated by all things political, right from the referendum to now and the interest will continue into the future as we negotiate better deals for our country and more openness with the rest of the world. I voted Leave because I felt that belonging to the European Union was far too restrictive for our country. We need to be free again. The future depends on our negotiators!

I also have a new gardening blog. You can check that out here.

If you haven't already, I recommend you check out Google+. It's a big daunting at first, but very interesting nevertheless.

Star


Saturday, 18 June 2016

My new grand-daughter!


Well, here she is at last - Ruby Skye Smith. She was born yesterday morning at 7.36 and weighed 9lbs 2 ozs. Isn't she lovely? Ruby is my first grand-daughter, after five grandsons so you can imagine how excited we all are. Her brother Dylan, who you all know, was very excited yesterday. He was with me in the afternoon until his daddy came and fetched him and took him to the hospital to introduce him to his new big sister.

We did some colouring.
 

This was a very special day and I felt privileged to be part of it. We witnessed the birth of a family, which is now complete - mum, dad, brother and sister. Any more children would be a bonus.

So, welcome to the world little Ruby. I hope you have a very happy life.