Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mountains, Forests, Lakes and Dales — The English Lake District

We have just been on a holiday to the upper part of the English Lake District, taking in the Coastal harbours. Not far away maybe, but a break among the mountains, climbing up hills, walking by lakes and rivers, visiting harbours with their new marinas. Taking in sweet scents of pine and wild flowers, lifted to Paradise by magnificent views. The strenuous exercise actually relieved the discomfort I had been suffering with arthritic knees!
We marvelled at the new life all around us — foals, lambs, pretty little pigs, young birds, red squirrels, and, of course, the freshness of new green growth amongst woodland and meadow.
And when we were resting in our caravan, my husband read to me. Two interesting novels, although we were glad to get to the end of one of them as it seemed to go on forever with unnecessary detail. I guess some writers hate to miss out anything gleaned through research, but why stretch out a story with what often seems like padding?

Getting home we were welcomed by the colourful blooming of our garden shrubs and trees. We can't help but wonder how we came to live in such a lovely part of England!

I also found I had received excellent reviews for my Seduction By Design but they deserve a post of their own!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pigeon in a Goldfish Bowl?

Pigeon in a goldfish bowl?
No, I could not be that cruel. But he looks comfortable enough.
A sunny day. A walk into town. I took photographs of the Gill Footpath, which is the beginning of the Cumbrian Way.
Not long ago the trees were cut down on one side of the brook. It is lovely to see that the bank is once more covered with a variety of deciduous trees.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Beauty of Trees in May

It is a great season with so many flowers coming out to cheer even the dullest of days. But the trees too have a beauty and grace that warm the heart, They are the hotels and delivery rooms for the birds of which many eat of the their seeds and nuts. One of our trees is also a feeding station all the year round.
I don't care much for the song that speaks of a nest of robins in the tree's hair (we have found robins nesting in unusual places but we have yet to find a robin's nest in a tree) but no doubt the writer of the song's lyrics thought it romantic. I could look up into the branches of trees and wonder at the light and shadow — the shimmering beauty of leaves and the heavenly fulness of blossom. Heavenly, simply heavenly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Showers that bring forth flowers!

May is a lovely time of the year. Of course, I say that about most of the months! In England every month has its special features. I feel greatly blessed to live in a land with changing seasons and moods.
We still have daffodils and other spring flowers in bloom, but now the shrubs really come into their own. The camellias started flowering a while ago, as did the early azaleas, but now the showy rhododendrons are joining the magical throng, along with others that bring glory to our country garden. The pots too are brimming with nature's jewels, and Wisteria and clamatis budding on the house wall. The rose patch will come alive next month but already there is rich foliage. So too with climbing roses. And yet, the snowdrops and winter jasmine that flower in the dark days, are just as much treasured for their simple beauty. Yes, each season brings forth its own simple pleasures
The lawn is not blessed with much grass but what is there adds greenness - plus extra colour from violets that enjoy the tolerant nature of my gardener husband! I don't allow dandelions to proliferate though. I have spent many hours weeding them out of both lawn and borders. Hard work but good exercise, and I hate using weed killer.
It is good to see the flowers blooming around town too. By the time June arrives the whole place will be awash with colour.
Such riches that all can enjoy, whatever the political situation.
Now is the time to walk in the woods — the scent and blue haze among the trees turn the woods to heaven on earth.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

School — the best years of your life? The joys of teaching!

A poem by Gladys Hobson

The joys of teaching

They come in the night, and daytime too —
Dreams and nightmares of many a hue.
We shake them off with laughter jolly
But most of the time we’re off our trolley!
In confident voice we teach what we know
And try to hide what we don’t want to show.

We stand at the front and spout the lesson
And hope to be able to last the session.
Some kids are angels and want to learn,
But there’re also those who are ready to spurn —
All that is taught, but still is our hope
That none of the kids will end up a dope.

We sit in our chair and read out the names
Of all our pupils ready for games —
Not the sort you play with bat and ball
But who’s to win and who’s to fall
In the battle of wits they play with their teacher —
Jim’s taunting of Miss is a favourite feature.

At least terms are short and holidays long,
And sometimes surprises come rolling along.
Young Jimmy is offered a place at Oxford
And Marlene is nursing in USA Botsford.
Some are employed, most are at college,
And not one is inside — eating his porridge!

Gladys Hobson

Ah yes, some of the best years of my life!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Daffy Squirrel — what joy!

The Daffy Squirrel!

A while ago I wrote about a squirrel playing with a stick. Now my hubby caught one playing with a daffodil. Rolling on its back, pulling a daffodil to the ground and then letting it go up again. In between racing in tight circles. So that’s how some of the daffy heads got knocked off!
They are delightful creatures to watch. Since my hubby has made it more difficult to get at the nuts they try all manner of means to outwit him — sometimes hanging by one back claw, or wrapping their back feet around the smooth pole (with the inevitable result — down they go!) They chase each other round and round the oak tree, and race from tree to tree high up in the branches. Okay, maybe they can be a nuisance but they give us more pleasure than visiting cats.
Unfortunately, the squirrels are too quick to photograph them playing. Open the door and they are off. But we caught one on the bird table during winter. The nut feeder has been made more difficult to get at since then. My hubby believes they should have to work for their dinner!
Three new photographs today. (Click on photograph to enlarge the squirrel)

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Eye Of The Beholder

Threatening Rain

Heavy rain threatened today but the garden needs it. Against the dark sky the beauty of the countryside is made manifest. In everyone’s life a little rain must fall. So often nature reflects our own mood. Light and shadow. Sun and rain. Joy and sorrow. Life is full of contrasts. Without contrasts life would lack lustre. Writers have their highs and lows. Words may flow, or dam up like a stream clogged with debris. For me, words are not flowing, they are clogged with jumbled thoughts. One day a refreshing shower will come and clarity will return.