Sunday, 2 November 2014

Autumn Idylls

Today it would have been  my Dad's birthday so I wanted to get out into the country and remember him doing what he so enjoyed which was walking here in Cornwall with my Mum when they came to stay.I would direct him around some of the routes of the mobile library that I was working on at the time,winding through the lanes to small villages and hamlets that were off the beaten track of the usual tourist.This is the village church of St Michael in Penkivel.

Beyond these gates lies Tregothnan
the residence of the Boscawen family. I can remember having to get out of the library van and open the gate and then shut it again after we had served the house.The cook would give us coffee in the kitchen and homemade biscuits!

Then it was on through the magical Lamorran Wood with its hairpin bends ,mossy walls and carpets of autumn leaves.In winter it was sometimes deep in snow which added to its mystical enchantment. 

Coming out of the woods we came to the tidal river at Ruan where the water  was high and the trees dipped their  mossy branches into its grey green depths.

A cave of Autumn trees!
Not a sound but the cries of birds and the rippling tide as it surged up river.
I remembered seeing the blue flash of a kingfisher here when we stopped for a break one morning,library vans make good hides and I saw so much wild life .

We drove on to Porthcurnick beach where the sun shone on the sea,the white surf a contrast to the deep blue of the waters. The aroma of salt and seaweed on the wind always comes as a new thrill for the senses.A long look at the horizon brings thoughts of sea going adventure and discovery.

Gulls were diving into the surf looking for for sand eels.
The sea as old as time.

I think this dog would like to get among the gulls. He was certainly having a lovely time playing in the waves.

The layers of colour were stunning!
On the way back to the car and the comfort of our coffee and sandwhiches we did a little botanizing!

 A bedraggled campion still flowering in the lane leading down to the beach.

Hawthorn berries,rich pickings for the birds.

Swan Lake?

As we drove home we saw a double rainbow. Wordsworth said that his heart leapt whenever he saw a rainbow and so does mine. These  were so vivid I felt sure that they must be a good omen.



Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sweet Disorder: Spending Time in the Sewing Room

Sweet Disorder: Spending Time in the Sewing Room: Spending time in the Sewing  Room My old  friend Sally who is a an accomplished performance poet from London came to stay so sewing had...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I am back after a long while,other things got in the way!

Summer Journey
June , my birthday month seemed a good time to go and have a holiday in the beautiful South of France!
The harbour at Sanary sur Mer on our first evening.
We left Cornwall, I was armed with literary guides and  historical notes.Travelling by train to London  we stayed the night and then boarded the Eurostar at St.Pancras, changed at Gare de Nord  crossing Paris to The Gare de Lyon.  We took the TGV down to Marseilles. That evening we arrived at our destination the charming little port of Sanary sur Mer!
The TGV was great ,hurtling down through the French countryside in a double decker train was amazing and we were there so quickly.
Sanary proved to be the most delightful base for a holiday in this area and it had literary connections and that is always a treat for me.
Nothing quite prepares you for the light and colours of Provence!

The market in Toulon was wonderful,just about every nationality in the world seemed to be there with something amazing on offer. The sheep and goat heads at one butchers stall were a bit macabre and I did not photgraph them!
The fabric stalls were great and reasonably priced,I got some lovely sprigged lavender cotton and a small piece of Las Olivades cotton.

 This stall had the most luscious basil,huge leaves and the scent was beautiful

A closer look at the basil and the plant behind is very large pungeant Marrocan mint.
We had refreshing mint tea at a small cafe run by two affable Morrocan gentlemen who kissed my hand a lot!They said they came from Marrekesh and one of them had a brother in Peckam!

What a moustache,he is handsome!

At Hyeres we wandered the cobble streets and found a cafe for lunch.I thought of Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson who had lived in Hyeres for a while and loved it.Katherine Mansfield,Edith Wharton and  others loved this place.Queen Victoria also had a passion for it and I am told she longed for the warmth of Hyeres on her death bed.

The backstreets are charming.

 The warmth and light makes mundane scenes look enchanting.

This trip was memorable too as we went to Aix and were able to visit Cezanne's atelier after a walk up along hill out of the town.The atelier was purpose built for Cezanne and is set in a green shady garden with gravel walkways .It is all very low key and the room where he painted has many of the artifacts from his still life paintings. His easel is there and even his old coat hangs evocatively on a hook on the wall. It is a small place with timed entry and has a reverential feeling . A homage to a great painter!

We walked  back into Aix to the Cours Mirabeau through the ancient streets and the flower market.Coffee at Les Deux Garcons but Picasso was not there or Hemmingway either! 

Every evening we took a stroll along the port of Sanary,had meal and wandered the old town. There are many more events that were amazing on this holiday,the Calanques and Cassis were Virgina Woolf complained that frogs kept her awake when she and Leonard were stayng there.I presume they were amphibious!!
I love the scent of the garrigue and the Maquis.What a lucky woman I am to be able to live some of my dreams.
What a birthday treat

Goodnight Sanary!

Monday, 24 February 2014

I have to have a rant!!!!

I do not want to be a misery but I feel at the moment that I am wandering in a hostile country!
The punitive way our government is treating the poor and the sick is a nightmare!
I was happy to be living in a country that was civilised enough to take care of its ill and disadvantaged but now I see greed,fear and ignorance being rewarded and kindness and compassion being swept away on a storm of vindictive destruction. Naive as I may seem I did believe we had some safeguards against this sort of destruction.
Libraries closed,people being bullied by private firms  and still the rich are getting richer. This is not the way to sort out a financial crisis but an excuse to line the pockets of the already well off.
I am now ashamed to be part of a country that behaves in this way.

People do not want to end up on the street but not everyone is born to go to Eton!

This is Britain today,scenes like this are becoming more common and will escalate as the new laws are brought into being.
I do not know exactly how to change this but I do know that there are people out there with some great ideas  that would help. We should fight for our public services ,I am deeply ashamed of the Con/Dems for their stance on the financial crisis and the way my fellow citizens are falling for the lies and half truths spread by our increasingly inflammatory popular press,BNP,UKIP etc.
Well there it is will this be the end of the all the work that was done in the past to make life bearable for the  disadvantaged and sick,I so hope not!Where are the decent ,caring people?