“I’m going to buy buns for tea,” said Peter. “I thought you were all so poor,” said the Station Master. “So we are,” said Peter, confidentially, “but we always have three pennyworth of halfpennies for tea whenever Mother sells a story or a poem or anything.”
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Last weekend we took our first road trip of the year – to visit my family in Kingston-upon-Hull (our 13-year-old-niece informed us that only a ‘southerner’ would call Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull – locals call it ‘ull.)
It was wonderful to see our nieces who have all grown up and changed considerably since we saw them last at Christmas. Even the littlest one has progressed from terror to just tenacious. And I’m pleased to report that my little northern family has flourished over the COVID lockdown. For all sorts of reasons it’s been good for them as a family and of course it’s been a long hot summer for the girls, and conducive to good veggie-growing on their allotment.
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
On 1 May 2018 it was cold and raining in London, but in Morgan Bay the sun shone as my Mamma and Little Sis walked the 4km length of white beach in remembrance of my dear Dad. It’s been one whole year without him and we have all felt the loss in different ways.
“Today, given a 35mm camera and a built-in exposure-meter, anyone can be an expert photographer, but it was not so easy fifty-years ago…. Clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I’m eavesdropping on a table of paint-spattered construction workers in my local cafe. As they hungrily devour their ‘full English’ they are cross-examining one another’s attempts so far at keeping to their new year resolutions.
Have you made some new years resolutions? After examining my own year in photos, the mantra, ‘get back into my photography’, seems to ring out boldly and would appear on my list if I had one. I have long neglected my photography and sadly my big Nikon and expensive lenses have spent a shameful amount of time in the spare cupboard. The curse of the iPhone – so very small and convenient – sadly the results are somewhat disappointing. Bear with my poor efforts as I take you through my year in pictures:
We saw the new year in (2014/2015) with a group of special friends in a cottage on the cold Yorkshire moors doing a murder mystery dinner – in full costume and character. “Such fun!” (Miranda voice).
“It was a shock to me to turn from the wonderful smoky beauty of a sunset over London, with its lurid lights and inky shadows and all the marvellous tints that come on foul clouds even as on foul water, and to realise all the grim sternness of my own cold stone building, with its wealth of breathing misery, and my own desolate heart to endure it all.”
“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.”
Dr Seuss, The Cat in the Hat
This house has been a hive of activity since returning from Wales.
Apart from running around three small girls and sightseeing till we’ve almost dropped, the Secret Seven have been most productive at home. My hubby and brother have trimmed the hedge; got rid of a fox mess; bought seafood at Billingsgate Market; gutted and cooked prawns, scallops and squid and made a delicious paella. They have bought a brew kit and begun brewing; put up a wooden parasol on the terrace and accomplished various other household tasks.
S-J: Mommy I don’t want any more. M: Have three more beans. S-J: I already had five beans. M: Just one more then. (M takes dinner plate away.) S-J: Mommy, can I have a roll? M: No, you can’t have a roll. If you’re still hungry you can have some more supper. S-J: I don’t want supper, I want lunch.
My observations: my family in action.
Yes, they are here – the Zambians have arrived. There is a growing pile of small shoes at the door, a tent in the lounge and Lego EVERYWHERE!
The thing I love about family and especially children are that they keep you on your toes. You can never let down your guard because there are ‘flapping’ BFG-type ears everywhere picking up ‘stompies’ (that’s cigarette butts for non-SA’s). Continue reading Family fun
“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
These are wonderful inspiring sentiments from two writers whose works I admire exceedingly.
Random commonalities: The writer’s names both have double initials. Both books describe the adventures of fantastical creatures or at the very least animals that talk, ponder and expound surprising and irrefutable animal wisdom – and charm.