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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

merry christmas

 In spite of the storm that raged around us for the last two days all is still here now and we may be in for a Silent Night at last.
 The tree is decorated

 the biscuits made
 the lights twinkling

 Pixie is waiting for a glimpse of Father Christmas
 and Beezle is embarrassed by the Christmas ribbon
 Our cards this year were made from a drawing by my daughter Chloe. You can view her art work on


www.chloecoggin.tumblr.com
we all wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for reading the blogs.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

robins and wreaths


R I P Nelson Mandela.




My heart sinks when it is awoken to the sound of squeaking. You know that nine times out of ten it will be followed by a strange, inhuman growl and the crunching of bones. But the other morning I found something actually living. Down in the kitchen, as I was about to help myself to a slice of bread, I saw a little robin sitting on the bread basket. For a moment I thought I was trapped inside a Christmas card - so small and festive it looked. It let me pick it up, photograph it for this blog and put it outside, away from potential harm where it eventually flew away.



Later that day we noticed that Pocket had gone. We realised that actually we hadn't seen him come to think of it, for nearly two days. It was so out of character that for a strange, fantastical moment I imagined that the souls of all the birds he'd killed had clubbed together and had him changed into that robin. We called all day, looked in all the sheds and other people's sheds wondering if he'd suffered the same fate as his mother who had disappeared too. It reminded me of when I lived in London and had one of the very many black cats I had - this one Mr. Hatty - who one day disappeared. I used to walk the streets of Camden Town looking for him and on more than one occasion, on seeing him and picking him up and bringing him back into the flat, I discovered on closer inspection he wasn't Mr Hatty at all. A lot of struggling black cats do look alike.
Pocket pleased to be back on velvet and not a pelargonium pot.
 Eventually - dear Reader - I thought I'd look in the greenhouse which I hadn't bothered to check out before because I hadn't been in it for three or four days. There he was! Not mewing loudly to be let out but he must have been hungry. He had jumped in through the skylight window which had shut behind him. All the pelargoniums were in there covered in fleece and he had walked and slept on all of them and broken a few pots but it didn't matter we were so pleased to see him.
This was our Christmas card last year which one of my clever daughters took on her phone. We called it Silent Night. Pocket, a year smaller just laid himself down by Pixie in front of the wood burner. No Photoshop involved.

The paperwhites are filling the house with their heady scent.

And some of the roses are still hanging on in the garden.




The Robin


Kahlil Gibran




O, Robin sing! for the secret of eternity is in song
I wish I were as you, free from prisons and chains.

I wish I were you, a soul flying over the valleys,
Sipping the light as wine is sipped from ethereal cups.

I wish I were you, innocent, contented and happy
Ignoring the future and forgetting the past.

I wish I were as you in beauty, grace and elegance
with the wind spreading my wings for adornment by dew

I wish I were as you, a thought floating above the land
Pouring out my songs between flower and the sky

Oh, robin, sing! and disperse my anxiety
I listen to the voice within your voice that whispers in my inner ear.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Rubber gloves and Pixie fluff



Whilst out on our walk in the horses' field the other day Beezle has discovered a new game. Finding an old black rubber glove in the grass(used for the ubiquitous poo picking) - sorry - probably too much information - he picked it up, shook it violently and raced off with it - all the while shaking it and hitting it on the ground with great glee and speed. Of course Pixie wanted to join in too and grabbed one of the rubber "feathers" from Beezle's black 'hen' which stretched to an incredible length before she let it go and it pinged back in Beezle's face. I think he was a bit surprised but it hasn't stopped him doing it again and again. Perhaps I'll just be able to stand at the gate soon, drop the glove on the ground and let him wear himself out without having to traipse round the field myself.


Beezle quite tired after the game with the rubber glove.



As I am writing this those naughty ducks are in here again - this time checking out the dog food bowl that seems to have skated across the floor and ended up near the French windows.



 All the animals have been helping the man who helped me out by painting the kitchen last week. He didn't realise Pixie has a white tip to her tail - {her magic wand we used to call it when she was a puppy) and was concerned that she'd got paint on her tail. I told him it was a good idea if she had but I didn't think her paintwork would be very neat.

Pixie moping because I told her I didn't think her brushwork would be up to standard.
 It's lovely having a newly painted kitchen but we were without it for over a week and you realise that the kitchen is the heart of the home and without it we felt - well - heart less. But as Beezle and Montaigne would say - "What do I know?"
We weren't allowed to cook so had a lot of takeaways and once treated ourselves to a meal out. The rest of the house was covered in jars and jams and plates and saucepans and all the things we had taken out of the kitchen to leave a nice working space. When we moved the cupboard I found so much Pixie fluff that this time I am convinced I can make at least two more of her.


The bare rooted roses have arrived! I spent all yesterday potting up 40 of them with another delivery due soon. I am trying out this rather gorgeous one called Commandant Beurepaire which looks rather heavenly. Now I'm going to do a striped rose trial I think - to see which is the most gorgeous. Of course I won't find out till next summer -  but I can always dream.




Harlem

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over -
like a syrupy sweet?
May be it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?



Langston Hughes.