I was reminded of one of my favourite poems and one of the few I have always been able to recite by heart. It says everything that I feel deep down about the beautiful country we live in and at moments like that I cast aside all discontent and politics and just relish it’s beauty.
HOME THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD
O, to be in England
Now that April ‘s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom’d pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
And a love song…
This was one of six 7″ singles we had in our sixth form common room and it seems odd to hear it without the crackles and jumps. Dig the clothes Clifford. I dedicate this to my dear friend David B… I know you’ll read this eventually x
It’s probably a cliche, perhaps even a little boring and oh so English… but the weather! I look like I’ve spent a week in the Med… We’ve had such a glorious, relaxing Easter, full of love, laughter and family. Nice. So nice. Just nice…
My parents came round yesterday, arrived at twelve, and we were all showered and dressed for once- amazing! Ma is so frail these days, it breaks my heart. But she made the effort and really enjoyed herself. Pat and Sam popped in with eggs for the boys and lots of hugs and kisses, both looking remarkably well. They stayed for longer than they intended which was very welcome. What really made Ma and Pa’s day though was the unexpected appearance of JC, with more eggs and more hugs and kisses- for them I hasten to add, not me! I do find it slightly amusing that he feels comfortable enough to hop over the gate uninvited but I am definitely not expected to behave in the same way. Hey Ho… I have nothing to hide!
Pa was a little tearful. He’s so emotional- and I seem to be getting more and more like him- lovely though. He really does love that man… (JC). Ma managed to stay awake until after she’d eaten which was a boon and Pa was on fine form generally. I cooked a rather delicious leg of lamb speared with much garlic, served with Red’s crashpot fennel-seed potatoes, cardamon and orange chanteray carrots, spinach, onion sauce, redwine and wholegrain mustard gravy. Shop bought puds but Waitrose did us proud. Yum! We all had a post prandial snooze- me in the swing chair in the sun- grandparents indoors and they didn’t leave till after five. Good going.
I’ve been very inspired this weekend and have written lots. Poems and stories are coming thick and fast and my keyboard is smokin’! I must have found myself a new muse… I’ve been given some advice over where to submit them so I can’t post many of them yet…
I’ve finished Pynter Bender by Jacob Ross. It’s a truly wonderful read. I heartily recommend it. I have never been lucky enough to visit the Caribbean but I really feel I know Grenada now, the smells and the textures and the hearts and the minds of the people. What’s more, I really want to visit! The novel is set in a truly interesting time in the islands history and is an important book in so many ways. Mr Ross writes with the prose of a poet and his imagery is breathtakingly beautiful, yet entirely accessible. It is as much a coming of age novel, as a historical and political document, as a social commentary, as a work of art. Read it. I defy you not to enjoy.
I am now reading his second volume of short stories,
A Way to Catch the Dust. They are by turns dark, tragic, laugh out loud funny, beautiful and essentially about the human condition and that mystery we call love in all it’s forms; love of children, of lovers, of the earth, of one’s country, of ones fellow human being. I am enthralled. Another recommendation.
I dropped of the elder two of my three children in Hallaton at mid-day for another annual beer and violence fest. ‘Bottle Kicking’. We were diverted and I dutifully followed the signs until I ended up at this… Thanks AA…
Last year Isaac was concussed by a loaf of bread… this year who knows. I will perhaps update you anon. I charged them all with a decent pick up time as I understood F and J had school in the morning. However I have since been reliably informed that school does not, in fact, start until wednesday. Thank God some of us are on the ball. Pity it isn’t me. That would have been rather embarrassing! The housemaster thinks I’m a little barmy as it is. My reputation as a wonderfully organised and focussed mother would have been instantly in tatters. Again… Hey Ho… You’ve got to smile
Happy Holidays! I’m in love with every single one of you tonight… X
Tagged: beauty, children, Clifford T Ward, diary, family, food, happy, Home thoughts from abroad, Human relationships, humour, Jacob Ross, love, old age, Parents, Pynter Bender, Reading, Robert Browning, Short story, writing