Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Lost Heritage

A poem written some time ago when man in his wisdom began to build a trading estate along the path next to our beautiful river bank.  It used to look just like one of Monet's early paintings.
How can we . . .
How can we do it?
How can we desecrate one of Monet's early works?
The fisherman no longer watches placidly as his line flows gently.
Never catching, just biding his time.
We have ruined . . .
We have ruined it all.
The painting is scarred beyond all hope of recovery.
The trees have disappeared, their leaves fallen for the very last time
All shade offered, gone to man's greed.
But we have . . .
But we have new jobs.
The metal frames turned to trading estates.
Silence has become noise, as vehicles move where grass once was.
Although we need, so much we've lost.
Our children will not . . .
Our children will not see the beauty.
Iron mouths have gobbled up their heritage.
Will this, some time soon, take on a beauty all of its own?
From Monet to Lowry in our lifetime.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A Magical Evening

I hadn't planned to use this as a diary, but yesterday we had such a wonderful evening, that I thought I would write it down.
It was my husband's 65th birthday last week, our eldest daughter's birthday in between and then my biggie follows next week.  We thought we were joining the family to celebrate our daughter's birthday at a Hungry Horse restaurant.  Instead we were taken to our favourite Greek restaurant, to find that our three wonderful daughters had cooked up an amazing surprise for us.
As we entered the restaurant we found my husband's brother and his family sat waiting to greet us, along with their mother, my sister and her husband, my niece and her husband, the daughters and their husbands/partners.  We had a wonderful time and the evening was flowing with excellent food, champagne, gifts galore, a birthday cake, balloons and the most wonderful photographic scrapbook which the girls had put together.
It was packed so full of memories that every time I look at it something new comes to mind.  The girls usually manage to devise something good for 'special' birthdays but this time they left me completely stunned.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Love of my Life

For those who don't believe in love at first sight, I can tell you it really does happen and it can happen when you are young.  'Too young for all that stuff and nonsense', I can almost hear my mother telling me.

We met in a farmyard kitchen and gazed at each other for the first time across a heavy wooden table.  It was not the Aga which brought a flush to my cheeks but the heat of my very first love.  I smiled; he grinned.  My eyes lowered but he moved towards me and I felt the warmth of his body against mine.

Mother and I were visiting the farmer's wife together.  They were her friends.  I could not utter a word, just kept my eyes angled at his feet.

'Well, one of us is going to have to make a decision,' my mother uttered 'so I suppose it will have to be me.  Jimmy can come with us and stay the night, let's see how you two get along'.

We got along well in the car going home; cuddling in the back seat just jumping apart when my mother frowned into the rear view mirror.

She would take no truck from me about sleeping arrangements:

'You are thirteen; no he is not sleeping in your room.  You've got school in the morning.  Bring a sleeping bag and pillow in here and we'll make him comfortable'.

If I managed five minutes sleep that night, it was all I could manage and I heard my love pacing downstairs.  I thought deeply of our future together and imagined how every moment would be.  That is, until . . .

'Get down here this minute and see what he has done'.

With slipperless feet I tore into the kitchen and saw him cowering by the back door.  Everything from the tables and the tabletops had been flung to the floor.  There were broken mugs, casserole dishes, plates and bowls.  The cupboards had been prised apart and their contents scattered.

'You'd better start sweeping up, my girl' my mother insisted, but I saw the laughter in her eyes and knew that we were forgiven; the love which had started in a farmyard kitchen was to stay with us for life.

Jimmy the Retriever had a brand new collar and lead when he came to our wedding.  He was decorated with tiny rosebuds.  Who did I marry?  Why the farmer's son of course.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Treason Committing Troll

I remember the day well. My head hurt and there was all that darned 'trip trapping' right above me. It went on incessantly and finally I could not take the noise any longer. I feel sure they told you they just wanted to cross the once, well I can assure you it was anything but the case. Over and back, over and back, it was horrendous.
Finally I blew my crust. It was the little one; so I threatened to eat him, not that he would have made a reasonable meal for this troll.
'Oh no', he said, making like he was scared 'please don't eat me. My brother would make a much better meal'.
I ask you, would you do that to your very own brother?
Anyway, I let him go and I notice he did not 'trip trap' back again so obviously my words had some effect.
Then along comes the middle one. By this time I nearly had steam coming out of my ears. 'Trip, trap'. It was just asking too much of anyone. I have worked hard to keep that bridge in good order and all they do is muck it up and make it even more filthy.
So I threatened to eat him as well.
'Oh no, no, no' he said 'my big brother will be along very soon and he will make a much better meal for you'.
I thought about it and he was probably right. Anyway, my headache was becoming quite migrainous and I was losing my appetite; so I let him pass as well - but what a strange family they must be, offering each other as sacrifices.
Along came 'biggie' with more of a 'thud, thump' than a 'trip trap' and I blew my whiskers out; completely forgetting that his horns were tougher than those of the other two. He soon had me trapped between the wall and himself so obviously I began to plead.
Well, that's where you came in your Majesty because he insisted I should get on his back and he brought me in here. I noticed he did not hang about long once the dancing started; dived right off without a by-your-leave; too chicken to stay I reckon.
It was the dancing that was my undoing. If I had not heard the King's Minstrels then I should have gone straight back to my post at the bridge; of course I would. Then; had I gone back he would never have found his way across, I am always so vigilant.
So I am desperately sorry your majesty, but for the three Billy Goats' Gruff, Peer Gynt would never have found his way into the Hall of the Mountain King.