Monday, 30 September 2013

A Sunday walk

Today was golden with a June-like warmth, and sweet, mellow, autumn sunlight.  
A perfect day to go for my first real walk for months.
You can come with me, courtesy of my phone camera.
  As ever I start from my beloved park,
 where the trees at the edge of the golf course are beginning to turn their
 various shades of autumn auburn.
 On, over the footbridge and into the village , this handsome Georgian house sits on the corner,
 next to some older, but up-dated houses.
 The hand rail on the right runs alongside the footpath to the church,
but I walked up Church Road which lies alongside the house. 

Two horse riders,
 (of which there are many in the lanes and roads in and around the village today),
amble companionably along. 
The sound of  hooves breaking the afternoon silence of the lane
 lent a timelessness to the moment. 

  The field which is usually full of horses is empty.
The usual tenants must be part of the increase in equine traffic today.

  The village allotments,
(plots of land which are rented by the year to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers),
are being given their pre-winter tidy up.
Fruit and veg is harvested amid the blaze of dahlias,
 and Michaelmas daisies

 Back in the main village,
 the old houses straddle the street in front of the church.

 These cottages date from the 1680s. 
In those days this road, (still called the Birmingham Road),
 was the main road between Coventry and Birmingham,
 and was probably much busier then than it is on this sleepy Sunday,
 when the main artery is the A45 which by-passes the village.

 These cottages on the opposite side of the road were built approximately a century later,
around 1760.

The Old Stone House dates from 1600,
 and I have heard stories that it is haunted by the ghost of a roundhead soldier,
 but as Emily Bronte says in Wuthering Heights,
 it is hard to believe in unquiet spirits on a day such as this.
Back over the footbridge which links the village with the park.


The beech trees are still freckled by the buttery sun,

and as the afternoon shadows lengthen and tea time calls,
 families linger to enjoy the last rays before the autumn dews begin to fall.
My own street is much more mundane than the historic village centre but,
 despite my love for my native Wales,
 I still feel greatly blessed to live in this lovely part of England.
May your own place on this beautiful planet
Be Blessed

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Art and Dusting

Another little break from the blog, and I've found time to pick up the oil paints again,
and as somebody said they would like to see more of my art work here is one of
Streptocarpus Contre Jour
I'm working on.

It's interesting how I often can see where work is needed
 through the eye of the camera better than straight on.

It's also interesting how much I've managed not to see at all!
I seem to have been oblivious to the grey felt coat that had settled on the furniture and fittings
 during my poorly patch.
Against the grain I tackled this slowly,
 one room at a time,
 instead of in the usual whirling dervish swoop through the house I like to do.
It was suddenly seeing the cobwebs wafting languorously from the ceiling
 that opened my eyes to the state of things. 
Then I saw that I was sitting, like Miss Haversham,
 in a positive spider-fest of delicately spun, dust- enhanced drapery.  
Our spidery friends had been so busy
 that delicate filaments ran from the large jar standing at the top of the stairs,
down to the carpet it stands on,
 for all the world like a mini hawser anchoring it to the floor.
 The corners of rooms
 provided opportunity for long artistic loops and criss-crossings of great complexity.
 Triangular sails fluttered elsewhere.
 How come I hadn't noticed?!
I admit to feeling somewhat guilty as,
 feather duster and long reach vac attachment to hand,  I removed them,
 wondering how long they had taken to spin,
 how many times they had been repaired,
 and how many  spider families they had supported.
Still I reasoned,
 one of us had to go,
as to paraphrase the old Western movies,
 "This house ain't big enough for both of us." 
 - Well yes it is big enough for both of us
 as spiders don't really take up that much room. 
 It's just that I'd rather live without the evidence of their company; 
 or even their company since a large one dropped between my neck and my collar. 
 But that's another story...
I've also been re-thinking the blog again as bloggers tend to do from time to time.
Asking myself all sorts of questions
 and knowing that one of the answers is certainly that
 each day holds small, seemingly inconsequential wonders worth remarking.
There is one much larger wonder from my life I have not shared,
but which I think I should.
That too is a story for another time.
Many Blessings.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Flower and The Rock

Sitting on the patio today reading "Awake Mind, Open Heart".
The end of the introduction said something to the effect that 
seeking or gaining wisdom can be likened to holding a flower against a rock
 and hoping the flower will grow.
Apparently this image is to console us
by pointing to the fact that we may be like the rock
 but we can be patient and hopeful because even with us,
 something will happen over time.
As if to underline the point
next to me on the patio was a pot of stones
 into which a single flower from the hanging basket had blown.
All too often our view of ourselves isn't a true one,
and we incline to listen to the critic within,
 who is always so busy pointing out
 how much better we could and should do,
 or be.
Who knows what wisdom, truth, love, or beauty,
 garnishes our spirit even at this very moment
and we haven't even suspected.
Perhaps this weekend we can find time to befriend ourselves and begin to realise
 there is more to us than meets our own critical eye.