Monday, 20 January 2014


The book group came to our house on Saturday evening to discuss 'Snow'. They didn't have to travel through any of the stuff, which was lucky, as most of us had read quite enough about it already, thank you very much, by the time we had finished the book! The majority of the group found the book a hard slog. For all the sly humour in the writing I found it a very depressing read - not a good thing for me in the miserable months of winter.
Luckily our book group is a happy, lively affair, everyone brings a food contribution so we always sit down to a very sociable meal. Last autumn the pear trees had cropped well and I made upside-down cakes with the fruit and stored a supply in the freezer.  When I turned one out onto a plate for the supper it looked rather pale and uninteresting. Luckily I had  some white chocolate stars and glitter icing left over from Christmas so it got a slight snow treatment!
I couldn't recommend the book but it made for a good discussion.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Visible Monday

It's winter woolly time. The sun may be shining but it's cold outside! This Jigsaw cardigan with faux fur collar and cuffs is as cosy as can be. I can even stand outside in it without feeling chilled - well, almost!
For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


Since my visit to the British Museum I've googled Sheenagh Pugh whose 'Sometimes' poem was included in the 'Cradle to Grave' exhibition. Oops!  Under the title, 'the dreaded Sometimes' I learned that she "long ago got sick of it" and no longer likes to have her name associated with that piece of work. So it seems that, as is often the case, I am late to the party! Nevertheless I am pleased to discover a poet who is new to me.

Here's a poem that I wrote on the train home.


In the quiet carriage
people have wires attached
and are elsewhere,
unaware of fellow travellers.
Someone's eating crisps,
salt and vinegar,
crackle and crunch in the quiet carriage.
I've eaten nothing since my lunch.
But there are coughs and sneezes,
the threat of diseases.
I'll keep my sandwich in it's paper bag.
I think it is too bad
that no-one uses hankies anymore.
I'm lost without a neatly folded square,
and a spare - a generational thing.
I'm feeling weary, happy to be sitting down,
an unwired pensioner
who rarely visits town. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

At The British Museum

Those of you who have been following my blogs for a while will know that The British Museum is one of my favourite London destinations. The contents of the museum and the building itself are inspirational. I love the Great Court, a two acre area enclosed by this beautiful glass roof, designed by Sir Norman Foster and opened in 2000. The quality of light is wonderful and it's the perfect place to sit and re-coup, meet-up or have a snack before plunging back into whatever is on show.
There is always such a lot to see and learn. On this visit the Welcome Trust Gallery had an exhibition called, 'Cradle to Grave'. The central area of the room was taken up with a textile installation comprising over 14,000 prescription drugs, the estimated average prescribed to every person in Britain over their lifetime.
What an enormous amount of pills! It was very thought-provoking to see a life set out and described in this way.
The pills were stitched in orderly fashion onto mesh and the whole piece resembled a strip of decorative fabric, a rice tie-die or similar.
Around the walls of the room and in various display cases were objects and images to show attitudes to life events in differing cultures. I was moved to see the poem by Raymond Carver that I had used on my mother's funeral sheet printed on a wall.
Other poets were referenced of whom I've never heard. Sheenagh Pugh, how lovely, I shall have to look her up!
I had only intended to be passing through the Welcome Gallery on my way to somewhere else, but that's how it is at the museum, you become waylaid and fascinated by something that you weren't expecting!
Then I trotted off to room 49 and heard an excellent talk about gods and goddess' s in Roman Britain.
You could lose me in this place for years!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

In town

I've been in London for a couple of days, where, taking no heed of Twelfth Night tradition, the streets were still lit with festive decorations.
I had a good wander around the Covent Garden area where, as usual, there were entertainers, on this occasion of excellent quality, drawing a large, appreciative crowd.
'Snow' in the form of gently falling spots of white light made the whole area look charming.
I was in town for an evening at the ballet - oh, joy!

A performance of Balanchine's three-act ballet, 'Jewels.'
The dancers were colour coded and the opening section, 'Emeralds' was absolutely charming.
Followed by a very lively 'Rubies' danced to Stravinsky's Capriccio
and ending with a girl's best friend, 'Diamonds' danced  to Tchaikovsky's Polish Symphony. 
Photos taken from the programme.
There were two intervals, which was good news because there are always interesting displays in the public spaces; tiny model stage sets

and costume designs.
There was a very comprehensive exhibition entitled, 'Raven Girl: The Making of a Ballet.'  Absolutely fascinating - how I wish that I'd seen the production last year!

The displays were full of fascinating details; I had never heard of a costume 'bible' but can well imagine what a valuable reference it can be.

There were some other lovely photographs in the accompanying leaflet but I notice that they have a small copyright logo with them so shall not include them in this post. If you are in London do see the exhibition, it is on until early February.