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Showing posts from April, 2013

First birthday

It's the running wave's first birthday today!  I've started the day's celebrations by having a lovely walk round the block with Tilly.  We saw seven hares, four deer, two graylag geese pecking around in a field, accompanied by a couple of oyster catchers, and we heard the sky lark.  Not a bad bag!
As we walked this morning I was thinking about the content of this post.  It felt important to bring it back to its roots and I thought, therefore, it would be good to look at the origin of my blog's name.
The words are a line from a piece entitled 'The Dominion of Dreams : Under a Dark Star', written by Fiona Macleod (pen name for William Sharp) in 1895.  He/she was a Celtic visionary and romantic of the late nineteenth century.  This extract is used as a Gaelic blessing and in recent years put to music, beautifully, by John Rutter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAFCY_4mrWM)
Deep peace of the running wave to you Deep peace of the flowing air to you Deep peace of the qu…

A random thought!

I remember my mother saying how much she loved hanging up the washing.  I thought at the time she was slightly barmy but her comment obviously made an impression because I still remember it fifty years later.  

Our drying green was at the far end of a long garden and to get there Mum would have to carry the basket of wet washing across the lawn, past the copper beech and the old sunken garden, between a conifer hedge to the top of the garden where the vegetables were grown and the massive weeping lime tree towered over the washing line.  

It wasn't until I was grown up with a washing line of my own that I really understood what she was talking about.  I absolutely love hanging out washing on a beautiful day with a good drying breeze blowing.  Looking up into the sky whilst pegging the laundry on the line gives a sense of space, a little separation from the noise and demands of a busy household, and just a few moments to watch a buzzard soaring in the sky above, hear its mewing call,…

Hallelujah!

Do you know I think Spring has finally sprung.  What joy!  I managed to get myself out of bed at a proper hour this morning, 0615, and took Tilly for a walk round the block.  Recently I have been lying in bed thinking about doing the deed, knowing full well that I will love every minute of it, but since we got back from Australia I just haven't been able to drag myself up and out.  But today was the day.  It's Mr Gaucho's birthday and I knew I was going to be up to my elbows in tapas dishes for this evening's celebration so I thought that a bit of fresh air would set me up very well for the day ahead.

We walked down the drive and a little Jenny wren was flitting from branch to branch in the wood, and then I saw a beautiful pair of bull finches.  There is a little thicket of blackthorn they seem to enjoy and I have seen them there quite often.  Then, apart from appreciating some lovely shadows made by the early morning sun on furrows across a field of newly planted potat…

Tree bark

I used to take tree bark rubbings when I were a nipper.  It was a great way to discover that the differences between trees is not confined to the shape of the leaf alone.  When I was walking with Tilly some months ago I passed the cherry tree shown below and thought how beautiful the colours were in the bark.  After that I really began to look at and appreciate the amazing variety of texture, design and colour in tree bark.  It seems to be stating the obvious in some respects but the diversity is quite extraordinary.  Here is just a handful of examples.
The tree below is an old, local ash tree.  It is not showing any signs of ash dieback at the moment, and fingers crossed it never does.  It has a lovely pattern, a bit like honeycomb.
The next tree is beech.  The appearance of its trunk is a bit like elephant hide!  I always consider that I grew up under a beech tree.  There was a magnificent copper beech in our childhood garden in Hampshire.  We had a wonderful swing strung from one of …

One year ago exactly

It is exactly one year since I retired.  What a brilliant year I have had and I may have said it here before, and I have certainly expressed it many times out loud, I haven't had such a good time since I was ten years old.  It's just so blissful to realise you have time to be doing anything you feel like doing and not cramming it into an hour for lunch.  Just to be free to do what I want to do, or even nothing (not that that has happened much in the past twelve months) has been just fantastic!  I am very blessed.

Today my young walking companion, Grandson M, and I went for a wonderful stroll through a wood which nestles into the Lammermuir Hills.  There was a stream, a lake, a trail for little ones to follow with Glingbobs and Tootflits to look out for, and an awful lot of peace and sunshine.  It was magic.  But the best bit for me was just appreciating that I had time to stand and watch my grandson doing his best to clear some of the little dams made by twigs, leaves and winte…

Heading off into the blue

One of my favourite paintings is Winifred Nicholson's 'The Gate to the Isles' or 'The Blue Gate'.  I will probably be infringing copyright to include an image of the painting here but it is easily found on a plethora of other blogs, this being one of them http://gauguinsloft.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/paintings-of-scotland-by-winifred.html
I love the gate which invites you to explore what lies beyond.  In the distance you can see the paps of Jura in the Western Isles.  It's just glorious!

I have a painting by Philip Archer, Principal of Leith School of Art, in Edinburgh, which also depicts a footpath running around a grassy hill and leading off into the blue.  It is a very inviting image and I just want to be walking along that path to see what lies around the corner.

My favourite walk offers the same sense of anticipation.  I love this point on the walk, heading up hill through the sea buckthorn, the fine bladed grass neatly cropped by all the rabbits who live amongs…