Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Out and about

Today we went for a walk in search of frogspawn. The sun was so warm we were out for the first time this year without the need of a coat or a fleece. We even spotted a lone bumble bee happily buzzing about.

The frogs have been very busy already. This is in a pool left behind in what used to be a small stream. Unfortunately the storm in October 1987 changed the direction of the river and now the water rushes on past instead of through the field along the path of this stream. Instead we have a huge soggy ditch with occasional pools fed partly by a small stream froom higher up our land and partly by run off from the fields. The frogs and toads seem to thrive in it though, and last year we spotted newts too.

These daffodils bloom on the bank outside what is now our tractor shed. They are the traditional native Welsh daffodil and are much smaller than the garden sort, but extremely pretty and always the first to bloom. It's always a bit of a race between these and my cultivated Tete-a-tete's, but these 'won' this year by a day or so.

I think this is called pennywort. It has large fleshy circlular leaves, like an old-fashioned penny. It grows everywhere here and I really like it, for its quiet, unpretentious green-ness.

This ash tree is really climb-able. I was half up onto the lowest branch when I remembered that I was setting a bad example to the children. Immediately beneath me was a rather too large drop (the tree is growing on the top of a high hedgebank) and at the bottom of the drop is the tractor's silage spike and a few other bits of old, rusty farm machinery. Hannah said: "Get down Mummy!" in a bossy head-prefect type voice. Down Mummy got. Mummy has a six inch long scar on her hip from a similar escapade in her youth involving a fence and part of a grey Ferguson tractor. Some people never learn!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Book Meme

This is my Book Meme and I have been tagged by Zoe, via her blog The Glory Hole.

The rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

Okay, here goes. The nearest book, as I am sitting at my computer, is "Writing Down the Bones, Freeing the Writer Within" by Natalie Goldberg. It is the Shambhala Pocket Classics edition and usually lives in my handbag for those emergency I-need-something-to-read! moments, but I had evicted it from said bag on Friday before going away for the weekend.

Page 123 falls at the beginning of the chapter entitled 'Big Concentration'.

"As you become single-minded in your writing, at the same time something in you should remain aware of the color of the sky or the sound of a distant mower. Just throw in even one line about the street outside your window at the time you were carving that spoon. It is good practice."

The book only measures 7.5 cms by 11.5 cms and it usually goes everywhere with me. It is what I turn to for comfort. It's a bite-sized book, formed of bite-sized chapters. I've been a fan of Natalie Goldberg since the brother of my mother's late partner (that's a convoluted link!) was recommended "Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life" at a Skyros writing course. The brother (Paul) bought a copy for Michael, and Michael bought me a copy. In Wild Mind the writer refers to "Bones", and my sister bought me a copy for my 40th birthday. It's never far from my side and usually fulfills the title 'nearest book'. I use it for those moments when I want to write, but my brain says: "What?"
Now, to tag five others. If you read this, consider yourself tagged! (But I'll be back to check if I have five 'tagees'!)