Welcome back to my blog! Apologies for the long absence – but you might be aware that on that last Sunday Post, I’d just learnt that the illness we had gone down with was Covid 19 – and both Himself and I went down with it hard. I’m sure it didn’t help that I’d had my vaccination on the previous Saturday…
I don’t ever want to go through another month like March again. Himself missed going into hospital by a whisker, as he had significant breathing difficulties. As for me, I was coping with severe joint pain and life-muffling exhaustion. I just slept, or endured the pain. And no one could come in and help us. It was frightening and miserable. What we did have was a steady stream of concerned enquiries from loving family and my wonderful sister and daughter ensured we didn’t go without any medication or food – not that we ate all that much.
Himself has just started back to work, but I am still recovering. Yesterday I’d planned to start back on my blog, but it was a bad day. I woke up at midday feeling exhausted and by the time I’d showered and dressed – that was it. I’m having to learn to pace myself. So there will still be sudden absences, for which I apologise. But I’ve already learnt the hard way that if I try to push through it, I just end up feeling worse. And most of my mental energy has to go to my writing, which is what keeps my mental health topped up.
Today’s Tuesday Treasures are previous pics I’ve taken of Spring springing, which I’m aware has been going on while I’ve been indoors battling to get well. I’m hoping next week to have had the chance to actually get outside and take some new photos, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy these offerings from previous years. Please, stay safe. I’m here to tell you that this is a terrible illness.x
In this week’s Tuesday Treasures, I’ve some photos of our walk on Sunday along the beach (again!). We were lucky, as rain had been forecast but for once it held off and we were able to wander along the sands at low tide. Which means I’ve taken some pics of the pier looking up at it, instead of standing on it. There have been some storms recently, hence the quantities of welk egg cases thrown up onto the shore – though I’m not sure where all the dead crabs came from. However, as you can see, on Sunday the sea was really calm.
Himself and I had a break a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and visited Bateman’s, the home of Rudyard Kipling. Though the house is closed at present, we spent a lovely afternoon wandering around the gardens, which is where I took this week’s photos.
Himself and I haven’t been away together for any kind of holiday since 2018, and were determined to get away for a few days to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, especially as a family party was impossible. So we were delighted to find vacancies at a good hotel in Ashdown Forest of Winnie the Pooh fame.
I’ve been uploading photos on my Sunday Posts, which have been getting a lot of positive comments, so I have decided to feature the pics in their full size, so you can see some of the detail. This week, I am featuring our outing to the Wetland and Wildfowl Trust near Arundel in West Sussex, last Thursday. It was a hot day and relatively quiet due to the restricted numbers and one-way system. Which meant for a lovely, peaceful walk at a time when it’s normally very busy. Here are some of the photos I took…
I wrote this poem when my children were in the throes of teenage angst. Now those days are now behind us, I’m relieved to report that ongoing gritted battle between us is history.
Blood- stained stems spiral
with sappy springtime love.
Heart-shaped leaves frondle
over sticks and stones –
billowing in green pillows
across the garden. Clasping
strong young growth in a
snugly lethal grasp.
Madonna-white bells nod
sweetly as I tear through
massed tangles of stems
and blanketing leaves, to
reveal the maggot-pale,
mangled plants beneath.
My teen-smart offspring with
wary eyes, and sharp replies
rip through my pillowing love –
blood-warm and snugly tight –
the bindweed in my children’s lives.
Not sure where this one came from – except we get a lot of corvids on the estate where I live and I find them fascinating…
Why couldn’t dad be a raven? That’s what
I want to know. Ravens are horny and
trendy – whereas crows are scrawny and stoned.
We get to eat lamb’s eyes and carrion
while ravens star in a poem by Poe.
A horde of crows are murder, they say-
yet unkind ravens strut about at the
Tower of London. We put the caw in
corvid – they describe beautiful black hair.
It’s not fair! What’s wrong with crow power?
I’m on the hop, trying to understand
why my egg had to crack in a crow’s nest.
This sharp elbow in the beak feels as bleak
as a corpse on a battlefield, waiting
for a pair of corbies to land and feast.
Even our crows’ feet are damned as they claw
your skin, ageing the edges of your eyes –
while ravens are sexy with the sly draw
My bird fancies a raven.
He feathers her lovenest in my place
that foul fowl’s in for a nasty surprise
as I smash my crowbar down on his head,
cracking his raven skull under my blows,
turning his bird brain
food for crows.
We went for a walk in one of our favourite places on the planet – Highdown Gardens, a wonderful garden created by Frederick Stern on the south-facing side of a large hill just outside Worthing. It sounds ideal until you realise said hill is looking straight out onto the sea and takes the brunt of everything an English maritime climate can hurl at it, especially those salt-laden winds…
On this particular sunny day, we were treated to the sight of this water vole busily gnawing through leaves and scuttering along the bank. We watched her (we decided it must be female – the male was probably stuck indoors watching the cricket…) for nearly half an hour. During that time several people wandered by, but she seemed unconcerned. The name water rat seems all wrong – her fur was far thicker and her body shape quite different to a rat. What we did notice was the way she bobbed in the water as she flung herself back into the pond periodically and disappearing below the surface, before reappearing again.
It was when we were toiling up the hill, I heard the buzzing coming from the hellebore shrub and caught sight of this gigantic bumble bee. It’s difficult to judge from the pics, which I have enlarged, but this beastie was HUGE. Easily the size of a 2p coin and with a vivid orange bottom, and teddy-bear furred – she was the antithesis of aerodynamic. Yet there she was, grazing the flowers. I only have a point and shoot camera and find photographing bees quite tricky. They are easily spooked and don’t stay still all that long so was delighted when she obliged by continuing to crawl around the flower. I like to think she was bunking off from her daily toil and having a bit of a sunbathe in the spring sunshine…