Sunday, July 31, 2011

The August Break 2011

Starting tomorrow, and during the whole month of August I will be taking part in the August Break, which you can find out more about at 

Here is what Susannah has to say about it:

Okay, here’s the plan for the August Break: you simply share one photo (or more!) per day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you feel moved to share. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, film or digital – with or without words – anything goes! – for the whole of August. No pressure – just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer. And to have a little break from the pressures and expectations of regular blogging.

There are NO RULES, people! Just sunshine (hopefully) and a bit of fun. And lots of lovely photos to look at.

I will be taking lots of photographs and posting at least one of them here, most days and doing the same (different photos) with Jen over at Notes Across the Sea

I am looking forward to taking more photographs and sharing them with you here, I hope you will enjoy seeing them. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Prof's away....


                                                             Tin Wedding Whistle - Ogden Nash

                                                                    Though you know it anyhow
                                                                    Listen to me, darling, now,
                                                                    Proving what I need not prove
                                                                    How I know I love you, love.
                                                                    Near and far, near and far,
                                                                    I am happy where you are
                                                                    Likewise I have never larnt 
                                                                    How to be it where you aren't.
                                                                    Far and wide, far and wide,
                                                                    I can walk with you beside;
                                                                    Furthermore, I tell you what,
                                                                    I sit and sulk where you are not.
                                                                    Visitors remark my frown
                                                                    Where you're upstairs and I am down,
                                                                    Yes, and I'm afraid I pout
                                                                    When I'm indoors and you are out;
                                                                    But how contentedly I view
                                                                    Any room containing you.
                                                                    In fact I care not where you be,
                                                                    Just as long as it's with me.
                                                                    In all your absences I glimpse
                                                                    Fire and flood and trolls and imps.
                                                                    Is your train a minute slothful?
                                                                    I goad the stationmaster wrothful.                                                         
                                                                    When with friends to bridge you drive
                                                                    I never know if you're alive,
                                                                    And when you linger late in shops
                                                                    I long to telephone the cops.
                                                                    Yet how worth the waiting for,
                                                                    To see you coming through the door.
                                                                    Somehow, I can be complacent
                                                                    Never but with you adjacent.
                                                                    Near and far, near and far,
                                                                    I am happy where you are;
                                                                    Likewise I have never larnt
                                                                    How to be it where you aren't.
                                                                    Then grudge me not my fond endeavor,
                                                                    To hold you in my sight forever;
                                                                    Let none, not even you, disparage
                                                                    Such a valid reason for a marriage.

The Prof is away at summer school for a week. The house is too big without him.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The view from our honeymoon cottage: would be nice to be there now

Outside my window it's a bit grey, but a lovely cool day. I know it's not a popular thing to say, but I enjoying this summer we are having, despite the rain. It beats sweltering heat hands down for me. 

I am thinking do I really have to go to T'ai Chi this evening? I'm tired. Answer: yes you do, or you'll get behind. (Grumpy face).

I am thankful for coffee. Books. The cool breeze. For the fact that I seem to be feeling a little better recently. 

From the kitchen roast chicken, new potatoes and peas in about two hours when it's cooked.  Right now, because I'm hungry and I can't wait that long, marmalade on toast.

I am wearing my old favourite hippy flowers top, silver sandals, black jeans that keep falling down because the Young Philosopher was in a hurry to go out and couldn't find his belt.

I am creating hmm, not a lot at the moment. I feel like knitting. 

I am going to make a lovely cup of rooibos tea for me and the Prof.

I am reading One Day, by David Nicholls - for the second time, to refresh my memory before seeing the film.  

I am hearing birdsong from the garden, and the fan oven. No, not birdsong from the fan oven, that would not be nice

Around the house Less mess than usual (reason for being tired: mucho tidying yesterday) 

One of my favourite things Pinterest! However did I manage without it?

A few plans for the rest of the week a trip to the library. Powerbook and What I Loved, which I reserved are now there for collection. I need to return some books and will probably get some more out too. Reading, obviously. Maybe some drawing, or some knitting. Definitely some extra sleeping. Oh, and spending some time on Pinterest....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Young Philosopher!

1992, one year old

18th July 2011, twenty years old today

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where I am From

I came across this today, and thought it was a fun and interesting exercise. has a Mr Linky widget where lots of people have linked to their versions. The original is this poem by George Ella Lyons, which inspired the template here, though several people, including me, have deviated from that a little.

photo from here 

I am from alleys between houses, connecting the streets like secret passageways.  I am from books, from reading for hours in bed by a chink of light through the door when I should have been asleep.

I am from wide streets with no trees, wrought-iron gates, and an aviary in the garden, behind which my brother saw a newt and thought it was a crocodile.  I am from bunk beds, the fear of craneflies  in the entrance and the excitement of cows in the street and in the playground. I am from nightmares of drowning in the mythical quicksand over the fields. I am from the tiny yellow house where there was no Narnia in my wardrobe.  From the teenage embarrassment of a front window decorated red white and blue for the Royal Wedding.

I am from tiny, perfectly round red berries I collected on my way to school, from making rose petal perfume and green ink from grass and the smell of stocks through the French doors. From the sight and the scent of sweet peas. 

I am from the Crane frown and  inherited teeth.  I am from weekly visits from Auntie Doris - pocket money and sweets,  and weekly visits to Auntie Doris, pickled onions and cherry bakewells.   From my Nan’s handstands up the coal bunker in the back garden. From Grandad diving behind the sofa when we heard a police car. I am from Bananaface, Cherryface and Clara the Fairy with the hobnailed boots and from Bobo Bunny comics read by Dad.

I am from three Jaffa cakes each because twelve divided by four is three, and I am from keeping the saucepans on top of the cooker, not on a shelf or in a drawer. 

From "You can have your sweets when you have eaten your dinner," and "I know you’re not tired but you have to go to bed because I am."

I am from being nominally Church of England though no one went to church except for weddings, funerals and christenings. I am from my own wonderful Humanist wedding. 

I’m from Essex and from London’s East End. From fish and chips, warm orange squash that hurt my throat, spaghetti bolognese made with tinned mince and packet soup. I am from (only) being allowed two ice creams when I went with Dad on his round.  

I am from Thomas and Eliza who had ten children and lost five, who had to put their children in the workhouse. I am from Charlotte who lived and died in the institution, who could not leave even when she was well because no one had room for her. From Tom who died at Ypres and the mystery girl with him in the studio photograph taken two months before he died. I am from the Burnhams and the Cranes, the Huguenots of France and I  am from Soham in Cambridgeshire in the time of Henry VIII.

I am from the pictures on the walls of my parents' house, in the albums under the bed in their spare room and from the hundreds of unsorted photographs in boxes that I haven’t looked at in decades.

This is where I am from today. Tomorrow I may be from somewhere else.

Friday, July 08, 2011

small stone 8/7/11: dinner, interrupted

As I open the gate, the startled toad lumbers into the shrubbery. His intended meal slides gratefully away.  

Thursday, July 07, 2011

small stone 7/7/11: raindrops

The garden is silent except for the quiet plinking of raindrops dripping off the leaves.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

small stone 6/7/11: cherries

My favourite cherries, forgotten, went mouldy in the fridge. We drove for an hour to buy them from the farmer.   

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

small stone 5/7/11: friendship

Lunch with an old friend. The years melt away like the ice cream we eat. 

Monday, July 04, 2011

small stone 4/7/11: bee

Through my viewfinder, a bee.
My camera too close he rises, buzzing.
I wait while he circles my head, once, twice,
settles down on the lavender and resumes his task. I watch 
from a distance.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

small stone 3/7/11: predictably English

Soft, sweet scarlet against rich, creamy white. Wimbledon on TV. 

Saturday, July 02, 2011

small stone 2/7/11: Trails

Contrails crossing overhead - sky kisses. 

Friday, July 01, 2011

small stone 1/7/11: fleeting reunion

I dreamed of my beloved auntie, terribly missed for eight years. She appeared, hugged me and I woke, smiling. It was enough.