Monday, August 31, 2009

High Flight and Poppy Cat

Poppy Cat slipped out of my pencil many year ago, inspired by the shower of poppy seeds from the dried seed heads in the garden - a scattering of pepper in the air, like something from A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Do fairies and flying creatures capture the imagination because of a common wish that we could also take wing? To my four-year old mind it had made sense. I reasoned that I could fly: lift one leg off the ground, then the other, then hover. What was not to work? I tried it and the floor came up to meet me. Gravity. I still remember the pattern of the linoleum on my knees. But in dreams I still fly.

High Flight

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds,
– and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor eer eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God."
John Gillespie MaGee

Best wishes, dreamers and fairy followers all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Storms and Splendour

From a few$2.99 seed packages in May, these delights: Nasturtiums in a swath across the front bed for end-of-summer glory, and Shirley Poppies that have bloomed for weeks, silken and lovely.

And I am enamoured of my pear tree, only a couple of months ago in blossom...

and now laden with ripening fruit.

Alice in Wonderland-like, one idea threads unexpectedly but logically to another. "Creative re-purposing" leads to fine china being stuffed with pencils and paintbrushes, and vessels re-purposed leads to domestic economies. Not the economies of nations, but of one household, in the spirit of environmental conscience. Leading to the concept of Magic Thinking, which is not generally considered to be a compliment to anyone's intelligence.

It began with wanting to continue to enjoy a nice deep relaxing bath every day, but not wanting to waste water. How about having the baths and saving the water to pour on the garden, which has to be watered anyway? One could use the plastic jugs that otherwise go to recycling - the kitty-litter and liquid laundry soap containers. The benefits immediately presented themselves to be listed on a satisfying check-list -
bath (check)
wise water management (check)
flowers watered! (check)
nice arm muscles from carrying jugs up and down stairs (check)
who needs a Stairmaster! (check)
and so on, virtue upon virtue.
In June I started saving the plastic jugs instead of sending them to be recycled. I filled up about 10 of them after a bath, ran out of jugs and there was still water in the tub. Tsk, tsk, the waste. The next morning I carried the jugs downstairs and emptied them over the flowers. Very hot day, with thunderstorms in the evening. Flowers very well watered indeed.
Ran not such a very deep bath the next night, saved the water afterwards, and carried the jugs downstairs. The flowers didn't need watering, they were well soaked from the previous night
and the next band of thunderstorms was on the move. The full vessels sat there on the front deck, and so the pattern continued through July.
Now for the "magic thinking": I didn't even have to fill up the jugs any more, I just stood them at the front door and uttered my intentions to the sky. It has rained almost every day and the garden is very green indeed.
Ah well, I don't need the exercise after all. I am supposed to Do Nothing for two weeks after next week's surgery, then the summer will be over. The lawns and gardens are marvellously green and the pear tree is heavy with fruit, faintly gold (delicious pear-tart recipe here).
I have nearly finished up the next fairy book, helped by the memory of the little fairies who came to visit earlier in the summer at Sovereign House:

the stylish,

the small

and best friends,

observing every detail,

and undeterred by weather.

Best wishes, fairy followers all.