Monday, January 18, 2010


Cold and wintry as it has been outside, in the art classes we are already talking about bulbs and seed packages and plans for the coming garden year. Rows of potted daffodils, tulips and hyacinths greet us at the supermarket entrances and I cannot resist them. Snow is falling tonight, it will be weeks and weeks before even the first snowdrops bloom, but indoors the magic begins.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Notes from Fairy Land

The deep freeze has given way to milder weather and every slope, every frozen creek and pond, is merry with the sound of young voices.

"Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone", wrote Christina Rosetti. The older ones have been busy with snow clearance, making smooth places for skating on the ice and preparing snow jumps on the hills.

"Up and down, up and down, I will lead them up and down"
(Puck, quoted Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, but isn't it always true)

When the short afternoon turns to dusk the younger ones go home to warm up and enjoy hot chocolate in a mug, but the boys always stay out for longer, playing the age-old game.

I must spend the coming beautiful weekend indoors, armed with paints, brushes and determination, with the merry voices outside for inspiration.

Robbie Burns day is coming up, an occasion for some singing and dancing. To quote,
"O wad some Power
the giftie gie us,
To see oursels
as others see us",

and here is just such a glimpse, a few words from the Green Man Review .

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

My preferred way to welcome the New Year is with a bit of music and dancing, like the Woodland Bear family pictured above, celebrating with a Round Reel of Eight. In past years a piper led us around the block at midnight and a young dark-haired stranger was invited to be the first over the threshold on our return.

Every year on January 1 we go for a walk
along to the park, where crowds gather
to watch this celebration of the New Year:

2010 is the 25th anniversary of the Polar Bear Dip here at Coronation Park, hundreds line up to run into the freezing waters and the more normal thousands of us line the shore to cheer them on.Since 1995 the funds raised go to World Vision Canada, this year in support of water projects in Kahi, Rwanda.Most mortal dippers make the plunge and then beat a hasty retreat to the shore and their towels and blankets. The occasional naiad seems unconcerned,

and for others it's just a regular walk in the park.

No polar bear myself, I'll stick to dancing.
Wishing you all a safe, happy and sometimes magical year.