Tag Archives: blue

Meads and Posies and Life

This post comes to you,

just because it’s spring,

A Spring 'Blue' : for outstanding performance to the sweet peas, hebes, phacelia, borage, forget-me-nots, alyssum, and clematis.

A Spring ‘Blue’ for outstanding performance, to the sweet peas, hebes, phacelia, borage, forget-me-nots, alyssum, campanula, and clematis.

and flowers demand attention, with winning ways,

Clover, sweet peas, and roses have winning ways.

Clover, sweet peas, and roses have seductively winning wiles.

and because I promised Tish Farrell , Writer on the Edge, I would  photograph my mini-meadows when they flowered.

'Oh may I squire you round the meads And pick you posies gay?' A E Housman

‘Oh may I squire you round the meads
And pick you posies gay?’ A E Housman

'Ah, life, what is it but a flower?' A E Housman, A Shropshire Lad

‘Ah, life, what is it but a flower?’ A E Housman, A Shropshire Lad

© silkannthreades

Something old, something new

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love blue; any blue;  all blues.

Inside

Inside

Inside, outside, any side, I will take blue any way I can, including  in edible form.

Even many of my books are blue, or so I discovered after Letizia reminded me to check what lay under the dust jackets. Mind you, in the case of these books, most of the dust jackets have long since gone to mysterious parts unknown. ( Where DO dust jackets go?  The same place as missing socks?)Book blues

So, in love with blue as I am, is it any wonder that my eyes lit up when I saw the cover  Britt had chosen for her latest novel, Nola Fran Evie?

I wanted to get my hands on it but, but…..here was the problem.  The book was only on Kindle (as far as I could tell) and I didn’t have a Kindle or any kind of e-reader. What to do?

Well, in the spirit of Britt’s book, I came up with a game plan.

First Base ~ download Kindle app, with accessibility plugin, for  PC

Second Base ~ download Nola Fran Evie

Third Base ~ start reading, and testing Kindle … ( including an attempt to read with my ears, via Microsoft Narrator; not the best of experiences, but good to know how these apps might work for those who really need them )

Home ~  decide Kindle is great/user-friendly and go to store to buy one; strike it lucky; the Kindle I want is on sale. 😀 😀

Gallivanta's world is set alight as she enters the Kindle age

Gallivanta’s world is set alight as she enters the Kindle age

Score ~ Amazon two; me one; Britt one.  I guess that’s a draw of sorts…..maybe?

Now, if only  the Kindle were blue……..

© silkannthreades

 

May the singing never be done

The sun came out,

the sky turned blue.

Blue

Blue

We fled the coop,

for warm, wide spaces

Warm wide space

Warm, wide space

where spring unfurled,

Spring unfurled

Spring unfurled

and our spirits

took flight.

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, Christchurch Airporthttp://jamesevansjenkins.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/the-christchurch-brevet-club/

Spitfire TE 288, Replica, , gift to the Brevet Club Memorial Avenue, Christchurch.

We felt good, like Lynley’s tui,

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodnesshttps://ordinarygood.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/tui-atop-a-pohutukawa-tree-today/ for permission to use her beautiful photo

The tui sings for all to hear; with thanks to Lynley at ordinarygoodness for permission to use her beautiful photo.

singing with all its heart, atop the pohutukawa tree.

Everyone Sang
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on; on; and out
of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted,
And beauty came like the setting sun.
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away……O but every one
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the
singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon  (from Palgrave’s Golden Treasury with Additional Poems, OUP, 1935)

This post is dedicated:

to gpcox, pacificparatrooper  who gathers in the stories of veterans and sends them out again, flying with spirit renewed, into the blogosphere;

and

to  Britt, life/history enthusiast, spreading her literary wings with her latest published book, NOLA FRAN EVIE,

BUT the dedication to Britt comes with a proviso…..that she locates the original  Totem Pole by Chief Lelooska in Portland. Here’s a clue, Britt. 🙂

Friendship Totem Pole,  Christchurch Airport

Friendship Totem Pole,
Christchurch Airport

© silkannthreades

Happiness in a Bag

By my bed, I keep a little bag of happiness, tied up with a faded, frayed ribbon of palest blue.

Happiness in a Bag

Happiness in a Bag

It was given to me, many years back, by a special member of our extended family. Her name was Barbara. I am not sure if she made it or if she bought it, in aid of one of the many good causes she supported. It matters not; it is a lovely hand-made gift of home-spun wisdom, which always makes me smile and remember the giver.

So of what does Happiness consist?

Happiness Kit

Happiness Kit

Very little, it seems; an eraser, some cents, a marble, a rubber band, a piece of string,

Makers of Happiness

Makers of Happiness

 

and a kiss,

A Happiness Kiss

A Happiness Kiss

to remind us that someone always cares about us.

The kiss in the kit bag was originally a Hershey’s Kiss but it disintegrated long ago. ( I didn’t eat it, truly I didn’t.)  The little kissing rabbits belonged to my mother, and, before that, to her three maiden great-aunts. They have been loved for generations but not yet  been loved quite as much as  the Velveteen Rabbit, it would seem.

And that is all there is to it; my little bag of happiness. Simple, isn’t it?

© silkannthreades

It’s just one of those days……

It’s just one of those days of summer,

when blooms

Flowering leek

Flowering leek

and beings

Bee with leek

Bee with leek

and beasties

entwine with sun and  sky,

to weave a cloth

Finely clothed

Finely clothed

so light and fine

Light and fine

Light and fine

that you wish you could wear it forever,

close,

like the  sweet touch of earth to  skin.

Day of Summer

Day of Summer

 Close as Earth to Skin

Close as Earth to Skin

© silkannthreades

Confession!

Confession! In common with many of us, these days, I am activity rich and resource poor~ which is simply a fun way to say that I have too much  to do, and/or want to do, and not enough time to do it all. Sound familiar ? And this imbalance is beginning to make  me feel a teeny, little bit crazeeeee!

So, I was very  pleased, this week, to receive a notification from Amazon about a book I pre-ordered last August. The notice said:

“The items listed below will actually be dispatched sooner than we had originally expected based on the new release date:

Stuart, Sophia “How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World: A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul””

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World ~Sophia Stuart

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World ~Sophia Stuart

Aaahh, a message that is music to my ears. How soothing ;). I adore a Book of Hours.
I have made three of them, myself…….

and, thanks to a helpful tip from dadirridreaming , and production help from  Blurb , a fourth book is on its way to me right now

Silkannthreades~ A Book of Days and Hours

Silkannthreades~ A Book of Days and Hours

But these are just little books, like  chapbooks , not real books, with a real International Standard Book Number ISBN, like the one Sophia/teamgloria has…sigh!

Some of you may have noticed that I have mentioned Sophia and teamgloria more than once on my blog, as in  here and  here , and that’s because I think she is glorious, and because I share her love of blue-blue sky and Rumer Godden and labyrinths and, most of all, John O’Donohue;

Which is why I have reserved a special place for Sophia’s book when it arrives next month. It will sit, book cover to book cover, with John O’ Donohue, on the small tower of quiet, gentle reading, which I keep close at hand, on my (blue 🙂 ) bedside chair.  How lovely; how very lovely that will be.

Books by my Side

Books by my Side

And now, here’s something for a giggle… can anyone see, in this photo, how, in my subconscious arrangement of these books for their photo shoot, I made a statement about the imbalance of  my life, at the moment? And, for more smiles, check out the video clip in my sidebar, featuring the book promo for How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World.

© silkannthreades

Gorgeousness, plain and simple or Epiphanies, real and imagined, continued.

In my previous post on  Epiphanies I touched upon the theme of how we feel about the way we are dressed and how we imagine we are dressed, as opposed to the reality of how we are dressed. (So that’s what she was on about, you say 😉 ) Implicit in this theme, ( well,  implicit as I see it ), is the idea of how we feel about our body image.

Over the years of my lengthening life, I have led myself to believe that I am comfortable and happy in my own skin, but it occurred to me, after reading House of Bethan’s recent post on Gorgeousness  (aka this year my body will be gorgeous) that, perhaps, I was fooling myself about my relationship with my body image. After all, I don’t particularly like having my photo taken; I don’t particularly like looking in the mirror at myself; and I don’t like shopping for clothes, at all, and I don’t like wearing make-up or having my hair styled and fancified. I do  LIKE buying jewellery though; no worries there.

So I decided to *test* and *challenge* my body image feelings/confidence…..just a little…..by daring to display, to the  wide world, my style, or what passes for style in my wardrobe. And I discovered that even to do this was incredibly scary.

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Incredibly scary because I come from a puritanical, Protestant tradition  that considered too much interest in physical appearance as  improper for a well brought up young lady. Feeling/being gorgeous , it was subtlely and quietly  implied,  was vainglorious, prideful and inappropriate for ordinary, every day persons… ( but perfectly okay for movie stars, princesses and Mother Mary, but not the plebs ). The ideal was to be modest, tidy, neat and plain, and to those standards I have been faithful most of my life….which probably explains why I have rarely, if ever, been complimented on gorgeousness. 😦  About the closest I have come to such compliments was during the years of  a very sweet and dear friendship with an elderly Italian gentleman; a professor of ophthalmology whom I met at Queen Elizabeth House at Oxford in 1979. Every time we met, no matter if it were the first or the third time in a day, the Professor would open wide his arms, bring one hand to his heart and exclaim with delight ” Cara, cara,  A……, Bella, bella A…..” and, then, take my hand and proclaim to anyone  within hearing distance how wonderful I was….the only person in Oxford whose English he could actually understand 🙂  Then we would sit, side by side, in the Common Room, sometimes discussing English words from his dictionary and, sometimes, just sitting, in the silent contentment of friends who need no words. It was gorgeous.

The Prof and I

The Prof and I

To honour that  long-ago time of  gorgeousness, and to acknowledge Bethan’s current day call to encourage us to live gorgeously in our bodies, ( and not merely comfortably and just so-so), here are some more  of my *being brave * photos of what  I will wear today:

the clothing, ( most of it gifted to me);

the accessories: the necklace;

the rings, the earrings and jewels for the wrists 🙂

Phew….so there you have it. Now I am off to flaunt (not)  my neat, tidy, plain and simple  gorgeousness at the supermarket; *ttfn* otherwise known as ta ta for now 🙂

© silkannthreades

Epiphanies, real and imagined

Monday, 6th January,  was the celebration of  Epiphany   for those people, churches, cultures, countries that follow the Gregorian calendar for feast days.

The sky was heavenly blue

Heavenly blue sky for Epiphany

Heavenly blue sky for Epiphany

and, nearer to me, the flowers were blue-hued too.

And,  every which way  I turned,  I saw more manifestations  of blue,

until I felt as though I were swathed in  the most precious of  precious-blue fabrics, in much the same way as Mary, the Madonna, is often depicted, cloaked in a mantle of Mary-blue,

Federico Barocci, The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph and the Infant Baptist ('La Madonna del Gatto'), probably about 1575 © The National Gallery, London

Federico Barocci, The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph and the Infant Baptist (‘La Madonna del Gatto’), probably about 1575 © The National Gallery, London

or  ultramarine , as it is more properly called.

And it felt good; it felt blissful to be luxuriating in an aura of ‘divine’ blue-ness, as I went about my small tasks and errands, dressed, in reality, not like an artistically rendered Madonna but like this…

Glad Rags or Ordinaries

Glad Rags /Ordinaries

Epiphany Dressing

Epiphany Dressing

in very ordinary, cotton garments that are showing their age, and mine. Yet, oddly, they are garments that might be considered, by some, as slightly more glamorous than what Mary was actually wearing in Bethlehem, and thereafter 🙂 . I wonder about that. I wonder what Mary thought about her clothes;  or if she thought about them at all.  I wonder,  if on the day the Magi came with their gifts, Mary felt as if she were wearing the plainest robes, or as if she were wrapped in  the ‘richest’ cloth her world had to offer?  And I wonder if she would  be surprised at how we have dressed her through the centuries; would she say, ‘But you are dreaming..”, or would she say, ” Yes, it was so; exactly so.  I was beautiful.”

To be continued….possibly

© silkannthreades

Variations on a Blue Christmas

The National Gallery in London features a painting each month which you can download as a wallpaper. Over the last 12 months I have enjoyed some lovely paintings, courtesy of this wonderful service. The masterpiece for the month of December is  ‘The Nativity” by Piero della Francesca.

The Nativity (1470-5)

The Nativity (1470-5)

The Gallery notes explain the painting, and its context, and it’s fascinating to read about the magpie, and the angels without wings, and why the donkey is not paying attention to Jesus and the ox is. But there are four aspects of this work that I adore; the blue robes, the hairstyles of the angels, the informality of Joseph’s relaxed foot and the little birds amongst the plants near the angels’ feet?

The coolness and calm created by the gentle colours in this Nativity reminded me of the year I decided to decorate a little potted Christmas tree, in my garden, in white and silver and blue.

White and Silver and Green

White and Silver and Green

That Blue Christmas was in 2005, I think, and, although I don’t have a Christmas tree this year, indoors or out, I felt a great need for another round of Christmas Blues. So I set to, quietly and slowly, piece by piece, filling my world with blue.

Perhaps my mood was influenced by a 15th Century Italian interpretation of the Nativity or, perhaps, like  Juliet Batten, author of Spirited Ageing, I am responding to a natural need to be soothed and swaddled and lullaby-ed through what can be a hot, rushed and hectic Antipodean festive season.

Last night an early summer storm raged through the inland section of our province. Hail stones destroyed farmers’ crops but, here, in the city we were spared the worst of it. As a result I woke this morning to the blessing of gentle rain on my parched garden

Rain in  the early morning light

Rain in the early morning light

and the  tranquility and peace of the soft tones of  morning light on the blues of my Christmas preparations.

In one corner of my living room, I have placed my own Nativity Scene. Not made by a famous artist but painted by the small, meticulous hand of my daughter when she was about nine or ten. The figures are  slightly worn, the lamb has sustained a chip, but the Nativity set is loved, and a  favourite decoration, no matter how I choose to colour my Christmas.

A Child's Nativity

A Child’s Nativity

No Christmas time is complete without music. I love the traditional old world songs but, this year, I am enjoying a loved New Zealand carol,  Te Harinui  (Great Joy ), written by  our own Willow Macky to mark the first Christmas service in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands in 1814. 

Meri Kirihimeti

© silkannthreades

Flower arranging for our mutual benefit

The other day, after spending some time in the garden enjoying the   bee chorus and the blue, spring flowers, I felt inspired to refill my vases. My little flower containers have been empty and neglected in recent weeks, through lack of time and inspiration, but when the  bees sang their songs, and the flowers  waved and swayed and entranced my senses, my hands and heart were set in motion; picking  and sorting, and putting a stem here and turning another there, until every bloom and piece of foliage ‘felt’ right to my own peculiar sensibilities; my own perception, and understanding, of  how each  precious creation should be honoured.

And this is what came about:

first this;

Geranium and Hebe

Geranium and Hebe

then this;

Rose, Ivy and Hebe

Rose, Ivy and Hebe

and, finally, this.

Heuchera, Hebe  and Catmint

Heuchera, Hebe and Catmint

Then, with the vases set before me, I sat for a while and enjoyed delightful moments of ‘squee’ at the incredible, intricate gorgeousness of the petals  and leaves. And, THAT, if we are to believe (and I do)   The Botany of Desire , by Michael Pollan, is most likely what the flowers and plants want me to do; squee!!! These flowers, this foliage, are designed, and created, to appeal to the same nurturing part of every individual  that makes us love puppies and kittens and babies, and, maybe, bees with their sweet, good honey. Something in the plant’s genetic code  reaches out to ours, and, if we are willing and open to persuasion, it allows us to work together  on a beautiful, mutually beneficial arrangement.  For, in this modern age, our lives are impossible, one without the other. Or, so I believe 🙂

© silkannthreades