Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Poem for the day, for your coffee break

Tea breaks and coffee breaks were always very important to my mum, and she loved the Italian equivalent which is called 'merenda.'
My poem for the day  would seem to agree with her, we must all make time just to appreciate what and who is near to our hearts.

Leisure, W.H.Davies, (1871 -1940)

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass,

No time to see in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance
And watch her feet, how they can dance,

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began

A poor life this, if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

You might be forgiven for thinking, on reading this poem, that William Henry Davies just wafted around, strolling along in the Beech Woods with lots of time to stand and stare, but actually his life was quite a busy one.

He was born in Monmouthshire in 1871 and brought up by his grandparents. He discovered a passion for poetry while at school and abandoned his apprenticeship as a picture-framer to try his luck in America.
While there he lead a restless life, leading a nomadic existence, riding freight cars, working in the fruit fields and narrowly escaping with his life after contacting malaria and being attacked by robbers.
W.H.Davies  joined the Gold Rush to the Klondike with his friend Three Fingered Jack, but slipped trying to jump on to a moving train and lost a leg.

He returned to London and lived in a hostel for homeless people, but luckily his poetry began to attract attention and he started to earn some money and in 1923 at the age of 52, he married a nurse about half his age. He wrote a huge amount of poetry but the one above is probably his most famous.


Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Song of Enchantment

Yesterday a regular follower of my blog sent me a photograph and said surely I could use it on my blog. It is a beautiful photograph as you will see below.  Now nature has a way of putting in things in perspective. Our ancestor's knew the importance of following the patterns of nature, the yearly calendar of sowing, planting and reaping. Of the importance of clean running water, of the cycles of the moon and the soothing powers of the green woods and forests.  The photograph made me think of all these things and then today I sat by a spring, the water was fresh and cool and safe to drink. There was a notice above the place where the water came to the earth's surface. It said that said
Our ancestors build this fountain
We have restored it
You, the traveller that passes by, stay awhile
Revive and refresh with the water and please respect it!!

Yes of course we must respect nature, and we need to be constantly reminded to do so.
The photograph and the green wood with the drinking water generously spilling out of the earth was an enchanted place and so my poem for today is one from my childhood.
The green woods, the cool shade of a tree, the beauty of the countryside were where my childhood imagination took flight, fairies, elves and magic and my mother's gentle voice telling me stories I hope you like this poem too and it brings magic into your life.

A Song of Enchantment by Walter de la Mare (1873 - 1956)

A song of Enchantment I sang me there
In a green-green wood, by waters fair,
Just as the words came up to me
I sang it under the wild wood tree.

Widdershins turned I, singing it low,
Watching the wild birds come and go;
No cloud in the deep dark blue to be seen
Under the thick-thatched branches green.

Twilight came: silence came:
The planet of Evening's silver flame:
By darkening paths I wandered through
Thickets trembling with drops of dew.

But the music is lost and the words are gone
Of the song I sang as I sat alone,
Ages and ages have fallen on me _
On the wood and the pool and the elder tree.

In case you're wondering what 'widdershins' means, my mum said it means away from the sun's direction.

A beautiful photo from a friend, given with love, a heart-shaped leaf

A place of enchantment

Clear fresh water to refresh a traveller

Monday, 6 June 2016

A Courgette Frittata at sunset

My brother has a friend who only buys souvenirs when on holiday to replace something at home. Fair enough, everyone is always trying to clear the clutter. However a well chosen souvenir can bring back wonderful memories of a holiday.
Serve olives in the dish you brought back from a Mediterranean holiday, put some flowers in a vase from Denmark, wear a kimono from Tokyo and there you are reliving your magical moments.

Here is my recipe for the day which is perfect for a Summer evening, whether on holiday or at home, easy-peasy and served with holiday souvenirs turns out to be a cheerful meal.

Courgette Frittata

Serves 4

4 courgettes, washed, dried and grated
4 eggs
grated cheese
2 tbps milk
oil for cooking

Beat the eggs and milk together and add them to the grated courgettes. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a non stick pan and pour in the egg and courgette mixture.
Cook very slowly over a low heat, about ten minutes.
Slide onto a plate and flip over back into the pan.
Continue cooking over a low heat until set.
Don't hurry the cooking, it must be set but not brown. Have a glass of wine, olives, relax and think about your holiday.

Serve with a tomato and onion salad, olives and fresh bread.

Quick and easy, use your favourite non stick pan

Let the sunshine in

Cheerful souvenirs and happy memories

Can be eaten cold the next day

Supper at sunset tastes better