We finally got snow. Proper snow. Snow enough to make snowmen, throw snowballs and scrunch with satisfaction through bouncy, snowy grass. And so, there was snowswimming! I went on the first morning when the snow was still quite light, but still!
Tuesday, 19 January 2021
Since March we have been tuning in to Radio 2 at lunchtimes. There is a clear need for teenage sons to be listening to upbeat music between virtual lessons, rather than my usual (and much loved, except for the dramas) Radio 4. Jeremy Vine has totally helped us get through three Lockdowns now. One of us switches the radio on, while someone else reaches for the kettle, but we all ask, "What's the nation's rant for today?" And we settle down at the kitchen table to listen with glee to all the folk phoning in about crowds in national parks, drones over pharmacy queues, and to date our still collective favourite: the woman complaining about being fined for drinking her tin of Prosecco on a bench while resting in the middle of her daily walk which was so essential to her because of her health issues. If that was you, we're sorry for your troubles.
I've just finished reading Cymbeline, which uses Wales as a site of mystical enchantment. A place associated with faeries and spirits and also the Arthur legends. So, here's what I'm thinking. If the ravens are going to leave us, maybe the time will be now for Arthur to rise from his hill and come forth to deliver the nation in its time of greatest peril. I've always loved that legend, that Arthur is just waiting for the time when we need him most. I think that legend, going back to the Right Honourable Sir Churchill, was also discussed in the dark days of the second world war.
And surely there are indeed spiritual parallels here? A saviour rising from a hill? A nation saved? These are definitely days for putting our faith in a King.
ps I have just looked up the collective noun for ravens. "Flock" is now most commonly used, but more specifically they can be a rave, a conspiracy, or even a treachery - all of which seem very fitting words for our different approaches to this pandemic.
pps We visited the Tower one idyllic sunny day in July 2012, just before the opening of the London Olympics. It was wonderful.
pps Guy Ritchie's Arthur: Legend of the Sword is well worth a watch.
edit: Ang's article tells us that there are more than two ravens remaining. All is not, yet, lost!
Saturday, 9 January 2021
Because Prince Charming now works for a French company, I did make a galette des rois last year and sent it in with him for his French colleagues. There was no point in making another one this year, with opportunities to share food together so much a thing of the near but still so distant past!
'No Man is an Island'
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Olde English Version No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne
Monday, 4 January 2021
I'm spending a day of self-isolation in my bedroom so I am going to spend the afternoon reading all your Christmas adventures and perspectives. Perspective is the first casuality in many of my crises. It's a good thing to have such a range of life lenses here in Blogland.
I do have two "resolutions" for 2021. The first one is slightly random: I am going to stop (mostly) using biros and switch to sharpened pencils. Ages ago I saw a school in France who had banned bics, which seemed potentially treasonable given that Bic is French. They used the old plastic casings to plant seeds, and just used pencils to write, putting the sharpenings in the compost. Zero waste!
So, well done, Blogworld. May God's good Spirit lead you on level ground in 2021, and if it does get bumpy - God go with you still.
What I'm reading: a friend from church bought me this daily devotional which I am finding challenging but timely. It takes Bible prayers and arranges them as a guide for daily prayer times. It certainly helps with the perspective question. I finished Ali Smith's Winter last night, and think I got a bit closer to understanding the head of stone. Next up is the hilarious Richard Osman's first, and so far best, novel (his words) "The Thursday Murder Club". Let me know if you'd like to read it too, and I'll send you it when I'm done.
What I'm making: I am now just over half way through Cushla's Comfort blanket! Hooray! So all other projects are on hold. Full steam ahead.
What I'm doing: Well, I hope you'll not be disappointed when I say that the sea swimming is also on hold. Our tight Lockdown means that group exercise is out of bounds for a while. We can meet outside (not in a private garden) in groups of up to 15, but not exercise, and I'm too chicken to break the guidelines. Ah, but Mags, you might say, you could swim with PC on coastguard patrol. I could. But I haven't! Bit too scared to get in the water by myself.
I'm sure it might be the same near you, but a quiet walk out is pretty impossible round here with all the footpaths and parks completely bunged with folk. So I don't even want to walk along to the slipway.
And here's a doing and reading thing: MK posted about a reading challenge for the New Year. I'm far too aware of my limitations to commit to joining in properly, but there are some really interesting suggestions in there. So, I'm going to get my hands on a copy of Cymbeline. One of MK's genres is a Shakespeare play. This one is quoted in "Winter" so it's in my head, I've never read it before, and why not?
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