Monday, 14 February 2022

A game in two

We are in the Mourne mountains for a few days over half-term. Weather-wise today has definitely been a game in two halves! I have only once in my life been as wet in the hills as we all got today. And that first time was a New Year's Day, not the middle of pretend Spring!
Matt and I turned back and let the tallest and the youngest plough on for a spot of caving. And then as soon as we parted ways, the sun came out to stay!
I thought I'd be here until Wednesday which would give me time to wash and dry all my walking gear before heading to Scotland to stay with two friends, but then a weather warning of strong winds was published and all my outgoing plans fell into disarray.
So in fact I leave tomorrow to fly to an airport still quite far from where I want to be, to catch a train to a town closer to where I want to be, to catch another train to a smaller town much closer to where I want to be, and there, hopefully, will be a friendly face to gather me up!

This will be my first time in an airplane since these times of plague, and Northern Ireland is lifting all its restrictions tomorrow. For a convert to reclusivity, this is a stretch. Thus far x


Monday, 7 February 2022

Arboreally ironic

 No, I'm not sure if that is a word either. I'm running out of words, and we're not even into double digits of February. Today's word was 'arboreal' and I knew in my mind that I wanted it to be all about Psalm 1: planted by streams of water, bearing fruit wherever appropriate. But in the back of my mind was the growing panic that after tomorrow, there are only two words on the list (except for one that I'm saving for half-term). 

So, there I was earlier, doodling away about putting my roots down deep into words, knowing fine rightly that I haven't read a thing since January and you can't drink from an empty cup. Isn't that the expression? If somebody has a good word for that, do let me know tout de suite!

So, I am somewhat abashed as I trail upstairs to bed now. And I am taking my Bible and 'Leaving for America' with me. So far in 'Leaving for America' nobody actually goes to America. I'm also beginning to wonder if there really is anybody living next door to his big house, or if there is even a big house at all next door to his big house.

I'm teaching in school at the minute, instead of supporting teaching. Our fourth teacher out of a department of nine has tested positive. I'm a bit slaughtered. You can probably tell. So much for my glorious white space of January. Here's a tree, an aspirational tree, an arboreally ironic aspirational tree. Normal service may be resumed shortly.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022


 Last Friday in work, one of our English teachers was telling me about an article she'd recently read in the Guardian. You have to read it; it's so good. It declares that after two years of the last two years, we all need some 'funtervention', and it's up to us to decide what that means. Connecting, limiting the good things before they enslave us (which speaks directly into this house's current obsession with episodes of Grey's Anatomy), picking up a dusty guitar - whatever it takes to help us through the times when "the void within yourself becomes manifest". 

The thing that had captured HR's imagination was the concept of The Daily Delight. Catherine Price, the author of the article, said we needed to find something fun, something light-hearted every day to make us smile. Something to spark a bit of joy - something deliberately sought and carefully cherished.

Now, I thought this was all very lovely, but I didn't really take it much on board, until I was driving to work on Monday morning. There on the footpath, pedalling along at a purposeful speed was a man on a bike on the footpath. I think it was a man. It was hard to tell because his whole upper body was completely encased in the hugest, fluffiest, plumpest teddy bear that you could possibly be thinking of right now. I could not wait to get into work to tell HR!

Then, on Tuesday morning, when I dropped Jo off at the side entrance to the university, all the daffodils had come out overnight. They were definitely not there the morning before.

And today, well! Today, numerically but without the zeros, today was 2/2/22. Fabulous!

And it really is quite nice having a daily delight! 

Another nice thing that has been happening to me over the last month is the appearance of very interesting words. Some I've known; some I've had to look up. I started making a list. Then, because I have a writer friend in Scotland who is very inspiring and also kind, I was told decided that I would try to write something about one of my words every day for this month. It has been quite fun thus far!

If you'd like to see my words, I'm putting them into a facebook page for my friend. If you're on facebook, you just search for Margaret Elizabeth, and maybe there they'll be! And here's today's x

Time stands still

 Hello! Sending you all lots of love from Northern Ireland, where nothing much changes just as everything changes, as usual. Time has stood ...