Friday, 20 April 2012


If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, not talk too wise:

If  you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph or Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it  on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on where there is nothing in you
Except the Will that says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes or loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, yet none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, 
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it
And - which is more - you'll be a man, my son!

I used to be able to recite "IF" and tried to remember it here...I couldn't quite! But isn't it wonder it was voted the Nation's favourite.

Magpie and Reynard came to stay this week and as the weather was being particularly "April'ish" we decided it was high time we took ourselves off to Batemans, the home of Rudyard Kipling.

I must congratulate the National Trust ~ I know they are making efforts to ensure that visits are less "You can look but don't touch!" and they seem to be succeeding here. I particularly liked the old wireless in Elsie's sitting room that you can "tune" and listen to Ralph Fiennes reading extracts of Kiplings' work.

The whole house is fascinating and we whiled several hours away.. outside it thundered, hailed, rained and shone in equal turns.

 Enjoying those April showers wherever you are?


PS This is for Kay, Georgia Girl With An English Heart...I seem to remember you asking me to visit?


  1. This looks like a wonderful place to visit. It's been on my 'to do' list for ages. Thank you for sharing, almost as nice as having gone myself. x

  2. Beautiful post!

    Have a super weekend!


  3. It says it all doesn't it? I would love a framed poster of it, in a place my teenagers will have to see it often! Not that they really need it any more than I do...

    What a beautiful house, thanks for the lovely pictures here. xx

  4. Looks like a beautiful place to visit, how lucky the family were to have it as their home.
    Lisa x

  5. I know odd lines from 'If' but don't think I've ever read the whole thing before. DH and I visited Batemans a few years ago and really liked it. DH is a huge fan of Kipling and I think he has every book by or about him ever written!

  6. Oh gosh - so lovely.

    Happy weekend to you

    Nina x

    ps. Their is free entry to the NT this weekend. N x

  7. Sarah-Jane, You Doll! I can't believe you remember me saying that to you! I am so happy to see these photos. Thank you, you have made my day!
    (I remember his writing desk and the beautiful view out the window. I could just imagine him sitting there!)
    We NEED April showers, I have my fingers crossed!

  8. What a beautiful post I would love to visit it. My great uncle had an antiques shop and when Rudyard Kipling and his wife, visted Bath they would usually call in and buy antiques from them. I wonder if any items are still in his house!
    Sarah x

  9. Love that poem! Have a lovely weekend xxx

  10. Oh thank you so much for that...always good to come back and read again in times of stress xxx

  11. Very emotional!
    Have a happy Sunday.
    Bellaboo X


    Hey, did you know that Rudyard Kipling lived just 45 minutes from here? He wrote "The Jungle Book" there. But, it all ended tragically. I just thought to look it up...perhaps, I could visit? Well, if I had thousands of dollars, I could rent it and live there for a week...

    maybe not.

  13. Wait! Here's an address with pictures:


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