Saturday 25 January 2014

The art of self preservation

I love the rhythm of the year. Where would I be without the ritual of seasons and their seasonal tasks. Constancy, circular repetition, patterns if you will. 52 weeks arranged into months and quarters.I need to feel in sync with this eternal loop. I feel strangely bereft if I miss the first bluebell tips pushing through the dark crumbly woodland floor. (Yes they are! spotted them last Sunday.) The first helebores, reverently picking the loveliest bloom and later, gazing at it in it's bud vase next to my bed. Feverishly checking Bill's produce section for the first seville oranges to arrive.
I consider a day spent in the kitchen surrounded by the thick heady smell of oranges a neccessity before the end of January chimes and February rushes icily into my consciousness. It is an act of preservation on many levels.

 preservation: the action of preserving something
synonyms: conservation, protection, maintenance, care, safeguarding

So I chop, squeeze, shred, weigh, stir, sterilise all the while quietly musing how many other kitchens and their cooks are similarly employed. My mind wanders off to the garden, where best to plant 500 bulbs...orchard? too wet. Finally I land an idea, down the Lane! How silly of me, it's obvious in the verges down the Lane.

It is finished. This year's batch. Time for the tasting!
Boodle looks at me from his strategic position on the stone floor, directly over the hot water pipe that runs below. Unimpressed by the cloying orange scent hanging in the air and the distinct lack of proper cooking. Proper cooking: involving the preparation of meat that can be trimmed and re-distributed to those waiting patiently on their hot water pipe.

 Mr Lane declares this year's batch worthy of a prize and I bask quietly, my cheeks colour, it feels rather like laying directly over a hot water pipe...

I return to my musing about bulbs...

Sunday 19 January 2014

Bit brumous...

brumous: (adj). of grey skies and winter days; filled with heavy clouds or fog; relating to winter or cold, sunless weather.
Hiver - Isa Marcelli
This beautiful image is by Isa Marcelli.
Her photographs are wonderfully evocative, I adore the group "Hiver".They chime with me...
Finding cheer inside...the sun comes by way of textiles...floral cushions and colour drenched paintings...
This image is by An Magritt a Norwegian blogger and jewellery designer.
via an-magritt
....still burning in my memory Paul Klee- Making Visible. Visited last Monday and etched in my mind...visually exhausting and rewarding all at once...
PAUL KLEE Flowers in Glasses 1925. Oil on paper on cardboard.
...such days, when the sun's in a  drawer
and the drawer locked.... the centre of everything, with still pools
of shadows and a fire throwing flowers.
Taken from"February-not everywhere by Norman MacCaig.


Sunday 12 January 2014

Hickory Dickory Dock...

...The mouse ran up the clock, over the top, down the back, out of the house and up The Lane... he ran...and time span away, the hands on the clock turned and wheeled...sometimes whirring round so fast I lost sight of the time and the day. In the kitchen sits the Tardis, fashioned by a little hand. I have need of it, the Tardis. I could usher you in and we could travel back to Christmas, to Birthdays and a Wedding since last we were together...
Time spent in anticipation is achingly slow...tick~tock.
Suddenly everything you were day dreaming about is real, and you reel, dizzy in the midst of all the joy and the sparkle...
On Boxing day we walked on Dartmoor and, high up, discovered a Christmas tree decorated with tinsel and red baubles, imagine! Somehow the decorations were still attached to the tree despite the horrific weather in the preceding days.Sometimes you find yourself together alone. My brother took this picture, I am looking at my own pictures and time stands still, rewinds just for a moment.
Whilst I write, intermittently, I look up and out of the window. Across the garden, the hedge, the orchard, Home Field towards the Lane. I like the layers. The beech hedge, the fences beyond, the crab apples. The winter flowering cherry is studding the foreground with tiny white stars and the light is pinkish. Time slows, heart beats steady.
"There is a man haunts the forest, that hangs odes upon the hawthorns, and elegies on the brambles..."

Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2
who's typing on the void
too many stories
they're twelve stones
hitting the clockface
twelve swans
flying out of winter
Bei Dao
So, let us reset. 

Hello 2014! Happy New Year to you all. 
I am full of resolve to do so much this year...
a blank page awaits
how wonderful...shall we begin?