Do you sometimes have a run of really good days?
As weeks go, I wish last week could last a little longer, or come back for a repeat performance. Lots of inviting sunshine made for a happy disposition and tempted me to spend lots of time walking and gardening; several pleasant social and cultural occasions added a little spice to my usually quite humdrum existence and blogging became a pleasure again.
It all started with another birthday party, a celebration of 90 years of music and adventure. This is Bert, a bassist and tuba player, who even now, at 90, performs with local amateur groups. Bert's always been a bit of a ladies' man; he still has his groupies who collect him at home, carry his instruments for him and take him to the venue in their cars. Several ladies at the party were having a good-natured discussion about their relative rank in the pecking order of Bert's affections. If this is what 90 can be like, why would anyone be afraid of getting old?
The subject for last week's poetry group meeting was 'Quodlibet', i.e. bring your favourite poems. I always find it difficult to choose a favourite anything, be it film, poem, music, etc. I'm one of these unimaginative people who need to be 'told', who need instructions, guide-lines; given free rein, I dither and find it very hard to make up my mind.
On the gloriously sunny morning of the day of the poetry meeting, Benno and I went up into Sowdley Woods, a wild area full of fallen trees, a brook and the small lake it forms at the bottom of the hill, overgrown rhododendron thickets, and an incongruous plantation of giant redwood in the snowdrop wood, which a long dead owner of the small manor house, where John Osborne used to live and which is now owned by the Arvon Foundation, must have thought a suitable addition to an English wood. The manor is used as a writers' retreat and residential creative writing centre. I'd still not made up my mind which poems to take in the evening when I found several of the birches in the same plantation above 'The Hurst' (the name of the house) had white sheets of paper attached to them. Surely not warnings that "Trespassers will be prosecuted" ? I thought. Far from it. I had found poems pinned to trees! Answers to my prayers! Could anything have been more serendipitous?
Gerald Manley Hopkins' 'Inversnaid'. was one of them:
This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock high road roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
suitable for the place and suitable for me.
Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra Soloists in Newtown, over in Wales. We hadn't even heard of it. Tickets were still available, the friend very kindly gave us a lift and we enjoyed a varied and excellently played performance.
All that and a wonderful day's gardening to end the week. Gardener came yesterday and we dug up, divided and replanted many of the overgrown clumps of herbaceous plants like phlox, campanulas, geraniums and several grasses.
This morning I took my second cup of breakfast tea out into the garden and admired the fruits of yesterday's labour. These neat, small clumps of plants will soon shoot up and fill the tidy brown earth around them, lean into each other and jostle for space. I can't wait.
"Spring's messenger in every spot
Smiling on all - Forget-me not"
These patches of forget-me-nots appear all over the garden at this time of year. Some people barely tolerate them for being self-seeded and slightly vulgar, but I welcome them. They are such friendly and accommodating little plants, their modest pale blue flowers light up dark and bright corners alike and when their day has gone, they give in very graciously and leave without complaint.