31 December 2008

Words worth

May I wish all my readers as much health, peace and happiness as another spin around our beautiful sun can bring you.

I'll see this one out with a song; Words.mp3

Words are gentle words are strong
Words are used in every song
Words can heal and words can part
Words can even break your heart
Words say nothing or a lot
Sometimes words are all you've got
Words like love or guilt or blame
Snow or fire, wind or rain
Spoken lightly or in jest
Words are used in every test
Words can give and words deny
Words of truth, words that lie
Words begin and words can end
Some you get and some you send
Words can can smile, words can cry
Words can speak but never sigh
Words are spoken, words are read
Some are whispered in your bed
Words like always, wrong or right
Some just drift into the night
Eat your words and drink the sky
Words can make a humble pie
They burn like fire and freeze like ice
Some command a heavy price
Words reveal they also hide

Silence is a word denied

29 December 2008

Laugh or Cry?

Now then, after you've heartily overstuffed yourself and then slathered yourself in the perfume of choice, you will be aware (will be made aware), that now is the time to rush out and buy a new sofa prior to plonking oneself in front of the boob tube for some mind numbingly seasonal entertainment. Yep, perfumes are out and sofas are the next big thing. Goody.
As Jonathan Bignell explains “The semiotic analysis of advertising assumes that the meanings of ads are designed to move out from the page or screen on which they are carried, to shape and lend significance to our experience of reality.”
Oh dear, dear Humanity; such things make me laugh and make me cry.
Fortunately, there are other things in life to make me laugh and make me cry.
This year......
Laura made me laugh.
Nick made me cry.
Over to you then?

EDIT: But srsly; is there not something wrong here? We accrete possessions to fuel our vanity and hope to find that some of their worth will rub off onto our own person and enrich us somehow and we buy (literally) into this delusion while our true poverty is hidden behind an illusion of wealth.

As EM Forster aptly puts it in 'Howards End', "We are reverting to a civilization of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty." Later, he has the somewhat flighty and romantically inclined Helen Schlegel say....."in the end, the world will be a desert of chairs and sofas - just imagine it! - rolling through infinity with no one to sit upon them." I can't put it any better than that really.

23 December 2008

Eau de Plot...because it's worth it.....

For your loved one this Christmas...........
Because you know who you are and you know what you're standing in and you know what you smell like and you know where your plot is and you know what your going to plant and you know where you're going to plant it.

Only £49.99 per 100cl bottle direct from clodhoppers outlet (while stocks last).

21 December 2008


At some point this winter I want to get round to doing something about this soggy area between the shed and the greenhouse on the top plot. It is permanently waterlogged. It makes the left side of the greenhouse too wet and even when it's sunny and hot and you want to collect some water from the barrels at the back you'll find this patch still annoyingly puddlesome.

Truth is, I keep putting it off: partly because I want to do it when it has at least dried out enough to dig sensibly, and partly because I'm not really sure what the best thing to do is. Maybe just dig a soak-away trench? There isn't a natural slope away from this spot and the water butts being where they are probably don't help matters.

Sometimes, you just get those jobs that you'd rather would just go away and leave you alone, but every time you look, there they still are pestering you like an ill mannered Cornish pixie.

Anyone else got jobs like that? What are they?

17 December 2008

Robin's Hoodies

Tibbs lay stretched out on the front room window sill at Malkin Tower gazing out over Pendle Hill, its frosting of ice crystals giving it the appearance of a giant wedding cake. He watched Alizon walking up the path towards the front door; she was enjoying scrunching up the ice in the puddles beneath her black boots.

Demdike sat snoring in front of the fire as usual; it was her favourite place for spending the long cold winter months. She stirred as Alizon clattered in through the door, throwing her cloak across the back of a chair and struggling to cast her boots off so she could warm her chilled toes in front of the fire.

‘W’er you bin?’ Grumbled Demdike, disturbed from her dreams.

‘Bin to London,’ answered Alizon, twinkling her toes in the warmth from the fire.

‘London eh, whatever for?’

‘Folk ‘av bin askin us to sort out this credit crunch business; sum as are losin ther jobs n homes n all and sum ar worser n that even.’

Tibbs stretched out his paws and jumped down off the window sill to come and curl up on Alizon’s lap.

Demdike sat up and leaned forward to stir the pot of onion soup simmering away on it’s cradle in the fireplace. She gave Alizon a quizzical look and settled back in her chair. ‘What av you done?’ She asked suspiciously.

‘Is that soup done?’ Asked Alizon, avoiding the question; Demdike did not always approve of Alizon’s witchcraft: it was too modern for her tastes…. too… method school.

‘No,’ answered Demdike ‘now, what’ve you done girl?’

‘Well...I..er…..oh, not much, really. Just tinkering, really.’


‘Well, just sort or rearranging the government a bit, that’s all.’

‘How, exactly?’

Alizon decided that it was useless to avoide Demdike’s questions: they would go on and on and on, all night if needs be, till the truth came out.

‘Er…..well, I sent Gordon and Alastair away for the weekend.’

‘Oh, good grief…..where to?’

‘More…er… sort of when and where to, really’

‘C’mon girl.’ Demdike gave her a sharp look. ‘Where, when?’

‘Oh, medieval England, about 1263, give or take. Sherwood Forest to be precise. I gave Robin and Alan a Dale the weekend off. Be good if they bump into the oak dragon, don’t you think?’

Somewhere in Sherwood, 1263, give or take…….

“Kind gentlemen and yeomen good
Come in and drink with Robin Hood.
If Robin Hood he be agone
Come in and sup with Gordon Brown.” ..(?..no idea)

“No! those days are gone away
And their hours are old and gray,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden pall”

“Though their days have hurried by
Let us two a burden try.”…(Keats….no?)

Gordon: You look good in those tights, Darling.

Alastaire: Thanks.

Gordon: And what’s with those eyebrows? Bet they’re a chick magnet.

Alastaire: Sometimes. What are we doing here?

Gordon: *shrugs*

Alastaire: What shall we do about this economic downturn?

Gordon: I know, how about we rob from the rich AND the poor and give it to the banks instead?

Alastaire: Yeah, that'll work. How do you do that thing you do with your chin?

……meanwhile, back in Malkin Tower

A pall of golden light spreads across Pendle Hill as the sun begins to set.

Demdike chuckles heartily. ‘For once, Alizon, m’dear, you’ve excelled yourself.’ She ladles some steaming onion soup into Alizon’s bowl and hands it to her.

‘Got any good ideas for Cameron?’


16 December 2008


It was love at first sight. I didn't really stand a chance. I am cluckolded.

Today we dug up another load of King Edward and Desiree spuds; they are keeping amazingly well in the ground, and some turnips and parsnips to make a fine winter vegetable stew. I gave the mint bucket a short back and sides and snipped out the old rasberry canes.

12 December 2008

Vive La Lune

If you're a bit of a luney like me, tonights the night if you have clear skies where you are. The moon is usually about 385,000km from Earth, but tonight it will be closer at around 363,000km and should appear bigger and brighter than normal, specially at moonrise.


When Ben was a wee nipper we watched a fair bit of childrens tv together. For the most part, I hated it; the modern kids programmes are full of sound and fury and a completely uneccessary manic energy going nowhere. It gave me a headache and left Ben (probably) feeling bemused and over excited. It was TV designed to cater for ADHD kids in the worst possible way. When I (we) could stand it no longer, we would invariably put on something like Tales of the Riverbank with Johnny Morris or Oliver Postgate's Ivor the Engine or the Clangers and breathe a sigh of relief. These were programs with heart, soul, a storyline and above all lots and lots of space. They served me well in my childhood and they have done the same for Ben during his. There really should be a law stipulating that every half hour kids tv show must contain a minimum of ten minutes silence.

Rant over. Fairwell Oliver and thanks. We'll miss you.

11 December 2008


'Girl's pink salopettes. Suit age 7 - 9 years. Elasticated waist, very warm and used for only one holiday and 2 trips to the Chillfactore.'

I saw this on the notice board at work. I am clearly the wrong sort of person to be working here; I do not know what salopettes are and I suspect I would not even be allowed into a 'Chillfactore.' Is it somewhere you have to drink a Latteh?

Postscipt: I have just found out what salopettes and girls are. *blush*

09 December 2008


One of our favourite tunes at the moment is this slinky mazurka (ALIO) from Pascal Rubens. Apart from the main theme being a beautiful melody, the tune lends itself to endless variations and we have never ever played it the same twice yet and probably never will.

Sorry, but you get a chair moving, fridge rumbling, fire burning, clattering version performed in front of the fire on a chilly winter evening last Sunday.

07 December 2008

Pratt St

'Can you tell us where Pratt St is?'

'Camden Town or Kirkaldy, take your pick, and don't you know better than to disturb a lady when she's having a dust bath?'

06 December 2008

The Moon is Falling The Moon is Falling

'Dad dad, the moon fell out the sky!'
'Better put it back then son, can't be doing without the moon.'

04 December 2008

A Touch of Frost

The cold clear bright days are just the best; I feel happy and glad to be alive on days like this.

Apart from cuddling a chicken, there's not much to be done in the garden; the ground is just like rock and even the pile of muck is too difficult to dig into to spread on the plot.

Looking east over towards school in the valley and a snowy Clougha Pike in the background. Be good to get togged up and climb it on a day like this.

Gotta walk down to feed the chooks though and then go to work.

03 December 2008

Living on a Prayer

Since we're on a musical meme it's Ben's turn tonight. He sang with 7,999 (give or take) other kids last night at the MEN arena in Manchester.

I take my hats off to the organisers. Anyone who can get 8k kids to give a passable rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody deserves a big up respec and down pointy fingers with the middle two tucked in....(what is that all about?). I didn't post that one though, it's too big so here is Living on a Prayer by Bye Jovi Bye bye babee bye bye etc..........