A very busy couple of days.
Amongst other things flute lessons began again: after an Autumn doing other things I am sooo rusty but my teacher was patience itself and looked out some lovely trios for me, my friend and my teacher to play together. She also mentioned a friend and colleague who has just developed Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome and since I have suffered with ME for many years, she wondered if I could offer any support. Of course I am happy to do what I can: the only good thing about dealing with any problem is if it helps one to help someone else. The lady rang this morning and we had a long talk. I hope it was of some use.
Grandson has a ‘Stars in Your Eyes’ type of Audition next week and has asked me for help with preparing: how lovely to be needed! So that is part of the weekend booked. Then I thought I would ask middle grandchild if she would like to go out for a hot chocolate fudge cake: she has had exams all week and is feeling a bit tired and depressed. Otherwise I will suggest a film.
Sister and husband have suggested a meal and a film too: so we will see. It is that time of year when one has to make oneself go out in the dark and have fun rather than hibernate: we all feel so tired. It is hard to leave the warmth and security of home, but one feels better for making the effort.
Actually, the last two days have been warm: on Wednesday when I stuck my head out of the door it felt warmer outside than it did indoors! The snowdrops are two inches high, the lilac buds are green and bursting and the climbing hydrangea buds have opened and small leaves are appearing. The birds were singing their spring songs and I just hope that this does not presage a false spring, to be followed by bitter weather, as happened a couple of years ago. Early fledglings and shoots died that year because there was no food and it was too cold. And there is still some snow in the shade of North facing walls: around here that is always an indicator of more snow to come.
Today is bright and sunny but there is a strong wind and a little rain: definitely bracing dog-walking weather!
After several days away from de-cluttering I must get back to it or my good intentions will slip.
One thing I meant to add to my ‘Pantry’ post: at one stage in my life I worked for a short time as a property renovator until my health got too bad. Whilst looking over properties I went round a nearby farmhouse which, unusually for here, had a cellar. I was taken aback to find an actual stream running through a channel cut in the floor of the cellar. The house had purposely been built over a spring for this reason, so that the cellar would always be cooled by the running water, to keep the dairy products fresh. I had never come across this before!
The geology of this area is gritstone, a kind of coarse sandstone which can hold lots of water, and layers of impermeable shale. So when one meets the other a spring erupts. The hills here are full of underground streams and springs, hence the stone troughs in the fields which fill for the stock from the said springs. How sensible to incorporate this feature into the farmhouse.
Our own house has drains running underneath to siphon off water from the hill behind us: when we first moved in the local council told us we must fill them in with concrete. I refused and just hid the grates by covering them over with flagstones in case we were inspected as we were renovating the cottage. One day the kitchen filled in a matter of minutes with three inches of water: worried I fled down the lane to a neighbour, a countryman of long standing. He looked perplexed and said that our yard drain should prevent this happening. I explained what the council had said, he shook his head in disbelief, came up to the house, lifted off the flagstone and immediately the water began to drain away. I have never listened to council officials again but instead ask advice from the local farmers and our neighbours: the people who built these cottages hundreds of years ago knew what they were doing.
River of Stones: today’s pebble –
“Let all the notes flow out on one breath, as if you were just breathing out the music” she says. “Don’t ‘play’ each note”.
Flute music is a long sigh through a silver tube.