Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moonlight flit

This blog needs a whole lot of updating, so I've decided to set up a new home at wordpress. So please crossover see my new blog it'sabouttime

Monday, March 22, 2010


Well things finally seem a little brighter. N was able to sit up for quite a while yesterday and we had a good chat and a few laughs. She has been experiencing terrible headaches due to the surgery leaving a tiny tear in the dura,the membrane over the spinal column and it's been upsetting to watch her deal with it. But the tear is beginning to heal, and she even managed a few steps outside today.

And D, my other breast cancer friend of long-standing, has asked me to take her for a hospital oncology appointment on Wednesday, as her husband is away on business. She is doing an oral chemo, to treat a recurrence, that has the nasty side effect of stripping the skin from your hands and feet, which means she can't drive at present.
But the chemo is doing some good, so what she's putting up with is not in vain.

It feels good to be helping them both out, it reminds me how lucky I am.

As for the rest of the world I continue to be scunnered with the election campaign. I want to start a Facebook group called "I demand a line on ballot paper headed none of the above". The thought of the St Elmo's Fire generation of the Tory party forming the next Government makes me shudder. And yet I don't want to see the Labour party, as it currently functions, re-elected.

I've done some interesting things in my absence,including a local radio broadcast with Colin, where I got to read a few poems. And this Thursday morning I'm reading at Hendersons in Edinburgh with two other Calder Wood Press writers, which I'm really looking forward to. (BTW Calder Wood Press now has Paypal for international orders)

I also had part of the house painted, which was great, though the effort of emptying everything out of the rooms concerned and then putting it all back was exhausting. But I'm glad I did it, as the house looks really fresh and ready for Spring.

My dear friend Meg is coming over from the States in June, and she jokingly told me that she expected to find the resort upgraded. Well it is and I can't wait to see her, as it has been almost 6 years since we last met in NY.

My garden continues to be a joy to me. My show auriculas are growing by the day, and several have flower buds on them. I've been taking them out during in the daytime and putting them back under glass at night. But soon they will be able to stay out in their "theatre". And the borders are awash with blue scillas and hellebores and the daphne scent on a still morning is just wonderful. I've planted a barrel of tatties, and rocket and lettuce are through in the vegetable planters in the greenhouse. And I have pots of things to go out into the beds once all risk of frost is over, verbena bonariensis, three types of ornamental grasses, violets, hardy geraniums etc, etc. So hopefully it will all look fabulous in high summer.

I'll try and get round some other blogs this week, as I want to see how everyone is doing. Photos are of the garden and a birch down by the river.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


My latest favourite song. The whole EP is beautiful. Be back soon......

Monday, March 15, 2010


This is a draft I wrote at the weekend. It will explain what I'm up to at present.
I hope you are doing well.


for Nieves

I’ve pruned the roses, cut back herbaceous
shoots and stems and planted primulas in pots,
so you can see a little colour from the window
when you get home. Now I’m on my knees,
with a knife, scraping weeds from pavers.

Dandelion, couch grass and yellow-flowered
oxalis, till fingers find a tiny, hairy seedling
that my eyes identify as comfrey, knit-bone,
and I smile, because it seems a good omen, as if
this life is still willing to give you what you need.

Miles away in that hospital bed you are a flightless,
featherless, gawky baby bird; secondary growth excised,
two new titanium branch lines shoring up your spine.

You once said your name means snow in Spanish.
Well it can only be the kind of snow that falls
high above the tree line, up on the sierras and picos.
Powdery and dazzling - snow at its best.
Snow that persists.