Monthly Archives: April 2014

Friday Poem – I Am

A poem by the English poet, John Clare (1793-1864).

His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer Jonathan Bate states that Clare was “the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self”.

This poem was composed when Clare was in the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum.

I Am

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.

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Friday Poem – Daffodils

daffodils ullswaterProbably one of the most famous poems of all time, by William Wordsworth (1770-1850), where he talks about nature and memory of his beloved Lake District.


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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There’s something nasty in the woodshed!!!

…in the form of a disgusting smell.

I kid you not, since the weather has gotten warmer, SC and I have braved the outside world to play, and obviously this involved retrieving stuff – bike, scooter, football, etc., – from the garden shed.

But, urgh! The smell has been horrendous. There was something definitely decomposing – vegetation or life form I had no clue. But decomposing was going on somewhere, there was the smell, and then every time I opened the shed door, there were small flies everywhere.

Yesterday, I thought I’d found it. We had kept the heads from last years sunflowers in order to replant the seeds to grow sunflowers again this year. Unfortunately, they went a bit mouldy and mulchy in the shed over winter. My dad hadn’t discarded them in the green bin, and I haven’t ventured outside unless I needed too – prefer to hibernate over winter, snuggled up at home, underneath a blanket, nice and warm and cosy 😉

I digress!

So, the bucket went yesterday.

Today I had to go to the garden centre – 200L of compost to buy for the vegetable patch, I’m going to have fun digging that in, and planting vegetable seeds. When the time came to empty my car of garden centre goodies, I might have also bought a few herbs and plants as well, I thought I would store (just in case it rains) the compost in the smelly shed. This involved having to move stuff around.


There was something definitely nasty and rotting in the woodshed – and it wasn’t a nest of dead mice!

No, it was something much, much worse.

Our garage got flooded during the monsoon season, or British Winter 2013/14, nothing horrendous, just a flash flood as the farmer’s field couldn’t hold the lake of water anymore and it decided to make a break for freedom and run down the road, through anything that stood in its way.

My dad, in his wisdom, moved all the bags that got wet into the shed without looking in them. I quickly retrieved SC’s bag of toys he had decided to send to children in India (but ended up in the rubbish, too damaged), but several bags remained. Including the one containing … THE SMELL!

So, imagine my surprise when I went to move an innocent looking bin bag containing a large clear plastic bag – cue gag reflexes and crawling maggots! Yes indeedy, the clear plastic bag had contained fish food – for the fish in the pond (before they died) – it clearly had got wet and had been sitting in the shed nicely rotting, decomposing and doing whatever else it does.

I don’t think I have ever thrown anything quite as quickly!

I don’t think I could go fishing – not only would the smell of the bait get me, I couldn’t even pick a crawly maggot up!

So, right now it is sitting outside the shed door and I’m wondering, now it’s night-time, whether I should dress up in my secret spy outfit – black clothes, hat and sunglasses – brave the smell, creep up the road and empty said content of … THE SMELL … back to where nature intended, the field at the top of the road, or just let the smell, and hopefully maggots disappear into the night sky over the next couple of nights, wrap it tightly, very tightly in several bin bags and chuck it in the black bin just before collection day??

I’m veering towards the secret spy outfit 😉

The main thing is, thankfully now, there isn’t anything nasty in the woodshed, aside from the odd spider!

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Aerodynamics!

Well, we were driving along the motorway today and SC pipes up, “Mummy, do you know why our car is faster than lorries and vans?”aerodynamics

“No…” (obviously thinking that the reason is probably because my car is a lot smaller and not quite as heavy!)

“It’s because we’re streamlined!”


“Yes, our car is lower to the ground and smoother, not like that van over there with its big windscreen going up”

(Am I hearing correctly???)

“See that car is not as streamlined as ours as it isn’t going as fast as us.”

(Mmmm, hold on, maybe that car is just going slower to conserve more fuel, after all I am in the outside lane doing no more than 70mph 😉 )

“But that lorry is really tall, and going really slowly, that’s why we’re streamlined!”

(Move over Adrian Newey!)

“Isn’t that right mummy?”

“Yes darling, in a roundabout way, of course it is!”

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So, who thinks F1 2014 is boring now?

bahrain grand prixWell, before today’s race in Bahrain, Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo, described this season as akin to taxi driving.

All I have to say after watching (and I promise to try and not give any spoilers away for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet), is that I hope I never, ever get in a taxi like that.


It was thrill a minute, riding by the seat of your pants, pure 100% adrenaline filled racing.

There was jostling for position from pole all the way down to the last car.

It was awesome.

Even the engines sounded great – despite people complaining about them not being V8s.bahrain grand prix 2

I literally was sitting on the edge of my seat. With 10 laps to go, my heart was beating faster than the rev in the cars and my adrenaline was pumping, so goodness only knows what the drivers were going through.

It has to be possibly one of the best Grand Prix’s I’ve watched in a very long time.

Roll on China 😉

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Friday Poem – Still I Rise

A beautiful poem by Maya Angelou (1928 – ).

Lewis Hamilton has the title hand painted on the back of his helmet this season!phoenix1

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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