WALK – Old walk, new delights

Was wandering by the river when I spotted a flower I swear wasn’t there a week ago.

And carved just above it…

I swear it wasn’t me!!

Funny how I’ve walked past this spot dozens of times and never noticed that before.

On the way home, just down from the Abbey House, was an area of wildflowers. The scent and colours were just gorgeous.

Not a bad half hours ramble.


PHOTOS – And rain will make the flowers grow*

This last week has been a wash out. Oh sure, there are beautiful spells from time to time – an hour here and there (which I’m hugely grateful for because that’s when I get a quick walk down to the abbey in, but still…).

But the overall effect is … wetness. Everywhere. The air is carries birdsong and a persistent percussive dripping. I get a bit arsey if I’m stuck indoors too long, to be honest, a bit pretentious.

And I’m doubly unimpressed with the timing as my garden is doing its level best to bring a bit of colour and cheer.

so I decided to have a moan, but to appreciate my garden anyway. A best of both worlds deal.

[Photos taken Thursday but post forgotten in drafts so backdsted)

* from the les mis song

Botswana high court decriminalises gay sex | World news | The Guardian

Major victory for LGBT rights campaigners after judges rule laws are unconstitutional
โ€” Read on www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/11/botswana-high-court-decriminalises-gay-sex

Oh well done Botswana! ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ

It was very disheartening that Kenya kept its colonial era homophobic laws on the books last month (though I acknowledge that they have indicated that they want time to find a culturally appropriate African solution and didn’t want to ‘merely’ follow India’s decriminalisation for consenting adults. Doesn’t do much good for LGBTQ+ community there right now though, does it? But let’s give the benefit of the doubt that Kenyans are at least thinking about finding a positive African solution, rather than going down the Ugandan route of lengthening sentences.)

So, it’s additionally lovely that the Botswana people have rejected their 1965 law as unconstitutional. A win for human rights and dignity and love!

As the article notes, Angola and Mozambique in Southern Africa and the east coast island of Seychelles have also rejected their anti-gay laws.

Unfortunately, Tanzania has gone in the other direction, resulting in people going into hiding, fearing for their lives. And of course my beloved Zimbabwe continues to promote a homophobic agenda. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Lots of work still to do but it’s important to celebrate when the shackles of hatred and fear are thrown off.

Oh well done Botswana! ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ

WALK – Cleveland Way – Filey to Scarborough

A few years ago, Jess (@bookelfleeds), The Silent Partner and I headed out for an excursion from Scarborough to Robin Hoods Bay.

This forms part of the Cleveland Way – a National Trust walk, comprising of 109 miles. It’s a mixture of woodlands and costal scenes.

Today, Jess and I headed out to cover the first part of the walk, from Filey to Scarborough. Partially to ‘Get Our Walk On’ and partially so Jess could get a good drive in. Someone is newly a member of the driver clan. I can’t tell you how excited (I am) about that!

We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day for our 8 mile walk. Blue skies and glorious sunshine for all of it ๐Ÿ‘

We left Leeds at 8am and parked up at Filey by 10.

We marched like women on a mission for 4.5miles, before stopping for some sustenance as Cayton (not catten) Bay. They were prepared for us…

Then headed down the never ending steps to Scarborough. Really pretty.

A bit scary, also.

Though Jess made the perfect Elf in the woods

And in case the costal views were getting tiresome (they weren’t)

There was also a golden sea…

Ensuring that we had the perfect Cleveland Way experience.

Once at Scarborough, we met up with our historical selves. And celebrated by hopping on a bus and heading straight back to Filey. I’ve book club this evening so we were on a timeline.

Once in Filey, we rewarded ourselves

(I suck at selfies) and had a play in the sun

And did I mention the views?

Ok…I’m done now…

GARDENING – Hanging Baskets and Pottering

It’s been pretty grim the last few days, cool grey evenings and near constant showers.

However, my hanging baskets have been in need of a bit of a spruce up and the cabin fever this afternoon hit breaking point.

So I made two for my friend…

And I cleared out my two dianthus baskets…

Repotted dahlias…

And fuchsia…

And generally had a good garden and mental sort.

PHOTOS – Water Baby

Iโ€™ve been staring at the edge of the water
Long as I can remember
Never really knowing why

Moana – How far I’ll go

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BOOKS – Non Fiction (but I wish they were!)

I’ve been reading a bit more non-fiction books across the book clubs in the last few months (to be fair, 2 of them were my suggestions!).

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WALK- Swinsty and Fewston Reservoir

What a foul day (weather wise). Today has been quite a stressful one, but there’s little chance of my customary ramble this evening as it’s currently bucketing it down.

Thankfully, I was able to make the most of the gorgeous sunshine yesterday evening. Straight after work I headed out to my favourite reservoirs for a stroll.

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MUSIC – The Lost Words – Blessing (and book of spells!!)

This weekend, my dad sent me on the most beautiful song. It’s one of the most evocative and soothing sounds I’ve heard in a very long time.

BLURB (from youtube)

The album concludes with The Lost Words Blessing. It is offered both in hope and light, and in grief for the losses and dark times yet to come. We are proud and delighted to share this beautiful video of the creative journey. Filmed by Elly Lucas Photography and edited by Ben Davis.

Karine Polwart suggested the idea of a blessing that borrows images and phrases from many of The Lost Words spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris (Bluebell, Dandelion, Fern, Heather, Heron, Kingfisher, Lark, Otter, Raven and Starling), as well as from new spells (Goldfinch and Grey Seal). The form is inspired by blessings in Scottish Gaelic, particularly from a beautiful collection of charms and incantations called Carmina Gadelica.

This will be the last track of The Lost Word – Spell Songs album, set to be released on the 12th of July. (I’ve pre-ordered!)
Now, the website is absolutely gorgeous, so I would heartily recommend that you have a look at it – HERE!

The song then lead me to The Lost Words Spell Songs by Robert Macfarlane (author) and Jackie Morris (illustrator and artist).

My dad had attempted to explain what the book was about via whatsapp, but it was late and I didn’t really get it, conceptually.

Spell-poems written in response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary? A quick google and suddenly all becomes clear. A few years ago, the OJD introduced new words – primarily technologically based – and removed or reduced several words relating to the natural world. In 2015, the naturalist Lawrence Rose composed a letter to the dictionary, signed by several heavy weights in the literary and artistic fields – including (as you might have guessed) author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris.

The words cut out are ones that I grew up with, that describe a natural world that completely enhanced my formative years – acorn; blackberry; conker; kingfisher and bluebell. I can’t fathom a childhood without bluebells (in this country and context etc etc). This book is therefore an attempt to restore those words so ignobly cut from the younger generations , with glorious looking images accompanying each one.

A proportion of the profits will go to Action for Conservation, a charity that works with โ€œdisadvantaged and socially excluded childrenโ€ and is โ€œdedicated to inspiring young people to take action for the natural worldโ€.

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. These are the words of the natural world – Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children’s minds.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Now I just can’t wait to grab a copy for myself!!

Read Jackie Morris’ reaction to the Lost Words: Blessing song HERE 

Lyrics to Blessing

Enter the wild with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you travel far from heather, crag and river
May you like the little fisher, set the stream alight with glitter
May you enter now as otter without falter into water

Look to the sky with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you journey on past dying stars exploding
Like the gilded one in flight, leave your little gifts of light
And in the dead of night my darling, find the gleaming eye of starling
Like the little aviator, sing your heart to all dark matter

Walk through the world with care, my love
And sing the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you stumble through machair sands eroding
Let the fern unfurl your grieving, let the heron still your breathing
Let the selkie swim you deeper, oh my little silver-seeker
Even as the hour grows bleaker, be the singer and the speaker
And in city and in forest, let the larks become your chorus
And when every hope is gone, let the raven call you home

VIDEO – UNHRC – Ireland is home

Spotted this video last week, doing the rounds on social media and it’s been on my mind ever since.

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