But what to blog about - the white stuff has been quite handy as a topic over the last 2 weeks hasn't it?
Well, I've had a rootle around in my Big Box of Potential Blogs and come up with a meme. Poor thing, bestowed, started weeks ago and now sadly neglected - the Honest Scrap award deserves better than this. It was the gift of Kari Lønning, a maker of sculptural baskets whose blog makes me think long and hard about the potential of rattan. Kari also has the most beautiful garden which she insists, in colonial fashion, is called a 'yard'. Both baskets and plants are covetable. Visit and see for yourselves.
This is what I must do: list 10 honest things about myself - hopefully interesting ones - and then tag 7 other bloggers. I've seem to have done so many of these that finding another few interesting facts might prove difficult but a woman of my, ahem, mature years surely has a few secrets to divulge.....What a pot-pourri of trivia this is going to be. Sigh.
1. Food: I try and buy local. My criteria are firstly from my garden and neighbourhood - local producers, then in descending order, county, country, 'Kingdom', Europe, northern hemisphere, world, outer space etc. You get my drift. Here's the honest bit - sometimes a girl has to eat a green bean. In January.
2. Travel: Honest fact: my first bicycle - or to be exact tricycle - was named Twinkie (Do Not Laugh Or Else). It was fab. I loved it. Can't decide if that is a smile or a grimace in the photograph...3. However - what I really wanted was not Twinkie but a similar model with a great carrier thingy on the back. Twinkie only had a weedy little satchel. I knew this at 5 years old but have never been image conscious since.
4. The last bicycle I owned was a birthday present from the Glam.Ass (when he was less of an Ass. and more of wage slave). It was the most macho of mountain bikes - the sort of things that didn't go round street lamps but up, over and down the other side. I wanted a 'ladies shopper' with a basket on the front. This was back in the days of wearing skirts and the sturdy macho-machine had a cross-bar - but there were all sorts of reasons for not being entirely comfortable about it. I owned it for all of 30 minutes perhaps and then suggested it might be better for one of the boys. Perhaps not one of my better suggestions.
5. A long time ago I painted this picture, along with many others - it's 'A Peaceable Kingdom' inspired by Edward Hicks. I do not know where they all went to. They sold. I would quite like to buy one back for old times sake. Would I paint like this now? I really don't know.
'The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.' (Isaiah 11.6)Not happening yet is it?
6. Favourite flowers: Snowdrop - Galanthus nivalis. Such hope and purity in their early flowers. I see their stubby ash-green shoots breaking through winter's cold sod and irrationally hear the words of Dylan Thomas:
7. I'm pretty good at ideas. I love ideas. Expansive ideas. Ideas so big that the Glam. Ass. usually turns a deaf ear. I am useless at carrying things out - am bored by the small detail. My head tells me I've done it and is interesting only in moving on.'The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.'
8. My first garden? A square yard of soil behind a cottage in Warwickshire. I suspect I planted Nastursiums, Poppies and Pansies and then lost interest. Many years later I begged a patch of land behind my flat in Stockport and planted it - only to have some twat nick the cabbages....undeterred each subsequent space has become more personal and more confident. My garden here, carved out of cow pasture is still in its infancy but I am getting enormous pleasure seeing bare-rooted things (otherwise known as plants) become solid and sculptural shapes.
9. I truly believe that nothing is ordinary. Look carefully at the world around you and discover wonders in the most unexpected places. Lift stones, draw back curtains, turn pages. Stop looking at what everyone else looks at and go for the unexpected.
10. As far as science goes I am an ignoramus. This is nothing to be proud of. I was of a generation at school where the sheep were separated from the goats so to speak - the arts people from the scientists. Biology and Geography somehow got incorporated into my timetable but physic and chemistry will forever remain a mystery. I am a stranger to some very basic facts and feel that now is probably too late to start picking them up.
I should at this point nominate 7 other bloggers for this Honest Scrap Award but think that there can hardly be anyone left in the universe who hasn't by now had a stab at it - so I throw it up for grabs. If you fancy 10 honest paragraphs, now's your chance.