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Showing posts from September, 2013

Ghosts and broken water mains

What mimics a torrent of rain, sounds like ball-bearings falling onto a snare drum, makes Four-legged-friend and Bertie Baggins rush barking out of the house and creates a river that runs down the road? Littlest spent ages watching this water spout - like a spectator at a tennis match in which the player on the right is stronger than the one on the left, head turning left to right, fast flick back to left, then left to right again, and again. She was 'watching the water drops' - "They start all frothy like bubbles, then go round like balls at the top, before going splat and disappearing like mini-ghosts hitting the ground." Mini-ghosts! Really? I wish that I could see things again through the eyes of a child. To me it was beautiful, noisy, something that I had to do something about. To Littlest it was an excuse to get wet ... mainly. And something unexpected to wonder at. 'Mini-ghosts' is inspired and poetic and stunningly accurate. I can picture

A whiff of vinegar

The house stinks. Our clothes WILL smell tomorrow. Come too close and you will discover that our hair smells too. Evaporating vinegar pervades every corner of the house - every open drawer, both dog beds, the exposed strings of the piano, the clean stack of washing, our books, even my mug of coffee. Our eyes water on entering the kitchen, we sneeze, we breathe in and taste the vinegar in the air. This is balsamic apple cider vinegar (no common malt vinegar in this house, as not strictly gluten free). And it's organic! It is mixed with apples, red onions and brambles, with cinnamon, salt, ginger and mace added for flavour. It bubbles angrily, a deep dark red of simmering, fruity fury. Bertie Baggins and Four-legged-friend however sleep through anything  Especially when their bellies are stuffed full of apple-peelings and brambles. Bubbles and strong smells simply seep into the backgrounds of their dreams. Rather depressingly, only an eighth of the apples-that-were-sav


Inspiration is a fickle beast. What inspires me - lighting the fuse that sets off fireworks in my brain; rippling a song through my heart and setting my toes off on the tip-tapping rhythm of a dance - may send you sploshing into a stagnant puddle of despair and crippling boredom. I think what inspires us depends on who we are. Who we  really  are. It encompasses self, place and time. And is probably touched by our economic, political and religious beliefs. It is significantly influenced by media pressure - that pressure to be complicit in the admiration for a subject of populist awe - although whether such collective inspiration is inspiration at all or merely a need to fit in and not be perceived of as that weird person who thinks differently from the rest of us, is debatable. We should be free to take inspiration where we find it and respect that others may be inspired by things that we either dislike or do not understand. Before my wittering gets completely out of hand, my poi