This is my chair

As the poems that I shared from “I Could Pee on This – & other poems by cats” was so well received, I thought I’d share a couple more…

This is my chair

This is my chair

This is my couch

That is my bed

That is my bench

There is my chaise

There is my settee

Those are my footstools

Those are my rugs

Everywhere is my place to sleep

Perhaps you should just get a hotel room.

 

FOREVER

I could lie by your side for the rest of our lives

I think I’ll walk away right now.

I could let you pet me for a hundred years

I think we need some time apart

I could be kissed a thousand thousand times

I think I’m needed somewhere else

I could sit on your lap forever

I said, I could sit on your lap forever

Don’t you even think of trying to get up

Well, you should have gone to the bathroom beforehand

Because forever is a very, very long time.

Any Questions…

The writer of the blog A New Life in Lillewhich I enjoy reading, was offered one of those awards that come wioth questions to answer, which he passed on to his readers. As I am devoid of inspiration, but have time to write a blog post, I thought I’d answer them. I think I’ll do it in two halves though (giving me another blog post from it!!)

Why did you start your blog? At the time, a lot of people from Ship of Fools (a website I enjoy) were blogging, using a site set up (I think) by one of the moderators. I enjoy writing, and I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. You can read some of the posts if you go to the section “Some dregs from the other Teapot” up above. My first blog post was on August 24th 2009, and I managed to make a mess up of that first one what with usernames and so forth.

And so it has continued – sometimes with more inspiration than other times, but I enjoy blogging. I see it almost as my “scrapbooks” for the internet age. When I was at University I kept physical scrapbooks, with things stuck in, and the odd journal type entry. This is the updated version of that, I suppose, although this one rarely (if ever!) has my innermost secrets in.

What do you enjoy most about blogging? It has to be the interaction with other bloggers! I love getting comments, and if a new person comments I’ll go to their blog, if I can, to read what they’re up to. If it’s “my kind of blog” then I’ll add them to my bookmarked blogs. I try to comment too, but I’m less good at doing that . I especially appreciated the support from other bloggers, and readers, through my cancer treatment.

Getting “likes” doesn’t mean much, as that’s too easy to do & therefore doesn’t mean much, and I feel that it’s mostly done to get “likes” back. I was horrified when I followed one “like” back to its source and found a conspiracy theory site with disinformation about Covid-19 on it. If I could have taken down the “like”, I would have!

But the writing itself is also a pleasure. I like writing, I love words, and so it’s not a chore to blog. It might be a chore to read my blog however!!

Which is your favourite blog post you’ve written? I really don’t know!! I enjoy reading back over posts, but I don’t really have a favourite one.

Maybe this one written after a trip to the UK is special, because it reminds me of what a joyful weekend I had, even in the midst of cancer

What do you hope the world will learn from the coronavirus? To be more kind, to be more thoughtful and to slow down. The most important things are not to do with money.

Also that the Tory government shafts the ordinary people every step of the way.

(Sorry, is that a bit political?!)

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why? Again, really difficult to answer. We are happy here in St Just, and will probably stay here…but, for the sake of argument, somewhere a little further south, on one level, traditional exterior but modernised interior, with an infinity pool overlooking mountains & trees…but not far from a village with all amenities. Not much garden (or garden, with a gardener) but room for a donkey and a few goats. And cats too.

Yes, that’ll do!

 

Pause.

Today is a fast day (we’re back on the 5:2 regime, after I was told my cholesterol was getting a bit too high) so I’ve only had orange juice, coffee and tea up till now. It’s 12.30 and my poached egg on toast is calling me.

 

We’re free!!!

…except, of course, we’re not really!

Things have relaxed a little bit now – we can go up to 100 km away from our homes – but not into a different department. So even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could go to work, because Clermont is in a different departement. We don’t need to take our attestation with us if we go out for a walk. Mr FD is happy because he can cycle now, and we can go to shops that are further afield. We have masks, issued by the Mairie, to wear on public transport, and if shops demand it. My language schools are open for business.

BUT

I’m not going anywhere!

My students have agreed that they’re not going anywhere.

Having seen a rise in deaths & infections in Germany, where they are much more organised and in a better state than France, I’m not taking any risks. I’m still teaching from home, not going out except to shop, and continuing to disinfect stuff that comes into the house.

I saw Mr Johnson on TV in the UK. Good grief! Talk about confusing.

The information given in France wasn’t very clear, but at least we’ve got some sort of advice, which is better than the rather confused speech given by the PM of the UK, which the three leaders of Scotland, Wales and N Ireland all disagreed with.

 

Good luck with that.

 

Post Isolation Fantasies…

This is from Kezzie’s choices over here, but I’m afraid these are not terribly interesting!! I think it’s indicative of how unexciting my life is normally, that I haven’t been fantasising about getting back to “normal life” through the Confinement!!

But here you are:

1. Restaurant you would go out to: Probably the Hotel de la Poste round the corner. We have a voucher, which Friends Alison & Gerome gave us for our birthdays. It was supposed to be used within 6 months, but that came and went during March, when we were confined.

We have been doing quite well for food though, as the restaurant next door is doing takeaways to keep afloat. I had a delicious pizza yesterday.

2. Friend you would meet up with first: Probably Friend Alison, for a real apero, not a virtual one. We have been chatting from time to time, keeping 2m away from each other if I pass by her house and she’s outside. Also Louis and Odette, who are good friends too.

3. Place you would go:Back to work?! I’m not sure where I’ve missed…I suppose it’s the freedom to go anywhere that I’ve missed, rather than somewhere in particular. So possibly just for a walk that’s more than 1 km from the house!

4. Shop you would go to: Noz!! And Lidl…Our shopping has been expensive because we’re using the little Carrefour Extra in the village, which isn’t as cheap as Lidl, or the bigger supermarkets.

5. Food item you would buy/eat: We haven’t really missed anything too much. It’s been harder getting fresh fruit and vegetables, including my favourite Pink Lady apples, so that would be nice. We have missed a few ingredients that the little supermarket doesn’t stock, but nothing springs to mind!

6. Cake you would eat: Again, not missing cake, as we can buy stuff quite easily. And the restaurant next door does the odd “Dessert du Jour” which is very nice! Lemon tart yesterday!

7. Show you would go to see/Concert you will go watch: We hadn’t planned any concerts/ shows – there’s not many that come to our corner of France that we want to see. I think Mr FD is planning a Big Big Train concert, but I’m not sure where that is.

8. Relative you will hug first: Apart from Mr FD (and we’ve shared a good amount of hugs during confinement) it will be whichever of my relatives I see first!

9. Holiday you would go on: Possibly the one that we should have been going on at the end of May! We’ve deferred it till September, and we were supposed to be going with my MiL, my mum and my brother. We don’t know what restrictions will be still in place in September for elderly people in the UK, so we’re waiting-and-seeing. It was to a lovely looking place in the Cantal area.

10. Other activity? Going to Church. It will be lovely to see people face to face again! I actually think that being apart has brought us closer together as a congregation. It’s been lovely that people who have left and live elsewhere have been able to join us – that’s been an unexpected bonus of this lockdown – but I look forward enormously to taking communion again. And we will be much closer to finding out about a new Priest in Charge…the closing date for applications is coming up at the end of May, I think.

11. Thing you would do at work: While I have been enormously grateful for the fact I’ve been able to work from home, by phone or by computer, it’s not been the same! Face to face teaching is easier, and more rewarding. But, much as I’m looking forward to going back to work, I won’t be first out of the door on 11th May…I definitely want to wait at least another 2 weeks, in order to (hopefully) avoid a second wave of the virus.

12. Item you would buy: There’s nothing I really want now – before yesterday it would have been plants for the balcony, but the little local garden centre is now opening just in the morning, so I was able to buy a rather random selection of plants. The balcony is looking less bare now! So just the chance to have a browse around the shops…for nothing in particular!

 

Do let me & Kezzie know if you take part!

Poems VIII (and a picture too)

I hadn’t envisaged my “Poems” series going any further than last week, but some of you have sent me poems – thank you – and others have mentioned poems in the comments section. So I will share those too, but I’d like to share a poem and a picture, both of which were on FB

This poem is beautiful, and captures the feeling of this “Locked Down Easter” perfectly. I won’t post all of it, but I urge you to click on the link to read it.

EASTER 2020

by Malcom Guite

And where is Jesus, this strange Easter day?

Not lost in our locked churches, anymore

Than he was sealed in that dark sepulchre….

 

The other is this powerful painting that was also posted (follow the link to see it)

Good Friday 2020′ by Polish Jesuit, Vyacheslav Okun

An interesting debate (or rather, couple of comments) followed the posting of this painting

A: What so many people do not realse realise is that even of there was a state of the art resus team at the foot of the cross….. he was DEAD!!!!!! There is absolutely no dispute about that…. what happened next? Aaaaahhhhhhh that’s question that so many people want an answer…. but if they read the book!!!!

B: that’s really interesting take on the picture. I took it completely differently that the medics were ‘being Jesus ‘ and Jesus was all of the people who were sick and dying from this virus

What’s your take on it? I think I saw it more like the second commentator – Jesus suffering as those who suffer from the Covid-19, and the medics as those sorrowing friends who took Jesus from the cross, little understanding that there is more to Life than death.

Poems VI

 

EASTER SATURDAY

Elizabeth Rooney

A curiously empty day,
As if the world’s life
Had gone underground.
The April sun
Warming dry grass
Makes pale spring promises
But nothing comes to pass.

Anger
Relaxes into despair
As we remember our helplessness,
Remember him hanging there.
We have purchased the spices
But they must wait for tomorrow.
We shall keep today
For emptiness
And sorrow.

Poems V

This one wasn’t one that was sent to me, but one I found when looking for resources for my Good Friday service…

Here it is, on Good Friday (with apologies that I cannot get the breaks in the right places.):

A QUIET ROAR

 

one

 

he lays his left hand along the beam

hand that moulded clay into fluttering birds

hand that cupped wild flowers to learn their peace
hand that stroked the bee’s soft back and touched death’s sting

two

 

he stretches his right hand across the grain
hand that blessed a dead corpse quick
hand that smeared blind spittle into sight
hand that burgeoned bread, smoothed down the rumpled sea
three

he stands laborious

 

sagging, split, homo erectus,
poor bare forked thing
hung on nails like a picture
he is not beautiful
blood sweats from him in rain
far off where we are lost, desert dry
thunder begins its quiet roar
the first drops startle us alive
the cloud no bigger
than a man’s hand
Veronica Zundel 


	

Poems IV

Here’s the other of the two that I have received so far: I don’t know if I’ll get any more. If I do, I’ll share them with you.

When I received this, I groaned inwardly, and thought “Couldn’t she have been more original…?” but actually, I don’t think I have ever read the poem all the way through, and when I did, I found myself taking back my thoughts, as it is extremely apt for these strange times when we are confined to our homes, and unable to travel more than 1 km away from our front door without very good reason. (I drove 16 km from my front door to get some pills for Pomme, as she’d run out. Even though I knew it was perfectly OK and I would see only the vet, I felt very guilty!!)

So, taking back all my critical thoughts, here it is:

DAFFODILS

by William Wordsworth

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.

We’re doing OK

Everything is fine here – we are both working, and so our weeks are busy. Mr FD holes himself up in his study, I hole myself up in mine, and we meet briefly when one or the other makes a hot drink for us both, or over lunch. I’m busy because I’ve actually got a couple of new students, and also because working from distance means I need to write a follow up email to the students – which I wouldn’t do if we were meeting face to face.

On Monday morning I plan my lessons, and prepare the lesson summaries as much as I can; then from Monday afternoon onwards I’m teaching, or doing admin work. Although I’m finding it tiring I am very grateful to have work, as I know that so many self employed people are facing financial problems. We also are saving money as I’m not travelling to Clermont every day. In fact, Soozy (which we collected the Saturday before the lockdown) has hardly moved since she came home!!

Our treats involve going next door, to the restaurant-turned-takeaway to buy something. The people only opened the restaurant a couple of weeks before the lockdown meant restaurants had to close, so we’re supporting them as much as we can. We’ve had pizzas, burger-and-chips, and the most delicious chocolate/apricot gateau. That was so rich I had to eat my slice over two days! Today they’re cooking Cantonese rice and Spring rols, but we forgot to order, so we’ll probably just have a pizza.

As we’re out in the country confinement isn’t affecting us too much. We get out most days for a walk, but we have to remember to take our Attestation. You aresupposed to print out a new one every time you go out, but so far I’ve been tippexing out the date and writing today’s date. It seems remarkably wasteful of paper and ink to keep reprinting, and tippex shows that one is not trying to cheat in anyway. I’ve not been stopped any way, so I’ll plead ignorance if I have to.

Shopping is reasonable, with most things available. We are definitely using local businesses now, and trying to spread ourselves around.

But confinement has been extended to mid-April, with most people expecting it to continue to the beginning of May. One of my students, who is the director of a small company, has said the Government is warning businesses to prepare to be closed until the end of May, or even the end of June!

However, we know it’s the right thing to do – unlike many people in the UK, it seems! Our local GP, and the head of the school have both succumbed, with the GP being in hospital for several days. I’ve not heard how he’s doing. Tonight I’m meeting Friend Alison for a virtual apero – FriendCathy, in the UK at present, was invited but she thinks it’s possible she has the virus too.

The cats know what to do!!

Actually our cats love having us round, especially Jasper and Millie, who follow the sun around Mr FD’s study. I get Bib coming to meeow at some of my late afternoon students!