Sunday, 28 August 2016

So I made some charcoal. I just wanted to give it a try so they are just rough pieces but satisfying for a first attempt. 

Friday, 26 August 2016

I have an unexpected ten days clear. I'm still assimilating why so I won't go in to details. Suffice to say I have ten days clear. 
This means I have time to turn my compost heaps, a gardening ritual I always relish and have blogged at least half a dozen times before, I think. This time I will also be trying to fix them up a bit because they've been on their last legs for ages and a friend gave me some pallets so I'm hoping I can make them fit for purpose again.
This year is strange because my little cat is not there next to me, she would always hang out close by if I was in the garden whatever I was doing. Easy repeat physical work is quite meditative and soothing so I am using the time to contemplate on life, my life, her life and  the time we spent together., and the lives of others too.
I am putting the best compost, the sifted third box mud, where I have buried her. I have transplanted ferns, forget-me-nots, crocosmia, a hardy geranium and primroses around the flowering quince which we put over her precious little body.  My little old dog who died many years ago is buried close by under a young oak and so her grave too is getting some tending. She has small spring cyclamen that came from my grandparents garden on her grave. And red campion. 
Those we share our lives with, animals included, are so much a part of our being it is hard to let go when they are gone. Oh boy. Love is a strange gift. It is the best, the sweetest joy, but it leads to the sharpest pain too. Would I rather not love ? Surely no.
Back to my compost heap and my garden. Sometimes when I turn my compost heaps I am joined by a friendly robin. But said robin is more friendly in late autumn or early spring when his belly is empty, so he has not come to bug-pick this year. Thats good for the bugs, I always feel a bit bad for them, I'm not one to throw birds worms, I figure my turning the soil is help enough. 
The smell and feel of earth is always good medicine for me and fresh compost soil is a real treat, it smells delicious and is gorgeous and damp and crumbly in my hands as I top dress whatever flower bed I have chosen to spread it upon. The clinker I put as mulch on another bed. it's much rougher but holds down water and rots into the ground gradually, it's made up of short sticks and rummage that is too big to fit through the sieve. The longer sticks are a third bounty and get bagged up to be kindling for the next season's fires, indoors and out. So much treasure from what is waste. I guess that's why I love this compost turning ritual so much, it gives me a feeling of great abundance, it makes me feel peaceful and happy. Feeling peaceful and happy is good.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Before I get too wrapped up in today, I'm going to glance back at the making of my sculpture "Sutram" for the 2016 Waveney River Sculpture Trail. It's a work that nominally stems from my friend Andy's tweets from his weather station which I love because they have that same quality as the shipping forecast, or the football results or tide tables. But really it is about transience. The uncapturability of the moment, for just as you reach out to hold it, it slips away, like water or sand running between your fingers.
Time, life, as I have just seen, passes by, yesterday is gone and tomorrow, not yet here, is unknowable until we meet it, and then is gone, is yesterday. Clock time is a bind we have created, it is subject to interpretation and slightly flexible as anyone with a friend pre-disposed to be late, or counterwise early, will know, but it is a mathematical construct. One o'clock, two o'clock ..
How else do we tell the time, it is by our people, our creatures, our places, it is by the change of light, night to day to night to day, or winter to spring to summer to autumn, seasonal shifts, not just in how shadows fall, but also in birdsong and flowers, temperature, rainfall (I return to Andy's tweets) .. 
We watch our children grow, become adults, leave home, have children of their own, watch them grow too. We see our parents, once indomitable, become more frail and know that our time with them may be cut short, not unnaturally, but how can we bear a world without them. I am lucky, both my parents are alive, our connections have often been stormy in the past but seem to be quieter and kinder now. This is a relief.
This passing of time, the inconsequentiality of our lives and yet by contradiction the great consequence of our lives is something I have tried to express in "Sutram". There are myriad other  lines that have gone into it but I cannot write them all, it would take all day, and who has all day to know another's thoughts unless there is deep love between the one and the other. 


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

I hadn't realised how long it has been since I blogged. It seems strange that I haven't posted about the work I have just put up for the Waveney River Sculpture Trail, I will write about that later and post pictures. 
But my reason for coming on to my blog today was to write about my beautiful little cat. She came into our lives 13 years ago, a tiny-weeny kitten, white fluff with a heart shaped tabby patch on her side and a tabby tail and ears. She was a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant cat. A real charmer. 
I have so many memories of her, how her tail curled into a question mark when she was small and watching her chase said tail quite viciously as if she didn't know it was attached to her. And a year on  being with her while she gave birth to her kittens. We kept one - the only boy - and he is a wonderful reminder of his mother, similarly good natured, loving and lovable. 
But cats (and dogs) don't live as long as humans and my sweet little girl cat had a problem with her thyroid and got thinner and thinner over the past two years, she was happy, possibly happier than before she started losing weight and was playing with her catnip mice in the week before she began to really fail but .. here's the sad bit, and I'll be honest I haven't had a day for over a week when I haven't cried because last week she stopped eating and in the end I had to call the vet to come and put her to sleep because I didn't want her to be in pain and it's hard to know how long starving to death takes or how it feels. 
So my wonderful snuggle-up girl cat RIP. You were great and I loved you and I miss your lemon-drop eyes and your purr and the way you cat-chatted. xx