Archive | March, 2014

The Wind Through the Keyhole

24 Mar

Winter has passed.  I can feel it.  I’ve begun my summer sleep cycle of waking before dawn — and dawn comes earlier every morning.  Thank God.

Acknowledging the passing of the winter forces me to realize that almost a year has passed since my mother died.  I don’t … understand how that is possible.  In my mind, there is no distance between the moment of her passing and this moment.  It will always have happened just a few minutes ago.  And yet … the mind is a protective, flexible thing, isn’t it?  I don’t have to live inside that moment all the time, anymore.  I can sit quietly, in peace, without falling into tears.  Sometimes.  Recognizing that almost a year has passed forces me to look at how dark my heart has been for so much of this year.  The light has come through as a shaft of sunshine through a keyhole.

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View through the keyhole, Church of St John the Evangelist, Elkstone Village.

How I love the small glances found in old churches.  It’s as if the architecture of those spaces, with their intention to be sacred, create an enclosure for broken hearts to be safe and mend.  And feel the light coming in through the keyhole.  And when you’re ready, to open the door.

London postcard

18 Mar

Oh, I’m having trouble.  Either the weather is great, so I want to be outside and away from the blog and not do anything but enjoy the sunshine.  Or the weather is horrible, and I want to hibernate in front of the fire and not do anything but wish for sunshine.  But somewhere in there we made a long weekend visit to London and saw some sights.  We haven’t been to London with the kids since February two years ago, when we went up the London Eye and on a Duck Tour.  This year, we got some sunshine, which transformed the city into something beautiful.

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Boat tour on the Thames.IMG_1975ed

Trafalgar Square … in the sun!  This was the first time I’ve ever visited London in the sunshine.  I wasn’t sure it was possible.  IMG_2000ed

Parliament, Big Ben, that London Eye.IMG_2060ed

There are so many iconic photos of the Tower of London, I’m just not even going to try.  Almost all of my photos from this trip look identical to the ones I took nearly twenty years ago when I first visited London.  For this trip, we stayed in a hotel nearby and walked over in the evening to see the Tower lit up … arrived early one morning for our visit … did all the usual things.  By getting there early and going straight to the Crown Jewels, we were able to go round the jewels three times, with no crowds.  Dropped in and out of the Beefeater tours and wandered to our hearts content.  As our trip was timed during the national school holidays, we also were able to enjoy many extra activities (think costuming and faux executions).IMG_2131edThe British Museum.  My children, world-weary travelers, decided it was not as impressive as the Louvre. (Paris postcard.)  Ahem.  

IMG_2219edBehind the scenes at Tower Bridge, in the engine room exhibit.  Might make a steam-punk-y sort of blog post about that visit.  Pretty cool.

IMG_2297edFor reasons unknown but likely connected to movie marketing, Mjölnir appeared in Greenwich.

IMG_2303edThe National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is impressive, and a big kid favorite.

20140218_142056edView from the Royal Observatory.

20140218_143851edFound our first daffodils of the year in Greenwich.  I super-thumbs-up recommend Greenwich as a green and calm respite from London hurly-burly.

And that was it!  Or at least all the photos worth bothering to share.  I can’t possibly give you the character of London from these few photos and our few visits.  However, I came home and read through a series recommended by thebookgator (first review here: A Madness of Angels) that reveals a living geography of London through strongly written vignettes of color, sound, taste, smell, and rhythm.  (With, you know, magic and murder thrown in.)  When I’m hibernating — or reading in the sunshine — it’s a fun way to remember the feel of life in London.

Little lamb, who made thee?

6 Mar

I declared the arrival of spring and disappeared from the blog.  But I return to you with more evidence of green pastures and warmth to come.

Lambs.

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A lambing barn in the Cotswolds.  In the front, moms and babes in ‘bonding’ areas where they can hang out together for several days without interference from other mothers or babies.  They learn each other’s scents and sounds and patterns, while still being surrounded by the larger group in which they will live.IMG_2310ed

This cocky fellow was about two days old.IMG_2351ed

This gorgeous bub about a day old.IMG_2317ed

And these two soft ones are newborns.  They were born about fifteen minutes before this photo was taken, and had not yet been moved to a bonding area.  Mama was still checking them out.IMG_2343ed

Lambikin was so tired he dozed off against a fence. Look at that face.
IMG_2338edA kiss from mama.

Lambs and an English country spring … it doesn’t get much better than this.

(Where did I find these lovely lambs? At Cotswold Farm Park.  Great day out with kids … or for adults who need lamb therapy.)