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Sunday, 1 September 2013

R.I.P Seamus

Woken by my feline alarm clock as usual this morning. If Nancy hasn't been out plundering the hedgerows for her tasty snacks which she's consumed on the landing during the night - she is hungry around 6 a.m. and wants to let you know. I've taken to shutting my door so I don't have to hear the rodents and rabbits being slaughtered under the bed so rather than just sitting on my chest and purring loudly in my ear she now wails and scratches outside the door.

 I'm undecided which is worse.To quote Christopher Smart's poem (1722!) For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey -
For she is a mixture of gravity and waggery,
 For there is nothing sweeter than her peace when at rest
For there is nothing brisker than her life when in motion.

Well she is certainly being very brisk at the moment. I'm hoping in the winter she'll hibernate more. All those hibernating animals she's consumed might give her the idea.
 I've always had black cats until Pocket(quarter Bengal) and sometimes have to go through the whole gamut of names when I call her trying to remember which one she is. They do mostly look alike.

Monkey (son of Minky) was probably my favourite as I had him when I was a "cat person" Now I'm a "dog person" and also have children which means my love is less concentrated. Monkey lived to be about 15yrs which is a good age. He died the day after our first wolfie Jai died and whereas we had a farm digger(machine not labourer} dig the hole to bury her in I just used a spade in the woods. Unfortunately I obviously didn't dig deep enough. I buried him wrapped in a tea towel and the next day found the hole empty and the tea towel flapping on the track.

these two pics by courtesy of my friend Norrie 

 It's blackberry picking time. I doubt I'll make any jam. I'm not really a jam or beverage making person even though I have a book called " Let's Preserve It!"published last century which opens with the words "Men are impressed with a beautiful woman who can make pickles." Don't think that would get published these days. They might just as well have said"Men expect women who look like the back end of a bus to make pickles." And anyway - what's wrong with the back end of a bus? Is it less attractive than the front end of a bus? Yes "Let's Preserve these quaint sexist notions."
She also says "Sometimes a cheap and rather despised vegetable like the marrow ......" I don't want any of my marrows reading this and getting a low opinion of themselves.

don't know where all my dark dahlis are this year but these brighten the house

dahlia Franz Kafka

Beezle considering the cat Nancy whilst looking despicably at my marrow.

Seamus Heaney died yesterday. He was the greatest Irish poet since Yeats. As it is the season of blackberries here is one of his poems

Blackberry - Picking.

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. then the red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur.
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

R.I.P Seamus.(1939-2013)

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