Friday, September 28, 2007

Quote for today

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

- Robert Frost -

Stealing the show

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Late night waffling

There's a full moon outside. It shines on us as it has for millions of years...

Its ubiquitous cold light is perceived as magical, ethereal, mystical and powerful.

I've just recently realised that most of the people in my family were born during a full moon.

Old wives' tales are not to be dismissed lightly...

I am the Autumnal Sun

Second Life

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter's moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief...

Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

R.I.P.

Bubbles
2007-2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy 70th Birthday!

Happy birthday to the greatest father anyone could wish for! My only regret is not to be there with you today. Instead, I send you a video of the most beautiful and talented soprano of the moment, Anna Netrebko, singing an aria from Puccini's La Boheme. She's fabulous!

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's kind of windy

This morning, it was very dark, windy and rainy outside while the girls were getting ready to go to school. When Clara said that she was afraid that a tornado might be coming (some documentaries kids watch on TV are pretty traumatizing), I told her that tornadoes were very rare in England and even more so at this time of year. Imagine my surprise when I heard on the lunch time news that this region had been swept by tornadoes at the very same time Clara was voicing her fears!

"Tornados tear through the early morning calm to turn Middle England upside down

Tornados tore through neighbourhoods from the South-East to the Midlands this morning, plucking off chimney tops, peeling back roofs and upending trees.

In Hampshire and Bedfordshire, residents saw a twisting vortex of cloud advancing through gardens and over rooftops.

In Warwickshire and Derbyshire there were further reports of tornados, and widespread damage to property. In Cambridgeshire a motorist reported seeing a car lifted off the tarmac and blown across the road.

The tornado research group Torro said that seven other neighbourhoods – in Ilford, Northampton, Lincolnshire, Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire and Nottingham and Ollerton in Nottinghamshire – may also have been struck by tornados. Related Links

At 4am a weather centre in Exeter had registered a cold front moving inland, carrying with it rainstorms and squalls. Three-and-a-half hours later, as it passed over Farnborough in Hampshire, Terry Parrott, 55, awoke to hear his two dogs howling and “a tremendous rushing noise”. He said: “I looked out of my bedroom window and could see this huge whirling thing come through between the two houses and it lifted the garage roofs up.”

On the corner of the same street, Hayley Stroud believes that the tornado passed straight over her house, pulling up her chimney pot and dropping it in her neighbour’s garden. “We saw the tail end,” she said. “It was like a twister . . . the branches of the trees were swirling around. It was like something out of The Wizard of Oz.”

Some trees were uprooted entirely and crashed into the road. A bus stop was also plucked from its concrete foundations, its roof coming off and hurtling into a neighbouring garden.

Two streets away Brian Denton, 73, found his caravan parked on its roof. About 30 houses were damaged in the minute and a half it took the tornado to pass through. Tim Vile, of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said that the area looked like a battle zone.

There had been similar scenes in Nuneaton. Marilyn Davis, 56, was preparing to go to work when her roof disappeared. Fifteen houses in her street also lost parts of their roofs, the tiles rained down on the road and crashed through car windscreens.

In Luton at 7.30am, Ruth Spall noticed it appeared to be raining horizontally. Mrs Spall, a committed “weather-watcher”, was delighted to see “a funnel about 4m (13ft) across”, spinning round a tree five gardens away. She was less delighted to see that it was travelling towards her house. “It split the tree in half,” she said. “It came over my neighbour’s roof and made a large hole. Then it went across my garden. We have a 10ft trampoline. It took it up into the air and deposited it next door. By that time I was a bit frightened.”

Terrence Meaden, deputy head of tornado research at Torro, said: “The tornadoes appear to have been of a T2 rating, which means wind speeds of around 70-80mph (113-129km/h).”

No injuries were reported and insurers said claims would be a fraction of those from this summer’s flooding.

Britain’s biggest
–– The biggest tornado outbreak in Britain was on November 21, 1981 – 105 in five hours
–– The longest tornado track was on May 21, 1950, when one extended 107km from Little London, Buckinghamshire, to Coveney, Cambridgeshire
–– The widest, on September 22, 1810 at Fernhill Heath, Worcestershire, stretched for 1,609 metres
–– The most intense probably was on September 22, 1810. It tracked from Old Portsmouth to Southsea Common, Hampshire, and demolished houses
–– The deadliest struck on October 27, 1913, in Edwardsville, Glamorgan, and killed six people
Source: Torro (the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation)

Taken from the Times Online

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome Autumn!

Autumn officially arrives today. It's already windy and cold but it will take yet another few weeks for Fall to reveal itself in all its multicoloured splendour. Trees and shrubs are predominant around here and, as such, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful time of the year.

Welcome Autumn!
I'm feeling a bit better this morning and the rest of the family went for their Sunday swim at the Leisure Centre's swimming pool.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Influencing Influenza

I'm trying to persuade my flu to flee...

Nothing like going to the doctor's to become ill. I went for a mere routine check last Wednesday and had to sit next to an old scruffy man that couldn't or wouldn't stop coughing. I guess now I'm having whatever he was having...

By the way, if I really am a "mother hen", as some people claim, can I be described as having come down with "bird flu"?

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's 13 years already?

Thirteen years ago today, I saw Ana for the first time. It was on a b&w monitor during my week 8 pregnancy scan. She was about the size of a bean inside my womb and her heart was loud, clear and racing like mad. She was perfect. Even though I didn't know her gender at the time, my guts already knew that she was a she.


Seven months from now, I'll be the mother of a teenager...

backlight abstract

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blogging

So much to say and do and so little time and availability to do so... maybe when the days are even shorter and colder than they already are I'll once again find solace sitting in front of a computer screen. Meanwhile... life is too short!

A change of direction
Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, England

La movida nocturna de Salamanca
Plaza Mayor, Salamanca, Spain

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The door

Blue on red
Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, England

Looking forward to reading Margaret Atwood's latest poetry book, "The Door". Read the Guardian's review.

Ignorance

Harmony
Alvor, Algarve, 13th August 2007

Strange to know nothing, never to be sure
Of what is true or right or real,
But forced to qualify or so I feel,
Or Well, it does seem so:
Someone must know.

Strange to be ignorant of the way things work:
Their skill at finding what they need,
Their sense of shape, and punctual spread of seed,
And willingness to change;
Yes, it is strange,

Even to wear such knowledge - for our flesh
Surrounds us with its own decisions -
And yet spend all our life on imprecisions,
That when we start to die
Have no idea why.

---Philip Larkin
---

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Road not Taken

Elfish
Anglesey Abbey, England, 15th September 2007

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference


-- Robert Frost --