Friday, August 30, 2013

His Nibs Mr Seamus Heaney RIP



Seamus Heaney meeting HRH The Queen, Prince Phillip and Irish President Mary McAleese, during the Queen's  recent visit to Ireland


In  1993 my mother, during her visit, presented me with a book New Selected Poems 1966-1987. The author Seamus Heaney.  Heaney, like W.B Yeats and Samual Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

The book is well thumbed, there may be a tear and also a stain from a tear or two shed while reading and re-reading my favourite poems.

I shall leave you, my writer friends, with this peom called Digging

Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.


Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down


Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.


The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.


By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.


My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.


The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.


May your soul be at God's right hand side dear Seamus.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Cup Song and Milk in Plastic Bags

Our dog, Spice Girl Loves sticks - perhaps this is more than she can chew
Where have I been?  The Cup Song is apparently very trendy.  This beautiful rendition is sung in Gaelic.


Recently we had young house guests from overseas, drama queens as I like to call them. They are acting students.  They mimic accents.  Their observations amused us greatly.
On sighting a school bus, she proclaimed "Oh My God Sesame Street".  They did not know there were yellow school buses in real life.

Then as I unloaded the groceries she giggled hysterically at the milk.   Three One Litre plastic bags of milk.




Other unusual items, cigarettes in packages of 25

 Daily they walked through the streets of Toronto  and did their share of  listening to Canadians speak.  They commented on the use of the work "like"in every third word, commonly used by the under 30 age group.  The use of the words "absolutely"  "totally"  "and I go like" and "I get it".  They also observed that  Canadians apologize a lot and most have good manners. Eh?  If they bump into you accidentally they say: "oops I am sorry".  If they sneeze they also say "Excuse me".

Each evening brought new observations which amused us.  Now they are off to the USA and no doubt the observations and imitating will continue.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Up On The Roof

It is going on for midnight and the teens are still perched on the peaked roof of the house, across the street and one cried "stop, no pushing".   My heart pounds.
Our home is on the 12th Floor of the building and sound travels upwards.  My voice will not carry to them and it is futile to even try and call to them.  I would only succeed in disturbing my neighbours who, God knows, might think I was in trouble and call the police.   There are street noises and music from an outdoor festival some streets away.

I pluck up courage and call 911.  The Dispatcher assures me that the police will be along shortly and take my name and credentials.    Ten minutes later the police arrive. My phone rings and it is the officer asking if the youngsters are still on the roof.  From my balcony I tell Mr Policeman that I can see him, he waves and simultaneously he sees the rooftop revellers.   He walks around and then calls to them. He shines a spotlight on them and all scurry and disappear to the rear of the home (they used a ladder)

The Officer knocks on the door of the party house and chats. There are no arrests, no injuries and the police go on their merry way and peace is restored.   I breathe a sign of relief and give thanks.

Thank you for your comments.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Our Party, Their Party

A balmy summer evening.  Guests are on their way.  Four adults and two children.  Dinner is prepared.
The children have an earlier supper.   E, a budding artist takes to my studio and paints five paintings quite rapidly.   The menu:-

Dirk Bogarde's Chicken Clermont
We love this recipe and have served it numerous times and special thanks go to my dear and very special blogging friend for providing.  His writing touches my heart.  Stop in and tell him hi from from me http://asuperdilettante.blogspot.ca/



"E" at easel in my studio creating one of his five masterpieces



"O" tells me she is tired and in seconds is sound asleep in our bed
We repair to the balcony for desert and notice there is a party at a house across the street.  Twenty to thirty teenagers all dressed in Batman like costume are having a wonderful time.  As twilight fades,  the light from their cellphones show us our revellers are in full party mode.  Next we notice all the teenagers have decided to climb to the pointed roof of the three storey house, where the sit like birds on a wire, their party  continues with laughter and flashes from i phones.



Our guests  depart. I am enjoying  lingering over my coffee as the dishwasher is loaded and remnants of the evening's conversation come to mind. 

Suddenly I hear a cry "Please don't push me".    I rush to the balcony but cannot see very clearly, the teenagers are still on the roof, as the lights from the phones flicker and flash.   I hear "stop it".
What to do?
a) Call the Police and spoil the party and  risk one of the teenagers getting arrested?
b) Do nothing, mind my own business?
Can I live with my conscious should one of the teens get injured in a fall?