cattle prattle

One of the wonderful things about living in a multicultural society is the way it offers you so many opportunities to celebrate so many things. Or, perhaps, so many opportunities to celebrate the same thing several times and in different ways

I don’t like the commercialisation of festivities, so I’m not a great one for Christmas and the like, and I don’t usually celebrate New Year, either. But there are years when I’m beginning to feel a little more positive a bit later on in January, and if that’s the case, I can celebrate Reyes (aka Epiphany) on January 6th. Or I can wait and celebrate Old New Year on January 14th.
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leave well alone

I have no idea who would have put them there, nor why, but I found these strings of conkers looped around the railway fence when I went for a walk the other day.

They reminded me of my first visit to my brother’s house many, many years ago, where I found a collection of desiccated rabbits’ feet nailed to the shed door. I asked about them as I’d been told that Sammy the cat was a holy terror and I wondered whether it was a shrine to his hunting prowess.
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bug-eyed monsters

I wonder if schools and other organisations still give books to children as prizes if they do well in exams. Certainly it was common when I was a little girl. Somewhere among my books, I think I’d find ones awarded to my mother, as well, so it’s a practice that goes back a long way here in the UK.

The reason I am wondering is because I’ve been wishing I could find my Observer’s Book of Common Insects and Spiders, which was the book I claimed as my prize after doing well in a Scripture exam I must have taken through the Sunday School or Girls’ Brigade.
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encounter with cows

During the lockdown, I’ve begun going to the racecourse when I have time for a proper walk, as there is plenty of space to avoid people. As well as the paths around the track, there’s also a small wooded area, where I know I will be completely alone, and there are a couple of places where you can climb over stiles and get onto footpaths that cross the adjoining fields.

There’s a proper made-up path on the inside of the track, but I prefer the natural path thats skirts the racecourse; this is quite narrow, but you can always dip under the fence to ensure the recommended distance is adhered to.
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maculate

I moved back to the UK some years ago, but the time spent in Spain, and in particular, the years spent en el pueblo, still influence my thoughts. Today, for example is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a fact I would never have paid any attention to before living in a Catholic country, but which today has prompted me to feel nostalgic.

When we signed the papers on the house in the village it was early autumn, although we continued to dither between Madrid and the country for quite a while after that. So we were still not really on top of the intricacies of rural life as that first year wound down towards las fiestas de navidad.
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