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.
Continue reading “bug-eyed monsters”
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.
Continue reading “encounter with cows”
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.
Continue reading “maculate”
It’s Sunday; it’s the first of December. Which means that here in the UK, some people are celebrating the first day of Advent.
But the first day of December is cause for celebration for other reasons and in other places. In Chad, it’s Freedom and Democracy day. In Romania, it’s Great Union Day, celebrating the Union of Transylvania with Romania. It’s Myanmar’s National Day, and it’s Military Abolition Day in Costa Rica.
Continue reading “neighbours”
I guess I will always think there is something magical and mysterious about flight. Not flying in an aeroplane or helicopter, but real winged flight like that of bugs, butterflies, birds and mythological creatures.
As a child I was sure I could fly, but knew this was an ability you lost as you got older. I don’t know if I thought the skill was lost at a certain age, or weight, or quite what, though remember Catherine Jones, a classmate just a few months younger than me, claiming she still retained the power when I was already grounded.
Continue reading “wings and words”