great oaks

They say great oaks from little acorns grow. Certainly the acorns I saw on my walk yesterday have triggered a chain of thought, which I think is likely to result in a a blog post of some length.

First of all, the first time I tried to translate that gem of traditional English wisdom into Spanish, I was met with blank stares.

Apparently, what I thought of as an acorn – una bellota – was never going to grow up into an oak tree – un roble. It was going to grow into an encina, which is a holm oak and, it seems, to those who raise livestock on the Spanish dehesa, that’s a pig of a very different colour.
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the “p” word

“Ah… the ‘p’ word,” said my friend Claire, yesterday, which seems a good point from which to start today’s blog post. I wonder what that phrase meant to you when you read the title.

Perhaps, because it was juxtaposed with a photo, you thought I meant pears. If so, you probably wondered why they would be unmentionable except by initial. Certainly we weren’t talking about pears or fruit of any kind yesterday. But as I had the photo from a recent walk in the park, it seemed as good a picture as any from which to start.
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looking back

If you write a blog on WordPress, they offer you insights into the number of visitors, where they come from and the like. They also send you little messages when you reach certain “achievements” or targets. Today, they have told me that it’s thirteen years since I registered on WordPress.

The odd thing, though, is that if you go back through the archives here, you’ll find that I published my first post – cerditos y patitos – on the 23rd of April, 2007, which is thirteen years and three months ago. Somehow, it seems I managed to write and publish five posts before I actually registered the blog. I suppose I must have cheated and backdated them so that if the first visitors enjoyed what they found they’d have something more to read.
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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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watercolour morning

The idea of paintings and pictures as windows and doors into other worlds is fairly common in literature.

From MR James’ The Mezzotint to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, pictures reveal secrets that are hidden from the real world; from Princess Rosamund in George MacDonald’s The Lost Princess to Edmund and Lucy Pevensie and their cousin Eustace Scrubb in CS Lewis’ The Dawn Treader, children step – or tumble – through into other worlds and places.
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