Apparently Monday was Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, when the weather is lousy, the days are still too short and we are all despairing over having failed to keep our New Year resolutions.

I don’t make resolutions – which is probably the best way not to break them – but I do recognise that for me this last week has little to do with healthy eating, exercise, diets or other good habits that people tend to adopt at this time of year.
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success and enchantment

In the last few days, I’ve been hankering for an English version of the expression Feliz salida y entrada, which the Spanish use in the days leading up to New Year. It just doesn’t really have an equivalent in English.

When you speak two languages, the second one changes your world view and gives you access to all kinds of expressions and ideas that you didn’t realise existed when you were limited to your mother tongue.
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not my idea

I reckon I started writing poetry some fifty years ago.

Since then, there have been periods when ideas have flowed thick and fast. There have also been times when I have forgotten about poetry, perhaps for years on end.

And then there have been times when I have not forgotten about poetry, but it seems to have forgotten about me.
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early warning

Here in the UK, the spring equinox happens (occurs? falls?) tomorrow at 10:28. I’m a bit confused by that, as I don’t understand how we can have equal day and night at a specific minute half way through the morning.

Exploring the subject a little further, I find that equinox doesn’t mean equilux: day and night are not of equal length, whatever I was taught in school.

In fact, where I am, today was already almost 12 hours and 7 minutes long, which must, presumably, make the night some 14 minutes shorter. And from now until well into April, each day will increase in length by about 4 minutes, meaning that in less than a month, we’ll be having over 14 hours of daylight. Sadly, that’s not 14 hours of sunshine.
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books and other stuff

Castles in Spain anthology. Purchase page Sportula.esIt’s April 23rd and that means there’s lots to celebrate. For much of the planet, it’s International Book Day, although the UK and Ireland have already celebrated that back on March 3rd. Perhaps they thought it was too complicated to have so many things happening on St George’s Day. (I’m not sure why that would affect anyone except the English, and as they don’t tend to do a lot to mark their patron saint’s day, even for them, it’s not really a strong argument.)
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international daze

Someone told me this morning that it was international cat day and I got all excited as it meant I wouldn’t need to look very far for an idea for a blog post: I have poems about cats aplenty – and poems aplenty about cats – as well as photos.

Algie: white & black cat in the undergrowth


Under laurel leaves, slick
with sunlight, pink nose snuffles
wild strawberries.

Cream petals drift and seagulls
mew overhead.

I then checked and found that the rumour was unfounded. The best I can find is that February 21st is International Mother Language Day, first announced by UNESCO in late 1999 and intended to “promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.”
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the tender-hearted artichoke

artichoke flower beginning to open on the plant
I was so impressed by this glorious artichoke plant with its flowers in all the different stages that I thought about writing a poem.
artichoke in flower
Then I remembered that Neruda had already written an Ode to the artichoke.
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