memories beginning with “c”

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of a cyclamen flower and pondered why I always forget the name. Today’s flower also begins with “c”, but for some reason I find it far easier to remember the word clematis.

Considering this for a few moments raises the question of how, given the range of shapes, sizes and colours the name can be applied to, I know the flower in the photo is a clematis.
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bobcat

Well, no, not a bobcat, a tricolour cat.

Perhaps a tortoiseshell, or perhaps a calico; it probably depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. And if you live in Spain, you might call it a gato mariposa – a butterfly.
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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

Algie

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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caged

Blue-toned photo of ginger cat looking through iron railings

Today I’m posting another old poem, this time prompted by a cat – triste y azul** – who seemed to think he was in a cage:

Workspace

How can I write,
caged in by walls,
smothered by cushions
and draped curtains?
Even my balcony is barred
like a prison cell.
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poppies

Thatched-roofed, timbered cottage with poppies at the gate

 
I don’t suppose these giant orange poppies are indigenous to the UK, and I certainly can’t imagine they grew in the Forest of Arden, which once surrounded the area where the photo was taken.

Even so, the straggling clump by the gate of this traditional thatched cottage was utterly glorious and deserved a better photo than I could manage with my phone.
 
 
 
This morning when I went out I had my camera with me:

Giant poppy close up
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pussyfooting II

It’s been suggested – via email and phone calls rather than comments posted here – that the cat in the photo used for last week’s post could not possibly be mine.

It is true that although I have been on close terms with many cats – black cats and greys, tuxedo cats, tabbies and tortoiseshells – there has never been a white one.

Had I found it sooner, this is the photo I would have used to illustrate pussyfooting:

Tabby kitten

timber!

I went for a walk the other evening and found my path blocked by a tree.

fallen tree
There are, of course, a host of literary connections I could make: Birnam Wood; the Ents of Middle-Earth; the “very, very country dance” of the Narnian trees that Lucy dances her way through to reach Aslan in Prince Caspian; the trees that “walk[…] down the side of the cutting” in the landslide scene of The Railway Children
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