sporting blues

The first time I posted the poem 21st-century pugilist to the blog, I didn’t really have the right picture, so it was accompanied by a photo of the wrestler, Stan Roberts.

Now, though, I have a photo of the statue of Randolph Turpin, the boxer, so I think it’s a good time to re-post the poem, which was written in Spain around eight years ago:
Continue reading “sporting blues”

summery

There’s a big difference between the weather summary and summery weather, but today they seem to coincide, with quite a bit of sunshine expected and temperatures predicted to reach nearly 20º.

Hourly weather forecastThis isn’t at all the sort of weather I was used to when I lived in Spain, where summer was a dull aching red that lasted from March through to October: here in England, even the hottest days start off blue and fresh and daisy clean.
Continue reading “summery”

high days and holidays

Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday and now the Spring Bank Holiday… we seem to have had a lot of holidays in the UK recently.

Surprisingly, the Early May Bank Holiday actually coincided with May Day this year, and today, too, has its own traditional associations:

The 29th of May is Royal Oak Day:
if you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away !

Sadly, I didn’t pass even a single oak tree on my brief walk to the shop this morning, so have settled for pulling a few dead leaves from the archives.
Continue reading “high days and holidays”

the first cuckoo

Well, not actually a cuckoo as such, but a cuckoo flower.

March went out like a lamb and it’s been gloriously warm recently – so much so that I am afraid we have already had our summer – so I had begun to wonder what had happened to the April I know and love who provides us with such constantly changing weather that we are never short of a topic of conversation.
Continue reading “the first cuckoo”

more mothers

Well, it’s Mothering Sunday and we altered the clocks last night, doing the old dear out of an hour in bed.

I’m not sure that these two dates always coincide, but my mother first drew my attention to it when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, saying that she thought a woman PM could have organised things a bit better. Of course Thatcher was supposed to only need four hours’ sleep a night, so I don’t suppose it mattered much to her.
Continue reading “more mothers”

mothers and daughters

We had New Year at the start of 2017, and Chinese New Year at the end of January; then the new astrological year began on Tuesday with the Spring equinox.

Now today is March 25th – Lady Day – and, apparently, the traditional start of the new legal year.

(Incidentally, it seems that in combination with the lost days caused by the calendar change in 1752, this explains why we have a tax year that starts on April 6th.)
Continue reading “mothers and daughters”

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.
Continue reading “early warning”