Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Footprints in the snow

For university English I was very lucky as I got to study the poetry of Ted Hughes. One poem in particular means a lot to me and this evening while I was out in the garden in the sleet in the frost... (my son is helping with a garden remodel) this poem came into my mind.

The Thought Fox

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

- This is Tara, a blogging friend's siamese, not Pyewacket. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

At the Auto Italia Car Show

Giancarlo and Erika.

Auto Italia Car Show, Canberra, Australia - 2010

The top two photos are Giancarlo's Fiat X1/9 - that I used to own many years ago. There was a photographer there who said he was going to put its pic in the next issue of Torque magazine.

Trixie on the cat scratcher

I moved two of them about - so they were all new to Trixie!
She had a lovely play.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Cozy Collection

What is a "cozy"? Well, the crimes take place off scene, there is usually a cat, a cup of tea and hot, buttered toast. And they are often set in an English village. There is another definition here and a list of great cozy authors from A to Z.

I was asked about my cozy collection so here some of it is:

Lilian Jackson Braun - the Cat Who series. Qwilleran is in his 50s and inherits a fortune. He has a pair of siamese cats and he solves mysteries. They are my favorites I have read them several times and I now listen to them.

Sara Paretski - the Private Investigator, V.I. Warshawski series set in the US.

Katherine Hall Page - the Body in the.... series. She is married to a minister, has 2 children, is a caterer and solves mysteries.

Jonathan Gash - the Lovejoy series. Set in East Anglia, an antiques series with mysteries.

Jill Churchill - the Jane Jeffries series. She is a mother who is an author, and has a friend she solves mysteries with.

Earlene Fowler - a mystery sort of quilting series. She doesn't talk about the quilts much actually. The character is Benni Harper.

Colin Dexter - the Inspector Morse series.

Carolyn Hart - the Death on Demand bookstore mystery series.

Marcia Mueller - Private Investigator Sharon McCone series set in San Francisco.

Patricia Wentworth - the Miss Silver series, like Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Agatha Christie.

Mary Stewart - the mystery books.

Dorothy Gilman - the Mrs Polifax, Spy series.

M.C. Beaton - the Agatha Raisin Private Investigator series set in the Cotswolds.

M.C. Beaton - the Hamish Macbeth mystery series set in Scotland.

Diane Mott Davidson - the Goldy Schulz catering mystery series set in the US.

Rhys Bowen, the Evan policeman series set in Wales.

Joanne Fluke - the Hannah Swensen cookie catering series set in the US.

John Grisham - a lawyer series set in the US and Italy. More action than cozy actually.

Nevada Barr - Anna Pigeon is a Park Ranger in the US who solves mysteries.

Nancy Pickard - mysteries set in the US. The Jenny Cain and Eugenia Potter series.

Amanda Cross - the Kate Fansler university series set in the US.

Patricia Moyes - the Inspector Henry Tibbett policeman series.

Sue Grafton - Kinsey Milhone series set in the US, titles go from A to Z.

Karen Kijewski - the Kat Colorado mystery series.

Nancy Atherton - the wonderful Aunt Dimity series set in England.

Gerald Hammond - two series set in England - the Keith Calder books and the Three Oaks dog series.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Digital scrapbook layouts of Italy

Positano Lion and Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Staying in San Gimignano

I'm booked in at La Cisterna Hotel later in the year for 9 nights and the look on a colleague's face when I told her was priceless. You see, she lived in bustling Rome for three years.

If you have stayed there, have wandered the tower-shadowed streets in the golden early morning before the day (two-hour) trippers pop in to have lunch at a reviewed restaurant and to buy a bottle of wine...

When we go up to the Fortress at 8am, we only have to share the view with a resident cat or two.
Only the two main streets are tramped by the ever-changing tour groups, and only really between mid morning and late afternoon. All the rest of the town - the myriad of side streets, the walks along the town walls - are left to the inhabitants.

Now when one looks at the photos, which are all in main squares of the town, can you play "spot the tourist"? - No, just me! Honestly - it's heaven on Earth.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More of the Brandy Rose

It's standing alone, in all its scented splendor, in a small dark green Asti Riccadonna bottle, which I am using as a bud vase.

You can click on the image to make it larger.

Giancarlo's new wheels going on

Posting these here for Giancarlo...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Brandy Rose

From my kitchen counter this morning.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Guess where I am going?

Because nine times... is not enough.

This is at Zoagli, up above Rapallo, near Santa Margherita Ligure, on the Ligurian Coast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's me!

This was made for me by a very special friend from my forum on The Digital Scrapbook Place, known as Evergreen100. It's my new favorite thing!

Journalling reads:

About Leslie: Leslie likes nothing better than to live a quiet and simple life. She derives pleasure from her two lovely boys, her cats, her home and garden. She entertains us in the Granny thread with quirky stories of her daily activities, such as her icecream making hobby, and of the special little dishes in which she serves herself just a tiny portion each time, such as the life and times of her front porch garden with sagas of baby lemons and strawberries and more recently of her foray (with the help of her son Giancarlo) into the garden at large. I love her tales of her “blind” men, her cats’ antics, how she puts on a face for the Colesonline delivery. I love her *chortles* *sniggers* *snorts* and more. I know she is a great Mum, a dedicated declutterer, a fantastic blog keeper. I know she loves Italy, her laptop, books, ploppers, DVDs of her favourite TV series. Leslie has been a special cyber friend to me and I have had the good fortune of having met her in real life.. a very special pleasure!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


At auction - Giancarlo's Erika sold her first house! Um, and it was her own home.