Monday, June 22, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Bright is the Ring of Words, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Bright is the ring of words
When the right man rings them,
Fair the fall of songs
When the singer sings them.
Still they are carolled and said,
On wings they are carried,
After the singer is dead
And the maker buried.

Low as the singer lies
In the field of heather,
Songs of his fashion bring
The swains together.
And when the west is red
With the sunset embers,
The lover lingers and sings
And the maid remembers.

-Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)

I was tidying up some folders of poetry, and came across the first stanza of the above poem. A google search revealed the second stanza. The poem seems to have no title other than the first line. It has been set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, in a song cycle "Songs of Travel".

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. He is well known for his novels Kidnapped and Treasure Island, as well as his collection A Child's Garden of Verses.
He came from a family of lighthouse engineers, but although he enjoyed his travels with his father to inspect various lighthouses, he turned away from the family profession to pursue a life of letters.
He died in Samoa, where he had settled, at the age of 44.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Old Faithful

Our microwave was starting to make an annoying rattle when in use, so my husband decided to take it in to the repair shop to see if they could do anything with it. He came home and said that when they had finished rolling on the floor laughing, they said they would look at it.

Really, it goes very well and has ever since we bought it - which, by my calculation, was around 36 years ago. I think that the problem is that the wheels that rotate the tray are rather worn down, hence the rattle (when it doesn't stick and refuse to turn at all). Everything else works fine. I really don't want to have to buy a new one, which wouldn't last nearly so long.

It's not even our oldest appliance. Our freezer is around 43 years old, and my Kenwood cake mixer is nearly 45 years old - that has been repaired once or twice, but it still works much better than a modern one.

I often read that old fridges and freezers should be upgraded, because they use much more power than a new one. Which is all very well, but how many years would it take to recoup the cost of the new appliance in lowered electricity bills? And what about the extra resources - metal, power, transport etc - involved in making the new one and disposing of the old one? So for the meantime, I am happy with my old faithful collection of kitchen helpers. And I am sincerely hoping that the microwave comes back to us as good as new. I miss it!

Monday, June 15, 2015


The poor blog has been rather neglected lately.I have been languishing somewhat heading into winter, not helped by an attack of shingles. A nasty blistering rash, like chicken pox but more localised (and I think, more painful).

I spotted the goat outside The Mohair Store, in a nearby suburb. His warm woolly scarf looked very appealing. Snow is forecast for next weekend.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, by W B Yeats

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Among the many e-mail in my inbox this week, I found one from Tourism Ireland alerting me to the fact that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). It seemed appropriate, then to post a Yeats poem as my Tuesday Poem this week. Yeats was the first Irishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, in 1923. His early work drew heavily on Irish mythology and folklore, while later work was more politically influenced.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Poem: Wahine Smoking, by Ruth Arnison

Wahine Smoking

My favouritest thing at that Olveston place was
that old guy's painting of the wahine.

Some of the kids didn't think much of it but I
reckon she looked real cool.

The teacher said, look what happens to you girls
if you smoke - that wahine is only 18.

We all laughed, cos he's a right clown our teacher.
Katie May don't always pick up things real quick
and she said,

What school did that kid go to sir? Must've been
a cool one letting her have tats AND jewellery.

We all laughed our socks off and Katie May went,
what, what are you lot laughing at?

The guide just smiled and asked us to follow her.
They must hear a right load of old bosh,
those guides.

In 2014 Ruth Arnison invited artists to create works responding to poems written during her term as poet in residence at Olveston, Dunedin’s historic home. She marked the end of her residency by publishing the artworks and poems in a book, organising an exhibition, a poetry performance and a Questions and Artists session at Olveston. See the blog here.

Other poems in the book respond to works on display at Olveston House. I enjoyed the above poem based on a painting by C F Goldie, with its air of eavesdropping on a tour group of school children, and their reactions to the historic house.

Ruth works part time as the admin person for a research project at Otago University. She is the editor of Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ).

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Origami Easter Rabbit

We had a family Easter lunch and my daughter brought these cute little origami rabbits just big enough to hold three little eggs each. When I asked her if the instructions were on the internet, she told me "everything's on the internet". So I did a quick google search. Here's a link to a tutorial. There are lots more.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Take a Seat

I took these photos the last time I went into the city. This installation is called The Green Room. The mosaic chair and ottoman took a year to create, using donated china that had been broken in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The garden surrounding the chair was created by Greening the Rubble.

"On the back of the chair are two soldiers. These are from a cup and saucer set given to Pamela McKenzie, when she was 6 years old. She attended... a single teacher school (with) 12 pupils. They all got a cup showing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, in commemoration of the coronation of King George 6th, in 1936." (Taken from a sign at the site).

For more interesting chairs, please visit Carmi's blog, where his theme for the week is Please Be Seated.