The Written Word Endures #8

I believe in ghosts. They’re the ones who haunt us, the ones who have left us behind. Many times in my life I have felt them around me, observing, witnessing, when no one in the living world knew or cared what happened.

I am ninety-one years old, and almost everyone who was once in my life is now a ghost.

Sometimes these spirits have been more real to me than people, more real than God. They fill silence with their weight, dense and warm, like bread dough rising under cloth. My gram, with her kind eyes and talcum-dusted skin. My da, sober, laughing. My mam, singing a tune. The bitterness and alcohol and depression are stripped away from the phantom incarnations, and they console and protect me in death as they never did in life.

…Time constricts and flattens, you know. It’s not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind and others disappear. The first twenty-three years of my life are the ones that shaped me, and the fact that I’ve lived almost seven decades since then is irrelevant. Those years have nothing to do with the questions you ask.

-Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train

* This book has passed from the hands of my aunt, to my mother and now on to me. It is an incredible story; at times heartbreaking. I began reading slower and slower as I edged closer to the end. Because as much as I wanted to know what happened, I didn’t feel ready to leave this world behind. I have cried for these characters, rejoiced with them and for them when they found snatches of happiness, ached for them when life treated them so very cruelly and felt that I had the privilege of entering their world and taking this journey of loss, love and self-discovery alongside them. Although the characters are a work of fiction, the story is based on a truth. During 1854 and 1929 close to 200,000 children were transported from the East Coast of the United States to the Midwest for adoption; which for many, simply translated into indentured servitude. This is an extraordinary story and a part of American History that I never knew existed. My Nana always says, “they’re re-writing history; they’re leaving things out!” The real stories of these children should not be forgotten, nor should this part of history. It is not a story that I will soon forget, this is a book that’s gonna stay with me for a long time to come.

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Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles

It was back to school for our household this morning. I don’t think either of us were quite ready for the alarm to go off.

It is a deliciously cool morning, but the sun is shining. Of course the week we go back to school the weather decides that it’s going to be perfect all week! And even give us a mini heat wave. Where was this gorgeously sunny weather when we were off? Oh well, rain and springtime in England go hand in hand.

Over the course of last week and into the weekend we varied between a mixture of 70s music we’ve been listening to and Françoise Hardy albums. Tous Les Garçons et les Filles is one of my personal favourites of her songs along with Le Temps De L’amour.

I discovered this film the other week. It’s incredible to me that they created this in 1962. Now, I know that music being put to film in the form of a “music video” has existed since the 1920s; but I just find this completely cool, that this video was created and once it aired on TV it became a hit. A music video long before MTV came along. It is gorgeously sung, slightly abstract and completely French! Her hair even looks so perfectly French as she is swinging back and forth.

Here’s to Friday, may it come quicker than normal!

A Taste of Spring

Mother Nature seems to be playing a game of hide-and-seek with us lately. She keeps giving us glimpses of spring and then just as quickly takes them away again.

We got one such glimpse last week and now we’re back to rain, rain, rain. I don’t mind it too much. It isn’t very fun to do my morning run in, because some of the puddles in our neck of the woods are more like lakes, but it is what it is. Rainy days call for copious amounts of tea and a good book. Both of which are in ready supply in our cottage.

And spring is still there if you look close enough. Daffodils are blooming all along the hills that roll down toward the train tracks and there are wild primroses springing up along the footpaths. So amongst all the raindrops are beautiful pops of colour. It’s like getting a hint of the joyful flavours to come. Not too much, just a little taste.

Easter Eve

The eggs are dyed and ready to be hidden by the Easter Bunny. There are buttermilk rolls rising on the counter. The lemon cake has cooled and been frosted in buttery yellow lemon flavoured frosting. There is a full moon this evening and a whispered promise of snow tomorrow.

I hope the Easter Bunny is bundled up tonight as he makes his rounds. Our basket is ready and waiting to be filled with candy and maybe a surprise or two. 

{Image FOUND // Pinned HERE}

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Countdown

We’re on countdown in the Michie household for school to break up for Easter. One more day to go! So, we’re in the homestretch!

It has been raining here for what seems like forever and a day! The above photo is one I snapped earlier this week on my morning run. I was soaking by the end of it. I looked like I had gone swimming with my clothes on!

I was keeping my fingers crossed for a sunny Easter, but it looks like we’re gonna keep on having rain for days in our neck of the woods.

That’s okay, it will be sunny inside with candles lit, golden and creamy yellow coloured daffodils that have burst into bloom and twinkle lights glowing here and there. We’ll just make our own sunshine!

Put on your lipstick, the weekend is HERE!

Las Vegas 1969…Tropicana dancers dress for a show celebrating the centennial of the original Folies Bergere, which opened in Paris in 1869. The Las Vegas Folies began in 1961.

“Put on your lipstick Doris! The weekend is HERE!!”

The weather is changing, slowly but surely. We “spring” forward this weekend and I don’t know if I’m quite ready to lose an hour, but it is what it is. This weekend we have coffee to drink, music to listen to and our morning run to complete. I’m hoping the rain holds off, because the woods are turning into a marsh at present.

We also need to help the Easter Bunny out and do a bit of Easter candy shopping, as well as finish off planning a menu, run a few London errands and I’m getting a haircut.

Here’s to the weekend, long may it last!

{Found HERE // Pinned HERE}

Sunshine

I live on an island that doesn’t always get a lot of sun. When the sun does come out however, it seems to make people go slightly crazy. No one pays attention to what they’re doing. I think they’re too enraptured by the sun and all the possibilities that it holds.

It was cold when I went for my run yesterday, but gorgeously sunny. And since the sun seems to create almost a manic fever in British people, I was almost hit by three cars, who weren’t paying attention! Later in the afternoon on my way to the grocery store, I had a fourth car almost hit me. He had his windows rolled down, singing along to a tune and he just decided that he would pull up on the sidewalk and stop, because that would be a good place to park. I quickly jumped out of the way! So, I’m going to chalk it all up to the sunshine yesterday and not them being horrendous drivers.

It was cold again this morning, but the sun rose while I was out and it was glorious. I made my way over to the train track footbridge and the cherry trees that sit on the hill have all started to bloom. The sunshine filtered through their delicate creamy white petals and gave the centres an almost rosey orange glow.

The breeze was swaying the branches, the clouds were playing peek-a-boo with the sun and for a moment, everything was perfectly quiet. No trains going by, no car sounds, no people. Just the robins singing, the sunshine, the cherry blossoms and me. It was heaven.

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Snow

From Friday night until we went to bed late on Sunday, we were pretty much constantly being sprinkled with snow flakes. It would come down heavy for awhile, stick and a few hours later dissipate from the sidewalks and road and then start all over again.

After Saturday night everything had iced over and then it snowed on top of the ice, so it was hard to tell where you could walk and where you would start ice skating, when we headed out for a run on Sunday. After ice skating for a bit down the road, we decided to head to the coffee shop to warm up with hot chocolates. I made fast friends with a little furry girl, whose coat was so tight and curly, it was like running your fingers through an ebony shag rug. Her name was Roxy and I got lots of kisses.

It was 15°F when we got up yesterday morning and the ice was still pretty thick in places, so there was no run for me. I hate not being able to get out there, but it is better to take a day off, then six weeks off, because I’ve ended up in a cast with a broken limb.

I headed out early this morning and the air was so cold and clean. The ice had mainly melted, but you could still see it here and there in places. However, I did skate over the train tracks footbridge, as it had remained a solid sheet of ice. Snow still speckled the earth. Thicker in some places than in others.

I love how the snow changes the landscape. Things become more pronounced or softly hidden under a blanket of white. As I made my way to the woods this morning, I only passed one other person, it was so quiet. The birds were singing and I watched a magpie couple slowly build a nest. He flew back and forth carrying small sticks in his beak while she flittered about and helped.

Now, I’m home, defrosting with a cup of tea. The sky is pearly grey. I’ve got buttermilk rolls rising on the counter for dinner tonight and I had just enough buttermilk left over to make another loaf of my Nana’s Irish Soda Bread. Happiness is…