Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Butterfly In The Winter Woods *

Good Morning Dear Friends

First and foremostly, let me begin this verbal onslaught with a dollop of the seasons finest greetings; and, as that season happens to be winter and also because Saturnalia is approaching with almost indecent rapidity, I thought I'd illustrate my salutation with a charming portrait by the Swedish artist Carl Larsson of his daughter Britta as the goddess Iðunn.

If you're up to speed with your Norsk mythology - and who isn't? - you'll recall that Iðunn (pronounced like Eedun) is associated with apples and youth; it is told how the mischievous god Loki is forced by the giant (or jötunn) Þjazi (a bit like Thiazi) to lure her into leaving Asgard her home and into a wood by promising her interesting apples.  The said Þjazi changes into an eagle, snatches her from the wood and takes her home.  Her absence - and that of her apples - causes the gods to grow old and so Loki promises to return her which he duly does . . . so I suppose at this time of the ageing year, we need her and her eternal youth to remind us that, although it may seem dark and gloomy, Spring is not too far away. 

It's also worth considering that this beautiful illustration has given Britta a form of enduring presence; we look and see a portrait of a delightful child who was born some 120 years ago; that's one of the reasons why I love paintings and photographs but I also feel that the same result can be achieved by writing down and recording the story of peoples lives; we make them immortal and keep their memories safe beyond the touch of time . . . which is my new project for next year - I shall keep you informed.

In other news, yesterday  - as well as being the birthday of my oldest and dearest friend and architect extraordinaire Mr DCR H. who, instead of sunning himself on Marco island as is his wont at this time of year, is sadly laid up in hospital and, it must be said, being missed ferociously - was the day in which dear old Myrtle House became Myrtle House Creative Publishing Ltd! This means that, along with a resurrection of the blog for that side of things in the very near future, some of the short stories and whatnot concocted by Yours Truly will slowly begin to filter into a wider sphere than before . . . be afraid; be very afraid! I will also be looking at other material and am happy to hear from anyone who feels they might like to see their name blazoned for all to see  via digital means as well as, it is hoped in the nearest of futures, as a 'real' printed book too !

Output on the writing front has been steady but not overly prolific due to the amount of time I'm spending having tremendous fun with a varied bunch of displaced persons masquerading as professionals. In between the giggles we are actually working on a fantastic and world-changing proposition which has me tingling with excitement; I am tremendously lucky to meet and work with the people I do; they are are,  to a man/woman/upright-hoover, immensely talented and dedicated but more importantly have not lost the ability to dream and, what is more, to believe in those dreams with a passion

I forgot to mention that all this tip-tapping is taking place down in the The Barn in deepest Cheshire where, beyond the arched window, the day (which has never really got its act together in terms of being properly light) is growing darker and the rain more insistent; I fear I shall be in for a dowsing on my way to the station . . . ah well, never mind; I shall perch on my eyrie-seat in the buffet on platform 6 at Crewe and indulge in some comestibles and a large green tea . . . its all about trying to remain positive and seek the sweetness in everything.

So I shall end where I began; with another of Carl Larsson's lovely illustrations -  this time of another of his daughters, Kersti in her sleigh . . .  Hmmm, it would be so good to have snow instead of rain - then again, I don't suppose there would be any trains running if that were the case

So until next time, which I'm sure will be sometime around the cusp of the new year, I shall say toodle-pip and wish you all the very merriest and most peaceful of Yuletides and, with the sound once again of The Incredible String Band ringing in my head I ask

May the long time sun shine upon you  
All love surround you  
And the pure light within you  
Guide your way on 

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


*They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods - Edith Wharton

Friday, 7 December 2012

Winter Is The Time For Comfort ... *

Good Morning Dear Friends!

Welcome once again to the wintery blast that is December - with a somewhat tardy trio of Snow Hares to usher in the first of the month of course - and today finds Yours Truly viewing the world via the study window in the barn in Deer Crossing, a tad further south than normal, in deepest Cheshire . . . I'm here housesitting as artisans splash paint and ensure boilers keep the home fires burning as, beyond the Velux, the day crisps nicely !

So, what's been occurring since last you popped by? Well, work has been progressing on a number of short stories, though not as many as originally planned due to other fun-filled tasks connected with some lovely folk I've met in the Wigwam who - as well as sharing a vision about just how nice the world could be if we were all just that bit more connected and friendlier to each other - have elected to share their time and talents with moi-même in order that together we can create a nouvelle vogue that will, tsunami like, wash away the old order . . . and, what is more, we're going to have fun doing it!  I'll also be showing these people these meanderings for the first time too in this post so a huge hello to you all - you know who you are!

I'm also working with groups of fledgling writers alongside some not-so-recently out of the nest and enjoying the process immensely; it's really rewarding to see people who perhaps haven't written very much since leaving school suddenly find the courage and the will to commit their thoughts and emotions to paper.  I'm also very fortunate that the groups contain others with much more skill and experience than this poor scribbler who inspire and encourage their peers more than I could ever hope to do.  Anyhow, we meet and drink tea and eat cakes and chocolate and gossip and counsel and cajole . . . we even sometimes write!

Meanwhile the day drifts on and I have a list of jobs to do before the light fades; I am being entrusted with the de-tangling and subsequent arrangement of over 1200 lights ready for the seasonal festivities about to befall us all in a mere 18 days or so; they are, I have to say, very subtle and small lights and I do have some experience of the task in hand . . . still, I'm sure I will be unable to complete it without some personal injury or affront to my dignity; not to mention a probable appearance of a few degrees of frost bite around my extremities! Still, I suppose its all part of the great and glorious festival we all call Saturnalia . . . don't we? Oh! 

I hope I manage to get a least one more post out to you good people before the festivities begin;  you are more than welcome to drop in here for a cup of something warming and cheery and an assuredly warm welcome.  In the meantime. please try not to get too stressed about the business of buying presents and what to wear etc; I'm happy to reassure you that were you to come empty-handed and dressed in rags there would always be room in this particular virtual inn

I hope you have a truly wonderful week and that there is enough warmth and cheer in your soul to keep your toes and hearts from freezing; if the snow arrives please use both it and the time it affords wisely and with love . . . perhaps by sitting by the fire and reading what I think is my favourite book of 2012 . . . there is a lot to be said for surrendering to solitude and peace and quiet and an equal amount to gained by offering your company to those who need perhaps just a little more love in their lives

Thank you for popping by; I hope you have a super time and enjoy yourself in the coming days . . .

Whoops - I must away; The gas man commeth!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


* "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home" Edith Sitwell