There is no rest in the street…

Autumn always make me think of T S Eliot.

There is no rest in the house. There is no rest in the street. I hear the restless movement of feet. And the air is heavy and thick. Thick and heavy the sky. And the earth presses up against my feet…

Here I am deep in the copper, rich reds, golds and fading greens of an English rural autumn with its misted mornings and purple brooding skies playing christmas music and drawing christmas sketches and browsing ebay, pinterest et al. for inspiration and items for the craft room at the Christmas Fayre contemplating the various stages of turning a sock into a snow person. How on earth do you make it all for a small profit? Even sourcing craft items eats the PTA budget. I wonder how many school fayres and fetes would turn a profit without the generous donations of the parents who not only donate their time and expertise but also quite often the raw materials? But I’m glad we’re having a home produce stall this year, I love trying other peoples chutneys!

It has also been the Rugby World Cup 2015 championship. Christmas and Rugby in October is quite a strange combination. I may have been marred by the experience. I am dimly aware of events in the Middle East and in particular Syria, attempting to inflame my inner moral compass but stoically resist as I contemplate how it must feel to flee my country, un-prepared and in fear, not just for myself but my family, the vulnerable. Would I really be prepared to accept the traditions and culture of the country that offers me sanctuary, almost certainly in the immediate aftermath but in the long-term? Is re-settlement a long-term solution… In the same way that I struggle to be at ease in hot countries where women are suppressed and treated as second-class citizens, can those used to such a culture deal with our climate, our ways and fully integrate towards a harmonious community?

Despite all our technology and knowledge we haven’t yet solved hunger and poverty but there, I’ve digressed. Plenty of questions, not enough answers yet.

If you’re feeling open to reading something on poverty and inequality, can I recommend this; a speech by Sir Michael Marmot ending with the Pablo Neruda quote “rise up with me… against the organisation of misery” Sir Michael Marmot

But what about you? What have you been doing this autumn? Have you escaped Rugby fever or embraced it? The more ‘live’ matches I go to the more ‘sport speak’ I pick up. This year it’s all about how the Northern hemisphere game isn’t up to the Southern hemisphere game. I’m neither an expert, a rugby player or a particularly avid sports fan but it seems to me the northern hemisphere teams get penalised for things the southern hemisphere teams are adept at not getting penalised quite so much for.  ‘Playing the Ref.’ a term which saddens me because it’s why I can’t watch football anymore and which refers to a most un-sporting box of tricks that I’m told everybody does at some point – is a term I wish I hadn’t come across. I saw South Africa play a match in Cardiff some years back and was amazed to see them punching and kicking as they tackled, mauled and rucked, largely without reprimand. The males around me shrugged it off as part of the ‘intense physicality of the southern hemisphere game’. References were made to the tribal idea of nationality and pride and battles won and lost on the sports ground rather than the battlefield. I’m not so sure about that, look around you guys! I thought that I wouldn’t be very proud to win a game on that basis rather than on my skill at dodging, passing and kicking the ball, which South Africa also do very well, they were beautifully choreographed as a team and to be fair, it was just a few that I saw being so ‘physical’. I know, it’s a contact sport but really should it be acceptable? It has been great to see how Rugby has striven to make this very physical game safer for players and more consistent in terms of the technology it employs to monitor the games but ‘playing the ref.’ is too reminiscent of the bone crunching, gore spattered rugby of the seventies which I grew up with and was appalled by. As the players get bigger and teams like Japan come bounding into the rugby spotlight I suppose I’m fairly confident this will be addressed.

After Scotlands defeat by Australia on Sunday I was informed that Rugby is largely a sport for the privately educated according to a Daily Mail article (which I couldn’t access as my spam filter wont let me do Daily Mail links – who said technology isn’t humanised;0)) That’s not my personal experience but it doesn’t change the fact I wouldn’t take my daughter to a football match but we’ve safely attended several rugby ones. Would I let my daughter go to a party at the Rugby Club? Possibly not, as the inherent machismo of “tell her no means yes” is not yet eradicated from male dominated sport but maybe in my lifetime it will be. I feel the restless movement of feet….

Murder in The Cathedral by T S Eliot

Advertisements

Christmas re-visited

I hope you don’t mind but it’s time to refresh some old Chritsmas favourites this is a link to a Christmas poem “Christmas Rushing in… on tumblr:  https://poets-corner.tumblr.com/post/68869693622/christmas-rushing-in/

and this is about one of my favourite Christmas poetry books ‘Light Unlocked’ https://artsmonkey.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/december-05-light-unlocked/

and this…. http://poets-corner.tumblr.com/post/14636295863/christmas-poem – Merry Christmas everyone – let it be about kindness and peace and friendship for all

Gold, Frankincense and Mryhh…

_DSC0119 copy_DSC0017 copy   _DSC0033 copy _DSC0039 copy _DSC0098_DSC0109a copy  _DSC0077 copy_DSC0126 copy_DSC0080 copy  _DSC0127 copy_DSC0027_DSC0051 copy_DSC0123 copy_DSC0124 copy

There are such riches in our English woodlands. This is such a wonderful time of year to go to the woods, with a good pair of wellies and a warm waterproof coat, you can walk the way of Kings and discover such treasure.   Standing under a shower of falling leaves as the wind shakes the branches, watching them swirl and flutter to the woodland floor is a delight.  Catching that moment in a photo is quite another story, so you’ll have to put up with these images instead, or you might want to visit the Woodland Trust web page here and see how our woodlands are threatened by disease and what you can do to help!

http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/learn/threats-to-our-woodland/pests-and-diseases/?gclid=CJaH8dbomLsCFWmWtAod4WsABw

 

 

Christmas Poem

Its late.
The sea is swilling, dully flat against the harbour wall
Even the clinking sail boat masts have lost enthusiasm
The drapes more flail than flap, the Christmas lights
In the morosely quiet marina, weak and helpless
Against the grey chill of winter.
People are huddled in the bars and restauraunts,
Groping their iphones like old aunties with sherry;
The leatherette banquettes, wrinkled and slick
From the wet and worn out traffic of seasonal shoppers
And in the multi-storey all is a-squeak with the whine of windscreen wipers
As the chill constantly drizzles down.
He waits.
You promised to come back, laughing loud, promised that you would call
Downstairs the children play on gameboys only half expecting,
That there will be hot food, the fire lit,
Or your verbosely happy persona, will re-appear
Against this cold, dark, sadness.
People pass by on the rain slicked street
Caught in the streetlight holding each other, like fools
Against the winds and time, serving to remind you once again,
That she promised, that it’s Christmas; love, peace, goodwill
Are all in short supply, un-stocked shelves in your local supermarket.
It’s late, you gather yourself up in the half-light by the window,
As the waves, thick with memory and hope, swell and fall
You’ll wait, a little longer.

© Juliet Brain, 2011

For Dan, who asked so nicely

Dan doesn’t do twitter or posterous, he’s a facebook man through and through (Oh Dan!) but this is for him really.

A CHRISTMAS ROAD MOVIE IN WALES

posterous links

 

Day 1. http://www.artsmonkey.com/welsh-christmas-road-movie                          

Day 2. http://www.artsmonkey.com/welsh-christmas-road-movie-day2              

Day 3. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day3         

Day 4. http://www.artsmonkey.com/35239998                                                        

Day 5. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day5        

Day 6. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day6         

Day 7. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day7

Day 8. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day8

Day 9. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day9

Day 10. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day10

Day 11. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day11

Day 12. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day12

Day 13. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day13

Day 14. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day14

Day 15. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day15

Day 16. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day16

Day 17.  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day17

Day 18/19  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day18-day-19

Day 20. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day20

Day 21.  http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day21

Day 22. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day22

Day 23. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day23

Day 24. http://www.artsmonkey.com/a-christmas-road-movie-in-wales-day23-0

©JBrain, 2011