First of all, I must say how heartening it has been to read your sympathetic comments - I find that support is all one needs to get through a crisis - and believe me when I say that compared with the crises some folk have to deal with, this is a minor one.
Now to the problem of public transport. Yes, we do have local transport. The bus company runs from our market town into Richmond with connections on to Northallerton and beyond. It also runs into Hawes, which is the next market town along the route through Wensleydale and also to Ripon with connections to York.
There are, of course, drawbacks. First of all, every journey takes a long time as the buses go round all the villages; secondly, there are waits for connections; but most difficult for me is that we do live in a remote farm and it is three quarters of a mile to the top of our lane - and the bus doesn't stop there. By the time the farmer has driven me to the bus stop in our nearest village he could have driven me into the market town. So really the bus is not an option - more important is altering the mindset to accept that driving is no longer an option and planning one's life accordingly. And that I am doing - I have done it before so I know the ropes.
So, what does today hold? First of all, it is an enjoyable morning for the farmer as our first crop peas in the garden are ready for picking. The rain at the week-end (over two inches) filled them up beautifully. In about an hour he will come into the Utility Room with a couple of buckets of peas and he will spend the rest of the morning podding them. (I find this such a boring job but he enjoys it). Lunch will be fish with new potatoes and our first peas. The rest I shall blanch and flash-freeze.
This afternoon is our Poetry afternoon at friend W's. I spent some time yesterday evening deciding what to read. We all take three or four poems that we like to read aloud. It is a lovely afternoon - one of my favourites in the whole month. I thought you might like to hear my choices - if you don't know them try finding them to read, they are all worth the effort.
First of all I am reading a poem by Nancy M Hayes. I have no idea who she is, and when I have written this I shall go on line and see if I can find out anything about her. The poem is in a book called 'The Book of a Thousand Poems' and was given to me recently by friend G. I am reading it because G tells me that her teacher read it to her when she was small and she loved it so much that she learnt it off by heart. When she recited it to her father he was so impressed that he found out the name of the book from her teacher and bought it for her. The poem' s called 'At Night in the Wood'. As a retired teacher I am always pleased to hear of anything which a child found inspiring (an inspiration which has lasted over seventy years in this case as G is a wildlife fanatic).
Then I am reading a few verses from Basil Bunting's 'Briggflatts.'
The more I read the poem the more I find in it - but then that, surely, is the essence of good poetry.
The other one I have chosen is a pretty gruelling poem by Ted Hughes called 'Struggle'. I came late to farming - only marrying the farmer after I had retired and become a widow. But, before we had Foot and Mouth and went out of farming cattle, I did witness quite a lot of calvings, some good, some bad, some disastrous. This poem describes a hard calving and a sad outcome (well it would, wouldn't it - after all it is Ted Hughes) and is really quite harrowing to read. There is certainly nothing jolly about it!
So to cheer things up a bit, if there is time, my fourth poem will be Robert Louis Stevenson's 'From a Railway Carriage' which I remember learning as a child.
Isn't it odd how poems one learned as a child stay with us. Do you remember learning 'Old Meg she was a Gypsy' - or any other poem?
(In my father's day it was 'The Battle of Blenheim').
January 4, 2023: With gratitude to Rebecca Solnit / Reruns from January 30, 31 and February 1, 2, 3, 4, 2007: Mona Lisa and the Clown and the Cool Rain of the Law (1985), Woman Trying to Remember What She is Trying to Forget (1986), Painting in America (1986), Full Moon, Chair and Planter Rising (1986), Church of the Holy Contradiction, and Untitled Scene (1986)