Monday, 30 January 2023

Don't believe it!

   If there is one thing I have learned through living in a South-facing bungalow it is to never believe what you see.  It was a pretty dawn - stripes of apricot and blue and not a cloud in the sky.   Lunch time the sky is pure blue, still no clouds and a sun which makes it impossiible to see friend S, sitting across the room from me, without drawing the blinds because a sun which is strengthening daily is straight in my eyes.  (Don't draw the blinds, we are saving electric because the sun and the radiator thermostat have had a stand-up fight and the sun has won!  the radiators are stone cold but the house is lovely and warm.)  But step outside the front door and you learn the truth.  It is bitterly cold and there is an almost-gale blowing.

 So, what is new today.   Well the talk up here in our little North Yorkshire market town is of the fifteen year old girl in Hexham, Northumberland - a similar town to ours, where everybody knows everybody and nothing much ever happens- has been stabbed to death by a sixteen year old boy from the same school - and a sixteen year old boy stabbed and injured.   That means two or three families damaged beyond repair for ever -and for what?

It is unbelievable that I have been retired from teaching in Secondary education for forty years (seems like only yesterday) but it does seem to me that in those forty years the whole ethos of teaching has changed beyond belief.   If there were drugs in schools in my day I never knew of them.  Of course there were love affairs (and of course at that age one thought they were forever - only when out in the big wide world did one realise there were many more fish in the sea ).   I don't know the circumstances of course - they will no doubt all come out in the sordid but sensational trial which will no doubt follow.   Just at the moment it is all about young lives being ruined and families being changed forever.

On a lighter note - still no spring flowers out apart from the Helleborus Niger but under the hedge was a big clump of Red Valerian.   My gardener calls it a weed and - like the self-seeding poppies which seed all over my garden - he attacks with gusto at the pre winter tidy up.   It is right outside the window in my computer room.   Where he chopped it out it has returned, it is a big clump. it is already a foot high and is full of buds.   I think we can say it is 'cocking a snook' at the gardener.

Maybe more spring flowers will arrive this week as the forecast is more of the same.   I wonder who will win the race.   My guess is the golden crocus.  Time will tell.

See you tomorrow.   


Barbara Anne said...

What a tragic new story and you're so right about the families that will never get over it completely. How very sad.

I suggest you and your carer think of how to rearrange furniture so no one has the sun shining straight into their eyes! Maybe it will mean moving only one chair and that would be good. Our home faces east and we built a wide porch to shade to front windows.


Anonymous said...

Poppies and valerian are two of my favorites - I suspect I have a less tidy garden than you do!

I have to be careful of glare especially from the sun and thus have all kinds of work arounds to let the sun into the house without being dazzled. Its a puzzle that changes throughout the year.



Derek Faulkner said...

Valerian has a very long tap root, which I suppose is why it survives in very dry places such as sandy beaches.Therefore just chopping it off at ground level simply sees it re-sprout from beneath the soil.

Librarian said...

It was the opposite here yesterday; after a grey morning, all of a sudden the sun broke through, and the afternonn was beautiful (although crispy cold). We had not seen the sun all week and so it was a real treat. Also, the star-studded sky at night was quite magical.
Since my eye operation, I can not accomodate to different light levels as before, and so am more easily blinded by bright light. Still, if at all possible, I let the sun in any chance I get!

Yellow Shoes said...

A good suggestion from Barbara Anne - if possible a little shift round of furniture so you can enjoy the free heat of the sun yet still see your friend! x

Susan said...

Rooms facing sun south warm beautifully during sunny but cold Winter days. My house was built to faces sun south and I share your experience. On occasion, I've worn my sunglasses when sitting in my living room. 16 year old students having a conflict and taking lives is very sad. Their lives are changed forever. I always think, didn't any adult see this conflict brewing and could anything at all have been done to prevent it? I still have some snow here and there throughout my property. That said, the ground is mushy where the sun has warmed the ground. Like you, I look forward to Spring flowers.

Heather said...

Such sad and shocking news and two families scarred for life.
You are right about the sun. Some mornings I wish i was a cat and could lie on my window sill in the sunshine.
I hope your valerian and poppies win the battle against the gardener!

John Going Gently said...

One of you best posts x

Chris said...

It's wonderful to hear of things coming alive in your garden. We are still snow covered here and probably will be for the next two months.

Cro Magnon said...

I read with despair that teachers will be on strike tomorrow. In my brief teaching career it would have been unthinkable.

I cannot understand why a young man should carry a knife with the intent of killing. He'll soon have several years in prison to contemplate his terrible crime.

Joy said...

I have some snowdrops open now and the crocus bus are showing a tiny bit of colour. I love the early spring bulbs.

Rachel Phillips said...

I am afraid to say that these teen stabbings and fatalities are all too common these days and the trial will almost be run of the mill with one party too young to be named for the next two years so his name will not come up, it will be big news in the Newcastle Chronicle and the Hexham Courier and it will then be forgotten. A boy from my nearby town was stabbed to death in Ipswich only last week, quite why it happened in Ipswich I have no idea. Teen stabbings are on the rise throughout Britain. I note the Hexham stabber came from Gateshead 30 miles away which raises the question of why on earth was he in school in Hexham. As for blue sky and sun in January, it is winter and cold and that is it, pure and simple.

thelma said...

I like red Valerian, it grew in a long hedge of colour in Bath high on the wall and was always allowed its place in life. It is the knife that is the danger, the boy who wields it is the danger point. A moment of sudden passion and three lives and families are altered for ever. But how do we get rid of knives even though carrying a knife is illegal?

The Weaver of Grass said...

In answer to your question Thelma - I don't know. Kitchen shops have lethal knives on display here. Most mums have a knife drawer holding carving knives - lethal in the wrong hands. Drugs are often involved too.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Sadly I can't move the furniture around - we have thought of doing that but it is not workable. In a couple of weeks the sun will have gone high enough in the sky for the problem to be past.

Thank you all.