Monday 1 April 2024

Might put a heading on later if I can think of one.

Writing my posts is becoming more difficult day by day I am sorry to say.  I like to read those who have posted that day who are on my side bar and comment on their posts.   But by the time I have done that I am too weary to think about what to put on my own site.

So - reverse way round today and let's see how it goes.

I live on  a very pleasant estate of bungalows, detached houses, semii-detached,  a few flats - a nice mixture and nice trees and greenery around and quite a few green spots.   The top of the estate, where I live, has a lot of different bungalows - detached, semi=detached, large, small -a good mix and all have pleasant gardens and from what I see most seem to have retired couples, widowed men or women, one or two single folk of both sexes and not many children in them.   But judging by who walks past there are plenty of children further down the road.

It is a wetish, greyish day, chilly and with a brisk wind blowing.   My pot-hole 'rain-gauge' at the bottom of the drive suggests it has been like this all night. Coated -dogs and anoraked- human beings walk past on this Easter Monday (I think unless you have a dog or are a strong-minded fitness freak you would choose to stay in today but there is nothing worse than an ' it is way past our walk time' stare from your best four-footed-friend to make your guilty feet get their wellies/boots on.)

And so they mooch past, pale green pooh bags swinging from the hand which is not holding the lead.   I wonder what they are all thinking about (remember we are all 'oldies'  up this end so no smart phones held aloft).   Heads full of words, words, words - so easy to think on a relaxed walk but then ten minutes later when you get home, try to recall something you saw and tell your housemate and you are raking about in  brain so full to over-flowing with words that you need a giant metaphorical sieve in order to recall some important noun or something without which the whole story you wish to relate becomes useless.  And if you are under sixty and don't understand what I have just written in that last sentence don't worry - you'll arrive there soon enough.  Make the most of it while you have it.   'It' being perfect recall. 

According to Matthew Syed in yesterday's Sunday Times, Professor Neil Lawrence  has written a book called 'The Atomic Human' in which he suggests that communicating with our fellow-humans by speaking to them is an inefficiant way of transmitting information - one to two hundred words a minute -  compare this with two connected computers which over wi-fi can transfer information thirty million times faster.   Syed suggests that all humans have some degree of 'locked in syndrome' when it comes to communication with others.   We know what we want to say but we just can't get it over to the listener.

And, says Syed (and I wholly agree) that we humans have what he calls 'implicit forms of communication' which no machine can replicate.  We are made free by poetry, prose, painting, music and love.

Do read his article if you can.  It is incredibly mind-bending, for me at any rate.   I have always argued that Picasso's 'Guernica' - a picture which says more than a thousand words on war and fascism can possibly do to me - is quite literally 'stunning' when you stand in front of it.  Stunning and quite frighteningly unforgettable.

And on a lighter note (because I always manage to work this into my posts as Spring approaches - still in its slippers, especially when Easter is as early as it can be-)

'Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

is hung with blooms along the bough;

and all along the woodland ride

is wearing white for Easter-tide'. 

Try telling somebody about a cherry tree in bloom which you have seen and I will guarantee they won't get the picture as well as Houseman does in 'A Shropshire Lad'.

Hopefully see you tomorrow.

.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rain here too. Nothing but rain, and some snow showers, until Saturday. And dark enough to need lights on in the house. I do want a dog but right now I am so glad I have my much loved cat! Pat in Pennsylvania

Anonymous said...

I have never heard it described that way, but I have always known that I can only tell a story with my words. An artist or a poet or a musician can tell the same story in a manner that makes us feel the words.
What a measure of grace is added to our lives when we have access to the arts.

I hope that you never feel that you must write. I think that these precious days should be free of obligations of all kinds. Do what suits you. If you feel like sitting in a sunny spot and thinking of days gone by, you should do so. If you feel moved to write, you should do so. If you don't, you shouldn't.

My best hope for you is that you will find a measure of grace in each passing day.


anonymous said...

It's nice to see a post from you

anonymous said...

Oops,hit print while wanting to say more .
I like you writing this early, starting my day with a smile . It's a grey sky scene around my home ,too, hopefully late spring will be sunnier.Mary

Ellen D. said...

You know about so many things that I have never heard of before and I often learn from you. Thanks for the lovely post, Pat.

Librarian said...

My 60th birthday is still four years away, but I have been struggling to separate the important from the trivial in my mind for many years, and often need notes in order not to forget what was said in a meeting by the time I arrive back at my desk a few minutes later - there is just such a constant stream of information coming in from all sides that I find it overwhelming sometimes, and need to retreat in order to maintain at least some form of sanity.

Spring has been beautiful here so far, with hawthorn and plums in bloom, cherries following close behind and apple trees not far off now - everything is very early this year, and a day like today with cold wind and icy rain serves to remember that we‘re still not all that far away from winter.

Gill said...

Started off very wet here in Staffordshire but now the sun has arrived. Beautiful words which made me think. Where you live sounds beautiful. We have just put our 4 bed house on the market, too big for us and the cat now, hoping to downsize and live near to our daughter. Quite looking forward to it but not the sorting and getting rid - but best to do it whilst we are still reasonably mobile. Take care. Hugs Xx

Derek Faulkner said...

That article would be too much for me to think about on a nice relaxed day.
I'm at my partner's house in Surrey for the weekend and today, she and I, have been to National Trust Frensham Little Pond, which in reality is a large lake surrounded by miles of heathland (Google it). Amazingly, with rain clouds to both the left and right of us, we experienced three hours of blue skies and very warm sunshine, that left our faces burning. We also saw a pair of Dartford Warblers and my first Swallow of the year.

Sue in Suffolk said...

It's just lovely to hear from you as you always have words of wisdom to share.

gz said...

It sounds like a good mixed neighborhood...good to hear and see children around, the lifeblood of a community.

We live on the edge (thankfully) of a village which is 1930s ( but mainly 1940s) onwards scheme houses, with some later 1980s bungalows and more private schemes built since the millennium.

It is still cold, despite the sunny intervals, but luckily the rain has been travelling to both sides of us for a couple of days. Line dried washing!!

hart said...

I love that cherry blossom poem. Perhaps your neighbors are like the ones in A Child's Christmas in Wales--(rough quote) men who would take their morning consititutional on Christmas Day or doomsday.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek - Lucky you. I have never seen a Dartford Warbler (nor a swallow for a year or two)

Anonymous said...

Always wonderful to hear from you. I have noticed that many younger people are flummoxed as to how to carry on a verbal conversation. They can communicate well by text or computer but for some reason they have difficulty with speaking in sentences and or asking questions. I live in a large building with many young IT professionals. They seem to keep to themselves. They don’t know what they are missing.

Rachel Phillips said...

I stood in front of Guernica several times a few years back and I am afraid it did nothing for me. I kept going back to it as I was staying nearby on a student trip and had free entry and looking again and again at it. However, I never saw anything that sent me crazy about how wonderful it was or anything. Sacrilege I know. Perhaps I was expecting something else in the way of a painting. I should go again but I doubt I will ever return to Madrid now. It has turned out sunny and pleasant here this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Oh good grief! THAT is the cherry tree poem I was thinking of, not Frost at all. No wonder I didn't find it in my collection of his poems. Thank you!

Ceci

Heather said...

Good to read your post. Lovely to have some poetry included. A cold dry sunny day here in the South West. Kind regards.

thelma said...

The weather here has been dull and miserable but we went to Shibden Hall in its large park and wandered round its dark wood panelled rooms. I often wonder when you see people tapping away at their phones whether we will lose the power of good conversation and slow down and listen?

Tasker Dunham said...

Whatever syndromes I have, they stopped locking them in a long time ago. It wasn't worth bothering.

Susan said...

Yesterday was lovely weather for Easter Sunday, mild and sunny. Today is cooler and cloudy with no sun. You live in a lovely area with a good mix of people and no shortage of dog lovers. I live on a woodland lot with grass and gardens close to the house and forest further out. My neighbors (6 houses on one street) range from 40 to 80 years old. Four households have dogs and two have cats. We are animal lovers and keen wildlife and bird enthusiasts.

Jules said...

You describe it so beautfiully, Pat. I can picture it in my mind. Xx

Barbara Anne said...

Another wonderful post from you, Pat, and the word-pictures that you describe are vivid in my mind. Ta!

I'm so glad you live where you can enjoy your varied surroundings and neighbors so much even tho you don't venture out as much as you used to. Long ago I read a brief quotation from a woman (name long gone) who wrote that as long as she had a window to look out of, her life was happy.

It's a warm day here, about 24*C, and very overcast, but bright. Our forsythia are in glorious bloom and the pink dogwoods and grape hyacinths are blossoming, too.

Hugs!

Country Cottage said...

A lovely sunny day here in Suffolk. The farmer is out in the fields again making the most of the fair weather. I counted 19 birds in the garden- great tits, blue tits, chaffinch, goldfinch, sparrows, blackbirds, the wren and two robins. There are 8 female pheasants and one male (very protective) who hang around under the feeders. We also have two Muntjac who visit (and strip the hedge). My favourite are the hares - they have been very active as of late. Your estate sounds like a nice area to be in. I agree, people do not spend enough time listening and enjoy the natural world around them. I do so enjoy your posts- long may they continue. x

Heather said...

I think we are all fed up with rain and certainly wont have to worry about the levels in our reservoirs for quite a time. I wonder why water bills are going up when there is so much about!
In spite of it all, the birds are singing, flowers are flowering and occasionally the sun shines, so we are not too badly off. However, I do worry for the farmers and growers who must be so behind with ploughing and sowing. (I know nothing about farming.)

Tom Stephenson said...

'Trees everywhere, and blossom's in their hair...' Name that program...

gmv said...

I treasure all your posts. I wish you a good night (there). Here in Texas the afternoon sun is breaking through the nearly leafed out trees and the doves are cooing.

Jacque from Colorado said...

Your neighborhood sounds very lovely, Pat. Your post gave me things to think about, as always. I want to look up the book you mentioned; it sounds fascinating. As for the notion that words are a poor choice for communication, I was reminded that I recently heard/read that countless young people (Gen Z, perhaps?...) rely on Tik Tok for their news. Can you imagine? Mere seconds to follow current events and make important voting decisions?... Meanwhile, we slog along with a few flowers here and there in bloom and lawns showing signs of life. Otherwise, gardens remain drab and brown. But at least it's April! That alone gives me hope!

Joanne Noragon said...

Our redbud trees are showing, but little else.

Anonymous said...

Terrific post. I like how your mind works. I don't understand how you can be out hiking and have some device hooked up and in your ears and not hearing the world around you. Very sad.
Take Care,
Kay

DUTA said...

As a precious commenter has remarked, you should never feel you Must write; the precious days of our Third Age "should be free of obligations of all kinds".

Cro Magnon said...

I admire people who can hold inconsequential conversations for hours on end. I have never been able to do so on account of my natural shyness. Billy and I chat for a short while, and continue on our way.

re Your estate. I read that when Telford was being built, the council banned any individual builder from building houses nearer than 5 or 6 houses from one of his others. This way they ensured that there were no rows of identical houses. This seems a very sound idea!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Cro - As one of my visitors once said - in the days when I could walk! - this estate is like a village - very few houses are identical. In fact my bungalow was built several years before the estate (the people who lived here before me had the plot of land as a wedding present (the bride was the daughter of the farmer who owned the land) so my bungalow is quite different from those around me. There are houses two storey and three storey, bungalows and semi bungalows and four or five different styles, a couple of blocks of flats and plenty of green spaces. Our town only has just under four thousand residents

Thank you everyonee for your comments.

Sue said...

I always write my own blog post first before reading any of those on my sidebar, yours included. I find if I don't I am either influenced by someone else's ideas, and mine drops by the wayside, or I start feeling very pessimistic at some of the posts ... not that yours ever leave me that way. You are a breath of fresh air.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I hope that Spring has changed her slippers for wellies this morning!

Diaday said...

You, like spring, are a breath of fresh air and hope, and the poetry you share is so lovely. Thank you.

Diaday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the veg artist said...

Please don't feel that you need to put on long, meaningful posts. That's the perfectionist in you. It makes me happy just to see that you've left a comment on someone's blog - it proves you're still with us! Take care.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Your experiment has certainly worked Pat. Perhaps you should keep repeating it. In other words - you blog first and then read your favourite blogs later. Largely housebound with your window literally being your window on the world, it was great to see how you crafted such an effective and readable blogpost. As you no doubt used to say to your pupils in Wolverhampton - Keep Up The Good Work!

Pixie said...

I agree with Yorkshire Pudding, you first. I can hear the birds outside, trying to convince a lady to share a nest with them. The robins haven't arrived yet, but the Canadian geese have.

Take care of yourself.

Armazém Home said...

Amei seu blogger, a escrita é adorável. Forte abraço e obrigada.

Jan said...

Thank you for all you write and have written. You are always a breath of fresh air for me. (Yes, cliche, sorry!)

Take care of yourself