Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: verse,

VE Day 2020

It is seventy five years since the end of the last World War and today on the anniversary of that day the whole country is paying tribute to those that came home and those that did not. The photo below consists of quite a few members of my family. The men who went to fight arent on that photograph. They weren’t back home yet and if they had been I wonder if they would have been in a party mood. I think maybe not.

I am 75 years old so I was born in that year in January and was present at the street party that took place in the street where I was born. However, I was shocked today when I heard of the dead of other countries that became involved and died to defeat the Nazi regime. As I have mentioned in my diary before, I heard no stories about the war as I was growing up. Indeed I heard more about the Great War. World War 1, that was fought by my grandparents’ generation.

Half Asleep

by Catherine Turner

The dawn is gently breaking,
The air serene and still,
No mans land, a grassy field
Just beyond the hill,
The battery, a homestead
With windows welcoming,
The tangled wire a 5 bar gate
Where bluebirds sweetly sing,
Each muddy trench a furrow
Furnished by the plough,
Each tortured cry of misery
The lowing of a cow.
The acrid stench of cordite
Like heaven’s perfume drifts,
To mingle with the belching smoke
Of Autumn’s cooling mist,
Faces dressed in terror
Are smiling as they rest
In crumpled khaki uniforms
As sharp as Sunday best,
This blanket torn, how soft, how warm,
A silken downy sheet,
How sweet, this quiet moment
With all the world at peace.
The dawn is gently breaking,
Sweet Saviour I implore,
Hold back the sun, and let me dream,
For just one moment more.

copyright Catherine Ann Turner, my talented sister……..2014

https://worldofremembrance.wordpress.com/

The Steep Price Of Victory In Europe

As the world celebrated victory over Nazi Germany and the boys eventually did come home, the war they fought thousands of miles away came home with them. It came home with them in their wounds, in their memories, in their daily life…in their nightmares.

My compassion today then goes to the 85,000,000 plus that died in that conflict worldwide. It was a terrible loss of life. What is even more heartbreaking is the fact that war is still going on. Our focus, as human beings, should be to heal our planet and then to heal ourselves. Death, famine and suffering are happening to someone every hour of every day. Not having any religion at all myself I feel very seriously that religion is at the root of a lot of dissent and conflict. Live and let live is an old adage but rings very true.

Quite a few of my neighbours are in party mood tonight but having just seen the latest death toll I can see nothing to celebrate. The next time that they think of breaking the lockdown maybe they should think of the virus as a Nazi.

Spring In The Garden

“How could we tire of hope

so much is in bud”

Denise Leverton

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide
.
A. E. Housman (1859–1936)

Stardust


The subject of Adam’s ashes has reared it’s head again and I am no nearer to deciding what to do about it. Up until today the blue box containing all that remains of my beautiful boy has been sitting in the living room underneath his photograph. However, I am aware that I am not the only person with an interest in what becomes of them. He has three children and their two respective mothers, two brothers and a father, all of whom have genuine rights when it comes to making a decision about this difficult problem. I am his mother, This was his home, Where he is now is virtually the same place where he was set down when I brought him home from the maternity ward in a little blue carry cot. I don’t think I am ready to let him go yet. I still haven’t come to terms with the way he died  and I think that that is the crux of the problem.

Stardust

Fourteen billion years ago the whole thing was begun.
Time itself came into being, the clock began to run.
And in the crucible of space, all there is, was born.
The building blocks of all we know from some galactic storm.
Collapsing stars formed elements, the elements combined
To form the substance of it all, the earth, the trees, mankind!
So look into the midnight sky, creation on parade. . .
For what you see in starlight is the stuff from which we’re made.
For we are in the universe, The universe in us.
The two are indivisible. A thing most beauteous.
So hear the song of nature. The song that all things sing.
For we are truly stardust, everyone and everything.

By John Marsh © May 2015

 

Snake in the Grass

Fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria meleagris –  Add plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost to the soil prior to planting to improve soil.  Plant snakes head fritillary bulbs at a depth of 4″ and 4″ apart. The bulbs are fragile so always handle them with care. Planting them on their sides will help to avoid water collecting in their hollow crowns and prevent the bulbs from rotting. Divide from August to September. Information and picture from thompson-morgan.com

I have tried to grow these lovely things before without any success. I now have fifty bulbs and have to decide where to plant them. Some plants men say that the flower is deadly poisonous. It has many common names as well as snakehead it is called lepers lily.

Grigson, in his Englishman’s Flora, calls the Fritillaria  meleagris snaky, deadly beauties, but there is little written evidence of harm.

On sunless days in winter, we shall know
By whom the silver gossamer is spun,
Who paints the diapered fritillaries,
On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Waking Up In Narnia

I took this photograph of the Silver Birch when the sun came up this morning. The temperature was hovering around minus six and all the trees were looking very Christmassy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

images by Steve Robinson

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Robert Louis Stevenson.

Sweet Peas – Lathyrus Odoratus – 2009

 

swp

Although it is a bit late I am going to chit some saved Sweet Pea seeds and set them in the lean to for overwintering in the hope of some early plants for next season. The seeds are mixed as it would have been impossible to separate the varieties when collecting them. 2009 was a terrible year for us for Sweet Peas but 2008 was great so let’s hope next year will be another good one.

Sweet Pea – Delicate Pleasures

Here are sweet peas on tip-toe for a flight with wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white,

And taper fingers catching at all things  to bind them all about with tiny rings

Keats

 

Memory Lane

Yesterday we had a bit of an adventure. We delivered two silkie boys to a lad in Bishops Castle. We had never been there before and the whole journey, including getting lost on the way home, turned into a great day out. We stopped to get our bearings outside a lovely pub where we had a welcome rest, a drink and something to eat before we set off again to get home. We went miles out of our way coming back but saw some lovely places including some hop fields which brought back some good memories from childhood for me. We drove through the Hope Valley which was really beautiful in the Autumn sunshine. We also drove through Church Stretton, a beautiful place and well worth another visit in the future. My son Adam went there once on a field trip from university and I remember that he rang on his mobile to tell me about the wonderful views. He was right too. All in all we had a great day with some laughs and met some really nice people and a little dog called Sophie. Rob leaves for Poland this afternoon so another busy day ahead for us.

 

Lindsay

The 12th is usually a sad day for us all as it is the anniversary of the death of Glenn’s partner Lindsay.

 Along The Road by Robert Browning

I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chattered all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she
But oh, the things
I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me

Hey Big Spender – RCOM20 Incubator

imagesrcom.jpg

We finally decided to invest in an incubator and went for the RCOM20 from P&T Poultry. Our savings have taken as much of a battering as the allotment this week as we have also bought some plastic tubing and some netting to build a tunnel.

On Tuesday morning I checked on Pecker, who was initially sitting on three duck eggs and six Wyandotte eggs,  and she was down to three intact eggs.  I took the last three from her and popped them under Misty, our other sitting broody. The hatch is due next Tuesday 1st April. The first try we had this year was with some Silkie eggs and the broody ate them and then with what happened with Pecker’s clutch we decided not to risk any more eggs. I have sixteen eggs here now. They are a mix of Silkie and Pekin so we are hoping for more success with the incubator. We popped down to the plots today even though it was blowing a gale down there we managed to dig over a couple of beds ready for planting up.

maroc13027nc5pekin.jpg

 

How could we tire of hope?
– so much is in bud. Denise Levertov

Autumn Sunshine

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run.

To Autumn – Keats

The leaves are starting to fall and there is a feel of Autumn in the air this morning. I love the Autumn even though it means the end of the growing season for most things. I really must soften the soil around the swedes and give them a water and a feed today. I also have some overwintering brassicas to plant out. The rest of the grim potato harvest is yet to be done. The strawberry runners are still waiting to be potted too. Autumn may be knocking at the door but there are still lots of jobs to do on the plots. Although when I set off to the allotment the sky was overcast and it looked like rain I enjoyed two hours of warm sunshine and managed to tick a couple of the jobs off our list.  After picking a few runner beans I weeded and hoed the swede bed and prepared the bed next to it for the brassicas. I transplanted all but a few of the overwintering greens and then gave the whole lot including the adjacent sprout cage a good watering with soapy water to get rid of the white fly which had already settled on to the new plants. Before leaving I covered the new row with wire cages to keep off the birds.