Saturday, 23 September 2023

Seeing Nature's Gold



    OMG, where has the year gone? It’s Autumn already. The colors of the flora and fauna don’t change a lot here in the south of Tenerife as the seasons change. That's because our climate doesn’t fluctuate as much as it does in other parts of the world. However, when the sun disappears early in the day we know Autumn has arrived.

    While I was never a lover of the plummeting temperatures and rainy days in Scotland, I miss the changes in the color of the flora when Autumn arrives.

     I've included some photographs from Scotland that capture those Autumn moments and a short poem by, American poet, Robert Frost. 

     I would also like to thank the loyal readers of my blog which is celebrating its eleventh year this month. THANK YOU.

     Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour,

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Lee Frost 1874-1963


Saturday, 16 September 2023

Saving our World


In the last few years, the world has suffered many major ecological disturbances. Here in Tenerife for example
this year we have experienced the worst forest fires in 40 years. 

    In 2021 the lives of our neighbors on the island of La Palma were turned upside down when the volcano, Cumbre Vieja erupted. It had been nearly 50 years since another one of the island’s volcanoes, TeneguĂ­a had spewed lava over the islanders and this new eruption came as a surprise to the islanders. It was known Cumbre Vieja was active as the old ridge groaned and moaned regularly, similar to my old spine. However, it never was imagined that these threats of eruption would come to fruition.

    Many of you reading this may have experienced a natural ecological disturbance first-hand in the forms I have mentioned above, or caused by ocean currents, and in the Earth’s  orbital changes.


    Then again we also now know that many disturbances are brought about by us humans ourselves. Whether, through industrial development, deforestation, and pollution we now know that certain actions are destroying the atmosphere around us.

    Today September 16 is International Day For the Preservation of the Ozone Layer the theme this year is, fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change.


   I want to finish today with an extract from the poem, There Will Come Soft Rains by, Sara Teasdale. She wrote this poem with the Great War in mind but I believe her words are pertinent today.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,  

If mankind perished utterly;


And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn  

Would scarcely know that we were gone. 



Monday, 11 September 2023

Little Treasures



    Here in the Canary Islands, potatoes play a huge part of the everyday diet. Due to high tourism and local love for these little treasures, the island’s locally produced supply can’t keep up with the demand. 

     Therefore, 80-90% of this versatile vegetable, the King Edward variety to be exact, is supplied from Kent, England. Unfortunately, imports have had to be suspended because of a plague of the Colorado beetle having been found recently. 

     Meaning, that to a nation of spud lovers there is now a shortage, caused by a potato rush. Of course, these greedy profiteers have been buying in bulk, which has now led to supermarkets and wholesalers limiting purchases.

     Hopefully, new trade deals will be made and new imports will begin soon, but this quote from Louisa May Alcott says it all, ‘Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes.’





Monday, 28 August 2023

Magical Moments


    When I lived in Scotland, for many years I worked in Edinburgh. For me, it was anything from a twenty to fifty-minute commute each way by train, to earn my daily bread. By car, hmm, how long is a piece of string?

     Yes, it could be quite a drudge to get to and from work. However, in the months of August and September each year, the daily trip never seemed so bad. That was because, the Edinburgh Festival which attracts huge crowds to the city, enlivened the streets and I found being there exhilarating.


     The city has celebrated this International Festival since 1947 and draws in excess of 4 million visitors to the city each year. There is something for everyone there, whether you’re interested in films, books, art, culture, or just want to tap your toes to the sounds of an army pipe band at the Tattoo, it’s the place to be.


No, I can’t be there this year but I can trawl through some old photographs to relive the magical moments.

Sunday, 20 August 2023

Hemingway’s Way With Words



    I’m a lover of Hemingway’s work, and, A Farewell to Arms, plays a part of the story in my book, No Kissing Required. This poem of his I’m featuring today, I find kind of sexy. The man most definitely had a way with words. 

Oily Weather

The sea desires deep hulls,

It swells and rolls.

The screw churns a throb,

Driving throbbing progressing.

The sea rolls with love,

Surging, caressing.

Undulating its great loving belly,

The sea is big and old.

Throbbing ships scorn it.

Ernest Hemingway  (Stories and Ten Poems, 1923)


Thursday, 27 July 2023

Pied Beauty, a Poets Thanks


      I love colors, the brighter they are the better. Anything that has bold color combinations, from lipsticks to clothes. I can't walk by without admiring.

    These  all of course depend on a little human intervention. However, I adore the nature that surrounds us. It's ever giving contrast of colors, in the way of wildlife, our skies and seas. They all give us variants of color that change without notice, in a blink of an eye.

    I found a sonnet by the poet, Gerard Manly Hopkins, which I want to share with you today on the anniversary of his birth.

    He is believed to be thanking and praising God for the creation of the world Gerard lived in. Whatever any one of us believes in, is up to us as individual humans. But, it is nice if we can stop to admire the beauty and be thankful for what is around us, in any which way we can and if we can. 

    Today I'm writing about the beauty I have experienced and I'm featuring some photos, in my way of thanks.

    Have a great weekend people.

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things

For skied of couple color as a brinded cow

For rose-moles all the stipple upon trout that swim

Fresh-fire coal chestnut-fall, finches' wings

Landscape plotted and pierced, fold, fallow and plough

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow, sweet, sour, adazzle, dim

Her father's-forth whose beauty is past change

Praise him.

                              Gerard Manley Hopkins 

                              (28 July 1844-8 June 1889)

Monday, 24 July 2023

A Queen's Poetic Retreat


Loch Leven Castle

   July 24th 1567, following a year of imprisonment in Loch Leven Castle in Perth and Kinross, Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate. 

    Her time as queen was tumultuous, and she escaped from the reality and skullduggery that surrounded her by writing poetry.

Linlithgow Palace , Mary's birthplace

     Today I've included a short sonnet of hers, believed to have been written about the Earl of Bothwell to whom she later married. A marriage that would throw her life into further turmoil.  

    Please enjoy and thanks for visiting my blog today.  

Lord, grant your mercy unto me:

Teach me some way that he may know

My love for him is not an empty show

But purest tenderness an constancy

For does he not, alas, ev'n now possess

This body and this heart which would not flee

Discord, dishonour, nor uncertainty,

Nor family hurt, nor evil's worst distress.

For his sake, I value all my friends as dust

And in my enemies I seek to place my trust,

For him, my concience and good name to chance I've cast;

I would renounce the worls, were it his whim:

I'd gladly die if it should profit him,

What more is there to prove my love steadfast.

Mary Queen of Scots (8 December 1542-8 Feburary 1587)