27 Dec 2011

Winter Dessert Chocolates

This Christmas I received a box of choclates as a gift - nothing unusual about that you may think - but these were something else!  The selection included some of my favourite desserts. 
  • Black Forest Gateau
  • Spiced Apple Pie
  • Sherry Trifle
  • Rhubarb Crumble
  • Lemon Meringue
  • Treacle Tart
  • Tiramisu
What more can a girl ask for - even as a non-chocolate-lover - how can I resist them?
 Thank you brother-in-law.

19 Dec 2011

Alone and palely loitering

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel forever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.
John Keats

John Keats by William Hilton

John Keats was an English Romantic poet,
his reputation grew after his death and by the end
of the 19th century he had become one of the
most beloved of all English poets.

Isabella Jones
It is thought that the first version of Bright Star might have been
originally written for Isabella jones
with whom he was romantically involved in 1817.
Letters suggest he first met Frances (Fanny) Brawne in 1818
but their romance was overshadowed
by Keats' ill health.
Fanny Brawne

"I have two luxuries to brood over" he wrote to her
"your loveliness and the hour of my death"

He left England for Rome as tuberculosis took hold in 1820
knowing he would never see Fanny again.
He died five months later.

Keats home
Wentworth Place
now the Keats Museum
Keats grave in Rome

Keats died in 1821 and was buried in Rome.
Fanny stayed in mourning for six years
after which she married and had three children.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness, but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams,
and earth,
and quiet breathing.

I loved this film
Jane Campion has captured the Georgian feel perfectly
beautiful cinematography
bluebell woods
fields of daffodils
wild gardens
the austerity of the house interiors
beautiful fashions

The film has such an intensity of feeling and passion
I almost held my breath all the way through
to hear his poetry spoken aloud gives it such profound meaning.

Be still my beating heart.

15 Dec 2011

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

Just a little 'inbetweeny' post that I found on http://www.eartheasy.com/ newsletter - to lift our spirits in lieu of a dreary winter.

12 Dec 2011

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleakmidwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long Ago.

Christina Rossetti
music by Gustav Holst

The Snow-drop,
Winter's timid child,
Awakes to life,
bedew'd with tears
Mary Robinson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the withered air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, and housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure
in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of
winter.  Something waits beneath it - the whole story
doesn't show.
Andrew Wyeth

Most people, early in November, take last looks at their
gardens, and are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. 
I am quite sure that a garden doesn't like to be
ignored like this.
It doesn't like to be covered in dust sheets, as though it were
an old room which you had shut up during the winter.
Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful
it can be,
even in the very frozen heart of the winter,
if you only give it a chance.
Beverley Nichols

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ...
In Spring, Summer and Fall people sort of have an
open season on each other;
only in winter, in the country,
can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can
savour belonging to yourself.
Ruth Stout

When the ice of winter holds the house in its rigid grip,
when curtains are drawn early against that vast frozen waste
of landscape,
almost like a hibernating hedgehog
I relish the security of being withdrawn from all that summer
ferment that is long since past.
Then is the time for re-appraisal: to spread out,
limp and receptive,
and let garden thoughts rise to the surface.
They emerge from some deep source of stillness
which the very fact of winter
has released.
Mirabel Osler

All photos: Pinterest

4 Dec 2011

Pas de Deux

The word ballet comes from the French and was borrowed
into the English language around 1630.
The French word has its origin in Italian balleto
from ballo (to dance)
which comes from the Latin ballare
which in turn comes from the Greek ballizo

Ballet is a dance executed by the human soul
Alexander Pushkin

You don't have to know about ballet to enjoy it
all you have to do is look at it
Edwin Denby

If it were not for dreams there would not be such a thing as ballet,
the cruelest of the performing arts
Author unknown

Ballet is completely unnatural to the body
it is not the way the body is supposed to function
so you train your body to be a different structure
than you were born with
Neve Campbell

Ballet is not a technique
but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner
language of man
than any other
George Borodin

Most people think of ballet as
children in tutus
They don't know it is
sweat, blood and tears as well
Nan Keating

Dance is very old it started with
Louis XIV at Versailles
Neve Campbell
Anna Pavlova