22 April 2012


Down at Three Mills, the swans seem to have forgotten that this part of the river is tidal.  This was all that was left of their nest of nine eggs after an exceptionally high tide a couple of weeks ago.  The others are dashed about in the reeds and the mud.  They did the same last year according to an allotment neighbour.  And they are starting to build another nest in the same place.  Dumb swans.  You'd think they'd know better.

At home, I've taken to sitting with a blanket over my legs in the evening because it's so chilly. I'm enjoying it though.  It means that I can wear some of the wool jumpers I've been buying from the second hand stall in the market.  The idea was that they would be cut up and made into a patchwork blanket, but instead the house is turning into a refuge for old woollies.  I've even got one jumper so full of holes that it's fit only for practicing darning on but I could not bear the thought that it would end up in landfill.

You'd think I'd know better too.

08 April 2012

easter egg

Colleen and egg, vertical
To be honest, I'm relieved that the weather is more seasonally cool and changeable. I felt that spring had rather pounced on me while I was not quite ready.  While it was lovely to lounge around and get out in the sun, it just did not feel right. This way, I can ease myself into April at a more gentle pace.  So I found myself indoors this afternoon, looking for some stuff  in the cellar with my son, and found the box of old photographs that I had been seeking. I'd particularly wanted to find this photo of me and the vertical egg, taken in the back yard of John's old house.  

You may be able to tell that I am very delighted, and quite justifiably so, for this was the first egg that our chickens had laid for us.   We had agreed to take the girls from the young couple in the health food shop at the back of St Dunstan's church, as it happens one of my favourite nooks in the borough. They were "emigrating" to the Hebrides* and wanted a new home for their three Rhode Island reds.  We recklessly said yes and brought them home in a couple of crates. When we told John's mum, she just swore, then giggled, and joined in the fun. We found some wood - there was always wood around the streets in Wapping in those pre-recycling days. And soon the henhouse was up in the garden of the house next door which had been empty for years.  The chickens settled in and before long the eggs started to arrive, to everybody's great pleasure, especially mine.

I'm very young, only about twenty or so in this picture, but what I find funny is that clearly my sartorial preferences were already well established: the woolly cardi, brought home from a cycling tour around Ireland the year before, the spotty scarf, the fingerless gloves (I still have them, though they need a bit of mending), the workwear.

Colleen and egg, horizontal
Simple pleasures.  Happy days.

*Years later I saw an article in a newspaper about a little girl who was the only pupil at a school on a remote island - it was their daughter.  I often wonder what happened to them next.