Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Silver Windermere

We're in the Lakes at Low Wood for a little silver honeymoon and this is the view of Windermere from our room. We've swum in that very spot!
Pete gave me Penguin's Poems for Love and it's an incredible book which I'll be reading over the next few days - and beyond - up here in Wordsworth Country.
The poems are all truly wonderful, but here are three which take my breath away

Let me put it this way:
if you came to lay

your sleeping head
against my arm or sleeve,

and if my arm went dead,
or if I had to take my leave

at midnight, I should rather
cleave it from the joint or seam

than make a scene
or bring you round.

how does that sound?

Simon Armitage

From time to time our love is like a sail
and when the sail begins to alternate
from tack to tack, it's like a swallowtail
and when the swallow flies it's like a coat;
and if the coat is yours, it has a tear
like a wide mouth and when the mouth begins
to draw the wind, it's like a trumpeter
and when the trumpet blows, it blows like millions. . .
and this, my love, when millions come and go
beyond the need of us, is like a trick;
and when the trick begins, it's like a toe
tip-toeing on a rope, which is like luck;
and when the luck begins, it's like a wedding,
which is like love, which is like everything.

Alice Oswald

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won't slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job's done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be 
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney  


Today's our 25th Wedding Anniversary - 25 0n the 25th.


Thin. Hard. Cool. Of high
altitude. Of dark-eyed miners, coca
mountains scraped blue,
ozone and time. Precious,
but not that precious. Of money
the passing of money, the arts 
of bright-fingered androgyns of love
and circuses. Handsome,
scored, nicked, the bewitching
smile of trickery mixing
with desire. Irretrievable. Irresistible.
Of long thumbs and slow hips

silver is not for wedding rings.

Carola Luther
from Walking the Animals (Carcanet)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Sun Goes Down On Salford

Thursday was the last scheduled swim in Salford Docks for this season. Boating, kayaking and other activities will continue, but sadly no more swims till next spring. Boo hoo! 
So, with the fantastic raised temperatures of this Indian Summer, we just had to go and have a final dip before hanging up our wetsuits for the winter. And, having said that, I'm not ruling out the possibility of a swim when we're up in the Lakes at the end of the month. Especially if this weather continues - who knows?
Raised air temperature is a tricky old thing, it lulls you into thinking the water will be balmy too. I considered going in without the wetsuit as it's such a nuisance. However, cowardliness prevailed and I took the plunge, suited up. At 15.3C, it was bracing, definite ice cream headache when I first put my head under, but that soon faded. We did two laps - half a mile -  relishing the sunset and the clean, sweet water. 
And I keep checking the Salford Watersports website, secretly hoping against hope that they'll relent and give us a stay of execution - a couple more chances to enjoy the weather and the water before calling time for 2011.