Wednesday, 14 December 2016

QUILT FOR BABY GIRL.. finished.  Lying on the table while it dries after a gentle wash.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Photograph of the kitchen window from the garden showing the Camphor Laurel in flower, reflection of the Tropical Birch, Mabel and a couple of pears ripening.

While working in the garden there has been a lovely sound of pigeons which brought to mind a summer from long ago in Emma's garden in Farnham Common.

Can you hear them?  The sound of an English summer's day.

Monday, 12 December 2016


Christmas is coming!  Beds all made for family coming from Geneva, hearts scattered around the place and the tree's up.  

The desk painted up beautifully Emma.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


This is not a photograph of the environment I am living in at the moment with temperatures in the high 30's - centigrade that is.

When I sing Christmas carols, the Australian ones don't quite do it for me.  Here's a beauty set in the bleak mid-winter by Christina Rossetti (1830 - 94).

Christina Rossetti, an English poet, was the daughter of a distinguished Italian political exile who became Professor of English at King's College, London.  Her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, more famous that she, was also a poet and a painter.  They lived in a time of high creativity in which the religious imagination often furnished material for artistic and literary works.  A devout High Anglican who engaged in many charitable works, Rossetti wrote a large number of poems, although she was a semi-invalid for much of her life.

The Nativity is the theme of the poem that follows.  Notice how vividly Rossetti sets the scene, a wintry setting worthy of an English Christmas.  She is intense and visionary, looking beyond the first Christmas to the Lord's second coming, 'when he comes to reign'.  Her contrasts are steep and wide, as they are in Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).  Heaven and earth are always in tension;  riches and poverty, and God's triumphant power revealed in a small and humble space - these high contrasts of the Infancy Narratives become this poet's material as well.

Rossetti's intense spirituality most forceful in the last verse, which by itself stands as a wonderful prayer of Christmas celebration and joy.  (SPIRITUAL CLASSICS ed Richard Foster & Emilie Griffin)


In the bleak mid-winter
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 mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for him whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangles
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only his mother 
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part -
Yet what I can I give him
Give my heart.

Photograph of my darling sister and you can find a beautiful rendition of the carol sung by Annie Lennox here