Monday, August 30, 2010

I Will Lift My Eyes To The Hills...

When I feel down there is nothing like soaking in the wonder of Creation to restore my humour.
We are indeed privileged to live in an area of outstanding beauty. We don't have to walk far to see both sea and mountains. We have a delightful short canal teeming with life and other short walks to give us fresh air and exercise. Yes, there is much sickness in the world of every kind imaginable, and it is easy to get weighed down by the magnitude of it all. But darkness is subdued when we let in the Light. This photograph was taken this afternoon. We had been on a short drive to the coast and returned by an inland route. This was taken less than two miles up the hill from where we live.
No wonder, when I was a child I used to dream of visiting the Lake District. But I didn't have to become rich and famous to do so. Ironically it was a slow down in the Electrical Engineering Industry in the late 1960's causing many redundancies, that forced us from our Midlands' home (that we had only just moved into) and live up here where my husband was offered a job in Shipbuilding. It had been hard for all of us, especially our three children — new schools, no friends and no extended family. But they settled and so did we. My husband easier than me. I had to change Teacher Training College in mid stream, travel (with all the family) 220 miles and back to attend tutorials every third Saturday morning, and spend a week away from home to do my exams. The two colleges were completely different and that was confusing.
But, it has all been worthwhile...
(photograph — looking towards the Coniston Range from the Moors Road above Ulverston. Coniston Water can just be seen below the mountains.)

Visit my 'Lake District Saga — Checkmate' web site to see the many pictures on three posts of this wonderful area. (The setting for my latest book — Checkmate)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Unless You Become As A Little Child…

Unless You Become As A Little Child…

It is true that you need a childlike heart to fully appreciate all that life has to offer. Unless under duress, a young child is uninhibited and reacts naturally to what he sees, and feels. If surprised by joy, he will laugh and giggle. If that joy embraces the sight and sound of a band playing, he will likely ‘be one of them’ or dance to the music. This is natural pleasure embracing our God-given senses. Sadly, we become shy as we get older. Fear of disapproval sets in. By the time we are adults (in our own country at least) we smile and laugh with joy, but dance? Maybe, in a ‘correct’ setting, but not openly in the Market Square where people are likely to think you are an exhibitionist. Or will they? Certainly not if you are part of a group, clog dancing or Morris dancing. Or otherwise ‘expected’ to perform. Of course, those who lose their inhibitions through drink may well dance — before they fall flat on their faces. Sad isn’t it? Why can’t we be naturally happy and dance for joy — any time, any place!

We have a band playing in Ulverston’s Market Square most Thursdays throughout the summer. Lovely foot-tapping music that makes you happy inside. Oh how often I would love to let go and fling caution to the wind. Dance to my heart’s content. What is there to stop me? Me, just me, and my fear of what others might think.

So I tap my feet and occasionally dare to sway!

Today I saw an infant in a pushchair watching the band and bobbing his feet to the rhythm of the band. I walked up and encouraged him. He smiled and before long his hand and feet were doing just what I truly wanted to do myself. So I had a good excuse to tap and clap! The lady with him was clapping in encouragement too. Such happiness written on that little boy’s face.

‘And a little child shall lead them’…

Magpies Nest Publishing
Writing For Joy
Diary of a Country Lady
Lakeland Saga — Checkmate. Beautiful Cumbria and the wonder of Lakeland in photographs”
Hobson's Books - All my books in one place
My Space for photographs, stories and poems, plus Ann Dunning singing Any Dream Will Do
Ask Gran Hobson about times gone by — designing, wartime, food, play… what you will

Writing For Joy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

For They Like Sheep Have Gone Astray...

Now if I happened to still be preaching, I would have had a good 'true from life' story to start off with. For this morning a number of sheep found their way into our back garden. They must have come from a field a little distance away, following a stream that led through a neighbour's garden. No doubt diving their heads under the dividing wall — unless they broke a wall down somewhere or did a bit of jolly good leaping, of which sheep can be quite good at. Anyway, there they were on the lawn, one of them eating the leaves fallen from the oak tree (much to my hubby's delight as it meant less for him to sweep up). I took these photos of the beautiful woolly creatures before hubby drove them back the way they had come. Why did the sheep leave the flock and a nice green field? Why do we go astray when things are fine as they are?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday already!
How time flies as you get older… and older! The sand seems to run faster through that narrow waist of the timer. I sometimes wonder if we are making the most of the time left to us. Do I waste time and nervous energy with my writing? With my books? With my blogs? Certainly it causes considerable frustration. How easier things would be if computers were around when I was young. To think, I recall writing on a slate when I first started school. Computers are relatively recent on the scale of things. Everyone knows it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks — and this dog is 78 this year. I could tear my hair out at the frustration experienced when trying anything just slightly different (not that much hair left to tug out!) . Especially all the wonders that are available to bloggers.
Well, I can bake good cakes which are enjoyed by all the family when they call in. I don't bake every week but I like to make sure there is a variety. When I depressed or tearful over failures, I can at least open the cake cupboard door and take note that I can still DO SOMETHING useful and enjoyable. Oh yes, and I can still laugh at myself, so things can't be that bad. (Please no one tell me about the REAL problems people face in the world — they are constantly on my mind and I can only do so much.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eden — What goes on there.

The Vale of Eden is not far away and yet it is remote from us because we are stuck on a peninsular which tends to revolve around itself. However, I get newsletter from the best in Eden telling me what's on throughout the year. It is quite a rural area and yet there is so much to be a part of throughout the festival season. It certainly gives ideas as to what could take place within our own area. But then, Ulverston and other towns in the region have their own festivals. Even so, we might just take the caravan to the Eden Valley and get a taste of their hospitality.
I wrote a short story, The Seeds of Ammon, set in a Vale of Eden. It will be interesting to see if the two Edens have much in common. I suspect, a lot!
Visit the Best of Eden blog and see the interesting things they are up to and which all visitors are welcome to join in.

Visit my new Checkmate site — many photographs of the English Lake District settings.
My Writing For Joy
My Wrinkly Writers
and my Ask Gran Hobson.
Magpies Nest Publishing (now updated)
My Space for music while you view photographs, read short stories and poems and a history of my writing and so on.
Find me on facebook too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Of Jam and Jerusalem.

Yesterday, after harvesting our cherry plums (see post) I looked up how to turn them into jam.
Here it is! Complete with stones as it did not seem worthwhile straining them out. Anyway, they are easy to remove when using the jam, and gives the spreader of jam something to suck on — less calories than a sweet!
Being Monday, we got the cleaning done first, plus a bit of washing.

I miss our cleaner. She was a lovely woman and more of a friend. We really should get someone else but I guess I find it hard (emotionally) to have her replaced. She told us last year that she had cancer. She died less than two months ago. I hoped she would recover but my experience of deaths in the family and also of friends dying with cancer, I knew it to be unlikely. So I think of her as I clean and feel nothing but admiration for how quickly she got the job done, compared with us. She will always be sadly missed.
But I guess we will have to get help soon, my knees are not happy!

Magpies Nest Publishing has been brought up to date with my latest novels.
See Wrinkly Writers for a spooky picture of a cat
See Writing For Joy
My Space to hear Ann sing (Any Dream Will Do) while the photo carousel turns. And read a few posts there. (mostly my poems and short stories)
Read about my books at Gladys Hobson — Author

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Free Harvest!

A small tree suddenly appeared in the front garden two or three years ago. Nothing unusual because we are continually having to pull out trees grown from seeds carried by birds or fallen from our trees. This one appeared amongst shrubbery so it could have been there longer without me noticing until white flowers appeared two years ago. Last year it had grown considerably and I found a few small plum-like fruit on it. I looked the fruit up in a gardening book. It seems they are cherry plums. I wondered if it had grown from a runner from a nearby grafted cherry tree (the grafted on part is an ornamental cherry but the stock is likely a strong variety not grown for flowers) As I said, this tree has masses of small white flowers in early spring, just like the damsons growing wild in hedgerows. Now matter how it got there, I decided to keep it. I like having blossoms in early spring. It has rewarded me with a kilogram of fruit. I'll give it a bit of pruning and maybe next year...

In my mind I saw a kind of parable. How easily we push aside talent. Talent which, if nurtured, could bring forth that which could give pleasure to many. (I have in mind publishers and art critics/dealers. But it applies to businesses too.)

Magpies Nest Publishing has been brought up to date with my latest novels.
See Wrinkly Writers for a spooky picture of a cat
See Writing For Joy
My Space to hear Ann sing (Any Dream Will Do) while the photo carousel turns. And read a few posts there. (mostly my poems and short stories)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Answer To Prayer?

I have been having painful problems with my right knee for a little while now. An Xray was taken last week. But my bones are not suspect. Damage may have been done to something or other. While waiting for it to be investigated, I was advised to exercise on level ground where possible. Living on a hill means I take it easy going up and down, but for walks we choose canal paths.
On Sunday, we took this photo of a duck splashing around in the Ulverston Canal. There were a number of them and it was fun to watch.
Monday was labour intensive — washing, ironing and cleaning. Yesterday I worked on my book and did a bit of blogging. I have a number of friends on the Internet who share similar interests (especially writing). I have a great deal of fun with one who lives in Australia. What a laugh we have at times. This is good because I have lost a lot of friends and family these past few years.
In the afternoon, we walked to town. It gave me a bit of exercise.
Today I found that my knee was hardly troubling me. I have been trying not to twist it in any way. After working on my book, I went in the garden and did some pruning, plus a small amount of weeding. My knee is not troubling me. Inflammation down? Whatever had slipped out had slipped back? That which had causing the stabbing sensation shifted? Or an answer to prayer? I know that I am being prayed for — just as I pray for others. I don't believe in 'shopping list' prayers. I see prayer as co-operation in the healing power of nature, working with God to achieve his will for all mankind. Many things can hinder healing. But if we are right with God, and the time is right for healing, 'all things work together for good'.
For me, religion—Christianity is a way of life. A follower of the way, rather than an observer of the three static R's — rules, rituals and Religion with a capital R.

Read my Writing For Joy
Wrinkly Writers
As Gran Hobson questions relating to wartime and post-war Britain — children, simple games, simple good food, simple pleasures and happiness.
For my books see my books author blog
Magpies Nest Publishing (shortly to be updated)
Mythica Publishing

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bunny in the Garden — GOT IT!

Bunny in the Garden — Got it!

We have had a rabbit hopping through the garden since spring. We don’t know where it goes to and we don’t know where it comes from. It does not stay long. Sometimes it does not stop at all. We have no objection to it nibbling weeds in the lawn or borders and there is no evidence of damage to anything. Hoppity usually has his ears up listening for trouble. Amazing that he’s still alive. There are plenty of predators in the area.
I have tried to catch him with my camera many times. When I have had it ready he hasn’t appeared. I race to get it and he’s gone, or just disappearing . Today my hubby called to say he was on the lawn. I rushed for the camera. Did not stop to get the focal distance correct and snapped the bunny through the kitchen window — never mind the haze caused by double glazing and the usual distortion of damp mist on the glass. No time to open the door to get a snap. No time to readjust the camera from the past setting.
Okay not perfect, but I now have my dear bunny on record.
No way would we eat him. Neither would we eat the dear squirrels. Unfortunately, a shop in London is selling squirrel meat. No doubt before long they will be hunted down for their flesh as well as the hatred some folk have for them. Already interest is growing. Golly, you would have to suck bones to get anything from them.

See also my
Writing For Joy
Wrinkly Writers
Gladys Hobson — Writer