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Posts tagged ‘The Wind in the Willows’

One day I will find the right words

My friend Terry at Spearfruit nominated me for a MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award.  Terry has become a real friend even though we have never met.  His blog is about his life which has seen some tremendous struggles.  Terry beats  himself up for not always being bright and sunny and grateful and positive.  Terry denies that he is an inspiration.  Terry lives in an RV in a trailer park in Florida – he was meant to be travelling the country with his husband and their dog Roxy.  But Terry has Cancer so instead they are static whilst he undergoes the rigours of Chemotherapy treatment still with the threat of the most major and invasive surgery hanging over his head.  I encourage you to visit his blog and I think you too will be inspired (even if he thinks you won’t, because I am always right)  by this engaging and sweet man who thinks that he isn’t good enough.  He’s good enough for me – and one day we will meet and we will talk nonsense and eat cupcakes and ice-cream and for this reason Terry has to get well.

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

The Rules:

If you have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept it, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

– Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog. Take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.

– Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget on your page (Save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog post). Don’t forget to use the tag #MyUltraAward when you make your post!

– Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions and then nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links.

  1. What is your name:  The name I use for blogging is Osyth which is actually my middle name.  It is my mother’s middle name and that of my eldest daughter.  We pronounce it with a long O as in Oath rather than a short O as in Odd.  It is not my nom de plume though I have published one book in France under it.  I prefer people not to use my actual Christian name when commenting, even if they know what it is.  I’m intrinsically a very private person, despite appearances and I prefer not to reveal my all and ooh-la-la on the net.  You can just call me weird – I’ll answer!
  2. Where are you from:  I was born in England and was raised in the village that Kenneth Grahame of ‘The Wind in The Willows’ lived and I can report that Toad Hall really does exist though disappointingly, I have never managed to find Ratty at home nor out boatin’  when walking the riverbank there.  Most of my adult life was lived in and around Oxford with a few years in London and an 18 month stint in Rome before I had my family with whom I became a reluctant nomad moving almost every year and seldom by choice.  Three years ago I moved to Cantal a sparcely populated area of Southern France and it is the place I call home because it speaks to my heart and it feels like I think home is supposed to feel.  However, this year has mostly seen me in Massachusetts and if things go according to plan I will be returning to New England next year and making a nuisance of myself for a further year or two.
  3. What are you most proud of:   Of course I am proud of my daughters (four and all beautiful and hard-working which given the aforementioned unsettled gypsy life they led in childhood is remarkable) and my husband (with both his brains) and my dog (tiny, feisty and stupidly cute or cutely stupid depending on the mood of the writer) and all the usual things but mostly I think I am kind and decent which seems a simple enough thing, commonplace even, except that I rather think it is becoming a rarity in this modern world of ours and so I am perfectly satisfied to still be that unselfish person and I wouldn’t want to change even though it can leave me depressed and deflated by the actions of others.
  4. How long have you been blogging and why did you first start: I started the blog on a whim just after I moved to  France so about three years ago, and it has evolved in a wholely organic way and probably reflects me fairly well by which I don’t mean that I am a pesticide-free plant or a seaweed-fed sheep but that there is no particular form or discipline to it.  It’s not a cookery or an art or a photography blog and it’s not a diary nor a retrospective of my life, it is not designed to teach anything nor to sell a product or service, it is simply a place that I can share some of the stories that rattle round like marbles in my empty head.  I’m rather proud of the little following I have achieved  but am perpetually anxious that I let people down with my inability to blog to a pattern.
  5. What are your blogging goals:  I honestly don’t have any.  I didn’t expect anything from it and I still don’t.  Which means, with no expectation, everything about it remains a joy.
  6. How do you spend your free time:  I love being outside.  My joy is hiking and I do run (though crimson-faced struggle is a more accurate description) but I had an accident 3½ months ago which has left me unable to do either and extremely tough to live with.  I have a small house in France bought as a maison secondaire which we are doing up slowly, carefully and often frustratingly and I am also doing up our house in Massachusetts which is proving even more frustrating.  I read, of course – anything and all things.  I cook.  And I dream.  Mostly I dream ….

In terms of nominees for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award, I am going to follow Terry who in turn followed the lead of Chatty Kerry who nominated him (she’s pretty wonderful too, by the way) and I’m going to pick just one perfect fruit.  It’s difficult, I have so many that I love but today I’m picking Susan at Our French Oasis because her blog is beautiful, because she writes of  life in France in such a lovely, beguiling and evocative way and illustrates with beauteous photographs and mostly because  she has a heart that seems similar to mine and this is after all about me, me, ME!


PS:  Because there must always be a PS – the title I have chosen is a line from Jack Keroauc who was born in Massachusetts.  It comes from ‘The Dharma Bums’ and has always haunted me ‘one day I will find the right words and they will be simple’.  When I can achieve that, then I will deserve an award.

For the trees have no tongues

Emotography …. I have Claudette at  ‘To Search and to Find’ (strapline ‘happiness in every day’ which I love) to thank for Emotography.  Its so alluringly simple …. post a picture, link to her site so she can include it in her gallery of the week and give, in as many or as few words as your mood dictates, the emotion that prompted the picture or that you felt when you saw the result.

For me today it is HOPE.  When I came upon this scene at Vaughn Hill, Bolton here in Massachusetts it shouted of The Lorax, my favourite of Dr Seuss’s extraordinary catalogue of books read to me as a small child despite being non-American because we had best friends from Boston – he, Hoops,  an English professor she, Betty,  once legendarily said to me, when I was denuding her greengage tree of fruit ‘see how Hoops just bleeeends with the waaaallpaper’ causing me, a gauche English girl to nearly drop plum straight out of the tree so irreverently funny was the image of this studious professor simply a disembodied head, his shirt of palest apricot blending with the silken walls of their drawing room.  The Lorax is a classic.  And of course I read it in turn to my own children.  It co-exists as a children’s classic with  ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, it stands with ‘The Wind in The Willows’ and so many others here un-named as the finest books to read to children and for children to read.  But the message – the message is clear to us all.  Children and adults alike.  These dry lifeless trees standing defiantly in the water, for all the world like the Truffala’s in The Lorax remind me and should remind us all that we must protect what we have.  Be it from feisty little worms (to which these trees have succumbed) or to the greed of industrialists making their own version of Thneeds.   I have hope that we will.  Because we can.  If we will.

I am The Lorax.  I speak for the trees ….


For the trees have no tongues

Apart from talking for the trees I taking the liberty of suggesting the following that they might enjoy the value of taking part with Claudette in her Emotography weekly event: