Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deep Within The Heart Of Darkness

The picture above shows a stepladder descending in to a deep water tank.

Briefly then?
The reason that I am so cold and wet?
Well, I have spent a not insignificant part of my day bailing mud and water over my head from the bottom of my cistern.
After the coldest night in living memory my water decided to cough and give up the ghost. I am pretty sure that it isn’t the cold that has done it though as the event was preceded by a harbinger….
So on a bitterly cold day I have been underground and underwater.
I have cleaned out everything that I can get to easily and there is now a small trickle restored but I have a feeling that a large hole is going to have to be dug behind the house in order to get normal service back online.
Sometimes the joys of a remote mountain farmhouse seem a little more tenuous than others. There is a certain appeal in being able to complain to a water company or perhaps claim on household insurance.
Up here we have to make our own entertainment.
And yet you know what. Really. I love it.
It is things like this and the tales that can be exaggerated from it that make life worth a damn.
So as I replace the large cast iron lid on the underground reservoir that has served me so well and the skin on my hands freezes to it and peels slightly…..
As I stand here head to foot in freezing sludge with slim prospect of a shower.
As I watch Jupiter ride over the snow.
I know. I can boil up some of this snow for a shower.

And this is me. Deep underground.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Alien Perspective

A few years ago I was on the lookout for pictures to go with some little snips of verse that I was writing.
For various reasons I wanted to keep them out of the other things I did.
The class I am going to on Saturday morning thought they were OK so I will wave them at you.
An alien perspective

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If Not Then

Come in the spring. Come after the equinox.
But if not then, then when the cuckoo calls.
Or if not then, come when the may blooms.
And if not then, we'll sing June's song.
Save if not then, lets sit together,dust July and August still.
And if not then, share cool woods shade in Indian summer.
But not now. Not when the wind blows.

Monday, November 08, 2010


We were ever conscious of Marius, No minotaur but rather a lumbering giant of a Limousin who sought out, like we did, the cool air under the village with his herd.
Pools were uncommon back in those days. Oh we could progress in a cloud of pungent blue two stroke exhaust to the ‘lac’ at Creon but this took time.
And so when a break was needed from the overheated game of ‘belote’ was needed ‘les caves’ drew us. Just across the field from our dormitory geometric openings in the soft golden stone led us down to another world.
Hollowed out many years before as a store for grapes and other farm produce, largely abandoned now in favour of more industrial solutions. The entrance held a few forgotten pieces of farm machinery which when passed led to vast cathedral spaces with roofs supported by towering oolithic limestone pillars. Huge pools of air held in calm cool mystery.
There were few landmarks within and beyond the sunlight and the sounds of the outside we would sometimes turn off the lamps we carried.
Sitting quiet in the dark the drips fell from roof above to unexpected amplification in small subterranean pools.
Always though, if you listened closely enough, you could hear the soft breathing and the gentle movement of the cattle. Sometimes close enough to catch their warm animal scents but usually quietly avoiding. Following somehow, without our convenience of light, where Marius led.