Monthly Archives: March 2017

Giving our best to our young ones!

As this day approaches it’s end for me,I reflect on the activities of my day as I always try to do.Sometimes,my musings take on a form of observation ,or a reference to a specific event,but today,I want to highlight something that helped me as a human gain perspective about myself.

Obviously you don’t get to my age without making your fair share of mistakes,of without making some decisions that,in retrospect,you wish you hadn’t had done.That,I suppose,is a given for all of us.However,today,I noticed that two children in the supermarket asked their parent or carer what Brexit meant.Now,I thought that each of these young middle school children were obvious ugly interested in their surroundings enough to ask about it.It intrigued me because I feel that citizenship isa very important aspect of growing up,and I always tried to teach my children about the country of their birth,and the humanities subjects as a whole.Now,wether these parents were just so tired,or distracted,or both,they each in turn ga e these children a short sharp rebuff that I found sad.You see,to me,education starts that the critical words of what,when where and how,if not exactly in that order.Now,I get that us adults can’t have the answer to e Rey question posed to us by our children,but surely we would at least want to try to steer them in the right direction.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I was standing near the checkout ready to pay,I would have been sorely tempted to offer up an explanation to these inquisitive children at the very least.You see,children do not have finite attention spans,and the media world co Peres with their other distractions to be their sole avenue of knowledge.Its like that old saying:”Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”,and that is exactly what we are doing when a child opens up like that to us.

Now,,that happened o ver 8 hours ago,but as I’m a nosey person really I have thought about these two children. Tonight and I have wondered wether that rejection of their interest has affected them,and I sincerely hope that on Monday,one of their well meaning teachers will spend time with them,and listen to their co ferns,and answer their well thought out question,as children re our future society,and we owe it to them to reach out to the .
Thank you.


From my Window this morning!

Through the busy commuter traffic,I still hear the birds in their extended dawn chorus,heralding their joy of existence.It encourages me to imitate their jest for life,their stage of performance.Their songs,callings,and tweets,give off a sense of purpose that belied their size and quantity.Whenever their songs is heard,even though their pitches vary and their tempo is almost prestissimo I still feel Ina blissful state of calm as the sounds permeate my consciousness,drawing me to their clutches as it were.

If I were to lose my hearing,I would always treasure the fact that I can,and have over the years,soaked up these sounds,fed off them,and allowed them to percolate in my mind,enfusing as it were,with the textures of the orchestra to act as an emotional envelope to my inner most feelings.So,yes,I know that even on this grey morning,with the drizzle coming down and the grey clouds obscuring the sun’s rays,that I can experience these joyful moments,and grasp just how they can help me.

Like the human voices that act as companions to us to light our pathway through life,we struggle to fully appreciate what we have.Even though me might try to be mindful of these wonderful,life has a habit of crowding out what we are trying to appreciate.Its probably why I feel that if children can be exposed more to natural sounds,sights,and the wonders of the natural world,that they can begin to store up for themselves a reservoir of mindfulness by which they can be equipped to form an attachment in later life,when the pressures that come upon us all as adults tend to crowd out these natural things.

When I was at Great Ormond Street hospital visiting a child a few years ago,I took a walk in the morning around the outlining street,and there,tucked away in one of the back street was a very small park attached to which was a equally small city farm.It was a magnet for children,and adults of all different backgrounds.It struck me then,that it was such a wonderful provision,and it gave people a release from the sheer tension of the city,and of life.These creatures,mostly domestic and basic farm animals brought so much joy to the young folk and adults who looked after them.This affected me because being young isn’t easy,but being young in a large city like London can be extremely tough and I always feel that if you give young people the chance to interact with animals and wildlife that the results are nearly always positive.

So,my muse for today has been the affect of listening to the natural sounds around me ,soaking up their, tempos,their patterns,and their presence.As I try to record as authentically as possible these muses,I’m grateful for the time that is spent in reading my thoughts.


My hour change!

As the clocks show that it’s past nine in the morning,that appears to be the only reference point as such.Missing out on an hour doesn’t seem the same as we are all in the same boat really.That equality of reference probably needs there I suppose because what is achieved in an hour by some people differs greatly from what is accomplished by others.

Our measuring of accomplishments can be a great driver in life.Why,in one hour,a person could prepare a meal and be well on the way to having it cooked.Now,another their person could repair a very small piece of furniture in that hour,or yet another could jog a 10k circuit.These examples,although exhaustive,give a flavour of how we equate so much of our life in time capsules of one hour.Today,that is ,the morning after the clocks went forward,we are all in Sunday mode.To me,from a teenager,Sunday,although a day of rest,was always a day of playing the organ,singing in the choir,in other words,doing church music.Did occupied so much of my time ,with the services being in hourly slots.Now,if that were all there was to it ,then it would not be that interesting,but in my student days ,I,like many others,loved to burn the candle at both ends so to speak.On this particular Saturday,I had gone out for a drink in the hope of listening to some bands .So,my late night became an early morning.So,the sung Eucharist at ten in the morning should have been doable,but I didn’t factor in the hour change and the inevitable happened.

Now,that happened over thirty years ago,and I still remember it.On a positive point,it helped me on a more level of not being so judgemental to me there who might struggle with the clock change this morning.

So,if you like me,struggle with the hour change,you have a friend.

Have a great day though.


Morwena and Vernon take the long walk of contemplation!

As Morwena and Vernon walked back from Pengelly hill,the home of Bill and Gwen Penhaligan,their minds and emotions seemed to be in a state of flux.Morwena had the image of Newlyn quay etched on her mind with a diamond stylus.She knew his style,his use of the light,and the sheer life that he was able to bring to that scene .His picture was just bursting with life,the life of the cruel sea,yet the sea that could feed those who were brave enough to capture its riches.As she contemplated this,her thoughts centred on Pierre and wether she could find a way of seeing him at St Ives.These mental excursions threw up their own obstacles though,and Morwena was aware of the risks to her reputation if word got out that she was speaking to him.In the close knit community where she lived,if would be a real challenge to achieve a meeting with Pierre without repercussions for her,and worse still,for Pierre.

As she meditated on her options,she became aware of Vernon appearing to stumble over a raised cobble.Try as she might,Morwena could only break his fall.Vernon had hit the ground and had appeared to lose consciousness.Morwena remained calm and tried to revive him but he remained lifeless,listless,dead to the world to her at least.As she endeavoured to cajole him into life by talking to him,she realised that he was now showing signs of acute breathing problems.As she was near Ivor He wood,she decided to raise the alarm at their cottage.At first,there was no response to her calls,but as she increased the volume of her calls,Dorothy Henwood came to the door.Dorothy accompanied Morwena to where Vernon was ,and as she saw him,alarms bells were ringing for her too.Dot Henwood managed to ply Vernon with smelling salts,and upon smelling the Brandy on Bernon’s breathe,she implied that Vernon couldn’t take his drink,and should be confined to the barn at the end of the terrace.Dot knew what drink could do,and she didn’t mince her words.Somehow,Morwena felt a sense of humanity from Vernon.She rather liked the fact that Vernon was mortal,and not perfect as he liked to portray himself.

Morwena thought it a bit mean to leave Vernon in the barn,but Dot wasn’t a lady to be argued with,and she promised that she would check on Vernon during the night too.Morwena didn’t want to be escorted home,as she was happy in her own company.She walked the remaining mile or so home cradled in the emotional blanket of Pierre,and the quay at Newlyn,and of her efforts to see him at St Ives.As she hadn’t thought about the details too much,these thoughts were in the form of sound bites.Morwena knew that she herself had broken off with Pierre.She had been quite mean to him,and had said that she never really loved him,and that he was “a dreamer,and not steady”.Of course,that was said in the heat of the moment,those moments we all have,and it was only a few days after the tragic death of her beloved Pa.Morwena had mulled over those words literally hundreds of times,and had bitterly regretted them.Morwena couldn’t let things remain as they were,she had to try at least to reach out and apologise to Pierre.She knew that she had to think about how to go about this.It wasn’t easy for her to explain,and it definitely wouldn’t be easy to tell him that he had been the father of her dead son.As she began to walk slowly to the entrance of her cottage,she felt the cruel twist of fate on her.She was convinced that Pierre had been the father of her son,but even that was enough for her to be branded as a cheap hussey.Morwena wept herself to sleep,but not because of Vernons,no because of her son and his father.

Blue sky overhead!

As the aqua sky above me unite with the songs of the birds in my garden,I opened my eyes to a new day.As each new day heralds potential and that unique newness on our pathway of life,I hope to find ways of enjoying the simple charms my environment affords me.When the wild animals and birds go about their daily life,little do they know that they give us humans such comfort and periods of reflection.Those periods,short as they are,are truly vital in order to help us recharge from the frantic activity of life.

When the sky is this deep blue colour,I don’t need memories,I don’t need pictures from pictures from the internet,I capture the moment that is this sky,this time,this Saturday,this time,this positive injection of colour.By way of a memory though,I always used to feel that my sisters were such good examples of industry and effort,that,as a young boy,they would encourage me to work harder at my music,even when I would far prefer to just hang out at Fistral,or Porthole and Towan,my favourite Newquay beaches.Those times when I would walk from one end of the town from Porthole through Lusty,Tolcarne and Towan,around the Harbour and up past the Atlantic hotel to Fistral.Back then,Fistral wasn’t a surfing centre like today,it had the two hotels,the Atlantic and the Headland,and they stood out as beacons for the well to do to holiday .As a teenager,if I caught the tide right,I could run from Porth to Fistral,and although I lived about 8 miles from Newquay in a Pre-fab council house,or Cornish unit as it was affectionately called,I could easily get out of the house and soak up the Atlantic Ocean.

That rather long memory came about because of the aqua Blue above me this morning,and although my Dorset town is far removed from Newquay it is still a forest across the way,it has the new Forest less than 6 miles away,and the Jurassic coast too ,with its world renowned Purbeck hills.So,really,there are so many scenes of natural beauty that makes me feel truly lucky to have life and to live on the Earth that provides me with everything that I could need and want.

As the suns reflections are captured in my memories of wonderful waves from my childhood,so the sun reflects on the trees in the forest,in the spring flowers that grace the municipal parks and the road sides.Soon,the spring flowers will be over,and we await the Cherry tree blossoms that decorate many front gardens.Like opera divas,like living Carmens,they excite us with their pinks,and their assuredly and confidence in themselves helps us to grow in confidence as it were.

So,my blog post today came from my first awakening of colour,of soft ,meolodious bird song,it drew me back to the coast of Newquay,and to the present beauty that is my Dorset surroundings.Whatever else happens today,I’m glad that I recorded this moment ,this time ,this memory,and as the time moves towards 7,I think of my sisters wanting me to work hard at my music and not to spend all day dreaming,Well,I’m still a dreamer but with a bit of music added in to spice up my life.There are blue chords,blue melodies,blue songs,blue guitars,blue violins and cellos.In fact,blue is quite a wonderful colour ,well,that’s my take on it.

Springing into action!

As the countryside blooms at the onset of early spring,the days take on a more vibrant nature.From my window here in the bungalow that I live,the spring trees are starting to dress the garden,giving it organic energy.My eyes loved the colours of these flowers today,and I found their presence so very pleasing.

Although I have a very limited knowledge of trees and flowers,I love the sheer breathe of colours that endure us,energise us,and injects  a positivity to my life.These colours engage me ,and as I get older,these wonderful colours actually affect me even more.

Of course,there are man made colours as it were and they have an important part to play in how we receive information and how we relate to the world we live in.However,these wonderful spring flowers,and colours affect us profoundly and they draw us closer to the Earth in which we live.


As Morwena tried as she might to compose herself,the memories of her past just came flooding back like a storm torrent.Her defences seemed weak and feeble,as if she just wanted to give herself up to her memories.She knew that she must find some inner strength to rejoin Gwen Penhaligan and try her best to support Vernon who never found conversation easy,let alone ones that were,by their very nature,traumatic,As she entered the reception room again,she was taken aback by the humanity of Gwen,who seemed genuinely concerned about her welfare.

While she had been composing herself,Gwen had seen to it that the men were served with Brandy ,and they would take tea.Morwena wondered how Vernon would cope with this custom,as he was a Methodist teetotal Christian,but she had been so taken away by the picture,that it hadn’t bothered her too much,and her mind was now on Pierre and his picture.He had often spoken f his wish to paint the harbour in oils,and she had been with him when he had sketched it often enough.Quite often,he had patiently observed her efforts at drawing the fish wives as they waited on the quay to help with their husbands catches of a day,and his passion for art was infectious.Gwen then asked an innocent question:”Do you like drawing Morwena”?Morwena replied that her teacher at elementary school had said that she drew well,but Morwena was careful not to give any more details.Then Gwen,as if she knew a little more of a Morwena and her life than she let on asked if she had ever drawn on Newlyn quay.Morwena ,forever quick witted and knowledgeable of how people could extract information without asking a direct question replied that in her class maybe 10 of her class mates would have ,at one time or another,sketched down on the quay.While this might have been true enough,Morwena had been known to have met Pierre at sunrise ,and stayed him all day unto sunset,but she wasn’t about to volunteer intimate information about her life to anyone,let alone Gwen a Penhaligan.

As luck would have it,Bill and Vernon arrived,with Bill looking pleased with himself,and Vernon looking as if he was in a stupor.Morwena thought he looked very red faced,as well as he might,as he had dompromised and imbibed of Bill’s brandy.This,to Morwena ,was quite out of the ordinary,and she seemed shocked.Vernon,on the other hand,seemed not to have a care in the world,but was ositiveoy glowing and even laughing with Bill.

Morwena had a feeling that Vernon had been duped by Bill,and had not obtained any promises as regards the safety of the mine,or that of the miners for that matter.If it had not been for the Painting,Morwena would have felt that the whole event was a complete waste f time,but the sight of the picture lifted her from her depression,and through those oils,those textures,Pierre had once again communicated to her,reached out to her,rescued her.

Their walk back to the cottage was,as it went,extremely cordial,but Morwena knew better than to ask Vernon if he had obtained any concessions from Bill as regards mine safety,as she knew that it would have been futile.When they arrived home,the affect of  the two brandies that Vernon had consumed had had the affect of sending him to sleep right away.This pleased Morwena,as she she sit and think about her Pierre and about their times on Newlyn Quay.her thoughts raced around in her head:Where was Pierre now?Had he gone to London?Had he returned to France?Little did she know that Pierre hadn’t even moved out of the county but had taken up a studio in St Ives.

As she looked at Vernon sleeping ,she thought what a troubled man he was,she thought that he need order,absolute discipline in his life,and she realised that he would always struggle to communicate.She liked it when he was sleeping,as he was often demanding the of her,and she found his roughness and heavy handed ways almost impossible these days.She knew that she shouldn’t forbid him,but she just couldn’t abide him getting near her.So,the night,she lay in their marital bed silently pondering what might have been.Her imagination ,her heart and soul was on the quay at Newlyn,not in the god nags on down the mine,but the day dreams of her Pierre.

Vernon and Morwena struggle with their emotional seas!

Vernon Penpraise ,the mining foreman,the man of integrity,the proud Methodist,the pillar of his community now faced a dilemma:Why didn’t his wife Morwena respect him?This life that had for so many years,appeared straight forward,was now anyth no but that.In fact,it was causing Vernon to question everything that he knew to be right.From the time that he got off his shift,he would try to talk to Morwena,but it was like a veil had come down in front of her,a veil that stopped Morwena from hearing him from accepting that he had rights and needs that weren’t being met in his marriage.

When ,as a child ,he had argued with the kids that he had grown up with,he normally prevailed because he was stronger then them,and his fists could easily crush any opposition.Now,as a respectable member of the tin mining community,he knew that force wasn’t acceptable within his marriage,but he didn’t know how to talk to his wife.He u derstood that she had lost a child,but surely he had too and he had got on with his life as best as he could,so why was Morwena still in black ,still in mourning,still so very cold towards him?

His prayers to the Lord were many and took the form of sentiments that were bordering on a fire within him that he couldn’t distinguish.He knew the Lord as he knew him expected him to love his wife,but he also knew that ,as a married Christian,that they as a couple should “go forth and multiply”.It was so simple to Vernon ,but ,of course,life rarely is that simple,and a ship needs to tack to get the wind,but Vernon was unwilling to do that.As he saw it, Rowena had had time enough to mourn the loss of their child,and now it was time to reunite as a married couple and “be fruitful”.

Throughout his life ,Vernon had always thought that people were somehow laughing at him behind his back.He felt that his taciturn nature ,his Methodist teetotal hatred of drink was secretly looked at as being a sign that he was a cold fish.His gang members were all patrons of the Jolly Pirate in the village,and their passage from a hard shift would very often mean a detour to their favourite watering hole.Now Vernon would often hear his men underground talking about the singing in the Jolly sailing r the night before.One of their favourite tunes was”going up Camborne hill coming down”,and the Cornish Trelawny.These were tunes that Vernon was familiar with ,but the men always stopped singing when Vernon came back from a seam inspection.This left Vernon bereft,isolated,alone,and quite scared and sad about his future.Vernon wished that he could just explain to the men that his beliefs in the Lord didn’t stop him liking music and laughter,but it somehow always fell on def ears.

Of an evening,Vernon would try to busy himself ,trying to forget,while Morwena would sit in the kitchen,either starring into space,or reading her books.Vernon knew that she had always been a really fluent reader and he knew that she had always been really good at sketching.On the one hand,he knew that when she was sketching that she was happy and fulfilled,but on the other,he was resentful of her for not being a good wife.His mother had accused him of being too permissive of her Childish whims ,as she saw it,and Vernon was in a state of total confusion.He wondered what she was thinking about,but he didn’t have the ability to ask her.He knew that ,if push came to shove,that Morwena had been fond of “that artist chap”,but he had hoped that she would have forgotten about him,and his “lazy,daydream ways”.

Before the infant death,Morwena would spend some evenings helping Vernon with his reading and writing,and although Vernon never thanked her ,he really missed her help,and her voice reading the passages from the bible.When Morwena read,she didn’t stumble over the words,and she could pronounce the difficult parts with seeming ease.Vernon had favourite stories that he would demand to be read,like David and Goliath,Moses in the bulrushes,the strength of Samson.Morwena read them to him ,and he soaked up her voice as she read from the holy word.Now,she just sat in the kitchen in a closed off world .She was,to him,the woman with a veil over her head ,enclosed in her world ,and he didn’t know how to enter it.

He knew that Bill Penhaligan had asked for him to visit him to discuss the mine safety issues that were a constant concern.Normally,he would have discussed how to go about this with Morwena as she was very concerned about the safety of the mine,and after the death of her Pa had always wanted to know of any developments that might make any difference underground for the men.Earlier today ,Bill had pressed him as to why he hadn’t been to see him,and he had requested that maybe Vernon and Morwena come to his house for tea on Sunday with Bill,and his wife,Gwen.

Vernon mentioned the invitation to Morwena in the vain hope that she might go with him.He had practised that he should sell the fact that it could mean better working conditions underground .As he broached the subject to Morwena ,and with the most fluent words that he could muster,he was taken aback when Morwena said that she would go,but that she would still wear her mourning gown.Now,as Morwena hadn’t really shown any desire to go out at all since losing her son,this was manna from heaven for Vernon.Although he didn’t say so,but just said:”Sunday it is then”.

As was his Sunday morning custom,Vernon went to church,but without Morwena,who stayed in the cottage with her own thoughts.However,on this day,Vernon was feeling good,as Morwena was going to go with him to Bill and Gwen Penhaligan for tea that day.Vernon took note of the sermon about “having faith the size of a mustard seed”.He felt that the Lord had answered his prayers about Morwena,and that today would be a fresh start for him,a new life ,and he got quite emotional,and the song,the one his men sang in the Jolly Pirate came to mind.

After church ,he spent the afternoon polishing his boots and thinking about what he would say to Bill.As the Penhaligan family had always been looked upon as Cornish gentry,he had almost had an inferiority complex about them,but Morwena had often told him that men and women of all backgrounds should be treated equally.That was foreign to Vernon in oh so many ways,but the words of Morwena,like the words of the bible when she read them always came to his mind.

As 4 o clock arrived,they made their way up the hill,out of the Miners terraces,and into Pengelly where the Penhaligan house was.Vernon was shaking slightly as he took Morwena in his arm,and this giant of a man needed the strength of Samson to walk down the long driveway.He felt that his strength was coming from the Lord,but really ,it was coming from Morwena,who was,by now,leading him ,not to the servants entrance,but to the main ,large panelled oak front door.

As Vernon knocked with a knock of a lawyers clerk rather than a proud tin miner,Morwena stuck the door handle until it almost came off its hinges.Vernon didn’t scold her,but waited for it to be opened.As it did,Bill was his usual articulate eridite self,leaving Vernon to offer up a selection of grunts and jestures of mono syllables.As they sat in their drawing room,Vernon felt that feeling of not:Not knowing what to say,not knowing which k I’ve and fork to use,not knowing wether to talk during tea.He just wasn’t able to communicate.  As tea saw an abundance of food that Vernon and Morwena weren’t used too,they both were very conservative in what they consumed.

Following their tea,Gwen Penhaligan invited  Morwena into one of their large reception rooms,while Bill and Vernon remained where they were to discuss the thorny problem of the safety of the mine.

Gwen was a lady who enjoyed her life,and was known for her charitable works.Morwena hadn’t really ever noticed her around the village though as they would have always kept to their class.As they entered the room,Morwena was struck by the light from the sun as it came in from the large bay window.Gwen picked up on her reaction by saying that it was her favourite room in the whole house.It was South facing and offered up views out into the sea beyond.As Gwen continued her eulogy,Morwen’s eye was drawn to a painting above the fire side.It was of  Newlyn Harbour at high tide,and it showed the fishing fleet waved down after a days catch.As a glance became more and more,she became drawn to it.She soaked up the lines,the oils as it were and she recognised who the artist was.Just then,as if she realised that Morwena wasn’t really listening,Gwen looked at Morwena and said:”It beautiful isn’t it,it’s my pride and joy,and Bill bought it for me when he went to London a couple of months back.”Gwen explained that she had never heard of the artist herself but that he was very up and coming in the art world.Morwena didn’t need for Gwen to read the inscription on the Painting,in fact she didn’t need Gwen to tell her anything about the artist,or the Painting for that matter,fore she knew,she had always known that he,her Pierre would become an artist.

As if to hold back a tear or two,she asked if she could be excused to use the bathroom.Gwen thought that Morwena was still upset about the loss of her son,but Morwena had lost more than a son,much much more.