Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Of Bone Trees and Old Cloth

A bone tree
Where drying limbs wait
Fingers or claws? Time will tell...

Voices waiting to be heard
Among bones and lichen
Horns and vintage cloth
Foraged horsehair with ferns and flowers yet to be pressed
A badger in red velvet
Hands await their silvering
A parcel sealed and ready to be sent...

Saturday, 10 May 2014


A dilly dallier by nature, a sitter on fences and a to-er and fro-er, was dear indecisive Ninnie. Life was the most terrible series of quandaries and decisions terrified the life out of this little one. Some time ago, she found herself at a crossroads in the forest and stayed there for three whole days. It would have been longer, had a traveller not taken pity and encouraged her to take tea in the village to which she was headed. How hungry Ninnie was, but, carrot cake or chocolate cake, how could she ever decide? Luckily, she was very hungry and so she ate both!

I'm sure that you  now understand the extent of Ninnie's dilly dallying and may imagine  that it makes life a somewhat tedious and drawn out affair, which of course, it can. Quite often by the time Ninnie had decided on breakfast it was already dinner time.
Have you ever heard the phrase that two heads are better than one? Dear Ninnie took this saying quite literally and fashioned herself an extra head from a burlap sack and a bag of straw. Needless to say, this experiment was rather unsuccessful as Ninnie's second head remained unhelpfully silent!

It had been an odd spring, as unsure and indecisive as the dilly dallier herself, as if unclear as to which followed next summer or winter and so the two battled it out on a rather regular basis.
On this one particular evening the rains beat the ground to a pulp and the wind, well, the wind tore the heads off flowers and threatened to pull the trees out of the ground they called home. Late in the afternoon Ninnie's neighbours had shouted warnings to each other over the low growl of oncoming weather and most sought safety in storm shelters in and around the village.

Ninnie was at a loss, she had only just decided on porridge and it was cooking nicely on the stove. Wafts of cinnamon and vanilla filled the cottage and infused the green peas and carrots she had added to the pot, it was dinner time after all.
As the winds grew wilder and the weather fouler, Ninnie was forced to come to a lightening speed decision (for Ninnie, that is) to stay and eat her porridge. Sat at her table she was terribly proud of her decisiveness, which made the slightly odd combination of cinnamon-ed and vanilla-ed carrots and peas all the more delicious.

Perhaps in overexuberant celebration, or in simple foolhardiness, Ninnie threw open her window with a giggle and challenged the storm to do it's worst. Which, of course it did! The fierce wind pulled a large, old oak out of it's home and deposited it on top of Ninnie's tiny cottage.

When the Governessa pulled Ninnie out from under the heavy door she still had the handle of a tea cup between her fingers, as she removed it the Governessa sniffed the air, green peas and cinnamon? Surely not...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Of Letters, Postcards and Shrouds

Tales Told and bound

Postcards sealed and ready to be posted

What once peeked from walls now adorns the wrappings of both postcards and letter

A fragile doll shrouded and awaiting her journey of four wheels and wings

Gilded lavender and a tale penned

A silvered crow feather sits above ferns and sealing wax

A new journey begins...


Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Story of Nan Who Told Some Very Tall Tales

Nan was a delighter in tall tales, in fact, the taller the better. She would stand atop a large rock and proclaim her fantastical adventures to star and tree, crow and worm and into any ear she could borrow for an hour or three.

She spoke of old ladies who lived in vinegar bottles, a mouse that could eat a giant in one mouthful and of a red haired girl carried off by an eagle. Of course, there were many more where they came from and if you gave the merest wiff of a hint. Even by accident and completely unintentionally that you would like a story, well, she'd be off again. Eyes rolling, arms waving and lips moving ten to the dozen!

There were those, however, who did not take kindly to Nan's colourful stories. They called her a trickster and an untruth teller. To which, Nan would put her fingers in her ears and poke out her tongue. Not before she'd ask them which was their favourite mind.

One night, by the silvery light of the moon, Nan told a spectacular tale of a monkey who flew up into the sky and sped past star and planet to who knows where. She told of a far off land where bears wore a moon on their chest and a magical crane wove exquisite cloth, from strands of it's own silken feathers.

Nan was just about to begin her next tale when it happened. Rough hands grabbed her tiny arms, lashed her to a chair at the end of a very long plank and plunged her, chair and all into the cold, dark waters beneath her feet. When they winched it back up, Nan was nowhere to be seen. The loudest voices said that tiny Nan had slipped from her bonds and perished at the bottom of the lake. Those who whispered had other stories to tell...

 It is said that a water dragon heard tell of a mysterious tale teller in a far, distant land. Now this particular dragon, loved nothing more than a gripping yarn and so he travelled day and night, valley, moon, sea and mountain to find her. When at last he arrived, she told him her very best tale of all, so overjoyed was the dragon, that he scooped her up and flew high up into the sky and down into the lake at breakneck speed. In his excitement, laughing as only a dragon can, shooting fireworks from his nostrils, he rolled like a happy pup one too many times and Nan slipped out of his grasp.

Down and down under the water she went, where, it is told, that she met a girl named Mildred who was covered in pondweed and had splendid furry feet. They talked of swimming with the otters in the river over the hill and Nan decided to stay a while. At least, that is, until the Governessa invited her for tea under the roots of the old willow tree...