Sunday, November 19

November Bonfire

Nothing makes the potter happier 
than a quiet Sunday afternoon 
sitting watching the old branches and the autumn leaves burn 
as the smoke flies up wards in the still air.

Saturday, November 18

Cabinetmaker's Tower Warrington

 This iconic tower in the skyline of Warrington town centre...cannot be saved...they say.

How could a town allow that to happen.

 This was once a Cabinet makers factory. 
As Ben our son studied as a cabinet has always been of interest to me.
 This building is part of the to be demolished..along with so much of the architectural history of ancient Warrington.
Those guardian angels on the golden gates in front of the Town Hall...must be weeping angels...just like the ones in Dr. Who. 

Tuesday, November 14


Donaghadee and the daisies that I picked as a child at Ballyferris to bring back to the caravan for mum.

You're still my favourite.

Monday, November 13

Snape Lane

 When I told my mother I was getting married to the man who is now my husband....she tutted and commented that it was a real shame to lose my surname for the name...Snape.

She said it had no poetic ring to it.

I kept my Ulster name for a while and double barrelled with Snape.
Geraldine McClelland- Snape
What a mouthful. 
I soon got rid of that.

Then I found out that a snape is an old english word having two meanings.


also sneap"to be hard upon, rebuke, revile, snub," early 14c., from OldNorse sneypa "to outrage, dishonor, disgrace," probably related to similar-sounding words meaning "cut" (cf. snip (v.)). Verbal meaning "bevel theend (of a timber) to fit an inclined surface" is of uncertain origin orconnection. Snaiping "rebuking, reproaching, reviling" is attested fromearly 14c.

Surname meaning for "Snape"

English and Scottish: habitational name from any of various places in England and southern Scotland, for example in North Yorkshire near Bedale, in the Lowlands near Biggar, and in Suffolk, so named with Old English snæp ‘area of boggy land’. In Sussex the dialect term snape is still used of boggy, uncultivable land.
More than that I started going to Suffolk and regularly visited the village of Snape and The Maltings...where Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears set up the Snape Maltings Music Festival.
Wow....that made Snape even more attractive.
It didn't end there... oh no.
Next thing I discovered was that the last queen of Henry VIII...Catherine Parr.. lived and married second time to John Neville 3rd baron Snape Castle in Yorkshire....well they say that's God's own county I hear.
I'm only an Irish woman so I'm believing what I'm told you understand.
Now...the potter and I have a little retreat up on the bay...that's Morecambe Bay...The Bay.
We started exploring the limestone bulge that surrounds so much of that lovely part of England.
And one day I shout at the potter.."Look...Snape Lane ...lets go up there."

I've started taking pics of this magic little secret lane regularly as the seasons change.
We went on Sunday and these are the up to date snaps of it.
No white lines here.
Very little traffic...and how I love the way the fields have been given appropriate titles. 

  ...that's me and my shadow...Gerry Snape

...we stop at the first bend in the road to see the view over the countryside...

...the hedges have been given their autumn coiffure...ancient hedges protecting even older stone walls...I think of Robert Frost's wonderful poem about dividing and protecting neighbours...


...this was our discovery on Sunday...the naming of dad often talked about the names of the fields at his home farm in meant so much to him and he would recite them to us in our city lives...

...this one is "The Pond Field"...where sheep graze on the gentle hill that dips down into it...
...and Snape Top the top...

..up into the top of the lane and the road is bounded by high stone walls covered in ancient roots of 
ivy....I go to see what they have twisted around this year and gather the dead branches from the fallen leaves underneath...

...looking west to the top of the hill under the yellowing canopy of late autumn trees....

...looking east back to where we have come...

...light and shade and a view through to old established trees...

...and sunlight filters through to light the ivy casting many blue shadows on the stones...

I can't write any poetry yet about this lane.
It's almost too much to think that way yet.
And I'm not giving you directions to get to's secret.
Maybe one day.

Friday, November 10

The Last of the Roses

It's cold today and the north wind is making it feel even colder.
The potter has lit the fire in the front room with the ash logs he bought from  our young neighbour.. They burn slowly and burn with a steady heat and there are no sparks flying from them.
I'm always glad of that.
I'm wrapped up in my Donegal mohair rug to write this at the P.C.
I find it very hard to steel myself each year as I help my sister (@rosiemcclellandart) with her Donegal workshop in the summer. That's because I would buy a handwoven rug every year if I could ...they are so delicious.  Can I really call a mohair rug ...delicious?...I just have.
This post is really about the cold wind today...I've been sidetracked...

We have two standard rose bushes in the small front gardens. One either side of the door.
They've been there for thirty years or more and always surprise me with the abundance of pretty little pink roses.
I suppose I bought them in memory of my dad. I loved his garden and especially loved the roses he planted there.
But today the wind threatens to finish them off by blowing the last few petals from the trees.
So a little pic to remember... when the dark days really arrive this winter.
For one thing is certain.
Winter is coming.

Thursday, November 9

a Poem for Thursday

The prompt today was from the delectable you remember when she didn't turn up at the Writers Thursday Morning and so we wrote as the prompt...
"Eileen is missing".
She was there this morning...and gave us a very apt one for the time of year.
"Things that go bump in the night".
Some scary ghoulish stories emerged.....some great poetry..and another chapter in the latest detective story by Liz Hedgecock.
Just back from the academic and intellectual air of the Poetry Festival Aldeburgh....
What did I write...I wrote a bit of doggerel.....

Thing that go Bump in the Night
Shut the door turn out the light
Snuggle down   say night night
Head on the pillow eyes shut tight
End of another day.

Sleep doesn't come      brain's in gear
Too many thoughts in your head I fear
Mindlessness needed    a glass of beer?
Legs numb where you lie.

Lie on your left   lie on your right
Lie on your back     see if it might
Help you to drift off into the night
Dream a bit on the way.

Kick off the bedclothes  far too warm
Stretch your neck   stretch your arm
Count to eight       could eat a barm!
Maybe you ought to pray

Him beside you roars like a bull
Give him a shove     merciful lull
Silence again      brain again full
Feel like you're going to cry.

All of a sudden        a noise on the stairs
Wide awake now        wonder who dares
Challenge the noise maker both of you glare
Hoping it just goes away.

Tiptoeing over     turning the knob
Opening the door   viewing the job
Sigh with relief     it's only the dog
with his new slimey toy on the stair.

Back into bed                shivery cold
Cuddle the pillow       hottie now cold
Sheets in a tangle  blankets now cold
May as well brew up some Char.

Wednesday, November 8

Inspiration...Time and Tide.

There's so much "stuff" out there...apart from in here 
...that's at The Potters House....I mean.
Then every now and again you see something and some art touches a very deep spot in your soul.
That's how we felt seeing the work of Roger Hardy in The East Coast Cafe in Aldeburgh.
An Exhibition called ...Time and Tide


From the reedy banks of the Alde river he collects driftwood and over time turns it into stunning assemblages.
I have always been an edge walker...that's the edge of the tide.
Whether Ballyferris in Northern Ireland...our favourite beach in Spain or nowadays Morecambe Bay.
And if you are such a walker you can't help but love how the sea takes what it can..changes it and throws it back up on the banks and beaches when it 's finished with it.

This is worth a look online for any assemblage lover of art and walker on the edge.