Friday, May 21

Penketh Ramblings.

I've lived in this area, all be it in three different houses for nearly 40 years, and I'm ashamed to say that I've moaned a lot about the fact that I wasn't near the sea or in the country or whatever. I wanted to be in an edgy place full of elemental beauty with tons of historical backround to it. So shallow! Well I discovered a while ago that the place name,"Penketh", is the joining of a couple of old english words. Pen meaning edge and Keth meaning woods. Correct me if any one knows better please! There was a lot of knocking down went on over those 40 years. Bulldozing away old farms and local Manor Houses, very sad. But recently the large houses nearby have been saved and beautifully renovated and I think that maybe there is a new feeling of pride coming. So because of this I'm going to put up a blog of the area that I live in and surprise myself and hopefully others at how good it all is, if you only look for it! Shakespeare knew  a thing or two about this place when he wrote about Friar Penketh and his part in the conspiracy to over throw the English throne. So history.

In 1868 the Heath was broken up. Some was given for commercial use, some for a recreation ground and we are lucky enough to have almost an acre of it for our garden and field. but the rest was given over for the place where I want to start this new series. The dead centre of Penketh! Our beautiful ancient cemetery.

I'm sure that the bluebells that thrive in it are the original flowers from the ancient Heath.

It's a place of great peace and beauty.

And I'm glad that it has been maintained in the way that it has, for it's a paradise for birds and squirrels.
So there it is, and if you are at all interested in knowing any more history of this place, you can find the information at 

Thursday, May 20

A Poem for Thursday.

I was looking through the note book that I keep with all my bits and pieces of thoughts in, and remembered this lot. It's not quite poetry and it's not all mine. But my love of the sea, or at least of being by the sea prompts me to put this post together.
" It's all there.
It's all in the sea.
The battle of life is there,
And fate.
And the inevitability of it all.
And the purpose."

" It's the battle of life - 
The turbulence of the sea.
And life's pretty turbulent, isn't it?
I am very fond of the sea of course;
I have been fond of the sea all my life.
How wonderful it is,
Yet how terrible it is.
But I often think...
What if it suddenly changed it's mind,
And didn't turn the tide?
And came straight on?
If it didn't stop...
And came on ..and on... and on... and on...
That would be the end of it all!
L.S.Lowry 1963 [Salford artist].

....And I give you the faces,
- not the permanent masks
But the faces balanced in the toppling wave -----
And I give you the sea and yet again
The sea's tumultuous marble,
With Thor's thunder or taking his ease akimbo,
Lumbering torso, but fingertips amarvel
Of surgeon's accuracy....."
Extract from, Train to Dublin by Louis MacNeice[ Belfast poet].

The lonely tree
Looks out to sea
Looks out to see the weather soft
And seabirds
Flying high aloft.

Muckross Point Donegal.

Tuesday, May 18

Garden Goodies.

I'm a bit of a leave-it-where-it-is gardener, especially with things that seed themselves. Along with every thing else this year, the dandelions have put on a super show. It must have been the hard winter and they must be afraid that if they don't produce enough seed this year they will die out! Ha! But what with the recipe page in the papers  suggesting dandelion flower fritters, I thought how about some cordial. I always make elderflower cordial so I attacked this in the same way.
                                    First, find your dandelions.

In the cracks in the paving.

Hiding under the forgetmenots.

Snuggling up to the tulips.

Collect enough to put in a pan with some cold water.
Bring the water up to the boil and turn off the heat.
Leave in the pan until the water has cooled.
The water will have taken on a golden tint.
Add a measure of sugar to the pan [ I tend to pour until there is  a saturated mixture!].
Put back on the heat and stir until the sugar has melted.
Squeeze a lemon into the mixture.
When cool bottle and store in the fridge.
This cordial is yummy with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon, or as the sweet base of a summer smoothie.