We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fairytale prompt 1 - The Cowardly King

The story is about a cowardly king who must return home, save a princess, and evade an unwanted lover to break a curse.  Assistance comes in the form of a magic dog.

Ronald sat meekly at the scrubbed wooden table, stirring congealing yolk around his plate. He stole a quick glance at Tabitha as she bustled around the kitchen and instantly regretted it as instead of her trim form his eyes met the malevolent stare of his furry, black nemesis. The cat had parked itself on the table where it could watch Ronald’s every move, so stealthily that Ronald had not registered its presence until it was too late. He dropped his eyes and went back to berating himself for the fear that kept him from standing up for himself. He was so weak-willed, he told himself, he couldn’t even push a cat off a table.

It was only four months since his wife had died. He had spent the first month hiding in his room, alternately weeping and raging. On the first month anniversary of her death, he had crept into the nursery to peek into the ornately carved cradle where his little daughter lay asleep. This was the first time he had really seen her and he was surprised by the strength of the love which he felt for her. He had been afraid that he would blame her for the loss of her mother. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In the soft curve of her little cheek, the delicate pink of her tiny fingernails and the sweet promise of golden curls, she was her mother made new. Ronald gasped as the full sense of his own inadequacy hit him. A vision of the years ahead stretched out before him and he saw himself failing her, again and again. He was hopeless as a king. He would be hopeless as a father. Without his wife to lean on and advise him, he had no chance of meeting her needs – or those of the kingdom.

Haunted by this fear, Ronald dressed in his hunting clothes, left a brief and cryptic note for his chamberlain and fled the palace. He would find a suitable mother for his daughter or he would not come back at all, he vowed. As he rode away down the gleaming path that led into the forest, memories of his own childhood arose. His mother had also passed away at his birth, but his father had been a strong and decisive man, the kind of king who was happiest standing alone. He had overseen every detail of Ronald’s upbringing, changing nursemaids and tutors so often that Ronald could no longer remember any particular name or face, just a ceaseless progression of hands, dressing, undressing, feeding, teaching, caring for his needs without forming any connection with him. The only constant in his life had been his father, a cold demanding presence who constantly expressed impatience with his son’s cowardice.

After two months of travelling, Ronald was no closer to completing his quest, but he had surprised himself with his own resourcefulness and ability to survive. To tell the truth, he enjoyed the freedom of being on his own and almost forgot to be scared for days at a time. Then he had stumbled on Tabitha’s cottage, neat and trim, a bank of cheerful daffodils waving in the breeze. She had welcomed him in and his newfound independence had rapidly dissolved under the onslaught of her affectionate concern. She was everything he had been looking for, young and attractive yet motherly, an accomplished housekeeper, decisive and confident. At first it had been a relief to surrender to her care, to allow himself to be enfolded in her nurturing embrace and to relax, knowing that she would take care of everything. It was the cat which turned out to be the fly in the ointment.

That cat. So smug, self-satisfied and sure of itself. It was insufferable. Ronald sat contemplating it as has sat in the garden, having been shooed from the kitchen to sit in the sun while Tabitha cleared the table. Suddenly, a lean gray dog leapt the fence and charged through the flower beds. The startled cat bristled momentarily before scrambling into the safety of the apple tree. The dog turned and grinned at Ronald and then loped off down the road, stopping only to pee on the front gate. Ronald looked at the cat, meowing piteously as it clung to a topmost branch of the apple tree. He laughed aloud and ignoring Tabitha’s call, he strolled behind the cottage and saddled his horse. With a jaunty wave, he urged his horse into a canter and set out alone in the direction of his home and his child.

Sunday, December 01, 2013


In a basket ringed with pine, five beeswax candles exhale honey-scented prayers, awaiting the light.

Our Advent wreath. LOVE LOVE LOVE the beeswax candles (the little angel is beeswax too).
Good value - this is their third advent season (although we do get Jesus a new birthday candle each year.)

This is the whole Advent set-up. Wreath (and snuffer), magnetic advent calendar
(with all the nativity figures in the little cupboards, to be added one by one) and at the back, our Jesse tree
(you can just see the earth hanging there for Creation, in front of Jack and his beanstalk on the curtain -
the boys will colour in a symbol every day and add it to the tree).

Friday, August 24, 2012

In lieu of sleep

Reading Tolstoy at 2am. In the midst of battle, a long loud rumble of thunder fires the artillery to life. I rescue damp washing lit by lightning flash.

Honey stirs. I snuggle. Rain streams down as she feeds. The boys dream on, warm and undisturbed.

Friday, January 28, 2011


An improbable flash of purple on green - a kingfisher darts to the dam.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


UV so strong that even the sunflowers turn their faces away.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The HOTTEST day of the year

Frozen raspberries melt to a mouthful of sweetness and seeds.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Parked in the sun

Air radiates from the dash, too hot to breathe. I drive with only my fingernails touching the wheel.