Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunshine on the kitchen table

The house is inside outside upside downside and all in a middle of muddles. Sofa in the kitchen, kitchen table in the garden. What is going on?

Pixie went to the vets and is not too bad and had an injection, but doesn't like being in the car. She has a runny nose and is using her tongue as a hankie.

NB. Mug by Gwili Pottery, Carmarthen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One lost cat

She woke early to a blue sky day that promised summer and butterflies. The morning began to fill with gentle noises, a swallow or two, the strange vocalization of a black rook, wren and robin song and then cathedral bells, hushed and distant. She sat on the bench in the garden and chuckled. She was reading, and try as we might we could not get between Her and the book, even though we managed a cat pile of three on her lap! We did not want Her to read this book. We did not want Her to realize that She too is Under the Paw.

Tom Cox, who wrote the book, has six cats too, and he knows who is in control. The last thing we need Her to do is realize this. But today we stole Tom away from his cats and he had came to walk with us.

Past Glyn's house where Nadolig basked in the warm sun and looked very Mediterranean.

Up the hill where the grass gave off small breaths of pollen as we walked by, like smoke wisps, and sun bleached out the colours.

We were walking slowly. I have a sneezing cold again and Maurice became camera shy. Elmo and Kiffer kept being distracted, by cows, butterflies, long grass and the rattlewinged dragonflies. And the sun, so hot. By the gate Kiffer decided that Tom was definitely part of the cat clan, more cat than human and very comfortable to lie on. But then Kiffer hid in the long grass and bracken. Too hot to work and walk.

We walked on, Elmo and I, up the hill to the high top where we sat for a while in sunshine and warm wind , watched the birds fly, buzzards and ravens and kestrel, and posed for David.

On the other side of the hill it was warmer, but after a while it was time to go. So back down the hill to find Kiffer. But now Elmo decided the only place to be was in the shade, so off he went, into the long grass and bracken too! She does not like to leave us up the hill, so while She searched I hung around Tom's neck like a scarf, but no Elmo, no Kiffer, so down the hill we went without them.

They sat for a while and talked in the garden and David took photos of cats and the house and Tom and the wheelbarrow, but still no Elmo, no Kiffer. Then Tom and David said goodbye and She went back up the hill to find the naughty ones. Sure enough there was Elmo, at the top of the hill, seeing how well his fur went with the golden grass. He seemed pleased to see her. But no sign of Kiffer.
She went restlessly back to work.
Kiffer did not come for supper when She called us in.
Later, back up the hill, with Elmo and Martha, calling, calling, and hearing, maybe the wind or the cry of a buzzard, bleat of a lamb, rustle of grass. No Kiffer. Calling, calling. The lowing of a calf, a rabbit in the grass, mouse squeak, gate rattle. No Kiffer. Now She was really worried. Kiffer is sociable, would go to anyone. Might he have wandered off, away over the hill? Could he really be lost? Would we see him again? He has not been long with us but he is written so large in his kiffed character, a small bear of a cat.
The hill seemed so big all of a sudden.
We walked back down, slowly, slowly, looking back, calling, calling. No Kiffer. She would try again tomorrow and hope that he would be safe in the short night, from foxes and badgers. Down through the farmyard, She worried. Should She go back for one more look? Maybe he had gone further up? We walked through the gate and there was Glyn, outside his house. And Kiffer, stalking nonchalant through the long grass, not a care in the world.
I would say by the way she stooped to pick Kiffer up and cuddle his great cat weight close that She was pleased to see him.

Dreaming of whales

It would seem that She has plans to run away to cold lands and leave us. Bad woman. Loyalty alone presses us to help. Let Her have Her dreams. But should She go, speed Her back where we will ignore Her and cold shoulder Her into remorse!
Click on this link to help take the woman away to a cold land of penguins and snow.

Evening walking

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A new day

And the morning garden is full of the hush rush and whisper flutter of small birds' wings. Fledglings fill the trees and roses. Bluetit and greattit, robin and wren. Jackdaws make a string of jet black beads across the pale sky as they fly from their night roosts to their day time places. Crows caw and squabble even in flight and swallows are too few, but chatterful. Fat bees scent the garden as they push into the flowers stirring their perfume into morning air that is clear and clean. You can almost feel their gentle bee song. Roses open on a new day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moth dance.

In the late almost dark of twilight gloaming we walked up the hill, shadowcats all. The lane held warmth still from the days sunshine. Once this lane was wide enough for a cart to drive through, but now walls have tumbled and gorse has grown to make a narrow path. As the dogs walk they brush the pollen from the heavy grass flowers and it rises like smoke.
On the way home we pause in the tunnel of trees to listen to the night. Leaves make mosaic patterns against a blue dark sky. Moths dance in their own light, flecks of the moon fallen to earth and their wings makes the faintest moth song in the stillness of early night. We are cupped in the darkness beneath the trees.

Ginger, big, beautiful

Just as She was about to start work She checked Her email only to find one from the very elegant and quite feline Vivian French. We are hoping that it does not give Her too many ideas, but are all amazed and astonished by the photographs of tigers and monks. Viv's email reads-

This is extraordinary
The tiger temple in Thailand is a place where an extraordinary bond between man and the world's biggest cats has been formed. The tigers here are so peaceful its almost as if they have accepted Buddhism as their religion. In fact, they even sit for the meditating sessions with the monks and kneel down in front of them as it they are the gurus. The tigers are so docile that the monks have to sometimes train them to fight otherwise they would lose all their power of self protection.
The link started in 1999 when a sick baby tiger, orphaned after poachers shot its mother, was brought to the monks. Within a few years several other tiger cubs similarly orphaned by poachers had arrived. The most amazing thing is none of the cubs turned out ferocious on growing up. The monks believe that these tigers are none other than the former Buddhist disciples who have taken rebirth in the same place.

The tigers live in a temple in Thailand at a place called Kanchanaburi and there are pictures of them all over the web, and videos on youtube, and you can see more photos here

Turning of the circle of the world.

New moon and solstice. Powerful. Catclaw silver in the sky. Curlew call into the moth dancing darkness. Honeysuckle, rose and mouse scent in the garden. Night time starlight bliss. Midsummer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calendar of days

Today when She should have been painting polar bears She has been helping us with our calendar instead. At the moment the calendar runs from July 2009 to December 2010. It shows pictures of us and has some words but few, and marks important days like our birthdays. It is A3, spiral bound, heavy, thick, beautifully designed by Jane.
As the year goes on it will change. She might do a little drawing of a cat on the front and sign it, but if She does She will have to practice first as She is not very good at drawing cats! You can order one by emailing Her. At the moment they cost £20 plus post in UK.
(Her email is on Her website on the menu bar top and bottom.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunslant and bird shadow

Today is a sunshine and shadow day, a bee buzzing birdsong day, a butterfly wing and blossom day. Today is a day when sharp bird shadows run fast across the ground like mice. Today will be a day of heat and languid rest. So we walk to the hill top in the slant light of early hours. And we walk like a string of ginger pearls, like an abacus of cats, like a daisy chain.

And on our return we look for a place where the sun has spread out a warm shawl for us to curl on.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shadow cats and shadow birds

It had been quiet in the studio for a while so I was sent up to see what it was that She was doing. Up on the roof, scritch scratch at the window then push push and in! And She was painting a black bird flying. Raven.

Later we pulled Her out from the house and up the lane in the early evening light. Foxgloves towered and hummed with promiscuous bees.

On the hillside the sun painted dark green shadowcats to walk beside us. There were ravens here too and shadow ravens so we could not count how many flew and how many were deeper black shadow birds.

Choughs also called from the high rock. Clown birds with their red beaks and fingertip wings. Through the long grass the little people of the air moved, more numerous than the hairs in a cats coat.

Now it begins to fall into twilight again. Time to watch the colour melt from the day. And the last colours to fade are always the deep pink of the campion flowers and the firebright ginger of our fur.


We have discovered how it is that humans stay upright. They have strings that are only sometimes visible. Like puppets. Below you can see Hannah's strings.......

and here you can see that someone has cut them!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Land of Cath Palug

On this quiet evening She left behind the dogs, left behind the camera, walked to the high hill top and Kiffer and I walked too. My fur glowed rose in the evening light as the sun set red over the sea.
So still an evening that you could hear the moth wing buzz as they rose from the grass beneath our paws, could hear a feather drop like the skylark song, could hear the sheep across the fields and way away the horses drum hoofbeats. So still we could hear the badgers yicker yak and tumble outside the set like a city under wind twisted thorn trees. So still we could hear the rustle of bracken and then see the red mask of fox face as she hunted, searching for fat pheasant. Summer sleek and dark, she blended with the shadows on the hillside, but we watched her sure footed rambling, nose down, tail up, dark back and robber's mask.
The sea so calm in made a perfect mirror for the sky to look at her beautiful face. The air so clear that if you looked towards the north the coast of Wales stretched out, beyond Snowdon and up to North Wales, where Cath Palug the great cat of Wales still haunts the hills. The land looked like faery islands. Beautiful.
Home in the twilight and the white flowers glowed like fallen stars and the moths grew larger, more numerous and early bats flitted in their aerywinged hunt and the fox bark and badger call laid claim to the land and to the darkness.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A calendar of days.

We are excited because the lovely lady Jane has been putting together a calendar of our fine gingerness and we hope that soon it will be ready and that people might like to follow us through the year. We have seen glimpses of it and it looks full of ginger. There will be more news of it soon.
Meanwhile the day is one wrapped subtle gray, a pearl day of soft light and gentle rain. In the garden the grass is jungle long and good for hiding. The sky is full of raucous teenage jackdaws and pied robber birds, but gentle whitethroats sing like nightingales in the blackthorn bushes that are so emerald. Swallows sweep low, taunting and tempting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Silver gold and glorious

... and so, as we stepped into the garden we were awe struck by the golden orb of moon that rose into an azure sky and lit the remains of the day and the dimmity darkness of the scented twilight land.
Each night the light of day hangs a little longer in the air. Each full moon is beautiful, but this has clothed itself in an imitation of sunlight. Glorious.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Etched out by fire at day's end.

Plotting mischief, in the long grass I wait.

Over the hill we walk, She hobbles. We walk slow so that She can keep up. The evening sun is sinking to the sea.

Foxglove flowers spear the blue sky.

To the top of the rock, so high I climb and then pretend that I cannot get down.

Then together we watch and wait for the sun to sizzle yet again into the sea, and we are dark silhouettes outlined by fire.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The thief of shadows

Almost night and as we walk the bounds of the village we find that we are at the time of perfect balance, caught between day and night so that even though the moon is bright there are no shadows. Or maybe it is because the shadow thief has taken them all to the shadow lands where he holds them all prisoner forever in the light.
There is no colour in the world but darkness and silver. The ocean of air is filled with cloud and the wind has swung around to the north. The air is scented heavy with flowers.
Maybe the shadows will escape and be back with us tomorrow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Evening song.

The wind that sings in the summer leaves is a warm wind. The butterflies have handed over the skies to moths, though some colour still hangs in the world and no stars shine yet in the still blue sky. The bone white moon rides across and silver-blues the sea. The evening is hush, so hush that we hear the aerymice on the wing and the moth wing hum and the leaf song and the grasshopper warbler summoning starsong. Distant cows call, a dog barks across fields. The sea is so still that the surf song is absent from the evening's symphony.
Perhaps summer has come at last.