Saturday, August 04, 2012

A haiku a day...

New velvet soil bed
for your overgrown roots: grow
little sickly plant!

Bobbing in the sea,
silent we float amongst waves,
then laughter erupts.

The wheels go around,
we glide along, the world flies 
by, as we zoom free.

Third floor balcony,
the geranium lady
nods, solitary.

Sinking in the bath,
anxiety bubbles up,
cold, I soak in it.

"you'll never finish!"
l'oiseau de mauvaise augure
screeches in my ear.

Dancing wild, singing
at the tops of our voices,
Lovin' life tonight.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

A haiku a day...

I smell marigolds:
childhood garden scents condensed,
nostalgic perfume.

Cicada tempo,
crazy insect jazz rythyms,
bedtime serenade.

Butterflies play chase,
spinning circles together
for an airborn kiss.

Mushroom stroganoff:
too much wine in the sauce makes
for a boozy meal.

Supermarket sweep,
miles of aisles, fill the basket,
then escape Carrefour

A balmy evening,
the nuns keep cool with icecream,
lick, pray, shiver, lick.

Lined up in the heat,
spontaneous siesta,
three peas in a pod. 


Saturday, July 21, 2012

A haiku a day...

A rainbow, cobbles
glistening after the rain,
a wine bar refuge.

An impromptu feast,
chez nous, our little flat full -
there aren't enough forks!

Grass underfoot, I
am happy, the cool blades stroke
my wandering toes.

Awake, I linger
in the sofa nest we built,
our lazy cocoon.

Old lady in red
surveys the street stroking her
pink geraniums.

Guitar serenade,
in the little square where we
sip aperitifs.

As I run, it rains,
the hot tarmac smells damp as
my warm limbs cool down.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A haiku a day...

Tripod, camera,
timerswitch, a flash; the lone
photographer smiles.

Elegant lady
in an old gold suit sweeps rose
petal confetti.

Quick dash to market,
gathering fruit, bread and veg,
weekly sustenance.

My first sweetpea bloom,
soft red petal lips blowing
  a delicate kiss,

Rows of clouds line up
filling the sky, all puff, fluff,
nothingness and rain.

The morning light sings
soft whispery melodies
of accomplishment.

We cosy ourselves
in our happy flat, watching 
crap as night draws in.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

A haiku a day...

Sparkle! Boom! Bang! Pop!
Gold worms mushroom out, explode
like fireflies dancing.

I walk home nibbling
its crispy crust, chewy dough,
baguette on the go.

Snoozy afternoon,
hours dedicated to
dreaming; time goes by.

Riverside dancer,
floats on wheels as if on air,
rollerblade ballet.

Piles of old fabric
hide crumpled treasures, vintage
beauties to rescue.

Jumping we hover
mid-air as if by magic,
ridiculous fun.

After the monsoon
we twirl amidst puddles to
accordion songs.


Friday, June 29, 2012

A haiku a day...

As the lillies wilt,
their petals quietly fall,
I know how they feel.

Here, amongst the green,
on thistle spikes, hornets hum
a dangerous dirge.

Refreshing ocean
cools my pale English skin, wave
after wave roars in.

A daily ritual:
swinging creaky shutters shut
to silence night noise.

The warm breeze whispers
unintelligible thoughts
as I wander home.

As we lick ice-cream,
across the square, over there
a man plays with fire.

Frightened, I drag a
chair outside, take up refuge
on the terrace, hide.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

A haiku a day....

Here are my little word snippets from the last week...

sky, crazy backdrop to our
happy fountain splash.

Dappled light, green grass,
the pop of corks, a tiny
corner of heaven.
Cool liquid amber,
refreshing in the hot sun,
after park picnics.
Same song, months apart,
in parallel we listen,
as the lark ascends.
I awake to rain
glad about the gloominess,
as my nightmares wane.
Sticky air cooks up
cranky moods, we stumble out,
into an oven.

Bagpipes bellow out
Scottish songs on this French night,
Fête de la musique.


Monday, June 18, 2012

A haiku a day...

We gather around
this table, share ourselves, eat,
become family.

Happy tears burst out,
a moment of change and love,
bright happy morning.

The giant sky looms,
bright over the open road,
which leads me somewhere.
Take me in your arms,
I'm home after many miles,
smiles, tears and journeys.

My inner vortex 
swirls still, as my head catches
up with my footsteps.

Back on a bike I
zoom along again, finding
the right momentum.

In the perfect square,
I brush shoulders with Nancy,
my inspiration.


Friday, June 08, 2012

A haiku a day...

This week it seems I'm in the mood to write about the weather. Wet, thundery, stormy, cloudy, moody weather. Funny how a theme emerged in these syllabic snippets.... 
Sangria, flowers
a terrace chat in the heat,
As evening arrives.

Finally thunder:
the drumming of a rainstorm
makes me want to dance.

We poke our heads out
Kiss the raindrops, sniff zee fleurs,
Ridiculous rain.

Some moods can’t be fought,
embracing this dark cloud I
Leave my desk behind.

The river at dusk
cool, calm now before the storm,
(after the panic).

Cloud wisps kiss the hills
Grey sky, green horizon, me
watching the day fade.

Waking up, the roof
is drumming sweet rhythms of 
a Devon rainstorm. 


Friday, June 01, 2012

A haiku a day...

I smile all along
my balmy evening bikeride,
pedalling happy.

Measure, pin, snip snip,
press the peddle, the needle
whirs, dances, stitches.

White wisps on pale blue,
jet streams scar the perfect sky,
up where planes fly high.

 Through open windows,
jasmine intoixicates me
on these long hot nights.

Daily ritual:
pedalling furiously
to find inner calm.
It's too hot for jazz,
the melodies meander,
but I'm trapped inside.

Coffee, a notebook, 
one of those perfect mornings,
here in summertime.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Soundtrack to my life

Some more songs that have been a sonic background to my life of late.

Ben Howard, Old pine
I listened to this album pretty regularly as we packed up our old lives and started our new ones here. It reminds me of first tram rides through unfamiliar streets, humid rain storms and walking around gazing up in wonder at the old sandstone buildings with a smile on my face.

Nina Simone, Lliac wine
A necessary song as soon as the lilacs in the park bloomed. I inhaled their heady scent whilst Nina sang about it. Nina Simone is just the greatest.

Kim Boekbinder, Girl on a bicycle
I've been hiring bikes quite regularly and zooming along the river. I almost always hum this song in my head when I ride along feeling happy and ridiculous as I pedal.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home
Because home is wherever I'm with my love. And right now it's here and I couldn't be happier.

The Jimmy Chamberlain Complex, Loki Cat
I randomly started playing this song a lot as I worked and it crept into my head and got stuck there and will forever remind me of the first few weeks here when we only had what we could carry on the plane in our rucksacks and the flat was empty and yet full of possibilities and happy moments.

Coldplay, Every teardrop is a waterfall 
I've been listening to Coldplay a lot when I run along the river. I love the line in this song about being in the gap between the two trapeeze as that's where I was for a while before, during and after moving.

Smashing Pumpkins, Let me give the World to You
Pure joy in song form, filling my ears on my first trip back to the UK and then blasting out of our speakers when I returned as I twirled in our living room at 4 AM, spun round by my love.

The Grateful Dead, Box of Rain
My latest favourite source of inspiration. A song that reminds me not to be gloomy. Strangely enought I keep finding my direction around the corner where its waiting for me whenever I walk out of the flat (just like the song says I will).

What's your favourite song of late? Please share!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Squirrelling away II

A couple of weeks ago I had an encounter with a sneaky red squirrel in the Parc bordelais. He was much smaller than the grey squirrel I spied back in the snow in February. Red squirrels tend to have much less bushy tails than their grey counterparts. Just look at how pointy his ears are too! He clung on to the tree there motionless for over a minute before scurrying away into the treetops up above us to go about his day :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I spy a nuthatch

Just a quick post today to share this photo I snapped of a nuthatch in the park in Bordeaux a couple of weeks ago :) We spied a whole flurry of nuthatches that day, darting through the tree tops and coming into land on this feeding box. I was so so happy because nuthatches are probably my favourite bird. Back when I lived in Wales we had a regular visitor in our garden and I used to spend many a quiet moment admiring its beautifully swooping eyeliner markings as it fed (usually upside down) on the bird feeder we had there. Since then I think I've seen a nuthatch only once, on a snowy day in Munich, its bluey back and orange belly standing out against the snow as it slinked on past us. Nuthatches are really shy and elusive which means it's a real treat when you do spy them - so getting a photo opportunity like this really made my day!

What's your favourite bird?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A haiku a day...

GRRR! Blogger erased the last lot of haikus I put up earlier as well! So here they are again *sigh*

Seeking adventures
in streets, in cafés, in bars,
in glasses of wine.

The boulangerie
calls me, I skip along for
fresh crumbly croissants.

Gloomy day inside
watching films, I hide, avoid
the real world outside.

Under the weather 
again: gloomy forecasts make
for a bumpy ride.

Night time gardening,
by the gold light of street lamps,
flowers bloom and sleep.
It's decision time,
will I be my worst self or
find some inner peace?

The scent of jasmine
fills my street, delicate soft,
sweet petals of home


Happy sunset ripple blanket

[Foreword: I already wrote a whole happy post about this latest crochet project and blogger has myseteriously decided to disappear it. GRRRRRRR! Rather than be defeated and angry about the way that technology just keeps completely failing me this week, I've decided to rewrite it the whole thing again at once. Apologies for the fact that it is slightly less joyful and detailed than the original post!]

So since moving to Bordeaux I've been more or less failing to blog anything other than my weekly haikus with any sort of regularity. But that's because I've been busy enjoying life and working hard on my thesis so I won't feel bad about it! I have been keeping up my crochet however and that's what I'm here to share today.

I decided before moving here that I wanted to make a giant ripply blanket for the bed, in all my favourite sunrise/sunset colours. I had made a smaller version for a gift last December (see here) and had really enjoyed the rippling process so I couldn't wait to get started! Within days of arriving I located a wool shop (Berger de France) and bought some supplies. 

As the days and weeks went by and we started filling up our home with furniture and happy memories, and exploring this lovely old town, I rippled away...
Happy ripply beginnings

I joined a knitting/crochet group for the first time and discovered the joy of crocheting in company. I'm now rather tempted to take up my knitting needles again, having seen the wonderous lacy delights that these inspiring ladies create! It's been a lovely source of inspiration attending these weekly sessions of wool and French chatter :)
A sneak peek!

I had to go back to the wool shop several times for more supplies as I somewhat underestimated just how much wool is needed for a blanket of this size.That made it a little bit pricier than I intended but the wool is all good quality and so soft and warm (its mostly a blend of acrylic and different types of wool) so I don't mind the extra centimes (haha or rather euros) that I had to part with and the pattern is easy hooking. 
 An in-progress shot back when all we had in our bedroom was a bed!

The patter was easy, fun, joyful hooking (it sort of hooks itself up once you get going, leaving your brain free to concentrate on other things. In my case this meant watching the whole of Twin Peaks! haha! this blanket will forever remind me of that series). Finally after about five weeks it was complete (although it's taken me a lot longer to photograph it in all its glory). 
Without further ado I present..... my giant ripple blanket........
It's really rather big! Getting a photo of the entire thing was really rather tricky and involved balancing precariously on a chair!

The pattern for the ripples comes from lovely Lucy of Attic 24. See here.

I edged it with a few rows of double crochets and my favourite bobbles (also seen on another blanket I made here)...
Close ups of the bobbly edging

I love the way the colours sing together in their random ripply lines of colour! Some of the combinations almost glow! It makes my heart happy :)

The nights are a bit too balmy to appreciate this lovely warm blanket right now, but I love how bright and colourful it is on our bed in the morning sunshine... 

Here's to happy crocheting and home-making! 
I hope this post manages to survive on the internet!
What have you been hooking up lately?

Friday, May 18, 2012

A haiku a day...

Take a wander, see
what happens, maybe you'll find

Nature's pinnacle,
towering over the sea,
sandy majesty.

Riverside picnic,
sunset, cidre, pink skies, bliss,
shiver... then we kiss.

Broad beans in salad
make me happy: bitter bursts
of fresh squidgy green.

Over the river
a lone kite floats, swoops and dives,
then he disappears.

Sometimes life feels like
a treasure hunt, I follow 
my feet and find gold

My papasan chair
is cosy and round, i curl
up like a cat, purrrrr.


Friday, May 11, 2012

A haiku a day...

The evening evolves
over cheese, wine and chatter,
we crawl home at five.

We pitter patter,
along cobbles, lit by a 
giant moon night light.

I spy nuthatches,
birds with the best eyeliner,
fluttering round us.

I'm faint and fearful,
face down on the floor, shaking,
completely confused.

Cooling my hot toes
in long grass, happy daisies,
smile up at me, dance.

Night falls, we wander
to ponder the river as
swifts screech overhead.

You know, il fait beau,
oui, il fait chaud à Bordeaux,
peut-être un peu trop!

And since I haven't put anything up here except haikus for weeks now, here's a bonus picture to illustrate Sunday's syllables...

Friday, May 04, 2012

A haiku a day...

Belly catches up,
send out warning signs too late,
too much on my plate!

Soaking in the bath
to the sounds of pouring rain,
wet outside and in.

Grouchy, tired me,
being my worst self as I 
refuse sweet slumber.

Mascara hurry,
smudges appear, shouts break out
on the other side.

May day, lilac skies,
magical clouds float, swifts screech,
the river flows by.

I spy a butterfly perched
amidst my flowers.

Erratic pixie,
swift and nimble as she plays
her magic fiddle.