What’s in a name?

I should have known really that Spring was not yet on the way, despite the wonderful warm sunshine we experienced a few days ago.  It is still February after all and we should be grateful that we are at least not having to clear snow off our driveways or slipping along icy pavements.  As if just to remind us that winter is still in charge, we are about to experience the latest of the winter storms, named Doris.  So far we’ve had Angus, Barbara, Conor and now Doris.  I wonder who has the job of making up the list of names; is it random or is there a logical process in the choice? And what determines the gender?

Apparently the names are attributed when a tropical storm develops and the name is retained if the storm turns into a hurricane. Names can be reused in later years (after six years it seems), except for particularly devastating ones which are retired. It’s almost as if they are living entities. But what’s in a name? A storm by any other name would be just as bad.


Storm Doris blows in

With a retinue of rain.

Trees bend before her.


So…there is snow.

Yesterday’s post Feeble February has clearly had an effect with the month turning into a Fickle February, as I woke to find everywhere covered in several inches of snow. Though pleasant to look at, the grey skies and chill air suggest there is still more to come. Perhaps I should not taunt the seasons and just let the natural turn of the world and its weather take their course.

February snow 008

Whiteness covers all

Hiding beauty and blemish

Awaiting springtime

Feeble February

The gloom and doom laden, leaden skies that have flatly refused to move for the last few days have this morning released an excuse for snow. It is as though even the harshest of weather does not have the energy or the desire to fulfil its role. Miserly flakes of snow-cum-sleet drift aimlessly toward the damp ground where they dissolve. Next month my birthday comes round and with it a weekend away with my partner in what should hopefully be more clement weather.

A few years ago we ended up in the beautiful city of Bath, which I would love to visit again.



Delirium of neo Classic;

Gothic arches, gated basements.

Reliefs with every human facet.

Pillared portals, braided casements

Rise to rooftops dressed with chimneys.

Shoe shops, gem shops, books and antiques;

Church chimes ringing from the belfries;

Restaurants, tea shops, arts and boutiques.

Every window filled with treasures,

Some to eat and some to wear,

City of a thousand pleasures

How I wish we were still there.


Woeful Weather

February weather should not come as any surprise and the more savvy of us and those who can afford it, will escape to warmer climes for at least a short respite if not a longer time until Spring puts in an appearance. However, I have not been so fortunate, and I fondly thought that my move to East Anglia a few months ago would give me the benefit of milder weather. I had not considered the possibility of easterly winds sweeping in from the North Sea, having originated in the freezing wastes of northern Europe and beyond.

It’s not so much the cold as the continuous grey sky over several days with vague freezing drizzle that brings acute depression.  Any attempt to begin tidying the garden as an excuse just to get out of the house is thwarted by trying to work a fork into solid ground, and so tools are quickly returned to the shed.

I suppose it ought really to provide time for writing, and to some extent it does, given the beauty of some winter scenes.


Still Life


With billowed breath and crunch of crystal snow

I venture forth into a wintered scene,

And brave the bite of frost and winds that blow

Small flurries over paths and frozen stream.

The woods stand silent; everything is still,

Where creatures lie deep burrowed from the cold.

Too soon my body starts to feel the chill.

I wonder if perhaps I was too bold

In choosing to step out at such a time.

But drawn by sunlight, flooding golden rays

Across smooth fields and close packed woods of pine,

I stand enthralled by light and life. I gaze

Upon the beauty of this land at rest

And realise how much we all are blessed..

A birthday wish list

I’ve never been a great fan of the month of January. The days are short and the month is long, with not a lot to do after the festivities of Christmas and New Year, unless you count Burns night of course, but haggis is not one of my favourite dishes.

Making resolutions has never been a habit of mine. For one thing, whenever I did resolve to do something, the impetus was lost after the first few weeks. If I really determine to do something, or indeed stop doing something, it should not be necessary to wait until the start of a new year. Yes, I realise it’s a start point and gives that boost to make a fresh beginning, so why not start whatever it is you want to do on your birthday, for example.

This is what my partner has decided to do, and she has drawn up a list of things she wants to achieve, the first of these (not necessarily in list order) will begin on her birthday in two days time. Thankfully, the list does not include sky diving or wing walking, but has things that I could join her in doing. For example, visit a country she’s never been to before (we’ll be off to Ireland in the summer); go to the top of a lighthouse; see the northern lights; buy something in an auction. Not sure what prompted it, but possibly an age thing. Anyway, I shall be quite happy to tag along and join in, although I’m not so sure that another item on the list will be quite my thing – belly-dancing classes!


I personally don’t do wish lists.

If it disappeared tomorrow

I wouldn’t miss a wish list

I prefer a hit-and-miss list

a card with just a kiss list.

The intention is no less

It reduces all the stress

And I just prefer to guess (what I’m getting).


Burns Night

Since this is the day on which the poet Robert Burns is celebrated, I have posted a poem in which I endeavoured to write in his style, though I could never hope to reproduce the Scots vernacular. I wrote the poem some years ago in an effort to win a bottle of whisky. Perhaps I should have chosen a less obvious subject for the poem.


Uisge Beatha

I gaze upon these mountain waters,

Smoothing crags o’er which they tumble.

A timeless, tireless force of Nature

Leaving mortals feeling humble.

Each plunging stream ploughs to the Nith

That swirls and sways its seaward slide.

And Man could no more halt those surges

Than he could the ebbing tide.

Whisky glories in the triumph

Man and malt distils and treasures.

Oh, how he’s tamed these crystal drops,

Tempting tongues wi’ golden measures.