All posts filed under: Letters & Poems

The Naming of Cats

Today is International Cat Day and, as I am a life member of the ‘Crazy Cat Lady Club’, I couldn’t resist celebrating the domestic cat with this poem from T.S. Eliot (1885 – 1965). The poem is from his book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which was adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber into the stage musical Cats. Cats have been been a big part of my life since birth. Our family would not have been complete without all the wonderful cats of my childhood. The featured image of this post is of my beloved Matilda. She chose me in 1997 when I was still a schoolgirl. Matilda was so beautiful, intelligent and characterful. She took a big piece of my heart with her when she passed away a couple of years ago. Now I have sweet, fluffy Georgia in my life and my children adore her – in fact, Jasper’s first word was ‘cat’! Our house would not be home without her. I love this poem because I think I have a secret talent of bestowing …

Now You are Four

Dear Jasper Today is your birthday – now you are four. Ever since your best friend turned four, last November, you have been desperate to reach this milestone too. Now you can celebrate and rejoice at being this special age. It feels like a big jump – from three to four years of age – bigger than your previous birthdays. You have experienced so much change in the last twelve months. This time last year we told you that you were going to become a big brother, and following that you have had to deal with the arrival of your little sister, moving home and preparing to start primary school. Perhaps it is because Mama and Daddy have been so busy with all of these things (and more) that we have blinked and suddenly our chatty, baby-faced, innocent little toddler has morphed into the tall, lean, lovely boy you are today. You are still as talkative as ever, but now you discuss more serious things like monsters, superheroes, blood, bones and even death. You continue …

Summer Sun: a Poem for Solstice

Today is the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice. I am celebrating the longest day of the year with this beautiful poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894). The long summer days here are still such a novelty for me – I grew up in South Africa and the difference there between summer and winter daylight is not that much. The African sunsets are breathtaking, but sink so quickly. Here in the UK, the sun shines bright into the night and dusk is a slow burn before twilight. Summer Sun, Robert Louis Stevenson Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven without repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays. Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlour cool, Yet he will find a chink or two To slip his golden fingers through. The dusty attic spider-clad, He, through the keyhole, maketh glad; And through the broken edge of tiles, Into the laddered hay-loft smiles. Meantime his golden face around He bares …

Today it Begins

Dear Jasper Today is the day we find out which primary school you will attend. For Mama and Daddy it has been a long wait for today. We started viewing potential schools last September. You may remember that we took you along to see some ‘big boy schools’, but most we visited while you were at preschool or tucked up in bed at night. Each school gave us a different welcome and taste of the education it might offer you. We filed into schools halls and poked our heads around classroom doors, while the children whispered and grinned at all the mummies and daddies looking at them like goldfish in a bowl. For many parents this was the first time they had been in a primary school since their own childhood, and the familiar sounds, sights and smells made memories of their school days come whooshing back to them. They remembered the class clown or their favourite teacher. They remembered the excitement of school trips and dress-up days. They remembered how scary school could be …

Us Two: Celebrating our Marriage

Today is our wedding anniversary – I can’t believe Neil and I had our beautiful wedding in South Africa six years ago. I remember is rained and rained in the days leading up to the wedding, and we were so worried because we had planned for the ceremony to be outdoors. On the morning of our wedding the sun shone brightly and the weather was perfect for the rest of the day. This is an extract from the poem Us Two by A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh. We featured the whole poem in our wedding day Order of Service. Yes, it is a poem about Pooh Bear and his best friend Piglet, but I think it perfectly describes the way you feel when you find that special someone to get through both the scary moments and the fun times of life with. Photo: Our first dance, taken by the talented Sean Kelland.

Spring: a Poem to Welcome Blossom Season

The clocks have ‘sprung’ forward and the days are getting longer. With early morning birdsong and fragrant blossoms on the trees, I’m celebrating the arrival of Spring with this poem written for children. The author is unknown, but I think it is lovely in its simple expression of the joy for this long-awaited season. Photo: I plucked this floral beauty from the little Camellia bush growing in our garden. I love the dark pink stripes against the pastel petals and the way the light catches the glossy dark leaves.