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Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well - my last post shows that I have spent a good deal of time reading. Naturally I gravitated to one of my favourite poets, Rudyard Kipling. As usual, he has a word for the occasion - and this one was the following (bearing in mind my last miserable posting):
"The cure for this ill is not to sit still
And frowst with a book by the fire.
But take a large hoe and a shovel also
And dig 'til you gently perspire"
The hoe and shovel did not inspire so I very reluctantly dragged the bicycle from the garage and set out against a 40 mile per hour westerly wind across country. The sky was heavy, overcast with scudding grey clouds, but no rain.
As I rode down towards the Marsh the sun succeeded in giving a brief flash of light, which I managed to take advantage of for a picture:
Then it disappeared as quickly as it came and I slogged some 10 miles across the bleak flats against the wind to a remote garden centre with a good cafe. Warmth and calm. Toasted, buttered teacake and good coffee.
Then back on the bike and making the turn towards home resulted in the wind now being behind me. Exhilaration! The bike flew with the utter silence of no air past the ears, reminding me of Masefield's lines from "The Everlasting Mercy":
"Along a dim road, on and on,
Knowing again the bursting glows
The mating hare in April knows.
Who tingles to the pads with mirth
At being the swiftest thing on earth."
I took a lane where I know the first primroses bloom in Spring - usually in late February. My reward for making the effort today was the sight, sheltered from wind and frosts and facing any sun, of the first, solitary clump of the year - in January, no less!
I got home tired and tingling after some 25 miles of blowing weather, ("Better than mortar, brick and putty / Is God's house on a blowing day" - origin of quote, anyone?) the "Black Dog" having been lost on the way somewhere (he has not caught up with me again yet!)
Thanks Kipling - just the right medicine.


Lucy said...

Amazing to see primroses so early, I saw a clump the other day, and a daffodil in a garden too. And the mistle thrushes tuning up...
Fine post with lovely pictures.

herhimnbryn said...

Ah me, sigh!
Good post and the sight of those primroses is uplifting.
Don't know the last quote so will now go and look it up!

Tall Girl said...

beautiful light in the first picture...amazed you have seen primroses already! What a great tonic that all sounds!

chiefbiscuit said...

Glad you're feeling better for the exercise - what a feat! But well worth it by the sounds of it. I could feel the cold air just looking at the photos and reading your words.
Beautiful primroses - so English. (I like the promise that resides in their nature and in their name.)
The poetry you have quoted is perfect.

Avus said...

Yes folks - the primroses were uplifting. No one seems to have picked up the author of the quote yet, though!
Clue (G.M.)

Lee said...

Yes, Kipling knew what was good. Then the black dog is loose, there is a lot of value in getting out and doing something.

Nea said...

A beautiful post Avus, and what a wonderful surprise the primroses. Primroses will always remind me of my dear grandmother. They were her favorites. I would love to live in a place that grows them so well...... I think you are right, a bike ride is a good answer for a bleak day. along with a little Kipling....:):) And a wee bit of sunshine to brighten your path. A ride, a sip of tea and a bit of poetry.......all welcome to me this day. (big smile)

Vita said...

Thank you for the greeting. What a lovely post. Your bicycle rides are my favorites. I don't see any slugs on that primrose. Glad you shook off the black dog.

Avus said...

Yes a "little Kipling" is good. (Question to young lady: "do you like Kipling?" Answer: "I don't know, I have never Kippled". (Acknowledgements to Punch magazine about 1900!)
Vita: Great to have you back, glad you liked the post.

Granny J said...

This being winter, your countryside looks gorgeous already!

Avus said...

Granny: Some would call it "global warming" - I just reckon natural and ongoing climate fluctuations, bearing in mind the Earth's past history.

Avus said...

Well - no-one managed to find the origin of the quote, so I thought I would do a post on it (see later posting)

Wenda said...

What a lovely quiet-looking lane!

Molly said...

Kith and kin advised a visit here and I'm so glad! Do not find Roman shields even mildly riveting[yawn], but persisted, as instructed....
Oh, primroses! I do miss primroses. I did enjoy accompanying you on your bicycle, and hearing about God's house on a blowing day, and the hare tingling with mirth....and the warm cafe with buttered teacakes. Hmmmm.....I may have to come back....