Cowart's Common Room
Wet Wood Lark

Oh dear, one of those wet and depressing summer afternoons when the raindrops run down the windows and all is dark and gloomy and I cannot go for a walk. The scene reminds me of Woodbrook - a book that Lampie might put at some time on our list of reading matter. It's about a young English tutor in a grand house on the West coast of Ireland who falls in love with his charge, a spirited girl named Phoebe whom he is preparing for university education. During his stay, and on wet afternoons, he learns about the history of Ireland and the oppression of the Catholic peasantry and the dangers and difficulties, of famine and emigration and tumble-downed houses, above all of the express sadness of the wet empty countryside. History oozes from the wet and dripping stones like blood from a wound. A very moving book which I have never dared to read again since.

But I have been moved in the same way by reading 'The Kites,' which was on our recent booklist. Here the inexpressable sadness comes by way of war and occupation and death, and what it means to love and be human, and keeping hope alive. It made me wonder how I might have managed had I lived in an invaded country. It is easy enough to be a soldier, one moves among friends and is fed and watered with attention, unless one has the misfortune to collide with some projectile. But to live under occupation? I had never read anything about it before. Everything you say, everything you do, who you mix with, talk to - suspected, now by your friends, now by the enemy. And yet the enemy is human like you - at least mostly - with the same fears and excitements, the same longings and loyalties.

We all get wet when the rain falls. Blessed are those who build peace, more blessed still are the ones who have the grace to maintain it.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 25th May 2018 - 05:45PM   Posted by Fennie   Wet Wood Lark Comments: 0

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Lovely weather today but it began raining early evening for a few hours at least the plants got a good soaking.

Hope you had a good day everyone, fingers crossed for better nights sleep tonight for moi so too for our Fennie .

I have had numerous updates come into my mail box re Privacy no idea if I have done the correct thing by signing for staying as in subscribe deadline is if of course tomorrow.

Off to land of nod soon, if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

Posted at 24th May 2018 - 11:38PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 13

Afternoon All

Afternoon All,

Apologies late to Coo, did not sleep well at all last night and horrid sinuses, the sun is shining today and it really feels quite warm, birds are singing, and all is right with the world.Very Happy

Enjoy the day.Very Happy

Posted at 24th May 2018 - 01:19PM   Posted by Camilla   Afternoon All Comments: 9


Hi everyone, I am so busy at the mo as my daughter has had to have an op (gynae) and I am looking after the baby all day every day!

Next week I am off to Disneyland Paris with my older daughter and the kids.

Will be in touch as and when I can!


Posted at 23rd May 2018 - 08:04PM   Posted by Faith   Busy Comments: 3

Jackdaw Notes #22

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This morning as I came out of the house there was a jackdaw pecking away at something unseen in the middle of the road. He was no more than eighteen inches from the white line. He heard a car approaching and looked to see which side of the road it was on. Seeing that it was not on 'his' side of the white line he put his head down and went on pecking, the car drove past I'd say no more than three feet at the outside from the jackdaw, maybe less.

But the bird took absolutely no notice, just went on pecking. It gambled on the car staying on the right side of the white line. Gosh if a child did that it would receive no end of a telling off from its parents.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 23rd May 2018 - 06:28PM   Posted by Fennie   Jackdaw Notes #22 Comments: 3

Sunny Lark

Morning Larks,

Lots of bright lovely sunshine this morning in fact a most perfect day for a picnic.

Woke up late this morning I expect my body needed itVery Happy Off to daughter's this afternoon for tea and cake in the garden, Patch will be able to see Rodney his pal one of my daughter's dogs a Fred Bassett but he's not Fred he is a Rodney, good talking point my daughter says with some folk when out with him.

Mowed the lawn yesterday, and tidied up the back garden which will be an ongoing project seeing as not long been here. Have you been watching the Chelsea Flower Show? all those gorgeous flowers... I love the Wedgewood Garden, and the Yorkshire Garden, which is your favourite?

Have a good day everyone.
Very Happy

Posted at 23rd May 2018 - 10:07AM   Posted by Camilla   Sunny Lark Comments: 8

Afternoon Lark

Another beautiful day today but I am reminded of another bit of my own weather lore: to wit that if you have your summer in May don't count on anymore sun until September. It seems you can have May and September or June and July, August always being wet and miserable in my experience apart from a day or two at the end. Best go abroad or far up north.

Busy busy with one thing and another: booking tickets to go to Lorient for the InterCeltique Festival is proving a nightmare. I am proposing to go by bus to Bristol airport and then fly to Nantes, returning via Gatwick and again the bus to Cardiff, though who will pick me up there is a good question. Before a cleaner or gardener I think I need a chauffeur. Whenever anyone picks me up in a car I feel it is almost a sinful indulgence and if I am met from a train my cup runneth o'er.

The birds are busy with whatever it is the birds do in spring but I saw a couple of sparrow fledglings in the garden the other day, no sign of the Waitrose Jackdaw though.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 22nd May 2018 - 05:59PM   Posted by Fennie   Afternoon Lark Comments: 4

Very early lark!

Up at a horribly early hour (6.15), reason in Private forums.
What a change! Cloud and wind after sun and calm yesterday!

Posted at 22nd May 2018 - 06:56AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Very early lark! Comments: 8

Camilla and FN

I have done my duty in Amethyst House. Sorrow I didn't see FN's message saying I had guessed right.

To give good value I have now put up two ballets that you have to guess.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 21st May 2018 - 12:02PM   Posted by Fennie   Camilla and FN Comments: 2

Dazed Badgers

Family gathering at my daughter's house in Frome yesterday. A happy, sunny day and her garden looking wonderful filled as it is with plants and animals - chickens, incliding exotic ones with heads like puffballs, ducks, bees, dogs, of course, too and the little people Theo and Beanie for whom we staged a barbecue. I took some nice photos on my iPhone but then left the gadget behind. No doubt I shall get it back sooner or later. I hardly use it anyway. So I can't show you a picture.

On the way back there seemed to be an horrendous accident on a short section of dual carriageway near Frome. The road was anyway closed, necessitating a round-the-houses-diversion through the Edwardian and monocled constituency of Jacob Rees Mogg, at Rode.

And talking of politics, I watched the Jeremy Thorpe drama on TV last night - a most excellent portrayal by Hugh Grant and a very well-worked script, the drama relieved by some crazy comedy, like the badgers in Lord Arran's house. Yet they are supposed to be very clean animals. I wonder how they got to film those? Maybe they really were tame creatures. But if so I wonder how the film crew took to them? We see just two or three people talking in a room but usually there are perhaps a dozen more we don't see and a whole panoply of lights and shades and microphones and computers and cables and people with scripts and make-up, touching up rearranging - a whole circus going on behind the camera which may anyway be mounted on a little railway so that it can zoom in for close shots - and in the middle of this a couple of dazed badgers?

On that note have a good day everyone. Very HappyVery Happy

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Posted at 21st May 2018 - 08:29AM   Posted by Fennie   Dazed Badgers Comments: 4

Lark Post

It really is a very pretty time of year. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I sat in the garden yesterday afternoon on the front lawn, which is just about big enough for a chair and a book, and under the spreading chestnut tree and looking towards the hesitant frills of the walnuts emerging leaves, read our second book club choice 'The Kites.' Well not all the way through as the book is quite dense but I am finding it compelling.

Otherwise life meanders on in its own way. From being frantically busy we are now more relaxed, so it is the garden's turn and the house's turn for attention. Other people seem to arrange for cleaners and gardeners; I have told myself that we can never afford such luxuries though I am not sure if it isn't my Protestant work ethic that tells me that even sitting reading a book is wasting God's precious time. Such was drilled into me in my youth, though I am not sure that it endeared me either to God or to the work, though I did find ever more ingenious ways of wasting time which perhaps accounts for why I have to do my own cleaning and gardening.

Which is really too involved for a lark post, so I shall try to find a picture of a medlar whose leaves are at their very softest and prettiest apple green at present (Incidentally,why is apple green so called? Neither apples or apple trees are this colour, but Medlars are). And another thing about Medlars is that they produce the fruit (or at least make a jolly good start) before they produce a flower. Very strange. Anyway have a good day. Very HappyVery HappyUploaded ImageUploaded ImageUploaded Image

Posted at 20th May 2018 - 08:01AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Post Comments: 7

May's oot!

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Please Miss... lovely Headmistressy Person?
Can we take off our vests now?

Posted at 19th May 2018 - 01:13PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   May's oot! Comments: 5

Meghan and Harry

I am sure all the Cooers join with me in wishing Meghan and Harry, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a long and happy life together.

Posted at 19th May 2018 - 09:23AM   Posted by Withy Brook   Meghan and Harry Comments: 6

Would Meghan like.....

To get ready at our house? - my 6 year old grandaughter asked her mum.

(Ordinary semi in Surrey, full of kids and toys, though very near to Windsor!.....)

I don't think so darling!!!!

We are having a Royal Wedding party with bunting, flags, food and a quiz with prizes - plus TV of course!

Are you celebrating or watching?

Posted at 19th May 2018 - 09:09AM   Posted by Faith   Would Meghan like..... Comments: 5


The weather today has been absolutely gorgeous - not too hot, not too humid, not too still just bright and sunny with the merest whiff of a breeze. Perfect in fact. Indeed anyone might think a Royal Wedding was in the offing! Obviously the Markle SparkleVery HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th May 2018 - 06:08PM   Posted by Fennie   Weather Comments: 3

On the subject of homework.

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While we are on the subject of homework, for Art my Grandaughter had to recreate a famous portrait of her choice.
Anyone guess who it is?

Posted at 18th May 2018 - 04:41PM   Posted by Lampworkbeader   On the subject of homework. Comments: 8

New Homework Set

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Posted at 18th May 2018 - 11:36AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   New Homework Set Comments: 1

Happy Belated 37th Wedding Anniversary Withy

Dear Withy and G,

Wishing you both a very Happy Belated 37th Wedding Anniversary.

Hope you had a wonderful day celebrating your special day with friends and family, hopefully with a lovely cake and a bottle of bubbly too.

Congratulations.!Uploaded Image

Posted at 18th May 2018 - 11:26AM   Posted by Camilla   Happy Belated 37th Wedding Anniversary Withy Comments: 10

Lark Post

Morning All,

Well I seemed to have cracked it yesterday with my customer support ie., copying and pasting but now, .... zilch.. oh dear, Shall hopefully succeed again later, technology.!

Just 10 degrees here today light cloud and breezy, let us hope the month of June will be warmer.Very Happy

Have a good day everyone.Very Happy

Posted at 18th May 2018 - 11:06AM   Posted by Camilla   Lark Post Comments: 8

Clever Theo

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Theo has just won a poster design competition organised by Cowbridge Rotary and has a certificate to say so. Apparently his design was on the theme of 'The Crazy Playground.'

I do not have a picture of his entry - if I get one I shall post.

Meanwhile I am stiff and broken after some five hours of gardening yesterday - clearing out all the pots and installing geraniums, petunias and Lobelia, trailing and upright. Also getting rid of 'junk' plants - two lopsided and straggly lavenders and one old desiccated evergreen. They are at the bottom of the garden now providing a green barrier and thety may struggle on or die as the fancy takes them. I also bought two roses a red one and a yellow one that I suppose I should put in a bucket of water as they are covered in wax. Not sure what I shall do with these.

Also have herbs to plant that J bought some time ago. We have no end of herbs in the garden already so not sure where I shall find space. I may need to buy another large tub. If so it will defeat the purpose of buying the growing herbs in the first place.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 18th May 2018 - 08:50AM   Posted by Fennie   Clever Theo Comments: 15

Lark Rant

Do you like filling in 'feedback' surveys? I don't and I suspect I am not alone, but these days everyone it seems wants to know 'How'm I doing?'

I've just had an email from the garage, begging (almost) for a five star satisfaction rating. I suspect the manager's bonus depends on it. But it came with the ominous news that a survey company would ring to ask me a few questions later; aka waste my time.

Do people give honest answers? There are the professional moaners of course who trash anything given half a chance, but most of us will say, I suspect, that all was fine even if something wasn't. After all by the time you are on question 23: 'regarding how your bill was presented - how satisfied on a scale of 1 to 10 were you with the way the seats in the service area were arranged?' - you have lost the will to live.

So I wrote back to say that I expected to receive good service and would say if it wasn't but that I didn't like receiving feedback forms. In fact the service wasn't brilliant - it was too expensive for a start and I am aggravated by people who inquire into my health as though they were doctors. 'Good morning and how are you feeling today? Busy day ahead have we?' I am always minded to begin a list of my health concerns and business worries and continue for five minutes before asking about theirs.'

Maybe we need to push back against feedback surveys - they're useless anyway, but just part of the zeitgeist.

Anyway that's my rant for the morning. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 17th May 2018 - 09:27AM   Posted by Fennie   Lark Rant Comments: 7

Home work is marked!

Sorry I have been busy at work, marked homework now!

Posted at 16th May 2018 - 06:40PM   Posted by Inthemud   Home work is marked! Comments: 1

Jackdaw Post

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This afternoon we were leaving Waitrose, J had been shopping, I had been drinking coffee in Caffe Nero and reading my birthday present book. Anyway we were leaving and in front of us was a thin jackdaw pecking away at an empty crisp packet.

His success at this must have been limited for he turned and squinted at us - or rather didn't squint - for he looked with just one blue eye, square if you see what I mean so he didn't have to squint - with such a frustrated and appealing look, like a helpless child, that I was minded to go and help him open the crisp packet.

Yet while I was pondering how far one should go to help jackdaws open crisp packets in the breeding season and whether to do so would be to be thought even more eccentric than usual, he (the jackdaw) hopped on to the lip of the waste bin that Waitrose thoughtfully provides for its customers' empty crisp packets and began foraging for another.

He logged on to one such with his beak and tugged, but whatever it was did not want to come out even when the jackdaw got into the bin himself. So he came out again and shot me another 'what do I do now?' look. But then, deciding that I might be stood there all day making up my mind whether to help and concluding that humans were nothing more than a waste of DNA which with a spot of moral courage the Creator could easily have dispensed with, and that it wasn't jackdaws that created nuclear weapons or put plastic in the oceans, he flew off, no doubt to grumble to his nearest and dearest.

Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 16th May 2018 - 06:04PM   Posted by Fennie   Jackdaw Post Comments: 11

I Can't Sleep Chat Post

Hello Owls and Larks,

Lots of good Drama's on TV at the moment but as is always the way they all seem to be on at the same time on different channels so catch up is called for. I am not a telly addict but love the Drama's.

Patch is snoozing on the sofa and I am off to land of nod soon too. Jag is booked in at garage for 11am re tyre so that will another job ticked off list.

Sleep well owls, but if you can't sleep and there are others on line then have a natter here.

Night Night, & Sweet Dreams

Posted at 15th May 2018 - 10:52PM   Posted by Camilla   I Can't Sleep Chat Post Comments: 7


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Hello from my favourite volcano!
Thankfully this one is extinct but the geology is fascinating.
We technically should have been on a trip to the isle of Canna but roadworks and three huge wind turbine blades en route put paid to that.
Not that I minded really as it meant a trip to Loch Coruisk in the middle of the Black Cuillin instead.
More photos to follow...

Posted at 15th May 2018 - 12:07PM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Coruisk Comments: 13