Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Tomorrow is a Long Time

It's a rare damp and misty afternoon here on Sheppey in Kent, after an even rarer couple of hours of rain. Best described as damp, murky and warm, oh how I wish it would rain regularly for weeks on end!
After spending the first couple of hours of the morning wandering round the reserve with Ellie, I spent the rest of it near breaking my back digging bone hard and bone dry soil in the rear garden of my house. I've cleared a largish area of all of it's shrubs and things, cleared the weeds, etc., and begun digging the site in the vain hope that the once normal winter weather of rain and frost will break up the ground and make it able to be re-planted in the Spring.  Now, I'm sitting in the conservatory, sipping a glass of beer, listening to a James Taylor CD and feeling quite wistful - James Taylor has that effect.

Dylan Thomas once wrote:-
"It is a winter's tale
that the snow blind twilight ferries over the lakes
and floating fields from the farm in the cup of the vales,
gliding windless through the hand folded flakes"......

As I sit here now on this mild, damp afternoon with dusk creeping mistily nearer, I wonder if I will ever see such a snowy scene here again, experience that hushed silence that creeps across the countryside and that delicious feeling of being tucked inside the warm nest of a home while all the world freezes outside. Out in the garden a big, fat, Wood pigeon waddles it's way down the lawn towards the pond and takes a drink. It has spent the last hour or so scurrying around under the bird feeder tubes, filled with sunflower hearts and being gorged upon by thirty odd House Sparrows, scattering crumbs non-stop to the pigeon below. The mist is creeping in from the nearby seashore, evening is approaching and out further in the estuary the fog horns are beginning to sound their eerie wail, a sound that has been the backdrop to so many of my memories.

Time to stir, time to shower, time to cook my dinner - time to think about tomorrow - tomorrow is a long time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


  1. And it is also another day as I believe Scarlet O'Hara said at the end of Gone with the Wind.

  2. Lovely writing. Yesterday I saw tv pictures of happy skiers in Austria skiing down a strip of snow on a green mountain under a blue sky. The temperature was 20 C. The industry which collects, stores and delivers snow where it's needed or where it's in demand in the Alps is known as snow farming. The delivered snow can be topped up with so called artificial snow made by snow cannons. The amount of fuel and energy needed to complete such an absurd extravaganza doesn't bear thinking about.

  3. Derek,
    all rather melancholy - everything OK with you? It's not much better, here on Thanet, although I do have a factory to shield me from the dreary conditions. Chin up old mate - rain tomorrow!
    Hoping all is well as ever - Dyl

  4. Yes, perfectly OK Dylan, just having a thoughtful hour.

  5. It's a moody poem, rich with language and natural imagery. Thank you for reminding me of it Derek. I hadn't read it in years.

    And the stars falling cold,
    And the smell of hay in the snow, and the far owl
    Warning among the folds, and the frozen hold
    Flocked with the sheep white smoke of the farm house cowl
    In the river wended vales where the tale was told.

  6. Yes, "A Winters Tale", a great poem.

  7. I love your wistful posts Derek.

  8. Derek, it sounds as though that clay could use an enormous dose of organic compost. Do you compost your weeds and kitchen peelings? Otherwise, frost or no frost, that clay will still be compact clay. Good luck.

  9. Yes Sidney, I do add generous amounts of compost when possible/available but the piece of garden that I was digging at that time had not been dug for about 15 years. That, and the very long dry spell, had made it almost rock hard.