Water, Water Everywhere Nor Any Drop to Drink





The General and I were in attendance at the show this week in order to see The Revenant on the big screen; it’s not my thing really, but I can still say that it’s worthwhile despite the endless, mercilessly close-up shots of flesh in varying stages of being charred or stitched or stabbed or scored like the top of a Shepherd’s Pie, which I had to watch through three fingers and occasionally not at all.

Director  Alejandro González Iñárritu insisted that the film be shot entirely in natural light and as a result the bright, brittle harshness of winter really translates;  in fact, I read recently that the very excellent Will Poulter (Jim Bridger) noted perceptively, that the weather almost has its own character within the film.

But meanwhile, back at our  place, The General and I are experiencing a few of our own Revenant-style challenges, albeit without the gore and you know, raw bison liver …

This is Day 3 of a burst waterline that cannot be fixed yet ( cheerful, yet strangely unmoved plumbers tell us that there is too much water at the source to precisely deal with the leak) so we are living without running water in the freezing winter for a minimum of one week till some drainage occurs.

And it is not for sissies. Continue reading

I Wanna Be Yours


I’ve often thought that if I had ever become an English teacher it would have been interesting to analyze the lyrics of songs as class assignments. So many songs are poetry in their own right (I’m looking at you Diamonds and Rust)  but will never be recognized as such; at least not in that respected canon of what really counts.

(And whilst I don’t envision Harold Bloom  excitedly rushing home to tease out the classical allusions buried within ‘Can’t  Feel  My Face’ anytime soon, the thing is, that song lyrics often assume a separate meaning for listeners than the original writer may have intended for himself.

And that is, simply part of the art.

(If you are reading this, Spock, you might just want to stop and do something else for a while, say, heave quietly. My brother is not good with tolerating anything that he considers to verge on Touchy-Feely-Eat-Pray-Love s**t …) Continue reading


goodmoonangeljan22 copy


Slowly the moon is rising out of the muddy haze,
Divesting herself of her golden shift, and so
Emerging white and exquisite; and I in amaze
See in the sky before me, a woman I did not know
I loved, but there she goes, and her beauty hurts my heart;
I follow her down the night, begging her not to depart.

—D.H. Lawrence

“Aware” was first published in Lawrence’s book “Love Poems and Others

(Duckworth and Co., 1913)

Photo credit: http://helenbthompson.weebly.com/

Someone’s Mum’s Cranberry Loaf





If you have an immoderate supply of cranberries in your freezer that taunt you each time you open the door, this is for you!

Here’s a Cranberry Bread that is never dry and has a satiny citrus glaze that melts in your mouth.

This is the kind of recipe that often appears in church basements or rummage sales but no one will tell you how to make it.

Incidentally, I like to chop the cranberries very finely indeed but I do this by hand as the food processor is a bit over zealous and you can end up

with cranberry spread very quickly; however, if you prefer, take a chance – but watch carefully as you pulse …


2 cups sifted unbleached flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 egg,beaten

1 tsp. grated orange peel

3/4 cup orange juice

3 cups finely diced cranberries


  1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda, salt into a large bowl and then cut in butter till crumbly.
  2. Add egg, orange peel and orange juice all at once and combine till mixture is just moist.
  3. Fold in cranberries. Do not be over-mixing at this point.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour OR 1 hour and ten minutes, if top does not seem done.
  5. When still just slightly warm, pour a glaze made with the juice of a lemon (or an orange if you’ve still got one hanging about!) and about 3/4 to 1 cup sifted icing sugar.(The glaze should be stiff enough to run down the sides but not watery.)
  6. Serve with strong tea or good coffee. Freezes brilliantly.