More Rivers (poem)

In 2012, we canoed a part of the Yukon. Later I read about how the ice breaks up in the winter – it’s sheer force. And here is a poem, part of my River sequence. I only have pics from the summer, so here’s some ice from elsewhere.


What the River Stole (Yukon)

The water, too perfectly clear for sin,

Cleansed the banks, god-like in its fortitude

The ice broke up to Eagle –

Jammed against the town, the church,

the settlers cabins,

Shunted them into the river

Reclaimed the land for its greedy self.

The fumes from the shattered diesel tanks

drifted along the buckling ice

Announcing the Breakup upstream.

Then behind, the flood:

The sheer weight of water following

Relaying the surface

with mud and debris


Taking the land back.

Weathered Neest

Last summer we went canoeing (maybe I’ll share some canoeing pics from that later). In the meantime, here are some photos of a Neest – an old fashioned Norwegian boathouse.

Love the way it has weathered. And there’s something about the history of these small personal projects. I imagine steady, practical people building it. Then 60 years of weather, but it still holds. The cold keeps its shape.

Garden plotting


I’ve been sorting through my seeds today. It turns out I have a lot of out of date packets. By out of date I mean beyond redemption.

Here is what I have left, plus some restocked from the garden centre.


So I’m planning to plant the following veg – (I’m mostly a veg girl)

Broad beans – love how they pop out so vibrantly green. This year’s varieties Aguadulce / Crimson.

Peas / Mange Tout – Mange Tout are one of my favourites, and easy to grow. This year I’m trying Tendrilla / Shiraz / maybe Onward or Cavalier too. Normally for Mange Tout I like to grow Carouby de Maupassant, but I haven’t found any yet this year. They have a lovely pink flower and taste nice too.

French beans – I will probably grow these too, but I’m so very tired of the slugs eating mine the moment the shots are planted out. I think I’ll invest in some larger plants this year.

Mange Tout

Broccoli – a bit of sprouting

Cabbage – I hated this as a youngster but now I must admit I like a few leaves

Tuscan Kale – this is a fab veg – it always takes a bit to get going, and the caterpillars have a good go, but they are tasty and you can just pick the leaves you need from the plant

Carrots – I don’t have great success with carrots – but I might try a few this year, not sure which ones I’ll plant yet

Courgettes – always good – although usually they arrive en mass – this year I’m trying Soleil / Zucchini

Cucumber – I’ve only grown them once before, but they were tasty (although not too beautiful compared to the supermarket versions) – Marketmore is the trial this time.

Leeks – quite excited about this Northern Lights variety – it must be the photographer in me!


Pak Choi – if I can keep the slugs off, a great veg

Pumpkins – various

Spinach – I’m going to try this tape system in 2015


Sweetcorn – a baby one (snobaby) and a fast growing one to cope with the British weather (in the past I’ve chosen varieties which don’t seem to have matured quickly enough – result, much disappointment).

Tomatoes – I’m going to try to find some heritage varieties.

Lots of Salad Leaves

As for Flowers – I’ve ordered some more snowdrops and some sweet peas from Sarah Raven plus I’m starting to buy a few packets – Spanish Flag, Californian Poppies, Lupins, Hollyhocks and Sunflowers so far.

Here’s the plot just now – not so pretty. But hopefully it will be transformed by summer!



Trying a spot of darning – my lovely thermals have been enjoyed by some moths, or possibly just caught in the washing machine. Anyway, repair was necessary as these things are expensive, and I’m a bit attached to them. Pics a bit dodgy as not taken in the best conditions. However, you get the idea!