Archive | July 2015

Twelfth July Blog


Twelfth July Blog

Sqeezing a last one under the wire.

Creeping Mellow.

The sky is turning
That autumnal shade of blue.
Not everyone notices,
Until too late,
That summer is waning,
Its intensity diminished.
Fledglings, who have fluttered
Untried wings, danced
On the breezes of life,
Are now soaring in
The sky, ready to fly
From nest to maturity.
Swallows sense the season
Change, Africa awaits.
Corn stooks stand immobile
In a sea of yellow.
Harvest approaches,
Praying the sun will
Stay awhile, can be gathered.
Nuts ripen on bushes,
The squirrel feasts,
Stores, keeps, ready
For winter’s pall.
Pumpkins ripen,
Orange Mellowness,
Round, Misshapen,
Flattened, all standing
Waiting, almost ready
For Halloween. But
Not quite there yet.
August, when children
Holiday, play, before
The new term begins.
Then, we can say,
The season has altered,
Changed from intense
Heat to golden brown.
The days shorten,
Life snuggies down
As winter approaches.

Copyright Evelyn J. Stewar. July, 2015.

Those who live in countries where there are seasons, know. They know the ripening of days; they know the precise moment of the first drop of spring melt. They know, by the wind, the rise of the sun, the colour of the sky, and more.

An uncanny sense that tellsm them….. something is different, maybe? But all the same, they know. Often it is a combination of weather, colour, temperature and other tiny things that many do not see, do not recognise. But all the same, they are there, staring you in the face, if only you have eyes to see.

Some people, I admit, go about their daily business. Their minds too full of their job, the children, their family. And such people might not even recognise those insignifcant little details that announce the coming of change.

Perhaps the human race has gone too far away from its original ways. We have lost that telltale information, basiclly the ability to read the signs. Maybe, most will nevet get it back? Who can tell?

Talking to a friend, she said there were chidren who were being sent to boot camps to wean them off of computer games. Raw, vivid, graphically violent games. These will never learn to read Nature’s signals. But what if more become like this? There are inherent needs that only reading Nature can teach. Maybe bring about a downfall of the human condition. I wonder!

This is July’s end, the seventh month in the Western Calender.
Be aafe, take care.



Eleventh July Blog


Elleventh July Blog.

Norman Churches.

Harold lost the fight
To Guillaume, it is true,
And what did we get in return,
Stone churches, one or two.
Well, here in Southern England,
You’ll see them, far and wide.
All of them just look the same,
Sanctuary, where one could hide.
Made of stone, grey flecking,
It looks part flint, you see,
Quite often crenelated,
A lookout post, maybe?
Most towns often have one,
Another close by, as well.
Not sure why there’s so many,
Perhaps to give us, Hell?
Some time, in an old century,
I do not know which year,
A clock was often added,
We worship, in Godly fear.
Windows, plain and patterened
With Saints, and Jesus too,
Glass stained with many colours,
A rich, rewarding hue.
So thank you, Norman Conquest,
For making us write lists, like
Counting sheep and pigs and chicks,
The Doomsday Book, a hit.
But thank you for the churches,
Surviving war and flood
And pestilence, about them,
In the end, you did some good.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. July, 2015.

Yes! The Normans had a lot to answer for. Guillaume le Bâtard, conquérant est une biographie de Guillaume le Conquérant (1027-1087), duc de Normandie et roi d’Angleterre, par l’écrivain Jean de La … Etc. ad infinitum. No, I ido not read French but I suspect it says something like Bill the Conq. who crossed the Channel and kicked our arses ( pardon e moir ) in 1066.

What started this fight, I have no idea ( lost in my brain in the annals of Time) but it sure did us no good, at the time – but got them whole new Provinces to be evil over. Well, they were, in those days. It wasn’t all ‘move over sonny, let your new French pal take possession of your land, your pigs, your cattle ‘ all nice like! I suspect there were rebellious Saxons who fought back, but were eradicated. If the indigenous peoples complained, make an example of them. That was how it was done.

The Normans were very good at taking possession/s. I suppose all conquerers did that as a dominence thing. So, The Doomsday Book was born. Apparently, so I hear tell by greater minds than mine, that they loved to make lists, keep themselves as the upper classes and build castles, to make sure us Saxons did as they told us, and built churches, lots of churches.

Well, they did well, didn’t they? Those churches, most of them, are still standing!

The designs from Europe worked perfectly, to have lasted ( given the odd bomb or two during WW2) almost 800 years ( a lot were built in the 13th century – not sure if some were built a bit sooner -takes a while, considering tools, materials and labour of the day).

I guess some have been slightly altered, re, stained glass windows and modern lifghting, heating and all mod cons. But basically, the outer parts, the real solid parts of these churches remain as they were built, asfar as I can tell. I am not an expert, just an observer.

Taken from Wikki
Viking invaders arrived at the mouth of the river Seine in 911, at a time when Franks were fighting on horseback and Frankish lords were building castles. Over the next century the population of the territory ceded to the Vikings, now called Normans, adopted these customs as well as Christianity and the langue d’oïl. Norman Barons built timber castles on earthen mounds, beginning the development of motte-and-bailey castles, and great stone churches in the Romanesque style of the Franks. By 950 they were building stone keeps. The Normans were among the most travelled peoples of Europe, exposed to a wide variety of cultural influences including the Near East, some of which became incorporated in their art and architecture. They elaborated on the Early Christian basilica plan, longitudinal with side aisles and an apse, and a western façade with two towers as at the Church of Saint-Étienne at Caen begun in 1067, which formed a model for the larger English cathedrals beginning some twenty years later.

A Norman arch c. 1150 in Andover, Hampshire

A Norman arch with zig-zag mouldings above the church doorway at Guiting Power, Gloucestershire
In England, Norman nobles and bishops had influence before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and Norman influences affected late Anglo-Saxon architecture. Edward the Confessor was brought up in Normandy, and in 1042 brought masons to work on Westminster Abbey, the first Romanesque building in England. In 1051 he brought in Norman knights who built “motte” castles as a defence against the Welsh. Following the invasion Normans rapidly constructed motte-and-bailey castles, and in a burst of building activity built churches and abbeys, as well as more elaborate fortificationsincluding Norman stone keeps.
Thought I had better include the above information. Sufficeit to say, most are still used as the churches they were meant to be, today. Some achievement!

Be safe, be aware and be happy.


This entry was posted on July 27, 2015. 4 Comments

Tenth July Blog


Tenth July Blog.

Rain, Lifegiver.

A drop of rain
Upon my cheek,
From above,
As if to weep
And sigh for me
In my solitude.
Heaven’s tears
Shape the landscape,
Sculpt us all,
Infinite ability,
In gorgeous
Neutrality, and we
Are pledged to
Follow each map,
Every rivulet,
Winding between
Valley and hillside.
Remote or close,
It is a positive,
Against all the
Negatives, those who
Gainsay. Spoil crops,
Flood, Yet, rain
Gives life. Drops
That fall slow. Deliberate
Globs of warm wet.
Or hard punches of
Sharp spikes, pounding
From on high,
A dark brooding sky
Heavy with moisture,
Laden with ininite possibilities.
So, come to me,
Dear raindrop,
Sweet heavenly joy.
For you are our saviour,
Without rain,
We die.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. July, 2015.

July, here in Southern England, is noted for its unusual amount of rain. Today, Friday, it is ( what my offspring calls ) ‘pickeling’ down. This means the rain is really pelting down, furiously.

It can fall a little harder on occasion,but not by much. A gentle rain would be better. Easier to accept. Children are on holiday from school and many take their holidays straightaway. Hopefully, many will be off abroad where the weather can be wArmet, drier. Taking a holiday in England is fraught with anxiety. Will the weather be nice? We need the sunshine or it will be hard to entertain children at the seaside/in the caravan, on endless wet days.

July is notorious for its rainy days most years, here in good pld England. Apparently, this year, is one such case. A day here and there of warm sunshine, then the obligatory rain. ‘Rain is needed, but does it have to rain all summer?’ You get the gist.

It has to be said that this July has had many sunny days, maybe more than ‘what is termed normal here’. But never-the-less, we always think we have had more rain than sun.

Today, the ‘norm’ has returned, with a vengeance. It started out dull, cloudy but dry. By mid-day it started, as my offspring says, ‘pickeling’ down. And it has been that way all the rest of the day and evening, ‘pickeling’ hard. Quite cold too, I hasten to add. We get very wet Julys some years, but not as chilly as today. Or so it seems from memory, though that could be faulty. And the forecast is set the same over the whole weekend.

So for children, out of school for a few precious weeks, the summer has begun. How many of those weeks will be sunny? Who can tell? I, for one, would like lots more weeks of glorious summer, but farmers may see things a different way.

Enjoy the summer friends, holidays or vacations. And, as always, be careful out there.


PS. That was yesterday. Today has dawned bright but windyi. Tomorrow set foR cloudy with showers. Cannot win!

This entry was posted on July 25, 2015. 4 Comments

Garden Friday–Summer’s Stars

Wonderful Montbrecia and a garden bear!


Montbrecia - Guenette photo

Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of colour before me. Who could ask for more? (Bev Adams – Mountain Gardening.)

Our garden star this week is Montbrecia. We were given bulbs for this plant a few years ago and had retained no memory of what it was or how it would bloom. (Though I’m sure we were told.) Last year, these amazing fronds appeared drooping with gorgeous, flute-shaped, brilliant, orangey-red blossoms. This summer, the plant is even more of a show-off. The hummingbirds are in love with it and the whole patch is like a war zone as the buzzing little creatures zoom in and out.

I resolved to find out what the heck we had growing out by our bean trellis. Many thanks to Maggie Flostrand. She gave us the bulbs as well as reminding me of the name. Lovely in flower…

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Wild, Dark and Silent.

There is inspiration here. Though I have not, as yet, read these books, I intend to mak a foray into this part of fuctional Wale.

Jan Ruth

Wild, Dark and Silent: A testimony to the Welsh Hills…

Wild Water Cover MEDIUM WEBWild Water is the story of Jack Redman, the wronged alpha male who’s trying to make the best decisions for his family but more often than not, gets kicked in the teeth. How often we read novels in the contemporary genres which consistently root for the female character – nothing wrong with a strong woman, of course – but no one seemed to be telling these stories from the male viewpoint, at least not twenty years ago when I began my quest. Divorce still seems heavily weighted towards the partner with the children, and the mother is usually awarded custody unless there are extenuating circumstances which can be proved. Most of the time this is all well and good, but there are a great number of cases where our ancient system is fully exploited. Sadly, a lot of the initial…

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Ninth July Blog


Ninth July Blog.

“””” A light wind, hotter than a blast furnace, crested the dunes. Light sand and dust particles constantly rose into the air, landing somewhere further down, raining on the sand gecko who blinked his eyes incessantly to avoid the dust. His feet, one back, opposite one front, were raised for a few seconds. The sand was the temperature of the hottest oven. The tiny lizard rotated its feet every few seconds so that contact was short. This was how it survived the desert.

A vast tract of yellow ochre, and red with shadows of rich mahogny, that was the desert scene. Not even scrub this far in. Shelley shifted gears on her 4 by 4. It could handle the terrain. However, no sense taking chances. If she got stuck on one of these slopes, she could sink in, or, more likely, slide back to the bottom of the gulley. Or, at worst, the vehicle could turn over, crashing ignominiously, with her inside it. Either way would be ruinous for her, and the expedition.

She gunned the vehicle forward. It responded powerfully, cresting the dune with ease. Shelley let go the breath she was holding in. Another small milestone. That was what it was all about, after all.

The distant horizon was fuzzy, but the purple mountains were distinctive. Pity there was no short cut to reach them. Desert driving was not her style. She hated the dust that, no matter how tight the windows were, still seeped into the vehicle. Wearing a scarf across her nose and mouth was uncomfortble, stuffy. The A/C had long since given up full power. Was just a phantom of its former self.

How long had she been driving, she wondered, glancing at her watch. Four hours or so, and perhaps another two to go. At this rate, she would barely reach camp before the sun set. The headlights were dusted up, she was sure. Glass became pitted against this stuff. Driving in a desert night was definitely not recommended. Constant driving up and down sand dunes at dusk, was bad enough. But at night, these mounds took on strange shapes. Shadows confused the mind, causing a person to make wrong decisions. You could really go off course, night driving. End up nowhere near where you expected to be.””””


My last blog, I set a scene in a rainy town street. This piece has a totally different feel. Dry hot desert. Nothing could be further from the last one, than this. Just flexing my writing muscles. Does anyone else do much of this, I wonder? It seems to help free me from my usual course. A new track to follow, if you will. Cleans out my mind, gives me new direction, even if it never becomes any more than this piece.

The Colours of Green.

When the sun beams down
On garden bright,
The colours of green
Glow in the light.
Pale Sap Green,
A brilliant hue,
Beneath the leaves,
A dark greeny blue.
I can see Hookers Green,
Both light and dark,
And Olive Green blends,
From stem and bark.
A Green Gold, crests
Foliage tops,
Emerald, Intense,
The greens really ‘pop’.
Viridian, strange,
And Phthalo Green,
Terre Verte,
Pervades the scene.
All of these colours
I hope to employ
When I begin painting,
Oh, water-colour joy.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. July, 2015.

I hope everyone is having a great day, wherever in the world. Watch out for traffic, toys in the grass, the Zebra herd, the slippy pond edge, whatever. Be Safe.


This entry was posted on July 21, 2015. 6 Comments

Eighth July Blog


Eighth July Blog

By a Road, Darkly.

The tarmac gleamed. It had been raining all day and was saturated. Orange street lights and yellow shop illuminations, shone in the puddles that hugged the potholes in the road, causing shimnering reflections that gave the impression of an early Christmas, though it was barely autumn.

Cars spashed along, the relections danced as droplets fell back into the momentarily dark liquid. Only to be eradicated when the next vehicle passed through. Summer’s mad heatwave had eased, though even with the rain, it was not yet cool. People walked with a purpose. Those going home from their daily toil, were late. Others already fed, were heading out for an evenings entertainment. The pub, a few doors down, was filling up, its doors continually opening and closing as new customers entered.

Suddenly, a woman screamed. Then a loud male laugh ensued as a car drove through a deep puddle along by the curb. A horn from the car behind, hooted as the driver screwed back out into the oncoming traffic. Other horns blared in unison. It was no night for niceties. People wanted to get home and out of the rain, thinking about the roast pork they were expecting, or the fish and chips they would pick up when closer to home.

Harvey Sental pulled his hat down lower, flicked his lighter, setting the new cigarette glowing as he drew a deep breath. He had tried to giving them up, but was finding it hard. So few people smoked these days. He knew it was bad for his lungs, the early morning coughing alerted his senses to the cancer scares. But the doorway where he stood viewing passers by, was womb-like and a cigarette was mother’s milk right now. A balm to start the night shift.

Ash dripped down his mac. He brushed at it, automatically. Maybe he could stop, he thought. But not tonight! Tonight was more important than giving up the weed.

Curls of blue smoke, lit by the neon sign above the doorway, strayed Heavenwards, giving away his poisition. Harvey stepped back. There was just enough space for him to lean right up against the door, taking him out of sight of the flats across the road. The windows opposite were dark, presumably no one home. But Harvey Sental knew different.

His quarry, for that was how he saw Novac Lentavich, was behind one of those windows.. A small-time crook, was Novac. With one difference. Harvey believed that Novac held the clues to the disappearance of a young girl. The police had been searching for Alison Croucher for days. The Family had contacted Harvey, for the sole purpose of finding Alison, feeling that a P. I. would stand more chance of locating the girl than the local constabulary. They had money, loads, from what he could tell. His contacts were good and already information about Novac had set him on a path.

Raindrops began falling again. More of a deluge this time. Water slanted inside the doorway. Harvey felt wetter than ever. He would have to make a move soon.


Just a short atmospheric piece. Sometimes it gives one a good feeling about writing. Knowing that this is juat a vignet. Something to blow away cobwebs, start one on a new path. A refreshment, if you will, in the writing game. A piece that tales one on a different trail, with new ideas, other scenes, descriptive challenges. I am in the mood to shake things up. Explore new artistic environments. Use different words, if possible and other locations. Spring cleaning the writing mind, if you will.


Darkness pervades
As the falling night
Townscapes, awash
With orange light,
From street lamps,
Shop windows,
Homes of weary workers,
Blazing, as entering donains.

Countryside, sinister,
Dark shapes loom,
Trees herald a horizon
Barely illumined
By night’s indigo sweep,
Before the moon’s
Eternal rise.
A mist, etherial
In its ghostliness,
Unseen by those
Safely in their
Cottages and mansions,
Sweeps across field,
Hugs moorland,
Swirls branches, like
Some unknown demon.

Olden times, the night
Gave fright. No street
Lights to cheer
Late travellers.
None moved where
They were not
Impressed to do so.
Only a risen gliobe
Poured pale light
Over a vastly darkened

How lucky is
Modern man,
Living in cities
Where light
Pervades over all?

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. July, 2015.

Stay safe, my friends and enjoy your days.


This entry was posted on July 20, 2015. 2 Comments