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sisters & sparrows

Poetry. Photography. Life.

Category Archives: beside the point

Taking a leaf out of Erica‘s book I’m going to tell you a few of the things in life that I most love.  Non-book or poetry related.  Guys, this will be informative for you.  After you understand that I love these things, you will have new insight into the philosophy of my life.


I have to stress that bread and jam must be enjoyed only when the bread is hot out of the oven, a fat doorstep of homemade loaf or a hunk of baguette, a fat bit of salted butter, and maybe raspberry jam.  Excellent with thick french coffee.  If I have kids they will have this on Sunday afternoons without fail, with warm milk.

Yessss.  Treehouses.  I’ve never been in one ever but I’ve always wanted one.  They’ve always fascinated me.  Those amazing treehouse cities with mazes of bridges and ladders, also the modern minimalist pod ones with huge windows.  I’d love to stay here.

Castles.  Any castle.  I’m obsessed with King Arthur and the knights and all that (never quite grew out of it).  This castle is one of my top favourites.  (If you live in England you should absolutely visit it.)  I like the ones that are quite ruined so you can have a proper explore and imagine how it used to look, and find little nooks where no-one else goes and imagine queens gazing out of windows there and so on.

Uh.  Cheese.  Specifically, shropshire blue.  Seriously though, Sunday evenings have been cheese and wine evenings at home for as long as I can remember.  I miss the tradition at uni (what student can afford it).  On a tangent, I also love food photography.  Specifically Katie Quinn Davies‘.  I think I have a bit of a girl crush on her.

The Armoury.  This is my favourite pub in the world and a default meeting place for me and my Shrewsbury friends.  It’s got humongous bookshelves along two whole walls, and all the chairs and tables are mismatched.  They have loads of local ales and the food is wonderful.

The Stiperstones.  I just love this hill.  It has a lot of good memories.  Also legends!  I love legends.

And I also love people who talk about books and their arms get all animated and their eyes shine and I love it when people talk about God like that too – even better when it’s both combined, like when they’re chatting C S Lewis.  I love it when my flatmates order take out for me and we drink beer and watch rubbish telly.  I love misty mornings that turn into yellow afternoons.  I love trudging through the countryside in the rain when I’m wearing chunky boots.

I’ll stop now.

A non-relevant but celebratory video for you today.  Because I feel tired and bored and a bit dizzy.  Nine o’clocks are not my cup of tea!

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Remember I said I was knitting while watching the Super Bowl?  Well this is what I was knitting:

I kept seeing people wearing these ear warmer things all winter, and I really wanted one.  But the only ones I could find in shops had silly flowers on, or were made of manky acrylic wool.  So I took the matter into my own hands.  Hey presto!  My first knitted item is (more or less) a success!

Ah, Balthazar, you did me proud today.  I asked you to send a letter to my friend who had been feeling a little melancholy.  I gave you a few sparse details – that she has thick hair that she’s very proud of, that she loves the poetry of Keats, that she has green eyes, and so on.  Today it arrived on our doorstep, this missive, beautifully stamped and containing a cheeky risqué polaroid, lines of Keats and rapt references to EJD’s ‘Aphrodite hair’.

Hilariously, I got a call from EJD who wanted to relate this ‘freaky event’, and began her tale with a slight tremor of panic, wondering who was this strange foreign man in a sailor’s cap who was writing her love letters.  I was forced to admit my part in the whole escapade.

I also have to admit I requested a letter for myself… Balthazar, I wait with baited breath.

{images by the incredible paul de luna}

Variation on a Theme by Rilke

	A certain day became a presence to me;
	there it was, confronting me--a sky, air, light:
	a being. And before it started to descend
	from the height of noon, it leaned over
	and struck my shoulder as if with
	the flat of a sword, granting me
	honor and a task. The day's blow
	rang out, metallic--or it was I, a bell awakened,
	and what I heard was my whole self
	saying and singing what it knew: I can.

				 --Denise Levertov



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