Comfy cats!

Hello all! I hope that your New Year is going well so far!

Firstly, sorry to say that the photos in this post and the last 3 posts have been eliminated due to insufficient space on the multimedia (see my later post for details…)

This afternoon I sat outside to soak in a bit of the Cordobese sunshine after the cold, frosty -2° C start. And as you can see from the photo, I was soon accompanied by three of my ten cats who, one by one, gingerly climbed up onto my lap.

Nice ‘n’ comfy ‘n’ warm on my lap!

Here is a quote from Bill Dana (comedian, actor, and screenwriter, who lived from October 5, 1924 – June 15, 2017). These words rang true for me!

“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.”

The cats also reminded me of a poem written by one of my favourite poets, John Keats, who unfortunately had a very short life, dying from tuberculosis when he was only 25.

(Wikipedia)

To Mrs Reynold’s Cat (A love sonnet to a feline acquaintance)John Keats (born London, England October 31, 1795, died February 23, 1821 in Rome)

Cat! who hast past thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d?—how many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green and prick
Those velvet ears—but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me—and upraise
Thy gentle mew—and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists—
For all the wheezy asthma,—and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nicked off—and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter’dst on glass-bottled wall.

That’s all for now. I hope this you well.

Comments and questions always welcome.

Take care xxx

Cork!

‘From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow’ — English proverb

Hello again — I hope you are all well.

This morning I went for a walk along my local country track here in Posadas (Cordova) and this is what I scavenged…

Cork — (the front side which I will paint)
The cork had fallen off the back of the truck which had been filled with the freshly-stripped cork from a nearby finca. (The more weathered, exposed side of the cork I will seal with shellac once washed and dried)
The neighbouring finca where the cork oak trees are stripped of their bark which is then used for making… corks! Also, the black-hooved pigs are often kept in these fincas so they can eat the acorns which produce a high quality ham (‘jamón de pata negra’ in Spanish)
The stripped trunks of the cork oak trees are even more red after the rain. It’s an impressive sight to see. These trees grow in the nearby finca of Calamon which once used to have an English-owned mine that worked til the beginning of the 20th century. I have written about this and other local mines in an earlier blog.

Those green-robed senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir…– John Keats
, Hyperion, Book I

As usual, I always have my little helper to lend a hand — or paw, rather!

If you’d like to know why and how I came to live in Cordova, then a fully-illustrated description is given in my earlier post: From Richmond Park to the historic town of Cordova

Thank you for visiting — as usual, comments and questions are always welcome

Take care! xxx

My Ode to Autumn (here in the countryside of Posadas, Cordova)

Hi folks — I hope you are all in good health and spirits.

I love the warm hues of autumn and also the season, because of the richness of colours, the softening sun diluted by mists, the contrasting weather and the maturity of the ending year. Then there is Christmas with its brightness and promise just round the corner — as well as my birthday!

Well, I just wanted to share with you a few photos that reflect this season here in Posadas countryside (Cordova):

The leaves of the pistacia lentiscus (lentisco) or mastic gum bush are already turning to copper
The snowflakes (campanilla de primavera) and the buttercups (ranúnculo) are early because of the mild weather
Here are the snowflakes again, and they are in fact, as delicate as snowflakes
Vibrant-coloured leaves from the mulberry and plane tree (morera and platanero de sombra)
And the earth shines under warm skies
The evening gave way to a lovely sunset…
…with the moon rising to the east of the haunted castle of Almodóvar del Río
But the clouds quickly stole in overnight and by midday the heavens opened…
I watched the scene from my window…
and decided it was time to light a warming fire!

To finish, here is my favourite Ode to Autumn, by the romantic poet, John Keats (1795-1821):

Joseph Severn’s miniature of Keats, 1819

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel
shells
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
  Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
  Steady thy laden head across a brook;
  Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
  And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
  The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies

Well, that’s all for now. If you’d like to see some more of my work, then you can visit this site.

Thank you for reading — as usual, comments and questions always welcome.

Take care! xxx