"O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." - Hamlet Act II scene ii
31 December 2011
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22 December 2011
|Terry and Suarez shake hands before Chelsea's game with Liverpool|
19 December 2011
18 December 2011
16 December 2011
Since completing her Masters degree, Lady Pudding has discovered extra hours to fill and so she thought she'd give the Women's Institute a try. At the second meeting in a church hall in the city centre, "secret Santa" presents were exchanged and she ended up with a practical guidebook to knitting her own cakes - complete with free patterns and illustrations. Here it is:-
My mother used to be a staunch member of the W.I. in the village where I was born - Nazareth in East Yorkshire. They made jam and chutney and useful things for the home like lampshades and baskets before singing "Jerusalem" and going home. They never knitted bloody cakes! What would you do with a knitted cake once it was finished? Torment children with it? Feed it to knitted teddy bears? Or, most likely, just ram it in a cupboard and forget about it.
What a mad world we live in. Here are some cakes I knitted earlier:-
14 December 2011
Recently, as standard bearer of the Yorkshire Freedom Army, I have had to apologise for Jeremy Clarkson and George Bamber. However, today I celebrate the life of another Yorkshireman - the metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell who was born at Winestead in East Yorkshire in 1621. His father was the vicar there and this is the church he presided over. It's called St Germain's:-
Sadly the rectory house where Marvell junior was born was demolished long ago.
Marvell was a pupil at Hull Grammar School but at the age of only twelve he became a student at Cambridge University where he immersed himself in his studies, afterwards becoming an influential figure in English intellectual and political life. He was a well-known political satirist and became Hull's Member of Parliament in turbulent political times but it is chiefly as a poet that we remember him and perhaps his most famous poem is included below.
"To His Coy Mistress" - on the face of it, it is about the seduction of a young woman whose coyness had clearly frustrated the poet's baser instincts. However, it is also about man alone in a universe where the presence or absence of God seems immaterial. We are all victims of time and if we don't seize the day it will have passed us by. Here physicality and spirituality are woven together. Though written in the middle of the seventeenth century, this poem has a universal theme that should easily touch those modern day readers who are prepared to sit quietly for a few open-minded minutes and discover for themselves why Marvell remains so highly regarded:-
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave 's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Following the fatal attack of a malaria-like fever called tertian ague, Marvell was buried at St Giles in the Field in London in 1678, many miles from the quiet and rather remote Yorkshire hamlet where his life began. Thankfully, for every Jeremy Clarkson there is an Andrew Marvell.
12 December 2011
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4 December 2011
Song for The Departed
I thought I heard you last night
As this wind-pommeled house
Yes, before I was submerged in sleep
I thought I heard you.
How faint your voices were
As if from far away
Only dimly like your faces.
Oh, how faint they seemed.
Life pulses like oceans
But its foreverness is
I could only sense the darkness
Though my hands reached out for you.
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