Tuesday, June 17, 2008

it was only a northern swan

It was my neighbour who suggested we go for a nice calming stroll around the lake at the local National Trust place but his contemplative conviviality was somewhat tempered by his complaining all the way round about the Trust's removal of the stepping stones near the tearoom; health and safety you see. My neighbour explained how when the Trust took over the estate in the nineteen eighties the old abbey actually still had a roof and all of it's windows but they were both stripped away lest a visitor trip over a fallen shingle and plunge through the stained glass. This was, he explained, the same time that the monks were sent away because they were a silent order so they refused to give anyone directions to the gift shop. This made me feel warm inside because you see it's only when you gain people's confidence that they share this kind of local knowledge.

We came across these little fellows by the water and as I wondered whether there was a really clever and original baby waterfowl inspired metaphor here if I could only see it they recognised the man who makes the pies for the farmers market and inexplicably leapt straight back into the water in a flash, and so the train of thought steamed off into the distance with my homesick thoughts still in the luggage rack, in coach B, over seat 42a, the one with the bit of old chewing gum stuck on the fold down drinks tray and the crumpled old Northern Echo with the crossword half completed stuffed behind it. Well, if you miss one there's always another along in a minute, metaphors that is, not trains. 'Fancy a brew Rilly?' asked a voice. It was my neighbour. 'Aye', I said, 'that would be super '.

38 comments:

Expatmum said...

You're supposed to ask the parents' permission before taking photos of young children Rilly. Another PC rule.

aims said...

And here I've been reading about all the old churches being stripped of their lead shingles for money! Not for safety! My goodness - what the newspapers will try to sell you these days.

lady thinker said...

Beautiful photo of the roofless abbey. But just think we wouldn't have that lovely sunlight green with the interesting shadows inside the abbey if it still had a roof.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Lovely photo. Can't think of a funny enough comment to match your sparkling prose. Love the train of thought Rilly...reminds me of many a GNER (RIP) train (God bless 'em)...

Mopsa said...

Rilly - I was expecting a video and a radio broadcast, in super (dare I, dare I?) lisping (lilting?) style....but then, I don't know if you could get a grant for that...

rilly super said...

expatmum, mother was around of course, but I took not having my nose bitten off as consent, as is the custom in the north, sigh

aims, crikey, you have the national trust in canada now too?! They haven't started sticking big rubber bungs in the ends of steeples so nobody pricks themselves on the sharp point yet over there have they?

ladythinker, how true that we should try to see the positive side of things, sigh

hadriana, yes, GNER being gone I don't know where to return all those branded table covers the children kept pocketing, sigh

mopsa, how right that I didn't quite see it through on this one. I just haven't got the marketing budget of some other ordinary normal average family life blogs I'm afraid, sigh

EmmaK said...

I detect that you have come to embrace the dull and yet placid circumstances that led up up north. You have stopped fighting the daily urge to drive down to London with the kids strapped to the luggage rack. Peace.

Lizzie said...

Is this called 'Swanning it'? (Erhem - oop noorth?)

How are you keeping Rilly? Do hope you are rilly well honey bun.
Lotsalove,
Lizzie xx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Rilly (Super), Hope you are feeling well and not feeling under this dreadful weather we are having at the moment. Maybe you are away in Tuscany? When are you going to post again? As they say (rather dreadfully somewhere or other) missing you already. Never mind the marketing budget. Your prose more than lives up to it!

Kate Lord Brown said...

Thank you Rilly. You've made my afternoon - laughed so hard I inhaled my tea (well bit early for G&T even in Hampshire). x

EmmaK said...

It's a trend, depressed relocating wives. The other wife in the north has got a 70,000 squid book deal
http://www.wifeinthenorth.com/
I imagine that you are just now hobnobbing with the london agents securing your own sweet piece of the pie!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

....there's an award for you over at my blog if you ever do fancy coming back.....(!) Enjoy the hols...

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Lovely touch in those last few lines.

Miss Hope said...

The northern Echo, how I long to sit at my mum's kitchen table and read about the latest car park fiasco in Sunderland town centre and the impeccable service at Marsden Grotto.

Wees keys are these keys?.

Arthur Clewley said...

I do miss you Rilly

menopausal mum said...

Strifey why ohh why have you stopped blogging? I used to love reading Wifey's blog and then clicking over to your blog to compare and contrast???

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I miss you too. Are you working on your book? When's the launch party? Can we all come?

Eats Wombats said...

I think she's out. Check the drinks cupboard. The door was open wasn't it?

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Now come on Rilly! I've counted to 11,352,677, looked all over the North for you. Where ARE you? Have you gone back South? (I'll be reduced to printing all your posts out soon so that I can make my own "Strife" book. Never mind swans...it's northern cold and wet turkeys over here!!)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

'Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the gift shop?'

'I said, could you tell me the way to the gift shop?'

'Do you think he's deaf? Oh right, maybe he's from Thailand, you know one of those, or perhaps China, a shaolin one...BOOKSHOP! WHERE?'

'No,nope, not gonna work. Do you think it's over there by the cafe? Come on, let's go and look'......

I would LOVE to meet a silent Monk!
Pigx

rosiero said...

Are you still there or shall I delete you from my blogroll?

James Higham said...

the Trust's removal of the stepping stones near the tearoom

Can't trust anyone these days.

ladythinker said...

Rilly = we do so miss you still.

And Roserio - even if Rilly doesn't write a single nother word [sob] we can't eliminate her from our blog rolls .. Her blog is 'Great Art' and great art should always be left for the poor huddled masses to find. So please leave the signpost on your blog ...

dulwichmum said...

Come back sweetie, you are very much missed...

2345 said...

Absolutely beautiful ... a friend once rescued a trapped cygnet in a river flowing past her house; the parent birds distress alerted her.
She said they returned every day afterwards, waiting until she appeared, which she believed was their mark of respect.

The bonds of trust lasted with the swans second brood - unlike many humans they 'mate' for life.

ladythinker said...

Dulwich mum is oh so right ... sigh x

Stay at home dad said...

What happened....? Well I should know the answer to that...

Sahd

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Whoever and wherever you are, Super and Rilly...Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year 2009. I'll never delete you from my blogroll or bogroll for that matter. Missing you already.

Natasha said...

Super Super Super. Just found this blog and it's hugely hugely entertaining and witty! Only thing - please sort out your "it's" (=it is; not the possessive which is plain its) as otherwise you are a fab fab writer, your one little (grammatical) fault which nevertheless doesn't detract from your engaging style! found you through WiTN...now I'm reading you in preference most days!...Natasha

Nina said...

Rilly, I can't believe I've gotten in a post before you broke your sabbatical! Please don't wait a year, as I did--you are missed!

rivergirlie said...

rilly - where are you?

Tyke In The North said...

Tha`s ell deft thah n`ahs

ladythinker said...

Sigh - so sad - you're still not in . .

Andy said...

Hey Rilly - It's along shot, but I was wondering if you knew how to get hold of Arthur C (not Clarke!). I need his help my new Richmond blog.... You could help too, if you have a minute ;-)

ladythinker said...

SIGH - still not at home I see . . .

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chicken coops said...

what a lovely pic

Sober Blog said...

Hello?