Here is Paudge curled up peacefully with Tamzin. Those two love each other; Tamzin's rolling eye is caused by the proximity of DH's camera. She doesn't like these new-fangled things, especially with a flash. 'Just go away and let us BE, will you?' Paudge couldn't be bothered. Paparazzi, shaparazzi, no worries.
He will curl up with Petroushka too, although 'Troushka, still being young and enthusiastic, is inclined to give it a maximum five minutes and then start a game.
Or a washing session. 'C'mon, you know you like your face licked, Paudge. You know you do!'
Polliwog,on the other hand, though extremely friendly to all the dogs, always willing to rub up against them and administer head butts, draws the line at face washing. Here she is ready to strike, while 'Troushka, abandoning her original plan, hastily jumps back, ears flying with the haste of her retreat.
But 'Troushka knows how to get her revenge. Wait until Polliwog is peacefully curled up somewhere else, and then...
...gently pull the rug from under her.
'That'll soften her cough!' said 'Troushka triumphantly, bearing the rug out to the garden where she proceeded to demolish it beyond repair. Ah well, back to the fabric cupboard and the sewing machine.
And speaking of sewing, and thereby knitting, there has been some activity on that front. The Rainshine Shawl was finally finished, although the last couple of rows, with all the beading, took several days just by themselves. It's a superb pattern though, and well worth the trouble. I made it in a silk yarn which I'd hand-dyed, and it looks great thrown around your neck casually or opened fully and draped deeply for an exceptionally dramatic entrance on a grand occasion.
And guess what happened as a perfectly lovely offshoot from De New Book? Darling Meagheen, inspired by my descriptions of the druids in ancient Ireland, designed a special Druid's Stocking! A tall kneesock (or kilt hose might be a more apposite term, as they have lovely turn-down cuffs) with swirling twisting cables, just right for a keeper of wisdom to wear as he tramped through the forest or conducted rituals at a stone circle on a high hill. Of course I'm going to knit them! Who wouldn't, with a compliment like that?
Here is the yarn, the very best Wollmeise in a rich Druidical green, and fine needles, all ready to start. I'll keep you posted on how they go. Knowing Meagheen, they will be deliciously complex yet supremely satisfying to work. And who knows who - or what- you might meet when you wear them walking in a forest glade?
And speaking of forests, we went down to the West Cork woods the other day, wandering over little mossy bridges past rushing rivers, looking for berries and nuts and mushrooms.
We discovered that the little stony beach by the pool was covered with hazelnuts, not quite ripe yet, but fallen thickly on the ground. This could have been a double for the legendary pool where the magic hazel trees of knowledge overhang the water and drop their nuts to the waiting salmon who then becomes the Salmon of Knowledge. We cast a cluster of nuts each into the flowing stream that comes out of the pool, and watched them float away underneath the sheltering trees. A gift to Themselves, and hopefully received as such. You never know when you might need their assistance.
And then there were blackberries to pick, along by a deserted fishing village near the shore below Glandore. People lived in those ivy-covered cottages once, called to each other up and down the lane. Children ran down to the beach to see their fathers coming back from the fishing, scrambling to be first to see what they had caught. The memory of the past was all around as we picked the blackberries.
Right in the centre of this picture, on that promontory in the bay, you can see Kilcoe Castle, owned by actor Jeremy Irons. He is much to be lauded for restoring the old ruin in the traditional way, making it look just as it would have done in medieval times. It's a common mistake to think that old buildings have always looked grey and forbidding; in the Middle Ages they would have been painted in bright colours, visible from a great distance. And today, you can see that tradition carried on in rural villages of West Cork where the houses are all shades of a pastel rainbow.
Evening on the beach at Toormore, with the monbretia blooming vividly in its autumn colours. End of a perfect day. Even Petroushka crashed out and slept all the way home!