Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Names of the Hare

The man the hare has met
will never be the better of it
except he lay down on the land
what he carries in his hand—
be it staff or be it bow—
and bless him with his elbow
and come out with this litany
with devotion and sincerity
to speak the praises of the hare.
Then the man will better fare.
‘The hare, call him scotart,
big-fellow, bouchart,
the O’Hare, the jumper,
the rascal, the racer.
Beat-the-pad, white-face,
funk-the-ditch, shit-ass.
The wimount, the messer,
the skidaddler, the nibbler,
the ill-met, the slabber.
The quick-scut, the dew-flirt,
the grass-biter, the goibert,
the home-late, the do-the-dirt.
The starer, the wood-cat,
the purblind, the furze cat,
the skulker, the bleary-eyed,
the wall-eyed, the glance-aside
and also the hedge-springer.
The stubble-stag, the long lugs,
the stook-deer, the frisky legs,
the wild one, the skipper,
the hug-the-ground, the lurker,
the race-the-wind, the skiver,
the shag-the-hare, the hedge-squatter,
the dew-hammer, the dew-hoppper,
the sit-tight, the grass-bounder,
the jig-foot, the earth-sitter,
the light-foot, the fern-sitter,
the kail-stag, the herb-cropper.
The creep-along, the sitter-still,
the pintail, the ring-the-hill,
the sudden start,
the shake-the-heart,
the belly-white,
the lambs-in-flight.
The gobshite, the gum-sucker,
the scare-the-man, the faith-breaker,
the snuff-the-ground, the baldy skull,
(his chief name is scoundrel.)
The stag sprouting a suede horn,
the creature living in the corn,
the creature bearing all men’s scorn,
the creature no one dares to name.’
When you have got all this said
then the hare’s strength has been laid.
Then you might go faring forth—
east and west and south and north,
wherever you incline to go—
but only if you’re skilful too.
And now, Sir Hare, good-day to you.
God guide you to a how-d’ye-do
with me: come to me dead
in either onion broth or bread.
Translation from the Middle English by Seamus Heaney
Artist Chris Mould

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Coconut Lime and Rum Drizzle Cake




20 mins


55 mins



  • Golden Caster Sugar 225g
  • 125g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
  • Zest 3 limes
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 25g flaked coconut, toasted


  • Golden Caster Sugar 100g
  • Juice 3 limes
  • 3 tbsp golden rum


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin, line with greaseproof paper and set to one side. Place the butter and Golden Caster Sugar in a large Mason Cash bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the lime zest and then add the eggs, a little at a time, whisking well in between each addition. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and then add the desiccated coconut. Beat together with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Add the coconut milk and beat again with the wooden spoon.
  3. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and level off the top. Bake for 55 minutes until golden and risen, check the loaf is done by inserting skewer (it should come out clean). Meanwhile, place the lime juice, Golden Caster Sugar and rum in a small saucepan and heat very gently until dissolved, then remove from heat.
  4. Lightly prick the top of the baked cake with a skewer. Drizzle the lime and sugar mixture all over the top of the cake, scatter over the flaked coconut and allow to stand in the tin for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve or store in an airtight tin for up to two days.

Friday, 23 February 2018

A Heart-Stirring Poem for those who wish they could Start Over. Via Ernestine Mager on February 19, 2018

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I doubt life was ever
Meant to be lived
As one perfect whole
With a beginning
A middle
And an end
How dull.
Rather than growing stale
Settling like dust
I wish we’d all aim to
Live a thousand lives
Within a lifetime
Evolving into new forms
Shape-shifting through existence
With each new lap around the sun
Shedding old skin that
No longer fits
That we’ve outgrown
To make space
For expansion
For cultivation
For new thoughts and traits
For new adventures
New hobbies, new dreams
For deeper, fiery love
And friendship
At whichever stage
And in whatever form
It might appear
As long as we’re still here
We can find ourselves
Anew each day
How beautiful is that?
Author: Ernestine Mager
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman


School is something,
we must all embrace.
Knowledge we need, 
to seek out and chase.
Subjects and teaching styles,
are plentiful and vary.
Just like the backpacks,
we all need to carry.
Sports, clubs, and activities,
at every single turn.
So much to do,
study and learn.
To get the most from school,
we should consistently attend.
Around each corner,
there's always a friend.
Our favorite teachers,
are friendly and kind.
Their passion and job,
to expand every mind.
School is something,
we must all embrace.
Just remember to learn,
at your own pace.
Art Cynthia and Brian Paterson

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Anais Nin

Literary Hub
"How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself."
Anais Nin, born today in 1903.

Here Were Dragons

Ladies and gentlemen, moving along.
Now here is an interesting site.
An area where the dragons would throng
to ululate throughout the night.
As you will see from our careful recreation
these creatures will often astound
but they never deserved their dire reputation
as the most fearsome creatures around
With a forty foot wingspan or more
the dragons were kings of the skies.
A thunderclap flap that helped them to soar
(and distribute pollen nearby).
Yes they were strong and they could easily bear
a tree trunk around like a twig.
And they had fiery breath of which to beware
which could easily barbecue a pig.
And with all of this how do we portray them now?
Do we focus upon their great splendour?
No. We demonise or trivialise and I wonder how
can we do this on evidence so slender.
If you find pixies a pest, and they often infest
your workplace, your garden or home,
then you'd like me to suggest or even attest
to a solution for wherever they roam
In times gone by, as our researchers have found
the dragons would keep them under control.
You would have been glad to have dragons around.
Now 'all too common' is the pixies new role.
Now look to your left and what you will see
is a representative sample of tools.
And it might surprise you, as it surprised me
that the dragons never were fools.
They were massive and weighty, though streamlined.
but as we examine and research remains
the solitary fact that most surprises we find
was the incredible size of their brains.
It was known to be a sociable beastie
with remarkably strong family ties.
They long held a grudge against an enemy
and they never forgot their allies
Then human beings arrived. Only briefly at first.
The presence of dragons frightened people away
The general consensus was that if worst came to worst
you would rapidly become a flambé.
But the dragons displayed no worse than an interest
and when word of this got around
the previously cowardly now returned in earnest
and when dragons approached stood their ground.
The sailors considered them a great source of food.
and turned their lands into a staging post.
The choicest discovery was a mewling newborn brood.
The young meat favoured by sailors the most.
The freelance knights were the next to arrive
looking for quests to increase their fame
"The dragons were too dangerous for us to leave them alive"
they claimed, "They kill. They mutilate and maim."
They whipped up a storm with their self serving lies
without showing a hint of a conscience.
The resulting outrage was what would finally catalyse
the mob wanting to sail to vengeance.
And then the dragons were no more.
The reason, no great mystery -
It is down to the humans of yore
that the dragons are unnaturally history.
©Adam Gibbs
Art Steve Hutton

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Water Lilies

Where the water-lilies go
To and fro,
Rocking in the ripples of the water,
Lazy on a leaf lies the Lake King's daugher,
And the faint winds shake her.
Who will come and take her?
I will! I will!
Keep still! Keep still!
Sleeping on a leaf lies the Lake King's daughter. . . .
Then the wind comes skipping
To the lilies on the water;
And the kind winds wake her.
Now who will take her?
With a laugh she is slipping
Through the lilies on the water.
Wait! Wait!
Too late, too late!
Only the water-lilies go
To and fro,
Dipping, dipping,
To the ripples of the water.
A.A. Milne
Artist Unknown

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Lemon & buttermilk pound cake


  • 125g butter , plus extra for the tin
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • lemons , finely zested (save a little for the top if you like)
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 100ml buttermilk , at room temperature
  • ½ lemon , juiced

For the syrup

  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 2 large lemons , juiced (use the lemons you’ve zested)

For the icing

  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and flour a loaf tin measuring 22 x 11 x 7cm. Sift the flour with a pinch of salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the lemon zest. Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix the buttermilk with the lemon juice. Fold the flour mixture into the batter, alternating with the buttermilk and lemon mixture.
  2. Scrape the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to sit for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack with a tray underneath it. Set the cake the right way up.
  3. To make the syrup, put the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pierce the cake all over with a skewer then, while the cake is still warm, pour the syrup over slowly. Leave to cool.
  4. Gradually add the lemon juice to the icing sugar and mix until just smooth. If runny, put in the fridge for about 10 mins – you don’t want it to set, you just want it become a little firmer. Pour or spread the icing over the cake (the bits that drizzle down the side will be caught by the tray under the cooling rack). This icing won’t set hard, but do leave it to set a little before serving.