Paint chip challenge 52 Silence

From Lynda Kruschke’s post, where the whole challenge, colours and her poem may be seen:

Our theme is Silence. Seems appropriate for a relatively quiet holiday season.

The words and phrases you have to work with are sprig of mintsmoke signaldragonflyblack catfaded denimdust devil, and prickly pear. My challenge to you is to pick just one of these words, the one that most symbolizes silence for you, and write four tercets with a clear rhyme scheme. Or you could choose to write a triolet.

I learned from the link above that the rhyming scheme of a triolet is ABaAabAB, where upper case letters denote repeated lines. Lower case letters denote a rhyme matching the line represented by the same upper case letter.

A sprig of mint took me back to my childhood. For the sake of the challenge I have made my mother silent, but it would have been very unusual for her not to have thanked me.


My mother sent me out to pick a sprig of mint
From the corner of the garden near the shed.
Our garden had clay soil and stones* of flint.
My mother sent me out to pick a sprig of mint.
I noticed in her thankful eyes a glint,
When she took it from me; not a word she said.
My mother sent me out to pick a sprig of mint
From the corner of the garden near the shed.

* For readers in the US our British stones are what you call rocks. 🙂

Two more books I read in October 2020

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

I chose The Foundling on BorrowBox partly because the cover reminded me of that of The Muse, which I had read and enjoyed. It is a historical novel aimed at an adult readership. Set in London in Georgian times against a backdrop of people struggling for existence and the wealthy, the meeting of  these two worlds led to some interesting scenes in this book. There were many unexpected twists and turns. My only disappointment was that I I have to wait to borrow the author’s earlier book, The Familiars.



The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

I recently became the owner of some books I had lived alongside as I was growing up. The Franchise Affair published in 1948 was one I remembered reading and enjoying in my late teens. I couldn’t remember anything else about it, so I reread it. Having been written in the early years following WWII, it described life in England at that time as the background to an unusual mystery. During WWII a National Day of Prayer* had been called. One of the characters in The Franchise Affair was a great believer in the power of intercessory prayer. That perhaps surprised me more now than it would have done the first time I read it as the culture of Britain has changed during the intervening years. The way the story unfolded shocked me when I was younger. The legal background was well-researched and I had to consult a dictionary for one of the technical terms.

Two highly recommended books.

* Today is the first day of the second national lockdown in England during the Covid-19 pandemic. The three most senior bishops of the Church of England have written to the clergy expressing their desire for this to be a month of prayer.


What I read in June 2019 (Part 4)

Four recommended reads this time.

The Ladybird Book of British Wildflowers

As a child I collected most of the series of Ladybird books about nature. I used to reread them on Saturday mornings in summer, when I was awake before the rest of the household. In an idle moment I read through the wildflower book again. It was interesting to see what was included. There are plants (including a few rare ones) which flower in different seasons and various habitats. The illustrations are lovely paintings. As I didn’t take it out into the countryside, I’m not sure I learned a lot from it as a child, although I did understand the use of a key to the pictures. Each painting is accompanied by text and a line drawing with numbers indicating which plant is which. My interest in reading it again was due to #wildflowerhour.

The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow by Jackie Morris

I was delighted to receive this beautiful book as a present. I was unaware of Jackie Morris’ books apart from The Lost Words, which I have written about previously. The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow developed from a series of Christmas cards, which the artist/author had designed for a charity – Help Musicians UK. I looked through it and read the whole text in an hour or two. It was so beautiful it made me cry.

The text is a series of stories with a fairy-tale feel about them. It is a picture book for adults. Many details in the pictures make it a book, which can be enjoyed over and over again.

Live, Lose, Learn: A Poetry Collection by Mari Howard

This beautifully presented book from Hodge Publishing was on sale at a writers’ weekend I attended recently. I read all the poems in a single sitting, but will return to this slim volume later to read them more slowly. There are four sections in the book and some illustrations. Unfortunately there is no contents list.

The Dangers of Family Secrets by Debby Holt

As I am currently reading two nonfiction books, which I hope to have finished and be ready to review soon, I popped into the library to find some light reading. The book I chose was on the Quick Choice display. The title caught my eye and the blurb made the book sound interesting. I began reading it the same day and spent a lazy Saturday afternoon reading to the end. There are a lot of strands to the story, which are satisfactorily woven together by the end. As an added bonus some of the characters have literary or artistic interests. Coincidentally Tom’s Midnight Garden is  mentioned in this book. I actually laughed out loud at one point, when a build-up of tension in the story was replaced by relief.