There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Monday, 23 July 2012


"No one in class could remember a time when there wasn't rain."
                                                        ~Ray Bradbury, All Summer in A Day

St. Swithun's Day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's Day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mare.
Last Sunday was St. Swithin's Day, and as it dawned clear and bright, the entire nation was praying that this legend was going to come true.

Our entire summer up until now, in fact spring and summer, has been the wettest on record.  It's reminded me of a the short story by Ray Bradbury called All Summer in a Day. 

The story takes place in a colony on Venus, in a schoolroom.  The children are waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to come out--which only happens for an hour every seven years. Some of them have never even seen the sun.  Sadly, there is a small, vulnerable girl that the children gang up on and they lock her in the closet for the entire hour that the sun shines.  I've thought of this story since May, as summer seemed to come to Britain only an hour at a time--and if I was inside cleaning up after breakfast or making beds, I would miss it, just like the little girl locked in the closet.

This is a picture I took of the Olympic Torch coming through Oxford on the 9th of July at 6pm.  It wasn't exactly a bright and glorious summer evening as you can see.

As the Olympic Torch crowds dispersed, Magdalen Tower and dark clouds loomed overhead.

And here is the proof of sunny
summer days to come--just look 
atit!  Not a cloud to be seen.

But now, St. Swithin be praised, all that has changed.  Apparently the jet stream was stubbornly too low and wouldn't budge, causing great swathes of wind and rain to descend upon Britain.  I'm happy to report the jet stream has decided to cooperate and has shifted northward, where it's supposed to be this time of year.  This means that all the wind and rain will descend over Scotland, (sorry Scotland), where it should be and has since time immemorial.  This leaves southern England to bask in the sun at long last--and just in time for the Olympics.  Truly a St. Swithin's Day miracle!


  1. Thanks for reminding me of the Bradbury story! This truly has been a wretched spring and early summer--in northern France too; I was in Paris until returning to Oxford in mid-June, and we had it pretty bad there, though not quite as bad as here. The University Parks were full of sun-worshippers yesterday.

  2. Thank you! Your stories help me to remember all the wonderful times I had in Oxford. It's such a gorgeous place, and your stories make me feel like I'm back there!