Friday, July 26, 2013


Heather Rowan at Quiet Dreamer - 3 minutes ago
*My Desk. * * What a nightmare trying to get in to my blog this evening. These demands from these computer programmers who demand MOBILE PHONE numbers. * * I don't lava a mobile phone. I can't afford a MOBILE PHONE. I wonder if they really mean it here in Canada when they are CONSIDERING get tin rid of PAY PHONES At the moment they only cost $00.50 a call. 

                                                                     My Desk. 

   What a nightmare trying to get in to my blog this evening. These demands from these computer programmers who want MOBILE PHONE numbers. 
   I don't lava a mobile phone. I can't afford a MOBILE PHONE. I wonder if they really mean it here in Canada when they are CONSIDERING getting rid of PAY PHONES  At the  moment they only cost $00.50 a call. 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Essays Of My Life. ESSAYS OF MY LIFE. by HEATHER ROWAN. GIFTS. It was the start of a New Year. My thirteenth year, or was it the fourteenth. I could never work it out, all I can say is it means that I have a whole year to hit the next one. This works very well now that I am an old woman, but in 1954 I had withstood all the teenage threshold jokes from my younger brother, and, as ever, he still hadn’t stopped calling me ‘four eyes’, in spite of the risk of boxed ears from Mother who always stood up for me. He was crafty that brother of mine, he always teased me out of her earshot ninety nine percent of the time. “Are you sure you want to go all the way into the city today luv? It’s bitterly cold out there” Mother set my oatmeal in front of me and offered me the cream from the top of the milk as ‘an extra’. “I’ll go Mum. Once I’m on the bus it’ll be warm enough. It’s the hall that will be colder.” “That’s true. I wish Madame Kyte had continued with her ballet classes here in town” “She couldn’t get enough students. Anyway I’m glad she asked me specifically to come to her.” “There is that”. I left the warm house and walked down the gravel path and made my way towards the bus stop. The pavements were white with frost, the hedges surrounding the houses across the street, were buried under its mantle as well. It was cold, the coldest I’ve ever felt in England. One thing, this early morning bus would have few passengers. I decided to sit in the very front seat on the upper level. The view from there as the Double Decker traveled across the moor would be spectacular. I could see the sunrise as I headed towards the city fifteen miles away. One hour to stay warm. The trip was worth it. This morning I didn’t doze as the bus rumbled on, the views across the valley where my hometown lay were spectacular with the heavy frost that lay over the fields and the trees, and after the usual stop over at the mid way point of the journey, the bus pulled away and we were heading onto the last bit of moorland before passing through the small villages and suburbs towards the city. We traveled on, and as I had imagined the expanses of the moor were covered with hoar frost. I have never seen anything so beautiful before or since that compares. The ponies that made their home on this protected land were grazing as usual the best they could, their coats thickened and shaggy, against the winter weather. Further away in the cultivated fields, sheep stayed close to the barns and faired better. And then I saw it. On the grass verge, so close to the road that they could have fallen under the wheels of the bus, if one had caught the other off balance, Stallions fighting.One was as black as a raven, and the other, white as the frost that surrounded them. The rays of the rising sun shimmered over the hindquarters and musculature of the black horse as it reared and plunged trying to gain ground. The white held, reared, and slammed his powerful neck against the black, and as he dropped to the ground to gather strength for another attack his heavy mane swung and fell against his neck the heat from their battle turning the droplets of moisture captured there into crystal. The sight of the struggle was beautiful in its power, its fury, its strength and symmetry. Passengers on the bus gasped, and even the bus driver slowed down as we passed the animals. What a gift for a cold January morning in a wild part of an even wilder landscape. Arriving at the Ballet Studio the picture remained in my mind. All through the barre work, the port-d-bras exercises and the central floor work the stunning wildness of it all stayed with me. And when it came to the final exercises of our training, the memory of the horses made my jettes and Grande jettes soar. I flew on the music, as our four-hour class came to an end. In the changing room I was getting the usual cracks from my classmates about my heavy sweater and bulky leg warmers, and defended my clothing with reminding them that I had a fifteen-mile journey to take before getting to class. My day had started a lot earlier than those city girls. I thought I had won my usual battle when they all quieted down. Looking up from untying the ribbons of my half-pointe ballet shoes I noticed that our teacher had come into the change room. (An unusual occurrence.) This woman had been made a Dame no less. “Valerie may I have a moment?” ‘Oh no’ I thought ‘ she’s going to drop me from the class.’ I walked towards her, hoping that she would lead me out to the studio away from the rest of the girls, for privacy No, right there in front of all of them she said’ “ I think you’re good enough to enroll in The London School of Ballet. I can help you there. What do you think?” It was the start of a New Year. My thirteenth year, or was it the fourteenth. Two choices. The freedom of the horses in all the wild places that surrounded my home, or, the discipline and training of one of the best, no, the best Ballet School in England in a city I never thought I would ever visit. END. Views: 3 Like Share Twitter

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Time frame. During the Christmas celebrations. Juliette and Lee are killed in a fatal car crash on their way to join Alex and Peter at the Fund Raising Gala.

They had fled London in the early hours of the morning with their children; all of them bundled up and in five child seats in Alex’s roomy MPV. Mercifully they had escaped the voracious pursuit of the Paparazzi, who, unlucky for them; were keeping their restless vigil outside of Peters home, miles away across London from Alex’s Belgravia home.

Now it was evening. The old house had drawn in around them, silent, solid. Through the valleys and hills beyond its mullioned windows; a sighing wind drifted. Whispered through the small pastures and meadows that surrounded this Cornish sanctuary. A steady December rain had begun to fall, pattering on the flagged courtyard at the rear and some drops were already finding their way down the chimney, causing the glowing embers to sizzle in the grate.

Peter drew the heavy mulberry colour drapes across the latticed bay window of the tiny sitting room, turned; and crossed the room to the fireplace. Picked up the heavy brass poker from the hearth and coaxed the lazy flames into life, and for good measure threw a generous handful of pinecones into the blaze, careful to lay a few at the front of it, in time as they caught, a faint whisper of pine would permeate the room. He lingered there, resting comfortably on his muscular haunches, idly rolling two small cones across and across his slender fingers, enjoying the heat of the fire on his face.

The door opened behind him, the draught stirring the drapes at their hems. He rose in one easy motion, and walked toward Alex as she headed for the couch. He could smell the sweet fragrances of their children’s bath time still about her.
 “You know, it was great out today, collecting these.” He glanced down at the cones still in his right hand before tossing them back into the huge, dark wicker basket beside the fireplace. “Of course I had to keep picking up Hannah. She is so unsteady on her feet for a two year old”
  “Yes.” She sank on to the sumptuous couch; her voice echoed her fatigue, “when she’s on uneven ground bless her. Maggie was well away I expect?”
    “Oh yes,” He joined her, dusting his hands off against his muscular thighs, his dark pants stretched across them as he sat down. “ Mind you, she stuck close to Andy after a while. He stays pretty close. How was Fiona?”
    “A dream as ever Pete.” Alex unfolded a soft green chenille blanket that rested on the arm of the couch, and threw it across their knees. “She’s so placid and serene. I had her propped up in that old wicker cradle you used to like to play with. On the parlour table. She was Supervisory Cook. And there were Etta’s luminous brown eyes, watching, watching, not missing a thing for all of her two months in this world.” Peter took one of the plump scatter cushions, and balanced it on top of the back of the couch, resting his head against its edge. He reached for her hand. He received the familiar squeeze; he returned the pressure.  Always the hands, since a child. Hers safeguarding and guiding, both the rescued and the rescuer, the gesture this time helping to assuage the agony of their loss. Three days behind them. No distance at all.
 “Our first Christmas without” the sentence died .He rubbed his left hand absentmindedly across the two day stubble growing on his chin and sighing deeply settled more comfortably against the edge of the cushion. Alex had taken up the same position on the other side of it.
 “Number one mission accomplished” Her voice trailed away.
 “At least the girls will sleep.” He murmured.
 Yes, your girls will sleep. He felt the small impatient movement of her head against the pillow that they shared. “I can guarantee that Andy won’t make it through the night. He never does.”
 “What do you do about that?” He turned his head towards her and looked straight into those familiar green eyes. Pale shadows of grief and weariness beneath them now.
 “We take him.” she stopped herself quickly, and lowered her gaze, and with the slender fingers of her left hand tucked a stray black curl back behind her ear before he had her eyes back, troubled with sadness. “I.” She pumped his hand still held in hers gently, “I mean, I will take him to bed with me for awhile until he falls asleep.” Their eyes held. An unwanted glimmer of humour stole into Peter’s, and he grinned weakly.
“ You mean you don’t give your son any of those butterfly wing kiss things you used to give me. They used to settle me down really well.” She grinned reluctantly back.
 “Yea, I did didn’t I. when you were a little boy.” A frown creased between the winged eyebrows.” When you were little” Her voice dropped to a whisper. The eyes held again. Deep Ocean blue to green shore…”So long ago.” Now the shore searched the deep, searching, searching for an escape from the grief they shared. There was none.

Peter got up and walked the short distance back to the fire. He lent against the mantle. Arm outstretched supporting himself; his dark lashes cast shadows on his pale cheeks as he looked down into the flames.
 “God Alex’ his voice at first deceptively calm, rose to an almost childlike incredulity.
 “When will we ever get over this?   Will we ever get over it?” He began to pace back and forth, as much as the small dimensions of the room would allow.

Alex had moved to the edge of the couch, elbows on her knees clenching and unclenching her small hands.
 “We’ll cope. We have to cope.” He had stopped pacing momentarily thrusting his hands deep into his pockets and turned back to the fire. The burden he felt sitting squarely on his broad shoulders.
 ‘Etta” He was fighting for control. “My everything. All of my life, everything to me. We waited so many years to be old enough to get married to have a family. It was all over so quickly. Our adult life vanished. Over. Now a New Year ahead. But for who?” As he turned back to face Alex, already the tears were spilling from his eyes, and hung in droplets trapped in his lashes. He made no sound as the tears fell. “And the public. My public. What do they expect of me?  I have no comfort to give them.”
 “They will expect none Peter.” Alex looked up at him, seeing devastation written all over the generous open face, and as he wiped away the tears with the heels of his hands her memory traveled back across the years. What a miracle he was. She had been witness to it. The boy. The Lover. The bridegroom. The Father, and now a widower, so young. Alex was glad that his new baby daughter Fiona resembled his beloved Etta; and that she also had a likeness to the other baby who had died in his arms when he was fourteen. His adored cousin, Olwyn.

She stood up, the distance between them soon covered. He reached out his hands towards her, She held them firmly in her own, and caressed the prominent knuckles.
 “I made a promise to you once .Do you remember?
 “ There were many. All of them kept. I’m still a bit jumpy during thunder storms.”
 “But you keep the talisman?”
“Always. It saved my life You saved my life.”
 “And you mine.” She lowered her head again, intent. “It will ease.” The memories came back unbidden. She had held these hands so long. As a child’s’ plump and comforting. As a teenager, watched as the fingers had lengthened, the wrists turning to sticks.” It will ease for us. This loneliness. This separation from our first loves. This part of us that is lost.” Her voice was soft, yet clear.” Your public will understand, and respect Etta’s wishes for a private funeral, as well as Lee’s. All of us, all of them will grief with us and for us.” He looked down too, and watched her small, usually capable fingers still stroking his knuckles. The childhood game she used to play came back to him winging out of memory. ‘Let’s measure hands.’ He had remembered when he had begun to win that game.

They moved apart. Alex back to the couch, and she began to refold the blanket, her dark shiny hair swinging forward hiding her face as she replaced it on the arm.
 “What is the very next thing you want to do?” She looked over her shoulder at him “Say. In the next five minutes?  No thinking about it, just the old knee jerk answer.
 “Make hot chocolate” She was already heading out into the parlor. Her dark hair swung as she turned again, asking the oldest question ever.
 “With marshmallows.”
 “ As long as they’re mini’s” He followed.

In the parlour, the almost unnoticeable tangy smell of drying apples still permeated this part of the house. It was comforting and familiar. Now the simple tasks at hand drew their minds away from their distress.  Preparing to make the warm drinks, bringing food from the old pantry almost hidden, in a dark cool corner. Setting up a tray to carry back into the cozy sitting room when everything was ready. And above all, the measured urgency to get it all done before Fiona woke for her ten or eleven o clock feed. Caught up in these mundane tasks, that became precious but unnoticed, moved them along into the next half-hour.

Peter took up his usual task of building up the fire in the basket of the old cast iron range, standing solidly on its natural red brick hearth, tucked under the huge fireplace and chimneybreast. Still it could have warm water ready for them throughout the day. And they still used the oven and it’s top to cook with.

“ I remember Aunt Eva, down on her knees applying blacking to this old thing Alex.” He called to her as he coaxed the dying embers to life. “I should have been a fireman.” He murmured to himself. “Well one always needs a second career.” The logs were now crackling noisily. “The top of the range is plenty hot enough to heat up the milk’ He continued his conversation. “I’ll use one of these copper pans.” He reached up to the shelf above his head,
  “Sure.” Alex’s voice was muffled as she searched in the bottom storage box in the pantry.
 “Pete… Do you know where the minis are? Did I put them in a different spot and have forgotten where? You know one of those, safe, I’ll know where they are places?” She came out into the room again. Both of them said it in unison.
“Andy!” and with a nod and a wink at each other, added,
“Window seat.” Grinning they set to.  Moving the heavy deal table away to access the hiding place.

Friday, April 20, 2012

WINDY RIDGE. Posted by Valerie M Honey. on April 20, 2012 at 3:00pm View Blog Windy Ridge. My Aunt and Uncle's cottage has this view. It is built on a hill in Cornwall and stands one thousand feet above seal level and is twenty miles inland. Lift the latch of the converted stable door and you end up in a sunny parlor. A black coal burning range on your left is my Aunties magic box. Out of this comes the gourmet cooking known only to Cornish or Devonshire men. Quarry men. My favorite dish was, and is, blackberry and apple pie. The sight of that rich, red ruby blackberry juice mingling with the soft green pulp of homegrown apples, stirs my Devonshire blood. The delicacy is always topped off with thick; yellow clotted cream, and adding sparkling white sugar made it sweet and succulent. The early mornings were captivating to a city child as I was in those days . Clambering up onto my lookout post, I had the most spectacular view in the world it seemed. Countryside rolled over sparse green fields, and plunged over and down into valleys of pine and deciduous trees. A river twisted in generous curves along the bottom of the valley looking like a grey wispy piece of veiling, and the trees seemed to always hold the sun in their topmost branches as the morning sun rose, reminding me of coffers of gold. The engulfing silence of theses mornings made me barely dare to breath.In the spring the velvet calls of the cuckoo could be heard deep within the forest. In summer vibrant notes of skylarks soared as they did ,into the blue sky. Autumn brought harsh sounds of ebony winged jackdaws. In winter haunting, poignant cries of gray winged gulls come inland from the mouth of the river Tamar and Plym. This is a little of Windy Ridge, a lonely place. A silent place. A magical Cornish place one thousand feet above sea level and twenty miles inland. by Heather Rowan. (aka Valerie M. Honey) Views: 17 Liked it! 1 member likes this Share Twitter < Previous Post

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now I have signed up with she Writes, I had better tend to my blog page consistently.
  I really am pleased with the three groups I have signed up with in the She Writes pages. Typically suited to me.