mandag den 15. april 2024

Poetry Monday :: Tape

Poetry Monday is a challenge, normally hosted by Diane at On the Border. But from Monday, January 8, 2024, Messymimi and I have conspired to keep the chair warm for her, as she's taking a break due to health issues. We will each set the topics for one month, I began with January, Mimi supplied for February, and so on until Diane returns.

Today is

As I have been busy writing A-Z posts, and furthermore now more times than I care to recall,  falsely hoped to retain a  poem in my mind, I wrote down the small idea that came to me yesterday. Nothing better came to my mind today, so I was happy to at least have something to show.

Tape can be so many things

Sticky tape to fix the shattering
while Red tape is for hampering.
Finish line tape for those that win
and Music tape for those that sing.
I use my Tape measure to see
how many miles I knit for thee.
Use duct tape for repair of all
that moves and should not - took a fall.
Police tape in the very end
is not a very pleasant thing.

- - - - -

Coming prompts:
Running, April 22
Quiet, April 29

Ⓐ - Ⓩ ~ M

This is a series of studies for my long-time-in-the-writings book about the magic in the Nordic countries.
  We are in the 70es on Unicorn Island, an island off the coast of southern Zealand. A handful of teachers have gathered the broken threads of magic once again, trying to revive the magic in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Faroes and partially Greenland.
  Our main protagonist is Susan (me) from Elsinore and her three co-apprentices and friends Heidi, Tage and Lis living at Unicorn Island.
  I grasped the chance to write a little bit about some of the lesser known apprentices in this A-Z challenge.

 Ⓐ - Ⓩ

M is for Monica Bakke

I know, I promised a post M for Marit & Astrid, but I think I got a bit tired of siblings, then I looked at the four last Words for Wednesday: Nudge, Key, Stepped, World, and this happened. This piece describes the life of Monica up until the summer where she joins Unicorn Farm.

A disclaimer is in place. I mis-use the poor Bishop of Oslo, John Willem Gran. While it is perfectly true that he was an actor in his youth, and looked the part, I have no idea if he ever celebrated private masses or would ever have behaved as I have him do - this is in short pure fiction!

Monica Bakke is 13-and-a-half when she arrives at Unicorn Farm. She lives in the fancy part of Oslo, her father is a financial magnate working in the stock exchange in Oslo  and her mother is a known lady in the higher social circles in town.
Little Monica is never left alone, every morning Nanny Jane wakes her up, oversees her eating her breakfast and dressing. Then her mother comes in and greets her. With Monica listening to learn she discusses today's shopping and menu with the cook. Then the teachers arrive. Monica is taught Norwegian, maths, geography, music, drawing, sewing and cooking. Also foreign languages like French and German are on the curriculum.

 - - - - -

The school days were broken in two by a trip to the Frogner park. In Summer she played tennis with Nanny Jane. In the winter they went skiing, or sledding or skating. Always accompanied by Nanny Jane. After school she had tea, and was sometimes called in to greet mother's guests and play the piano for them. For the rest of the afternoon Monica made her homework, read, drew and did her piano lessons. Sometimes she played small pieces of music she made up herself, but when she did, Nanny came over and told her that she played out of key, and would she please stop. She did not stop, but only played her own music when Nanny dozed off or was on a trip to the bathroom. Those were good times. After an early dinner, she went for a walk in the big garden, croquet on the lawns in summer and a quick trek in winter. If her mother did not entertain, she would recap the day with her, making plans for the next day, discussing further household matters, and even ask for her views on curtains, menus and tableware.
Then the night nanny, Nanny Vinter, took over, guiding her through evening devotions, a bath, and then off to bed.

Her parents seemed perfectly satisfied with their lives, but Monica felt out of place, that she was missing out on something important, something she could not truly define. She felt a longing, a yearning inside, that exquisite meals, grand parties and even the wonderful world of music could not satisfy.

Monica often lay awake in bed in the evenings, looking at the starry skies and listening to the winds in the evergreens outside the big house. She wondered if there was no more to life than being smartly dressed, presentable and polite to a never ending stream of likewise immaculate men and women. And making money of course. She had read books from her parents' library describing children playing with other children, going to school in flocks, having adventures on their way home, having mums and dads working at manual labours, going to scout camps and school outings ... and having siblings! Monica often dreamt of having a brother or a sister, or even both. She had once asked her mother if she could please have a baby sister, but her mother had been so very sad that Monica had never brought this subject up again. She would also very much like to frequent an ordinary school instead of being the only pupil under the stern eye of varying teachers - at least she imagined she would like it.

Every Sunday a priest came to the manor, celebrating mass for the family and all of the servants wanting to join. Sometimes even the Bishop read that mass. Monica liked him very much. He was a strong, lean man, looking for all the world just like one of the movie stars, the Cook dreamt of and told Monica of on the rare occasions she managed to stay in the kitchen after mother was dome planning the daily meals. The Cook even told Monica that the bishop, once, long ago, had been an actor. Monica did not quite believe it.
  Mass was the best part of the week for Monica, especially on the rare occasion the bishop came over. He spoke so well, and he always treated everybody just the same. Like he was not afraid of anybody. After his short sermon, when they all knelt together they were all the same, all children of one Father, and Monica felt content.

One Sunday evening in early June, still not sleeping, she heard mother speak to the bishop in the gardens below. She sneaked to the balcony, where the French doors were ajar, leaned her head against the cool, stony balusters and listened.
"When are you going to send her off to either a normal school or a boarding school?" she heard the bishop ask and continue: "She is much too wise and serious for her years, she needs to play, to be allowed to be a child, before she grows up."
"I don't know, Father," her mother answered, "Maybe next school-year. You may be right. But she's still young. And she's my only child."
"Well," the Bishop said, his voice growing a bit stronger and sterner, "are you considering to get her a sister or a brother?"
"We have tried, but there were no more children to be had for us, and now we're too old to be considered as adoptive parents."
"Concerning this, are you ever going to tell her that she is adopted?"
"No," Monica heard her mother's voice as if from far off. "I won't ever tell her. She shall not know from which common stock ..."

Monica felt weak, only the cold stone of the balusters kept her from fainting. Monica silently stepped back from the balcony and crept back under her covers, shaking. She lay just staring out into the velvet night for a long time. Then she started thinking. 'An adopted child, but he is on my side', was her first coherent thoughts. Then: 'Mother and father are not my real parents. That might be why I feel so out of place. Maybe I should ask to become a nun. That's what nurse Vinter would like, a least. But no. why should I do what she wants? What do I want?'
Monica lay still. She felt warm inside, and smiled. 'I'm my own, she thought, not my parents'. Not Nanny Vinter's either even though she's terribly nice. Not even the Bishop's. I can do what I want. But what do I want?'
Mulling over the different possibilities, a nun, a rich person like her mother, a nanny, or a cook, or a musician maybe? She did not know. Most of all she wanted to belong, a sense of doing something great, like when she was playing her own small pieces of music. Tomorrow, tomorrow she would nudge Nanny to help her go to a normal school - that was what she wanted most of all. She felt, deep inside, that the Bishop was right. She needed to play, to fool around, to be with other children, not only for short periods in the Frogner park watched by Nanny's sharp eyes. And nudging, she could do. Planting a thought in Nanny's head with a few well chosen words. She seldom did this, for fear of being told off for abusing the servants, or indecent behaviour, or whatever crime it would be categorised as. And mostly she did so only with small things, like making Nanny drowsy, or thirsty, or wanting to use the bathroom when she felt like playing her own music, or getting her to buy them a cake, but now was the time to use this ability for something big.

But next day, before Monica had pulled up courage to do anything the new garden help came over during a short recess in the garden. The new garden help was a woman, and Monica had been at the interviews with the possible candidates for the post when the old gardener became too old to manage alone. She had taken an immediate liking to this woman, and had even tried nudging her mother into employing her. To Monica's amazement it had worked. Now the garden help asked Monica to please come and help her with some plants needing more than her own two hands. Monica politely asked leave of Nanny, and followed the woman to the newly turned beds in the far corner of the garden.
"You can call me Martine, the woman said. Here, don these gloves and this apron. No need to get dirty."
"Dirty can be fun!" Monica said.
"I bet you mother does not agree, and neither does Nanny."
"Too right," Monica said, donning the proffered items.
They worked together, Martine gently pulling the long, fragile plants from the pots, while Monica kept them from overturning.
Shortly Martine asked Monica how she would like to join a course in gardening and the care of animals.
"Together with other children?" Monica asked, disbelief colouring her voice.
"Yes, together with other children, and you might get wet, dirty, and even get to fly a broomstick," Martine answered.
"Fly a broomstick? But ... that's not a normal thing to learn in school, or is it?"
Sit down, Martine said, and sat herself on a crate. Monica followed suit and looked at Martine.
"Monica, when I applied for this job, you tried to convince your mother to make me get the job. It would not have worked, had I not reinforced your thoughts. Monica, you are a witch, same as me!" Martine said. As Monica just stared at her with wide eyes, she continued: "None of your parents are.  But you are. and we want to teach you."
"I am a witch ... Like in the books? That's what the nudging is, Magic?" Monica slowly asked, and Martine nodded. Monica continued, calmly, but in a jumble: "My parents are not my real parents. I'm adopted. I just found out yesterday. But what am I to do. My parents won't even let me go to a normal school, why should they let me go to your school?  How can I believe you? Show me!" and she nudged Martine.
Martine laughed: "That does not work with me, little lady. But I will show you anyway. Look." Martine pulled her wand from a pocket in her overalls. "What is this?"
"A stick?" Monica said.
"A magic wand," Martine retorted, and swished the wand in an intricate pattern while saying some words in a language, Monica recognized as Icelandic, but could not understand. Monica looked and saw the old garden fork twisting and turning into a wonderful miniature May pole, decked in flowers.
"Pick one of the flowers," Martine encouraged Monica. She hesitatingly stretched out her hand and plucked a bright blue cornflower from the pole. The flower in Monica's hand staid a cornflower only for a short while. Then it turned back into a piece of straw, at the same time the May pole turned back into the old garden fork.
"Can you teach me this?" Monica asked, awe and longing tingeing her voice.
"I can and I will. If you hand this flyer to your mother and father they will think it high time for you to get acquainted with other children, and they will see this 4H summer course in "Nature for Bookworms and Shy Children" as the perfect opportunity."
"More magic?" Monica asked.
"Yes. like what you call nudging, only a little better, and on paper."

We first meet Monica at the exams during the autumn holidays, where she does fine. Monica is an outstanding brewer of potions of all kinds, only Helge and later on My being a real match. 
Her wand is made from Norwegian spruce and her sparks are a deep silvery-blue.

Ⓐ - Ⓩ

Tomorrow N for Nicklas & Sanne

søndag den 14. april 2024

Sunday Selection ~ Busy Spring

Søndagsbilleder ~ Forårstravlt

I den forgangne uge har Uglemor haft travlt -- This last week MotherOwl has been busy

I haven  --  In the garden

I Domen  --  Inside the Dome

Og indenfor i vindueskarmen -- And inside in the windowsill

Lad os kigge lidt nærmere på det hele -- Let's have a closer look.

Ude i haven -- Outside in the garden

Bede er blevet gravet, luget og tilsået -- Beds have been dug and weeded, seeds sown.

Den gamle kompostbunke er blevet delvist fjernet -- The old compost bin pulled partially out.

Alt komposten blev gravet over til venstre, så blev pallerne fjernet, den nye står der kun på prøve.
All compost were moved to the left, the old palettes removed. The new one is a tester so far.

Hele den sammenfaldne halmballe til skydeøvelser blev fjernet herfra og spredt ud på de nygravede bede. Måske skal den fine palle herhen som bund under den nye balle?
The old bale of hay for shooting lessons were removed from here and spread over the newly dug beds. Maybe the sturdy palette goes here instead, as a base for the new bale?

Tæt på. Jorden her er fuld af kompostorm, men pallen er lidt større end de gamle, så det nye fundament passer ikke. Løsningen bliver nok andre paller.
Close up The earth is full of busy worms, the new pallet is bigger than the old ones were, so my brick-basis, newly laid, is too small. I think it ends up under that new bale instead.

Agermåne på månehøjen -- Agrimony on the Moon Hill (the Danish name means Field moon).

Havesyre er flot, gror villigt, men smager ikke så godt. Jeg vil prøve at farve med frøene - det er jo en syre.
Garden sorrel is pretty, grows and spreads like a champ, but I do not like the taste. I'll try the seeds for dye, it is a sorrel after all.

Haveuglen nyder vejret og påskeliljerne -- GardenOwl drinking up the sun and watching the daffodils.

Løvstikken gror det bedste den har lært. Snart skal der laves kryddersalte
Lovage growing, soon I'll make herbal salts.

Persillen skal lige komme sig efter udplantningen -- Parsley looking a bit tired after being set free.

Rabarber ... tærter forude  --  Rhubarbs ... tarts ahead.

Er dette en timian, eller har en eller anden ukrudt, der har taget over? -- I wonder, is this thyme, or did some weed capture the flag?

Lungeurt er altså så flot med sine forskelligfarvede blomster og brogede blade, den breder sig, men jeg nænner næsten ikke at  hive dem op
Lungwort is pretty with its variegated leaves and flowers. It spreads, not least because I have a hard time pulling it.

Og den her mælkebøtte, den bliver ikke luget op, jeg glæder mig til at se den blomstre.
This here dandelion will not be pulled up and fed to the chicken. I look forward to it flowering.

Ny plante, honningbær, det bliver interessant -- New kid on the block, Honeyberries, interesting.

Tante T og Onkel K, de ikke længere så nye vandkander, var til stor hjælp, da jeg skulle tømme tønden her for vand. Der var til mange ture frem og tilbage til domen
Aunt T and Uncle K, my not so new any more watering cans, were a big help emptying this barrel of water. I walked many trips to the dome with them filled to the brim.
Tante T og Onkel K som nye  --  Aunt T and Uncle K as they looked when they were new.

Inde i Domen -- Inside my Dome
Alt vandet blev tømt ud i renden her - med et fint ord er det vist en swale.
I poured all the water into  this trench, just now swale is a fancy term for such a one.

Jo, der gror jordbær og valmuer inde i domen. Og dild. Masser af dild
Yes you saw strawberries, they grow in the dome, together with poppies and dill, loads of dill.

Artiskokkerne er kommet herud. De ser ud til at klare mosten -- The artichoke is placed here, they look like survivors.

Dryp, dryp, dryp. De allersidste dråber fra de andre tønder læber ud. Der er gode 700 liter i de to tønder, så jeg er lykkelig for at have investeret i en haveslange, ellers var der til over 35 ture med Tante T og Onkel K.
Drip, drip, drip. Via my newly bought garden hose the two other water barrels empt themselves into the trench. I'm very happy for this hose, the barrels contain a bit more than 700 litres of water, or enough for a bit more than 35 trips with Aunt T and Uncle K.

En løvstikke og et tudsehus har også fundet indenfor i domen. De sidste mange år har jeg bygget et tudseskjul af sten - og det er altid faldet sammen før eller senere. Nu håber jeg så at tudsen flytter herind.
A lovage and a Toad Abode. For many years I have made a hidey hole for the toad from stones and such, and every year it has fallen into itself at some time during summer. I sincerely hope the toad fancies his new home.

Og til sidst indenfor -- And then inside
Farvevisse spirer, også uden kuldeperiode -- Genista tinctoria -- My Dyer's broom is sprouting.

Japansk indigo gør det samme -- Persicaria tinctoria -- Dyers' knotweed is also sprouting

Om lavendlerne, det er første gang -- These are lavenders. They NEVER sprout for me ... but look!

Chilipeber og Marietidsler trives. De skal snart ud i domen -- Chillies and Milk thistles thriving, soon they'll move into the dome.

Månedens farve, den findes i mange af billederne -- The colour of the month; found in many of my photos.

lørdag den 13. april 2024

Ⓐ - Ⓩ ~ L

This is a series of studies for my long-time-in-the-writings book about the magic in the Nordic countries.
  We are in the 70es on Unicorn Island, an island off the coast of southern Zealand. A handful of teachers have gathered the broken threads of magic once again, trying to revive the magic in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Faroes and partially Greenland.
  Our main protagonist is Susan (me) from Elsinore and her three co-apprentices and friends Heidi, Tage and Lis living at Unicorn Island.
  I grasped the chance to write a little bit about some of the lesser known apprentices in this A-Z challenge.

 Ⓐ - Ⓩ

L is for Lukas, Bo, Britta & Harald Eklund from Stockholm.

The four siblings Lukas 12, Britta 11, Bo 14, and Harald 16 live together with their mother Liv and father Vilhelm in a large house in Stockholm. The house is only a short way away from the block of flats where Kalle and Anna live next door to Helge with his angry mom and sickly dad. 

In May the Eklund family is hosting a farewell party for Kalle, Anna and their parents, as they are moving to Helsingborg.

And a family tree - at least a partial one - would be of great help here it is:
Harald as usual was trying to keep his six siblings and cousins from getting into mischief. His mother always blamed him when something went wrong, saying he was the oldest and had to know better. After an early lunch they played in the big garden when a ball suddenly flew through the air, almost knocking over Anna and Kalles father, who stood by an apple tree, enjoying the exquisite flowering.

As expected, Harald's mother found him and gave him the usual talking to.
This time he spoke back: "Seriously Mom, I am not the oldest, Helge is!"
"While this is perfectly true," his mother said, "he is all of 11 days older than you, you are at home, and he is not, hence the larger responsibility is on you!"
"That's not fair!" Harald said, a bit more calm, "And now I am at it, it was Lukas, Kalle and Britta making trouble again. They are always after Anna for being the youngest. This time her temper suddenly flared, and I was unable to get to her in time. I am not able to stop every thing from happening, especially not as ou insist that our wands can only be used at Unicorn Farm. I wish I had a way to stop them teasing Anna, she can't help when she's born."
"I think I know how to amend that," his mother said. "After the cake, we're going to have a game of Magical Pursuit - I suppose Anna will be able to hold her own there."
"You're smart, mom," Harald said. Anna and Kalle are brighter than the younger Eklunds, and Anna is not the stupidest of those two! I will not mourn their moving to Helsingborg - that'll allow us to shine. I of course wou be more happy with a flying contest. Anna and Kalle would not have a chance."
"You're as bad at the others," his mother said sternly.
"No, I'm not. I never tease Anna to her face."
"You encourage our siblings and Kalle. That is just as bad. It makes them feel that what they do is fine. You would do better to follow Helge's example."
Harald bend his head. "Mom, why are you always such a spoilsports. But I think you're right. I'll try."
"Thanks, Harald," she said, gently squeezing his shoulder in an old gesture of endearment. "Now go and call the hordes, the cakes have just been delivered and are ready to be eaten."

Of course Harald was not totally able to stop feeling older and better. And as we see at the broom race, Anna & Kalle, Britta & Lukas joined David's team in the broom racing. Anna getting second thoughts too late to prevent the sabotage. 

We meet Helge, the Eklund tribe and the Berggren siblings as some of the very first persons at Unicorn Farm.
I'll let Kalle do the introducing of his extended family: "Helge is my cousin. He lives in the same block of flats in Stockholm as Anna and I, but all the way up under the roof in a different block. Britta and her brothers, Harald, Lukas and Bo, live in a big house nearby. We're also related to them in some way."

Their wands suit their names as is often the case, Eklund meaning grove of oaks, they all have oaken wands, but their sparks differ. Haralds' are chocolate brown, Bo's a lacklustre green-grey, Lukas' reddish brown and Britta's bright silver brown.
Anna's wand is made of ash, emitting true red sparks, and Kalle's pearwood wand emits bluish sparks.

Of all the cousins, only Anna and Helge will live to see the founding of Birch Manor.

This turned into a more general story of the cousins, and Harald squeezed in. Sorry.

For this I used the next two Words for Wednesday: 
Exquisite, and Deliver. Leaving me with  Nudge, Key, Stepped and World

 Ⓐ - Ⓩ

Monday M for Marit & Astrid

fredag den 12. april 2024

Ⓐ - Ⓩ ~ K

This is a series of studies for my long-time-in-the-writings book about the magic in the Nordic countries.
  We are in the 70es on Unicorn Island, an island off the coast of southern Zealand. A handful of teachers have gathered the broken threads of magic once again, trying to revive the magic in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Faroes and partially Greenland.
  Our main protagonist is Susan (me) from Elsinore and her three co-apprentices and friends Heidi, Tage and Lis living at Unicorn Island.
  I grasped the chance to write a little bit about some of the lesser known apprentices in this A-Z challenge.

 Ⓐ - Ⓩ

Kirstin from Iceland

Kirstin Jonsdottir lives with mum and dad quite a distance from Hella, where cousin Rósa and several other magic families - among those Grani's - live. Kirstin has no siblings, but cousin Rósa is often visiting - or they visit her - so the two girls feel more like sisters than cousins. Jon and Sigurd, the father of Rósa, are brothers. Kirstin's Mum and dad have one common all encompassing passion, the breeding and riding of Icelandic horses, and of course Kirstin knows all about horses and their ways. She is a slender girl with almost black, very curly hair. When she is happy, enthusiastic or curious - and this means very often - her curls bounces just as much as she.

Kirstin has always been aware of her magic, and flying and riding lessons went hand in hand in her early childhood.
Kirstin still vividly remembers the day she discovered that flying and magic was not a part of everybody's life.

Kirstin and her mother had rode in their big car through Hella and all the way to Hvolsvöllur, the larger city. They now stood in a line in the bookstore in Hella waiting to buy Kirstin's schoolbooks for the coming year.
"Mom, Can I have the new Anders And (Donald Duck - the Danish edition was published in Iceland until late 1980es)?"
When mom said yes, Kirstin made the magazine fly through the air, light as a feather. She grabbed it when it came to her.
Mom paid the books and the magazine and quickly pulled Kirstin out of the shop. Normally she spent a while talking to the woman behind the counter while Kirstin perused the magazine.

Kirstin's mother pulled her into the car and rolled up the window, then she turned to Kirstin. "Don't you remember I have told you not to use magic where everybody can see it? Luckily the magazines were placed behind a big display of postcards. So I hope nobody but me saw that magazine flying through the air."
"I forgot, mom," Kirstin said. "But why is it so bad to just comfortably Fetch things instead of having to push between all those fat ladies and back again to pick them up?"
"Because most people can't do magic!" mom said. "And what they do not understand, in this case magic, makes them afraid and at the same time overly curious. They'll see you as a freak, You know like Uri Geller and ESP and that kind of hoaxes. Maybe they'll even want to abduct you and make money out of you."
"Well why don't you and the other moms just teach them then, same as you teach Rósa, Josh, Grani and me?"
"Bless you my girl, but they cannot learn. Same as you cannot learn to live and breathe underwater like a fish. Some people - scratch it MOST people - cannot fly a broomstick or Fetch like we do."
"Oh, poor them." Kirstin sighed. "I promise to try and remember never ever do it again and make people sad."

Kirstin is exactly two months older than her cousin Rósa, the is 11 years old when first we meet them the first day, when the green and blue apprentices have their wands sung.
Kirstin wields a wand made of chestnut emitting jet black sparks.

And for this I used the first four Words for Wednesday:  Feather, Bookstore, Comfortably, Money.

 Ⓐ - Ⓩ

Tomorrow L for Lukas, Bo, Britta & Harald