onsdag den 31. marts 2021

Haveuglens imperium - GardenOwl's Empire

Haveuglen på sin rede - GardenOwl in its nest

I dag skinnede solen og Haveuglen sendte sin altmuligmand og reporter, også kendt som Uglemor, ud for at luge og tage billeder af alle de fine, nye skud i hans have.

- - -  📷  - - -

Today the sun was shining and GardenOwl sent out his trusted reporter and handyman - aka MotherOwl - out to weed and document all the life in his garden.

Jans gode mynte - Tasty mint from Jan's garden

Ramsløg, de blev ikke luget - Ramsons, not yet weeded!

Og hvad er mon det, krudt eller ukrudt? - What is this, weed or not?

Rabarber! Ikke til tærte i påsken, men snart (og de allestedsnærværende skvalderkål)
Rhubarbs! Not quite early enough for tarts for Easter, but soon! (and the ubiquitous ground elder)

Lungeurt med humledronning mellem pilene - Lungwort and a queen bumblebee between the arrows.

Overlevende spidskål - Surviving cabbage

Overlevende kruspersille - Surviving parsley

Og overlevende havesyre - and surviving sorrel

Solstik eller jostabær springer ud tidligere end stikkelsbærrene
Jostaberry folding out its leaves, even earlier than the gooseberries.

Violer - Violets

Birch Manor - Summer - Part 3

Continuing my tale. I wrote an outline long before the words came out. Actually I'm still using the words from the first Wednesdays of March. But some of the words were matching, others I was able to sneak in. I used the stricken ones. 
This week's prompts are:

1. Watchful
2. Laggard
3. Pudding
4. Mulberry
5. Bark
     AND / OR
1. Promenade
2. Vineyard
3. Allotment
4. Wisdom
5. Tenth
     Hilary is incredibly generous and also provided us with an extra set.
1. Life
2. Borrow
3. Wily
4. Ochre
5. Brook

Given us by Hilary Melton-Butcher and once again revealed at Elephant's Child.

In the train to Sweden Knud and Susan discussed their tactics. "We're going to Norway first. Why is that, actually? It seems like a detour to me," Knud said.
"Selfish reasons," Susan answered, "I so much want to find My. She was one of my best friends, after Heidi of course. And she's a wandsinger too, and a genius where potions are involved. She could be of immense help to us."
Knud nodded: "So the plan is: Travel to Oslo, visit Jan and Olav's wine and party shop. Hope that them and their wives really are the ones we're looking for. Give them 'the magic touch' and have them help us find My."
"You make it sound so easy," Susan said, "but yes. That's the plan."

Even the best of plans can go awry. And theirs did, but in the most wonderful of ways. On the long, long train journey from Helsingborg to Oslo, Susan and Knud agreed to splurge on a meal in the dining wagon. Some kind of train related jubilee was celebrated,. The train company had brushed off an old fashioned dining wagon, re-enacting some old train stories with the help of local train enthusiasts and re-enactment circle. While they ate what could only be described as a show off dinner with all edibles having the exact same colours of the train company, the dessert was even a pudding formed as their logo, but still very tasty. Susan sat watching the other diners. She noticed an elderly lady, sumptuously dressed in white robes with an ochre feather boa slung over her shoulders. Her dress looked like snowdrifts and cobwebs. And her husband was dressed to match in tuxedo and top hat. They had to belong to the re-enactment circle. The lady's hair, put in an artful do, was copper red.
Susan leaned towards Knud. "Don't look behind you. I think I'm dreaming, but that lady, the one from the re-enactment couple with the red hair and white dress. I am probably suffering from a bout of wishful thinking but she looks just like My would look 50 years older."
"I have to take a bio-break," Knud said. The small cabin was in the other end of the wagon, and he choose a route, that led him past the couples' table.
When he returned he nodded. "Could be. Why don't we buy them a drink. I think that's what people did in the roaring twenties."
Susan nodded and Knud went over to the couple: "You're a pleasure to look at," he said. "Can we buy you a drink?"
"Only if you take one too and come and sit here. We could do with some company."
Knud waved Susan over and they sat down. The lady was called My, and looked funnily at Knud and Susan when they stated their names. "I think I have heard of you before," she said.
"That sounds like an old cliché," Knud said, "only I was supposed to say it." They all laughed.
The man, who was not really My's husband, only from the same re-enactment circle. told them that he wanted nothing more than to get home. "I had a new grandchild, as I have told you earlier, My," he explained, "and the family is invited to meet him today. May I be excused?"
"By all means." My said.  "Those two can keep me company, you won't be unduly missed."
He arose, raised his hat and bowed to thee ladies. Then he kissed My's and Susan's hands and got off the train.
"He's a nice man, really." My said. "But this re-enactment is getting boring slowly. We've been dining here all week travelling from Oslo and back. I live in Oslo. Is that where you're going?"
"Yes We're going to Oslo. We're having a mini holiday before the family-invasion of summer." Knud explained. "Can you recommend a nice, but not too expensive place to stay?"
They talked about Oslo, the world, and their jobs. My was still working. She had a small shop selling second hand clothes, and augmented her meagre income with jobs as extras at the theatre and in movies. She also did re-enactment and sewed clothes for the circle. "When I retire, in three years time, I'm going to move back to the northern part of Norway, where I grew up and lived for long." Knud nodded to Susan. "My family and two of my three children still lives up there. My husband died many years ago, it was a stupid accident."
"I'm sorry." Susan said. Knud added his condolences as well.
"It's long ago," My said. "It does not hurt any more, but I still miss him of course. I'm getting older and a bit lonely in Oslo." 
"I wonder if you know a lot about fabrics, I found a strange skirt.while moving, and I'd love to know more about it."
"Let me have a look when we've gotten off the train," My said. "We'll arrive in Oslo in a few minutes, you really should go get your luggage."
"That's a deal." Susan said and followed Knud through the train, now swinging and swaying wildly from going over the switches.

"Do you really think it's her?" Knud asked.
"Called My, from Northern Norway, Check; three years my junior, check; red hair, check; a penchant for snowwhite, cobwebby fabrics, check. Could be a coincidence a matter of mistake. But if it is, we'll just leave her alone after tonight. Even if I've come to like her. She is a nice person. But more subdued than I remember her. Then again, life seems to have been rough on her."
"Let's just try." Knud agreed.

They met with My outside the turnstiles. "Should we go to my shop, or do you want a coffee, I know a place near where the prices are OK, and the coffee not too terrible."
"Coffee, please," Knud and Susan said at the same time.
"Coffee it is," My said.
"Let me take your luggage," Knud said. "Those heels does nothing for your walk."
Like a real lady, My gave him the suitcase, adding: "But it's not really heavy, it only contains my everyday clothes and shoes. I normally change on the train. Now I'll do so in the coffee shop instead, as you suspect these are impractical." She said pointing at her shoes.
Over the coffee Susan showed My her skirt.
"It reminds me of something," My said hesitantly. "I feel happy looking at it. But I am almost afraid to touch it. How come?"
"Happiness can't be bad, can it?" Susan asked, pity and compassion colouring her voice.
My touched the skirt. The transition was not as marked as it had been with Fiona or the others, she did not faint or cry out, she just suddenly smiled, the most warming, happy smile Susan had seen in years. "Susan and Knud, she said. Now I remember you!"
"About time!" Knud said wryly, making them all laugh like teenage girls.
"And you married? How long have you known ... I mean how long ... oh bother." My stopped.
"I found this suitcase in late April, when we packed everything prior to moving," Susan began, talking slowly, giving My time to re-orient while taking in what she told. "When I touched the skirt -  it actually is my old skirt - my memories from Unicorn Farm returned. I then did the same to Knud, only using Helge's pants. We have found Martine, and Fiona so far, and of course Heidi and her family. Her father is dead, but her mother, Sandra, is still very much alive. We know that Marit, Jan, Olav and Monica all live here in Oslo. And Hilde is a nurse in Tromsø."
"And we're on our way to them. We're planning a reunion. And maybe to give them their past back as well," Knud said, still taking care not to mention magic in the crammed coffee shop.
"Let's go to my shop." My said. "I think I have something there that would interest you."
The shop was nothing special. Off the main street in a come down part of town. "It's not much," My said, "I bought it with the meagre allotment left over when my husband died. After all it's mine and it have served me well. But now I think it's time to say good bye."
She unlocked the door and showed them to the back of the shop. "I have an old book here. I have kept it for years, actually ever since I can recall. I thought it was fake, but now I'm not so sure. She found the book. An old tome, called 'The Magic Properties of Seaweeds, an Introduction'. She touched it, and it shook faintly.
"It's the real stuff." Susan said. "That's the one Martine spoke off. Dear My could we ask you a big, big favour. Come to Denmark, Not right away, but late June, early July. We need you, your potion-brewing skills and so on. We have ordered brooms, fabric for skirts and trousers, oh. lots of things. We need to magick them as well. We need someone good at potions and it won't hurt if said person was good at flying a broom as well."
"Because you sure were not!" My exclaimed. "Oops sorry. I am not quite over the chock as yet."
"What more is, you're right." Knud said. "And Martine can only do so much. She's old, 80 years, and a cripple. Fiona is busy with husband - not a wizard by the way - and many small grands."
"We're planning a school along the lines as Unicorn Farm. We'd like you to take Täthi's old job as potions master."
"But," My began.
"Yes?" Susan said.
"My family? A wand? My shop? Money for the tickets? A million things, really," My said, still with a happy smile despite her misgivings.
"You would actually be closer to your family once we got some portals up and running. Tage and Lis know how! And you're a wand-singer. Even a better one than me, as far as I remember. I could do it, so can you! Did you not plan on selling your shop? Liquidation sales and selling the place itself should be doable. You do not have to have it all done by July. An agent could sell it for you. And of course we would pay your fare to the school. Who would not pay for such an excellent teacher?"
"I need some more coffee," My said.
"Show me the kitchen," Knud said. "I'm a master brewer - of coffee - you do the potions, please." Again peals of laughter filled the room.
"Oh," My said holding her sides. "I have not laughed this much in years."
"It's good for you," Susan said, aping the words and tone of Thora, and of course bringing on even more laughter.
Over Knud's excellent coffee they agreed to a new plan. My would seek out Olav and Jan, whom she knew a little from some of her re-enactment ventures. She had never seen their wives, Marit and Monica, but of course she now remembered them from the time on the Farm. She was certain that Jan and Olav were the ones they were looking for.
"Now my memories have returned, I am certain," she said, "I have often wondered if I knew those two and from where. But I have met a lot of people during shows, and in the shop, so I stopped wondering after some time. Now I know. It is them!"
Susan and Knud nodded. "We're fairly certain as well," Knud said, "But still prudence is akin to wisdom, so do be careful."
"I will take care.," My said smiling, looking much more like the girl they both remembered. "First, I'll sing myself a wand. Then I'll accustom myself to doing magic once more, and then, when I feel confident, Then I'll go to the shop. Not before. I'm certain I will be able to recognise Monica, even after all these years," My said, "and maybe Marit, I'll be watchful. Don't you fear."
"I trust you!" Susan said, and Knud nodded.

"And we go North." Knud said. "We'll have to find Hilde. She was good all round."
"More than good," Susan said. "I still remember her beating me by three tenths that first year. I was so bitter, It all changed after the Easter fire of course. We became if not best of friends, then at least close afterwards."
"Same goes for me and Monica," My admitted. "Her father was some high faluting nincompoop, at least to my eyes, and I was poor, and the youngest. But after that Fire jumping everything took a turn for the better. We'll have to implement that as well on your school. "
"Our school, Susan said. "We're in this together now, and we trust you."

tirsdag den 30. marts 2021

Haveuglen er kommet ud

GardenOwl has come out

     I forgårs var det varmt nok til at Uglemor kunne luge den sidste lille bid af Haveuglens bed. Skribenten havde købt en smuk blå blomst med hjem, som Uglemor plantede, og så bar Skribenten Haveuglen ud og satte den på plads i sin rede.
     Alt er som det skal være i Uglebo. Nu venter vi bare på sol og påske.

  The day before yesterday the temperature allowed MotherOwl to weed the last small bit of GardenOwl's nest. The Writer had bought a blue flower, which was planted by MotherOwl.
  Then the Writer carried GardenOwl from his winger hideout and put him on the nest. Everything is as it should be in the Owlery. Now we're waiting for sunshine and Easter.

Den blå blomst er en Lithospermum, stenfrø. Den blå kugle er måske et æg.
The blue flower is a Lithospermum, Stoneseed, and maybe the blue sphere is an egg.

Sommertid - Dayligth Saving Time

Ugler HADER når der er nogen, der piller ved deres døgnrytme.

 Owls just hate people messing with their time.

mandag den 29. marts 2021

Poetry Monday :: Something on a Stick Day

If you want to read some more poetry,  Diane and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings  write wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments, and helps out at topic supplying.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful participant, is taking a break due to her husband's recent passing from this world. Let's continue to send war
m thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way.

I have something more to ask of you: If you read this and the poetry of others, would you please leave a comment. Half - if not more - the fun of these challenges is receiving the responses of others.

Something on a Stick Day - once again we celebrate yesterday's thing.
This is a crazy thing to celebrate.
And my Poming mojo has hit an all time low.
But a topic is a topic, so here we go:

Candy on a stick - a lollipop
Meat on a stick - go chop-chop
Meatball skewer - a party treat,
Chicken skewers - we love to eat.
Ice on a stick - a delish pop
Mixed grill stick - a nice kebob.
Prawns on a stick - they pass the test
But sushi and sticks - the very best.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Coming up:
Read a Road Map Day (April 5)
Favourite invention (From Mimi) (April 12)
National Garlic Day (April 19)
The ocean or beach (From Mimi) (April 26)
The best thing about spring (From Mimi) (May 3)

onsdag den 24. marts 2021

Birch Manor - Summer - Part 2

  I have been writing a long, winding story of Susan, Knud and their travels to Norway and Sweden. Here's yet a tiny bit. I've totally lost count of which words I've used, and which ones not. This chapter should contain some.
  At least the title contains Summer - from the latest batch of words
given us by Hilary Melton-Butcher and once again revealed at Elephant's Child.
Those are:

    AND / OR

Later that day Henning drove Susan and Knud to the nearby station, where they caught a train for Sweden.
Susan of course carried her small brown suitcase and her backpack. Knud had a slightly larger backpack, containing a tent as well. They were prepared for rough sleeping.
"Hening, while we're away please take good care of Martine, she's not getting any younger, and even if she can do magic, she is an elderly lady. Lilly will probably learn to accept more from her, than from the rest of us. Your children are stretching their wings already. I believe like true witch kids should. And what about you?" Susan said as they left Birch Manor. 
Henning waited till he had turned left on to a larger road and answered: "It'll take some getting used to for me as well. I do not think I have very much magic, or maybe because I always have denied that part of myself. I have a lot of getting used to do in the days ahead. Almost as much as Lilly."
"You know, I would not be surprised to learn that she is a witch as well," Knud said. "She kept working those puzzles. Just let her. Some of them are hexed, like Sam guessed." Knud said elbowing Susan softly. Martine will help you out.
"You can choose which of the apartments you'd like for your family," Susan said. "They are more or less alike, but curtains and so on are still to be hung. Some of them are done and are in the barn on the big table. You're free to decorate or not as you like. Only don't move the walls."
"And all those small rooms upstairs, what are those for?" Henning asked
"For apprentices later on." Susan answered. "We plan on opening a school for magic in the holidays, just like Unicorn Farm for us when we went there. Birch Manor is eminently suited to this purpose, remote fields, a wood - we need more different sorts of trees for wands - to be done - you and the children will have wands too, but I think you need to find your magic legs first."
"I have been reluctant to ask, but what about my brothers and sisters. What, if anything can I tell them?" Henning asked.
"We have discussed this as well, and we'd like you to keep silent. You're the first one to come here, we did not do it deliberately, but I at least am happy with it"
"Because of little Susan?" Henning asked.
"Yes mostly. I was certain she had the magic, and by implication you as well. I did not want our first test to be a failure," Susan said.
"Do you think any of us siblings do not have magic?" Henning asked hesitantly. "Shouldn't we all for that matter."
"That's a hard question to answer." Knud said. "Not least concerning those that have not yet had children of their own. Susan and I, our parents were both of non-magic origin, so if it's something genetic, we maybe carry non-magic latently. But I don't know. I only know that even at Unicorn Farm some were the only ones in their family, or among their siblings to have magic - even some with at least a witch or a wizard as parents."
"Let's take a roll call." Susan said. "Starting with the oldest, Nina, How do you say?"
Knud shook his head, "She's such a down to earth type. No."
"But on the other hand," Susan said. "Like with Henning here practicality can hide, call that sublimate, magic. No, let's stop this game. I won't guess. I hope fervently that all our 6 kids and all our grandchildren can do magic. And even most of out in-laws. I've not given up hope on Lilly yet. We have to invite Fiona and her husband down when we return home from Sweden and Norway." Susan said. "Her husband is the sweetest man , kind and understanding and with no magic at all he has fully accepted, even embraced being married to a witch."
"And Fiona is...?"
"Oh another apprentice from Unicorn Farm. We're trying to find them all. It's a long, long story, and a sad one too. I'd so like to have to tell it only once, not only to you, but to all our children at once. My birthday will be the perfect occasion, and it's not too far off," Susan said.
Henning nodded. "I'll arrange a 'surprise party' for you while you're away. It would be the perfect double surprise."
"That sounds great. Make it the weekend after the actual date, that would give us the time we need."

tirsdag den 23. marts 2021

Birch Manor - Summer

Now it's Summer, early June, Martine has moved in at Birch Manor. Now what?

Words still left for me to use:

Heft, Pergola, Myth, Visualise
Wafer, Haggard, Procession, Drips, Disdainful, Stream, Chalk, Treasure

"You look haggard my dear, what's bothering you?" Susan asked Knud an early morning in June.
"All those wizards, we still not have been able to give back their magic," Knud said. "They're living in ignorance, wasting their time which could be used training their children and grandchildren and everybody else in need of training. After we found those books, and we have Martine living here and turning out more of her funny string puzzle brainteasers, I feel we have a moral obligation to do something."

"My dear Knud, I understand what you say. And those books were a veritable treasure trove. I have been thinking much along the same lines. I've taken the liberty of handing Helge's old pants over to Martine for examination. She still knows more of magic and so on than the rest of us put together. I think she murmured something about a solution to the problem. We'll see come tea time," Susan said.  
Tea time arrived and Martine with it. She came swooping down from the balcony into the garden, where the tea table was laid. She got better and more daring on her broomstick every day. She and Fiona hat been on a trip to Copenhagen, to the blind peoples' workshop, where they still sold brooms, brushes and so on made by hand. Martine had given specifications for the Shaker brooms as she called them. And she was now testing out the prototype, sent by the shop a good week later.
"I solved it!" Martine said triumphantly. "It is a spell, a spell thread, you might call it. You can cut up the trousers and give them to someone else in smaller pieces. They'll still work. Once we - or you - have woken up all the magicians, there's really no need for this kind of skirts or trousers any more, apart from tradition. And I don't know if you'd want to make them yourself. Or if we, like the brooms might commission them off someone else."
"I like the idea of paying for having these menial tasks done for us. It would take me half a life to weave fabric for skirts and trousers," Susan said. "It was never our idea to be self-contained, we help, we work, and do magic, and we buy what we need. How would we go on getting spell thread made?"
"It's a potion," Martine answered. "I'm sure it is in one of the books, and well need some of the more proficient ones from the old blue team to make it. It's ... well it needs more that standard potion brewing skills, no offence meant."
"And none taken," Susan said. "We have Sarah, Helge, My and Monica of the blue team still living. As I do not trust Sarah and as far as I remember, she was not a brilliant witch either, we'll just have to hope My, Monica or Helge are up to spending some of their summer in Denmark."
"Oh, yes," Martine said emphatically, "I also just had a notice from the Blind Peoples' workshop. The brooms are ready and will be sent tomorrow! I'll need a good potions master to help me."  

"Then it's decided." Knud said "Wednesday our oldest son will come and stay here. We'll have him tested before we leave, so that we'll know whether he's a wizard or not. Did you make any more of these brain teasers?"
"Yes I did. I'll get them immediately" said Martine and emptied her cup.
"I'd be so happy to have more wizards nearby to help out," Susan said. "Fiona is busy with her own children and testing people with her painting workshops for children at the harbour. That was such a great idea, and having her have those string puzzles for children to amuse themselves with as they wait was even more so my dear  Knud. I'm sure she's going to bring a stream of apprentices coming here. And I dare bet she'll love to hear that the brooms are arriving, even if making broomsticks and skirts are not of utmost importance, I'd like everything to be as close as possible to the Unicorn Farm's curriculum."
"Take care that Martine or Fiona does not overhear you saying anything like that," Knud said.
"Like what," Martine said, returning from her top floor room with a basked filled with brain teasers.
"Oh, nothing," Susan said. "How many have you made? We should bring as many as possible to Sweden and Norway when we go."

Wednesday morning Henning and his two sons, 3 and not quite 5 years old arrived.
"Lilly will arrive later," he said. "Little Susan forgot to close the cage, and her rabbit escaped. They'll give it an hour or two before coming here. Oy, are those brain teasers," he said seeing Martine's basket - left there for that specific purpose. "I love those. Can I try?"
"Yes of course. I'll take the two small terrorists and let them help me feed the chicken," Knud said.
"Chicken?" Sam, the oldest boy said and put his small hand into Knud's big one, "Come Ben, we go with Granny feed chicken," he said and pulled at his little brother with his free hand.
"Off you go!" Henning encouraged his sons.
"I'll make some tea. Your father baked a cake, it'll be ready soon," Susan said and went into the house, keeping a lookout for Henning's progress with the brainteasers through the window.
First he solved the white-stringed one, one of the bought ones. then he took up Martine's purple-stringed contraption, turned and twisted and put it back into the basket. When Susan returned with mugs and sugar bowl, he sat engrossed in another of Martine's, a blue-stringed one.
"Which ones are the hardest?" he asked without looking up.
"It depends. I think blue is easiest and black hardest, you father disagrees and think that the purple one is the hardest. And Martine can solve all of them." Susan added smiling.
"Where did she come from," Henning asked, now totally serious.
"She was mine and your dad's teacher a long time ago. We found her when preparing a reunion, and we felt sorry for her living in that old people's home. You know the sort, even if it was one of the best I've ever seen. She won't stay here permanently. After some more treatments, she'll be able to live at her own, and we're looking for a nice house near here. She's really smart, you know. She is teaching us so many new things. Oh, the cake, it's done." Susan ran off to the kitchen, and Henning picked up the blue stringed brain teaser once again. Susan took out the cake, and kept an eye at him at the same time. It was hard to concentrate on the cake. She so much wanted Henning to have magic.
When Knud, Ben and Sam returned, Susan sat cradling a mug of tea looking at Henning, who still twisted and pulled at the strings of the blue brain teaser.
Sam walked up to him and said "No daddy you're doing it all wrong, the string should go through there. Let me have it." Sam almost pulled the toy from Henning's hand and letting actions follow words, he solved the brain teaser in a matter of minutes.
"Wow!" Henning said, "was that pure luck or what. Try this one now," he said, and handed Sam the white one. Sam tried and tried, but could not make any progress. Meanwhile Henning had taken the black one, and after a few false starts he drew a deep breath and pulled the ring free of the string. "Yes!" he said, "I did it!"
"Oh  how wonderful," Knud said. "You have no idea what this means to us." He turned to the adjacent building and raised his voice: " Martine, come down, tea is ready." This was the agreed upon clue and Martine came down, flying on her broomstick.
"Oh!" Ben exclaimed and clapped his hands "Ben fly too, Daddy?"
"Mom," Henning said. "Just what is happening here? Sam is solving those brainteasers easy as you please. And now that ... lady is flying around on a broomstick. How did you do this, are you pulling my leg. Where are the strings?"
"Henning, you know us better than that," Knud said seriously. "Mom told you that Martine was our old teacher. What she did not tell, was what Martine taught back then, before her accident. She taught broomstick flying and chiromancy. We, and yes you too are witches and wizards. Just like in books."
"Me fly broomstick, daddy," Ben insisted. "Me fly now!"
"And what about Little Susan and Lilly?" Henning asked.
"I have seen little Susan with that rabbit of hers," Susan said earnestly. "She can do magic too! But Lilly, that might be a problem. I do not know if there existed many wizards and witches who were not on our school." They heard a car stopping at the road. "We're going to have to find out." She turned around: "Martine, can you manage a small passenger, then please give Ben here a ride out of sight while we tackle his mom.
"I think I can manage, Please put him in front of me. I won't go high or anything."
Henning managed to pull himself together and lift up little Ben and put him in front of Martine on the broom. "Take care of him, please," he said in a shaky voice.
Martine smiled at him and nodded. Then she took off gently and slowly flying towards the small wood in the other end of the plot.
"Well at least Lilly has always loved fantasy books. She might be in for a treat now." Henning said, still sounding kind of shaky, but resigned to the quandary. "Sam," he added. "please shut up. Don't say a word to mom about flying or anything at all just for a few minutes. Here, have some cake," he said, and cut him a big slice of the still warm cake.
Sam began eating, while Susan and Knud went with Henning to greet Lilly and little Susan.
Little Susan hugged her grandma and told her about the rabbit. " ... that naughty rabbit he was hiding under the sofa again! I have told him many times it's forbidden to hide in there. But in the end I told him to get out if he wanted any carrots for the rest of the week, and then he hurried out!"
"Nothing wrong with your fantasy!" Lilly said, smiling at both Susans. She's always talking to the rabbit as if he understood," Lilly said in way of explanation.
"And does he?" Susan asked her granddaughter?"
"Of course he understands me," little Susan said. "But he is not good at listening! I always have to speak roughly to him when he does not do as I say!"
"I think I can teach you how to speak better to your rabbit," Susan said. smiling down at the eager girl. "I know a trick or two."
"Oh, don't encourage her," Lilly said. "Rabbits really do not understand people."
"Not even in books?" Knud asked.
"Oh yes, in books most anything can happen!" Lilly said. "I love nothing better than a good book. Talking animals and magic and tree-ants and all the wonderful, magic things that can happen in books."
"Dear Lilly," Knud said. "It might come as a surprise to you - and I sure hope a pleasant one - but sometimes those books come closer to truth than you imagine. Susan - both of them - actually can speak with rabbits, and given time your daughter will learn to understand what the rabbits say as well."
"And fly a broomstick," Little Susan asked.
"Yes my dear, if your mom and dad'll let you. I'll be happy to teach you all I know"
Are you a witch, granny?" Little Susan asked.
"Yes I am. and Grandfather is a wizard. But we're good ones, don't ever forget that."
"Yes, Lilly," Henning said, "Witches and wizards really do exist. My parents are, as am I ... and I have to admit, our children."
Lilly looked happy, then worried, then angry, then she smiled again, then scowled. "Why haven't you told me! It's just like in those books. The children are acting strange. Talking to, no actually with rabbits, knowing where my misplaces keys are, not once, but over and over again! Why haven't you told me before!" Lilly ended almost screaming.
Henning took her hand in both of his. "I never knew nor suspected, not until today. I have found it strange, same as you. I just thought it was make believe and luck. But it is ... the real thing," he said with a fond smile.
Lilly placed her other hand on top of Henning's hands. "I don't know what to say. I don't really believe you, I am afraid to, and yet I want to. Where are Ben and Sam? And can Ben do magic too?"
"We think so. It's hard to tell with the very small, but I hope Martine can tell when she returns with him. Sam is stuffing his head with cake, and solving brainteasers way beyond his years. Come and see." Henning pulled her along, looking for all the world just like Sam pulling Ben along only an hour earlier.
Lilly almost fell into a cosy chair at the garden table. Susan poured her a big mug of tea and gave her a generous slice of cake. "Knud is the best baker!" Susan said. "And you need something sweet to help you overcome the shock!"
"It is just like stepping into a book," Lilly said. "Susan, you just need a wizard's hat and a broomstick to look the part."
"You'll have to do without the hat," Susan said. "And I'm not that fond of broomsticks, but they should arrive tomorrow or maybe Friday. Martine will see to them, but you and Henning will have to help her carry them into the old barn."
"You really mean it?" Lilly said, sipping her hot, sweet tea and munching her cake.
"Oh yes we do. And now don't be scared when Martine returns with Ben. She might be old and miss both legs, but she can still outfly me, your father-in-law and almost anyone else I know, on a broomstick. She's teaching Ben how to fly right now, I suppose."
"Ben is flying on a broomstick," Sam said, sensing that it was OK to talk again. "I think I'd like to fly a broom as well, very much. And, mom, try to solve these riddles, They are really so easy. Daddy could not do it, only when I showed him how. But the white one is stupid. I think it's hexed, same as that orange one over there, and the pink one too. They look so easy, but they so are not!" Sam said with a disdainful look at the guilty puzzles.  
"Try it," Henning said and offered Lilly the basked with the rope puzzles.
"Oh, I always loved those," Lilly said, but now we're having tea and cake. The puzzles can wait."
"Give it a go," Knud said. "They are well oiled, they can stand handling, and cake."

mandag den 22. marts 2021

Poetry Monday :: World Poetry Day

Once again - like Pi(e) day - we're celebrating a day that really was yesterday, but it's too good to not celebrate.

A whole day just for poetry,
- there is no rhyme for poetry?
It almost rhymes with grocery
and also with a rowan tree.

This is a crazy thing indeed
That for this word we really need
a rhyme. No matter how we plead
we'll never do the deed.

A rhyme on poetry is lost?
I have to give up, at any cost
I'll never have my rhyme.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Coming up:
Something on a Stick Day (March 29)
Read a Road Map Day (April 5)
Favourite invention (From Mimi) (April 12)
National Garlic Day (April 19)
The ocean or beach (From Mimi) (April 26)
The best thing about spring (From Mimi) (May 3)

søndag den 21. marts 2021

Ulykkelig slutning - Unhappy Ending

Efter fire dage ender UgleTVs historie om Uglemor på reden sådan her. Hun fløj ud klokken ca. 14.45 og er endnu ikke tilbage nu 20.44.

After 4 days the live stream story of Mother owl on the nest has a sad ending. She left the nest around 14.45. She has still not returned 20.44.

Green as a Leprechaun

Nothing is as green as a leprechaun. The youngst inhabitant of the Owlery loves leprechauns, and found this happy fellow at a second hand market some years ago:

Here his pot is filled with chocolate bars - of a kind called Gold Bars in Danish!

lørdag den 20. marts 2021

Birch Manor 4 - Return to Unicorn Farm 4

I still have lots of words from the last two Wednesdays. To the best of my knowledge (I lost count) I have those still unused. And I only used Yew for this chapter.

Heft, Yew, Pergola, Myth, Visualise
Wafer, Haggard, Procession, Drips, Disdainful, Stream, Chalk, Treasure

Umm, rewriting the last few lines of Birch Manor - 4 - Return to Unicorn Farm 3 because it did not work that way. We still need to know more of Teresa (not her real name) and what and why she did what she did - if indeed she did anything at all!

"Teresa!" Knud exclaimed. "Fiona told us about her."
"No, she was not called Teresa," Lis said.
"And any old how," Susan added. "She is probably dead as well. All the apprentices who died, did so in the first 8 years after the magic left us - David as the last of those. Only Kalle died later, 7 years after David, and that might very well have been a genuine accident. We've found almost everybody - yes including you, she said with a wink to Heidi. "You once told me you would have liked to be called Tania. The only one we've found no trace of is Aamu,"
"And I can solve that," Sandra said. "She married someone in Germany and took a new first name as well. I do not remember, but I have it somewhere in a note book at home. You know Thora tried to find the apprentices as well. She never did well, but now with internet and so on, we should be able to fill in the holes."
"Yes, we'll have to meet again all of us, and puzzle together all the small pieces of this riddle. I think we have to ascertain what really happened," Knud said. "But we, Susan and I - and Fiona and Martine as well - think that we have no more reasons to be afraid. As Susan said, no apprentice have died in the last 41 years. So for today, let's celebrate,  let's eat, drink and be merry."

"But first. I think I have a job." Susan said. "Percy, are you still willing to go on the way a soul should go, and not be hanging around here any more?"
"Oh, yes," Percy said. "The next time you come here - and for me that would be both an eternity and only a short while - you'll come to bury Sandra, or one of you younger ones. I am lonely. I would stay lonely forever here. I've had my revenge, Tristan, Torben, and David, are all dead. And that lady you call Teresa  She was Eileen, Tristan's sister, not his wife." Sandra nodded. "That was what she was called!"
Percy continued: "I can do one last thing for you. I can find her - if she's still alive, I can get
to her, and if she has died I can tell that too. Only I NEED MY MAGIC BACK!" This last was almost a roar, and they all backed up a couple of steps.
Susan pulled herself together and opened the brown suitcase. "Come here, Persephone. Touch this piece of cloth and be a witch once more!" She held out her old skirt. Percy drifted towards it, and at the touch of it turned totally solid, then transparent. Then she re-appeared and with a jubilant sound flew over their heads and teleported off so fast that the incoming air made an exploding sound momentarily deafening them all.

When the twitter of birds once again could be heard Susan spoke again: "Let's awaken your magic, too, now we're at it. The secret is to touch my old skirt, or for that matter Helge's old pants, that were left in my suitcase for so long. They are a source of magic somehow.
As if they had discussed it, they all gave way for Sandra. As she touched Susan's old skirt the colour returned to her cheeks, her back straightened and she looked younger.
"Ahh," she said. "I never realised just how much I have missed!"
The changes in Lis, Tue and Heidi were not as marked, But still they looked younger, healthier for having their magic back.
They tucked in and let the good homemade food serve its purpose. Not long after the last bite was eaten, Percy returned. The thunderclap made by her arrival was not as bad, so that they were still able to hear what she said. "Eileen/Teresa is no more among the living," she bugled triumphantly. "She died 40 years, 3 months and 27 days ago in Paris." Percy then hugged all of them; if you could call her misty, chilling embrace a hug. They all cried and said things like "We'll miss you," "Take care." And even a soft spoken "We'll meet again!" from Sandra. Then Percy seemed to shrink, she grew smaller, or maybe further away, and the second before she disappeared, peals of laughter and a great feeling of joy filled the air.

They all stayed still for some minutes, filled by the intensity of the emotions, then Sandra spoke: "Much as I'll miss Percy, both as the girl she once was and the ghost she turned into, I miss my magic more. Susan, Pray tell, where did you get that wand of yours? Thora and Tähti are no longer among the living. Did you travel to Germany, or maybe somewhere else?"
"No," Susan said, almost unable to contain her mischievous happiness. "I took a walk in the village, where I live." She looked at their confused faces. and then she could not keep her good news to herself any more: "Thora taught me the art of wand-singing. And I'm sure that the old trees of the Unicorn Farm will be delighted to give you new wands."
Heidi ran to the trees, still so much the young girl she once was. "My tree is over here, Susan," she called. "That alder over there. My, it has grown, but I can still recognise it."
Susan well remembered the tree, and the beech tree that had given the wands to the twins. "Sandra, what was your tree?" Susan asked, "and what colour were your sparks?"
"My wand was made of yew, and my sparks were smoky grey and mysterious like the oracle in Delphi," Sandra answered, looking at the row of trees. "I can see one a bit further down the line."
Susan could too, and while Knud, Sandra and the twins sat and nibbled the last bites of cake and just basked in the sun and their magic, Susan was hard at work singing wands for them. Then they of course had to try the wands and put out a myriad of small fires from the resulting sparks. Soon the yard was pockmarked like an old battlefield.

"This has been one of the best days of my life," Sandra said. "But what about my grandchildren, We ought to open a new school of magic."
"Actually we have thought of doing just that. But we miss books," Susan began explaining.
"BOOKS!" Knud exclaimed and jumped up so quickly that he overturned a stack of cups and four bottles and had to catch his equilibrium for a second before continuing. "Percy said that Gilvi magicked all the books and so on down the old well. I do not remember a well at all, it must have been dry even then. We always used one of the pumps." They all looked at Knud as if he had fallen from the moon, but he just continued thinking out loud: "Now where would a well be placed. They are almost always outside the farm, and here I would guess away from the water, so as not to have any salt water come into it. Let's go searching for it. But carefully. The old cover may have rotted away over time. Don't fall in."
Armed with branches and Knud's walking staff they first marked the outside walls of the Farm, and then searched the area west of the Farm buildings.
"No," Heidi said after half an hour's unsuccessful searching. "We ran too much on this side of the Farm. We would have remembered a well here. I'd say North of the Farm. Only the broom shed was in that direction, and the meadows, and we always followed the paths going there. I dare bet that old well is somewhere on that side of the Farm."
"Smart thinking, a lot of bushes and so on grew there. They might have been left there on purpose, preventing people from falling in. Let's get over there, searching." Knud said. "Let's tackle the North-west corner first. It's still far from the beach."

Forårsjævndøgn og frødag

Spring Equinox and World Frog Day

Her er en frø fra vores have - Here's a frog from our garden.
Vi bliver da næsten nødt til at spise sådan nogle i dag - We'll have to eat some of those today

torsdag den 18. marts 2021

Ⓐ - Ⓩ Challenge 2021

Comments disabled for this post.

-- Ⓐ - Ⓩ --

A - Z udfordringen:
- Skriv hver dag i april. Den 1. skriver man om en ting med A, den 2. om en ting med B osv.
- Hav et tema.
- Meld dig til her: A-Z udfordring (på engelsk) 
Jeg hørte igen i år om det fra Lissa, der agter at deltage. Sue Elvis gjorde mig opmærksom på denne udfordring for mange år siden.
     Med næsten 100 % sikkerhed vil jeg tage udfordringen op igen i år, og næsten med lige så stor sikkerhed vil jeg ikke tilmelde mig. Dårlige oplevelser med literære udfordringer har gjort mig meget varsom med den slags tilmeldinger.
     Der er 30 dage i april og kun 26 bogstaver fra A-Z, så der er nogle dage i overskud. Den  oprindelige udfordring bruger ikke søndagene, men eftersom påsken falder i april, med deraf følgende kirke- og familiebesøg (selv i begrænset udgave tager det altså tid), vil jeg bare skrive, når det passer ind.

-- Ⓐ - Ⓩ --

A-Z Challenge.
Write each day of April. On the 1st you write about something starting with A, on the 2nd about a thing starting with B and so on.
- Have a theme
- Sign up here: A-Z challenge 
Lissa reminded me of this challenge, I first heard about from Sue Elvis many years ago.
The original challenge means you to post every day except Sundays 30 days in April and 26 letters from A-Z makes this work except when April 1st is a Sunday, then it is included too, but as April is Easter month, with what this entails of masses and family visits - well maybe not so much this year ... but anyway. I'm going to write or not as suits me. Also I'm probably not signing up.
- First and foremost, I do not like to sign up for these kind of challenges any more - it's a matter of once bitten, twice shy. Or I migth sign up to the theme reveal but not to the main challenge because of the extra-challenges as mentioned here: Main Challenge.  I don't know if it's only me being odd one out. Of course want more visitors to my blog, as my posts average 28 views or thereabout (me and maths never became real friendly), but I just do not like this kind of popularity seeking.

-- Ⓐ - Ⓩ --

     Sidste år skrev jeg med ikke særligt stort held små kapitler fra Enhjørningegården. Jeg var syg det meste af april, så der skete ikke så meget.
     I 2019 skrev jeg små historier med billeder fra min have, det gik helt godt faktisk.
Jeg har klare erindringer om at have deltaget tidligere, men selv en nok så ihærdig søgen her på bloggen har ikke bragt noget for dagen.
     Og så fandt jeg på et tema midt i al min søgen : Ekkoer. Nu fik jeg jo kigget grundigt på mine gamle A-Z blogindlæg - og en hel del andre indlæg også. Og der er der billeder af mange ting, der er blevet færdige, er blevet opgivet, er visnet, blevet større og så videre. Og endog en del blogindlæg, der ender med ... men det kommer der mere om senere, og så kom der bare aldrig noget.
     Nu tager jeg så fat i de løse ender, halve projekter, nye begyndelser, gyldne løfter og lokkende udsigter. Men jeg ville ikke være Uglemor, hvis ikke der sneg sig nye projekter og ideer ind i denne omgang A-Z også.
Den første blogpost udkommer 1. april, og kommer højst sandsynligt ikke til at ekkoe en gammel Ⓐ - Ⓩ post, men  denne her om arktiske hindbær.

-- Ⓐ - Ⓩ --

Last year I posted chapters from the Unicorn Farm, not very successfully as I was ill most of the month.
The year before that was a success with pictures and words from my garden.
I distinctly remember participating more than twice, but searching my old blog posts brings up a blank.

I have thought out a theme ... Echoes ... I looked through my old Ⓐ - Ⓩ challenge posts - and a lot of other posts as well if truth be told - and saw that I had taken pictures of many things now either evolved, or devolved, grown or taken down, and now and then I have promised to tell more of this and show the finishing of that. Some posts will also take up things not in the old Ⓐ - Ⓩ challenges.
In short, I promise a month of finishing touches and endings. But I would not be me if these posts would not contain more than a fair share of new beginnings and plans.

April 1st will see the first post in this challenge, probably echoing not an Ⓐ - Ⓩ post but this one on Arctic strawberries

onsdag den 17. marts 2021

UgleTV - Livestream OWL

Så er der gang i årets UgleTV

Live stream from the owl's nest has just become exciting today!

Birch Manor 5 - A Visit to the Harbour

This Wednesday's words are once again revealed at Elephant's Child but are provided by Hilary Melton-Butcher.

    and/ or

Those words did not inspire me at all. Sorry Hilary Melton-Butcher, but luckily I had already written something, and I could, with some work, insert Juniper and Weeds. Some of the rest of the words - Drips, Stream, Disdainful and Treasure - are better suited for the continuation of Return to Unicorn Farm ... to be written.

This chapter actually happens before Birch Manor 4 - Return to Unicorn Farm. But I did not want to create confusion with the numbering of the chapters ;)  And then maybe I did anyway - There's one more chapter logically taking place between this one and Return to Unicorn Farm. Maybe I'll later do a re-numbering.

The last Saturday before moving, Susan and Knud went to Hundested. It was closer to their old home than it would be from Birch Manor.
Everything was packed and ready. Tuesday, all children and grandchildren would came and help carry the many crates and furniture into the moving lorry. Tomorrow and Monday they would take apart the last of the shelving and oversee the professional moving men who would come to move the piano. Their oldest daughter would be on duty in Birch Manor to let them in and show them where to place the piano. But today nothing demanded their attention. The sun shone from a largely cloudless sky and the warmer weather had finally arrived.
"We need some sun and to look at some water," Knud said.
"You mean we need to find Fiona and see how she is doing?" Susan teased. I'll go fetch my small, brown suitcase. "
Almost faster said than done, they rode their faithful bikes towards the station.
Arriving in Hundested, they got off at the small, oldish station in town.
"We have to have an ice cream first," said Susan. "You can't go to Hundested without eating an ice cream."
Fortunately, Knud agreed and a little later they sauntered towards the harbour. each holding a large ice cream cone with jam and everything.
"Where does Fiona have her stand?" Susan asked.
"As far as I understood, she is together with a few others in one of the old wharf buildings furthest out on the larger pier."
They walked slowly along the waterfront. There was enough to look at, woodturners, painters, glass blowers, various yarn and textile artists, recycling stores and other more or less artistic shops. In some the art seemed to consist mainly in selling the stuff to the tourists, and in some Susan and Knud caught a genuine spark of creativity.
"Oh, I don't hope Fiona has changed," Susan said.
"Not changed? It is inevitable. Have you not changed you since you were 15, maybe?"
"It is not what I meant," Susan answered sharply. "It's her spirit, the interior. Do you remember the broom race. How she flew and fooled everyone else to think she wasn't quite as good and then she overtook them all at the last leg of the racing track. And the Easter fire. She just wanted to jump through. Even with broken arms and leg. And she did it. That's how I hope she is still. We need such a fighter."
Susan popped the last of her ice-cream cone into her mouth. She always took tiny bites from the cone while eating the ice, so that she ended up with a teeny ice cream cone. Knud had long since eaten his, even though he had more ice than Susan. She was always slower.
Susan dried her hands in a napkin and looked for a waste paper basket. "Look at that painting," she said, sticky fingers and napkins forgotten. The paintings she looked at were held in the same dreamy hues, and the symbols  often used by alternative healers, but even so they were completely different. There was a unicorn on one of the paintings. "Look," Susan, "it looks like the painter has actually seen a unicorn before. This is not a sweet-laden, harmless Pokemon-thing. It looks wild and dangerous, just like unicorns should look. Proud and free. And as I said dangerous!"
"Do you like my paintings," a youthful voice asked from the building. A slim lady stood in the door . Her hair was long, chestnut-brown and her dress was sunshine yellow with fabric printing of red tulips and blue violets all over. The printing looked unprofessional, but the cut and fit of the dress were unparalleled.
"Yes, I admire that unicorn. It looks alive. Not a glossy picture like those you usually see," Susan said. "And that dress. It is unique. Did you make it yourself?" Susan didn't know why she asked this.
"Yes and no to the dress. My youngest daughter's kids have made all the flowers with potato prints, but I have sewn the dress. I love it!" replied the lady enthusiastically and tossed her head so that the hair danced. The movement was so characteristic of Fiona that Susan was almost scared.

"Did you also paint those flowers?" asked Knud. "I can't read the signature in all the green."
"No, the woman answered. Birgit, one of the others here in the Glass House, is master of that picture. My signature can be seen there, a merged F and S for Fiona Sørensen. Come inside, there are more to look at," Fiona said smiling. "I can sense that you like my paintings."
"Indeed we do," Susan said and followed her into the big, sunlit room.
"It's an old mast shed, with a nice high ceiling. I have healing cabins in there, but you do not seem to need that."
"No, we're doing well," Knud said. "How about you?
"I have long thought I had found my calling as a painter and healer here at the harbour," Fiona replied. "But it's as if I'm missing something. And why do I tell you this? I don't know you at all."
"Possibly because you are the person, you are," answered Knud. "Don't you have some tea or soft drinks? It's thirsty work to look at all the art. "
Fiona studied Knud and Susan. Susan retaliated gaze and Fiona went behind the curtains.
"It's her," Susan whispered to Knud. "I'm absolutely sure. That move of her head and hair, it's so much her."
"Fine, let's move on," whispered Knud back and add a little louder. "Here is a wonderful nature painting. It looks somewhat familiar, don't you agree?"
Susan went closer. "At least it is beautiful. I like those who don't look like tame pictures. There's too much kitch here at the harbour, but that painting, it has an edge. It's like something, not dangerous, but strong, is lurking just below the beautiful surface. I don't feel scared when I look at the picture but tense, waiting even. How is it called?"
Knud bend down and read, or attempted to read the cramped letters.
"What do you think about it? asked Fiona. "Its my latest picture. It is called 'Easter Saturday'."
"It is exciting, said Knud." As my wife constantly says, it is not as glossy as much art here at the harbour."
"Glossy. It is a good description," Fiona laughed and tossed her hair again.
They sat down at one of the small tables in the room and Fiona poured them a soda. "You seem a little nervous," Fiona said. "I'm sensitive, you know, I can feel people, mostly."
"Yes, I'm nervous," Susan said. "I have something I would like to show you. But first I have to ask you a few indiscreet questions."
"You are weird," answered Fiona, "but you are honest. OK, fire, but I don't promise to answer everything."
"Do you have many children?"
"Yes, 5 if you think it's many."
"And grandchildren?"
Yes, more, and even more on the way "
And you're married Sørensen. Was your maiden name Andersen?
"Yes, but only a few know that."
"And you had a big sister who died in 1982?"
Fiona nodded and bit her lip.
"If she was called Veronika, you are the Fiona we are looking for."
"Yes she was. But if it's something religious, like the Witnesses or Moonies or something, you have come to the wrong person."
"No, nothing religious," Susan said smiling. "I just want to show you something special. She opened the suitcase and pulled out her nicely folded skirt.
"It looks old," said Fiona, "exciting, may I touch it?"
Susan extended the skirt toward her "Pray do!"
And the moment Fiona touched the skirt, something relaxed inside her. Her facial features changed. Not much, but enough for both Susan and Knud to noticed. Then without a word she fainted. Knud caught her.
"Oh bugger, we should have been more careful," Susan exclaimed
"Now let's see," said Knud. He put Fiona down on the floor, checked pulse and breathing. "There is life in her, fine life," he said.
"She's probably just sensitive, as she said herself," Susan smiled and put his hands on Fiona's head. "She did not go with Tristan and Torben, did she?"
"Tristan, is he here!" Fiona opened her eyes and looked  around terrified.
"No. He is not here. He and Torben and David died many years ago. They can't harm  you any longer."
"They were pure devils," Fiona said in a thin, shaky voice and sat up, leaning heavily against Knud. She opened and closed her eyes and shook her head " ... and it was them, they killed Veronika. Did you know? They were also out to get me. I couldn't recognize them but Veronika could. She ... but who are you? "
"Susan," she replied, "and Knud, the most hopeless flyers from the Unicorn Farm."
"Yes you were horrible," said Fiona, "how you ever passed ... But it is long ago. I'm completely confused. Where did you come from ... "
Susan filled Fiona's glass and handed her it. She emptied it in one go, and looked from Susan to Knud and back again. "Yes, now it all makes sense. I remember it all, the last night, and the time after. Now I understand why Torben and David were looking for us ... or rather no. I don't understand it anyway. They should not have not been able to remember. " Fiona sighed deeply and sat up. "It's getting late. I'll close up for today, and then you must go home with me. We have a lot to catch up."

Susan and Knud helped Fiona take paintings and dresses inside, Fiona locked the door and hung the "closed for today" sign on the door. On the walk to Fiona's car, they went to the seafood place and bought four servings of today's takeaway menu. "Then there is one for my husband as well, when, he gets home. He's at a meeting in Copenhagen, he will hopefully be late so we can talk a lot."
They were silent on the relatively short ride to Fiona's house.
Susan began by telling about the moving clean-up and the brown suitcase and the clothes. Then she asked Fiona to tell about Torben, Tristan and Veronika.
She started by asking if they were totally sure that Torben and Tristan were dead.
"As sure an humanly possible," Knud answered. "We have read about their death in old newspapers, seen their obituaries, and read a little about the funerals."
"Yes, after that party ... I remembered it as a failed rabbit show and horse race in the local 4H," she smiled, "we went back home. I remember that you called us the 'Flower power girls' and we lived in a commune in Rødovre. That autumn a new family moved in, man, woman and son. The woman, I am not sure who she was, she was called Teresa. She kept to herself very much, and only rarely contributed to the community. But father and son, they were called Arne and Frederik, they said at that time, but now. Now that I remember all from the Unicorn Farm, I can see that they were Torben and David.
"I think that the Mondrian, or possibly the renunciation of all memories did not work as well on the adults, as on us," said Knud. "Martine was able to remember a lot."
"Martine, she's still alive?" interrupted Fiona.
"Yes," Susan replied. "She was the first one we found. More about her later. She had met with Thora regularly  before she died and they had been able to Remember a lot from the Unicorn Farm. But they were not able to do magic. But please continue your story? Then we can fill in with more afterwards."
"Torben and David and let me just keep on calling her Teresa, stayed in the commune. They were angry with us children. Not just Veronika and me, but also the others. They used every opportunity to harass us and destroy our things and even steal from us. It created bad vibes in the commune. And one day a guest arrived ... It was Tristan," Fiona stopped and breathed deeply. "My parents did not like him, but a few of the others were quite crazy about him. He had big plans. He wanted to create a chain of water parks, and take over the market. I think he was a bit crazy actually. He always raved about dominion and power, but only over those water parks. He would become a  millionaire, and promised us all a brilliant future if we just helped him both financially and practically with the water park chain scheme of his."
"It's tragicomic," said Knud. "Instead of world dominion, or the post as prime minister, he stroke to become a great man in the water park business. The king of water parks." Knud smiled.
It split up the commune," Fiona continued. "A few persons, among those David, Torben and Teresa, would go with him to somewhere. We and another family would not. So we decided to take over the commune. But then someone messed with our car. And it was Veronika who drove it on that fateful trip. No one could prove anything, but they ... he ... Torben, had done such stuff before. I think he hated people who lived a normal life and were happy. It was at least apparent that he hated us most of all." Fiona looked out through the window for a while, and Susan and Knud sat quietly and waited. "The collective dissolved, and mother, father and I moved here t Hundested, where my grandparents already lived. The rest is quickly told. I went to High School, met Mr. Sørensen He was a painter, we married, had 5 children and later I too turned painter and healer when the kids no longer took all my time, and I didn't have to work so much." She sighed. "You met Martine?"
"Yes," Susan replied, "she is the only one of the teachers still alive. She also was the youngest, she will be 80 in a few days, and she needs your healing abilities. I assume that they now, you've got your magic back will be even better," Susan said, and Fiona smiled so broadly that it was like watching the sun break from hind a cloud. "Martine did not die in her traffic accident," Susan continued. "She had both legs amputated, her back is crooked and her arms crippled. But I'm sure you can help her. She will be of great help. Our plan is to reopen a school in magic and she will be a great help - and so will you."
"I'll need my magic wand; I wonder where it went?" Fiona said.
"All the magic wands broke that last evening," Susan replied, Fiona's smile turned off abruptly, and she looked immensely sad. "Don't lose your courage, Fiona," Susan said. "Thora taught some of us to sing wands, I'm one of them. And I can do it! I already have a little practice. Knud, Martine and I've got new wands."
"My Goodness!" exclaimed Fiona. After a short break, she looked through the window in a very meaningful way. "So, that's why I always loved that tree. There's a giant witch hazel out there in the garden. Behind the juniper. It was the first thing I planted when we moved in here. Mother thought I had become crazy, but she let me have my way. I later believed it was its healing properties that had attracted me, but it is because it is the wood my magic wand was made of."
"And your sparks are golden as sunshine?" Susan asked.
Veronika nodded: "We'd better go for a walk in the garden right away. Don't mind the weeds."
"I hate to interrupt you," said Knud, "but there is a car coming up the driveway. How do you think Mr. Sørensen will like having a wife who is a witch?"
"We'll just have to find out," Fiona said. "I'll go out and give him a loving welcome." The three magicians smiled and Susan and Knud sat back down on the sofa. Susan got up immediately after and packed her things back into the small, brown suitcase.


tirsdag den 16. marts 2021

Birch Manor - 4 - Return to Unicorn Farm 3

The prompts are once again at Elephant's Child but are provided by Hilary Melton-Butcher.

This week's prompts are:

     Next bit of the story. I promise more, but when? Only two word used - sorry about the cliff hangers.

Of course it did," Knud said. "You are a witch as well, even if you're a ghost. You have to obey the laws of magic."
"I'm a tired ghost," Percy said. "Everybody's getting old and dying, only not me."
"No, only not you," Susan said kindly, "well not getting old, at least ... the dying part ... well, you are a ghost after all."
"It's terrible," Percy said in a broken voice.  "Always, always just hanging around here. Watch people growing up ... getting children." She started crying harder, and once again twigs and leaves began raining down.
"Yes. I can see it's hard," Knud said, his voice soft and husky with compassion. "But can't you go on, I mean, ghosts are not supposed to hang around here for so long now, are they?"
Percy looked at him in astonishment and stopped crying. "No," she said. "Normally only greed or revenge keeps them ... us here. But I'm not greedy, and I had my revenge. I helped stop the Bad Man ..."
"We could not have done it without you," Susan said honestly.
"You were a big part of it!" Knud said simultaneously.
"I did ... I was .. I'm free to leave!" The look on Percy's face was one of genuine wonder.
In that same instance they heard a car stopping close to the trees.
"Quick, hide," Percy said, "I'll scare them off!"
Susan and Knud hid behind some trees, and they drew their wands and murmured the "do not notice me-spell".
Very shortly after they heard voices from direction road and sounds of feet shuffling trough long grass and last years' dry leaves The they heard Percy close to them. "I can see you .. and you know what ... It's them!"
"Them?" Susan whispered, "Who? ... No, it can't be true. I don't believe it. It's too much of a coincidence."
"No," Knud whispered as well. "It just can't be. Or maybe ... yes it can. I dare bet Sandra still have bouts of premonition. Let's stay hidden for just a short while and listen."

The travellers could be seen clearly now. An elderly tall, well groomed man with a pointy beard and an imposing moustache had an elderly lady by the arm. Two women tagged along, carrying baskets, blankets and a foldable chair. "Let's put all this down in the yard," one of the women said. Lis, Susan realised.
"Yes. It's about the only place left with level ground," the younger answered, and neither Susan nor Knud had any trouble recognising Heidi's voice.
"Mom,Tage said. "Why did you want to drag us out here today. We should have been at the cemetery, visiting father's grave, as it's his death anniversary today.
"No," Sandra said in a surprisingly strong and steady voice. "Here and now is the time and place for us to be. I can feel it in my bones."
"Do you mean to say that you still think you can foresee the future?"
"Yes and no. I can at best feel an inkling, like a dream, like cobwebs. But I've come to rely more and more on these premonitions. I think it makes them grow stronger."
"Oh, I wish we still had our magic," Heidi said. "It would be so good to ..."
"Shh!" Lis said: "Even the trees have ears. Or at least I'm afraid they have."
"You're still afraid after all this time?" Tage asked. "I'd give anything to have my wand back. I have come to remember more and more of how it was, how it used to be in the year since we last were here .."
"... I think it's something in the air here," Lis continued, and Heidi and Sandra looked at one another and rolled their eyes.
"I think we should join the party," Susan whispered to Knud and Percy. "Percy, please turn invisible and help us to not be seen until we've come somewhat away from the buildings. We can't just turn visible and possibly scare them."
They did as planned, and turned visible some way from the Farm. They then picked up their backpacks and walked along the road, leading to the Farm.

"Good day to you." Knud said sas they once again came into hailing distance. "Sorry to distur your lunch al fresco."
"Pleased to meet you," Tage answered, Can we help you?"
"We're looking for an old, burned down farm, but we cannot seem to find it," Knud said.
"It's because it's not here any more," Tage answered. Is has disappeared, gone back to nature if you like. You are actually standing in what once was the inner yard."
"But why are you looking for that old place?" Lis asked with suspicion oozing from every pore.
"Well I suspect for the same reason you're here," Susan answered innocently. "To relive those happy, golden years of youth."
""I think I know that voice," Heidi said. "Please tell, who are you?"
"I'm Susan Thorsen nee Olsen," Susan said, "and this is Knud Thorsen. Pleased to meet you!"
"Did you marry!" Heidi exclaimed. "I always thought you fancied Helge!"
Susan laughed out loud. "Oh no, I pitied him, I loved him, yes, but only as a sister loves her brother. He was in many ways the brother, I never had. And we know who you are: Heidi, Tue. Lis and Sandra even if you do not use those names any more."
"How did you know?" Lis asked, still suspicious.
"You were never alone, when visiting the farm." Lis turned white. "Oh, no it's not as you think, Susan hurriedly said. It's not David, Torben or even Tristan - they are all long dead - who watched you. It was Percy here."
Percy turned visible and Lis laughed, a nervous, thin laughter. "Are we all alone here, except for you and Percy," She asked.
Susan drew her wand, cast the human-discovering spell she had avoided those many years ago and slowly turned full circle. "Yes," she said. "Nobody nearer than the summerhouses on the other side of the trees."
"You have a wand" Heidi said.
"You can do magic!" Lis and Tage said as one.
"It was you, we came to meet. It all makes sense now," Sandra said looking terribly pleased with herself. "Please have a seat. We have no paucity of home made food, and we'd happily share food and tales with you."
"Yes, I have a wand. I can do magic, and what more is, I can sing wands, and awaken your magic. But first you have to tell me why you are so afraid." Susan said. "As I said earlier, I am positive that Torben and Tristan died many years ago. Their greed grew into madness, they tried to take over, not any longer the whole world, but Tristan's tropical holiday paradise. They were killed in a flooding there only a few years later. And David is dead too. There's no reason to be afraid any more."
"Oh yes there is," Lis said. "Gilvi told us that he suspected that Tristan's sister was the real mastermind behind all those plans. He could not stay for long, or tell us very much. Not because he would not, but because he did not know very much by then."
"Teresa!" Knud exclaimed. "Fiona told us about her."
"No, she was not called Teresa,"   Lis said. 
"I see you have reasons to be afraid." Knud said, "but let that rest for now. We'll have to meet up later all of us, and puzzle together all the small pieces of this riddle. But today, let's celebrate, let's awaken your magic, let's eat, drink and be merry."

mandag den 15. marts 2021

Poetry Monday :: Pi(e) Day

If you want to read some more poetry,  Diane and Mimi of Messymimi's Meanderings  write wonderful, funny, thought-provoking, ingenious and honestly well written verse. Go and read.

  Karen of Baking in a Tornado has joined us in this crazy pursuit, and promises us at least a poem a month - may  we hope for more - and today se´he just has to participate, and write us a pi(e)!
  SpikesBestMate often publishes a nice verse in the comments, and helps out at topic supplying.

  Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey who has been a faithful particimant, is taking a break due to her husband's recent passing from this world. Let's continue to send warm thoughts, good energy, and lots of prayers her way.

I have something more to ask of you: If you read this and the poetry of others, would you please leave a comment. Half - if not more - the fun of these challenges is receiving the responses of others.

Actually Pi (π) day was yesterday 3.14 in English notation. And I know that maths and poems do not mix well. Bear with me.

3.14 and so on,
I cannot remember,
the  row is so long.

But give me some flour
Some butter and milk
and also an hour

I'll bake you a pie
with a circumference
of  r times 2 Pi.

søndag den 14. marts 2021

Sunday Selection - Søndagsbilleder & TUSAL

Håbet om have og sommer er stadig grønt så det er stadig relevant at linke til HeyJude @ Travel Words.

--  💚  --

The hope of gardening and Spring - and Summer is still green. So I can still link to HeyJude at Travel Words. Where the colour for March is green!

Citronchilispirer fra egne frø
Lemon chili sprouts, my own seeds

Spirer er grønne og ny sæbe er også grøn, og denne her sæbe er oven i købet også svagt grønfarvet.

--  🌱  --

Sprouts are green, and analogous to green cheese, new soap is also called green soap in Danish. Apart from that this soap actually has a green tinge:
Hampefrøsæben er kommet ud af formen og skåret i sæber
Hemp seed soap, now demoulded and cut.

I går var det nymåne, TUSAL dag - jeg har en eneste stump at vise frem - og den er grøn!

Yesterday was new moon day, TUSAL day. I have one ORT to show off - and it's green!

lørdag den 13. marts 2021

Birch Manor - 4 - Return to Unicorn Farm 2

The prompts are once again at Elephant's Child but are provided by Hilary Melton-Butcher.

This week's prompts are:

     Next bit of the story. I promise more, but when? Only one word used.

They found a trail leading through the hedge, Susan thought she recognised it as the place where she went trough the trees on her very first visit, but she was still uncertain, The trees had grown, some had been cut down, new had grown in to fill the holes, and it had spread, it was no longer a nice line of trees and large bushes, but an unruly giant hedgerow. No more was it only one of each tree, but still the variety was bigger than in any other hedgerow.
  "If I am right," Susan said, turning to Knud, who followed her at a respectful distance, to avoid the swiping, long, thin branches, "the Farm building will be ahead and left of us when we get trough this thicket."
  She pushed away some more branches and wormed her way through. "Oh!" she exclaimed. "There's a small forest placed where I'd expect the Farm to be!"
  "Makes sense, Knud said, joining her, "If it was left to itself after burning, it would be very overgrown today. Let's have a look." And he set off towards the copse of trees. Susan walked slowly after him. Holding back. She did not know whether she wanted it to be the ruins of Unicorn Farm or NOT to be the ruins
  "Come here!" Knud called. "I think I've found something!" And he had. Between the trees a perfect square arose.
  "Susan looked at it. ""This is a chimney, she said. "From the placement, I'd say it's the kitchen chimney. Let me see, if it is, there has to be a wall connected to it there," she pointed to the furthest corner. Knud put down his backpack and had a go at the ground with his staff. Yes, here's stones under the turf, they turn here, he said, jabbing the iron spiked end of the staff through the grass again and again, marking the jabs that hit stone. "Yes,!" Susan said excitedly. "This is where the Nisser used to cook, they called it an inglenook." Do you remember that new years party?" Knud nodded. "we sat here, Kensuke and me, peeling that giant root. Now it's a normal thing, but back then Daikon were a new, strange thing to eat. Teiko prepared that root, and it tasted lovely. It was at that party, I overheard Tristan and Torben's plans for taking over the government."
  Something white fluttered in the gentle breeze. "What was that?" Knud asked.
  "What was what?" Susan asked, looking at him. She had been lost in the past recounting the happenings of that long gone party.
  "I saw something, something white, big and fluttery." He shook his head, "and I feel chilled. Like a cloud covered the Sun. Maybe it's just from thinking of Torben and Tristan."
  An uncanny laughter sounded from above them, and cold tendrils touched Susan's arm. Then the cold feeling enveloped her, and a moaning, dreadful sound came from behind her.
  "No," Susan said. "I think I know what, or rather who it is."
  "Percy!" Knud exclaimed.
  Susan just nodded smiling. "Percy, is that you?" she added. "Are you still here?" A white thing came rushing by and paused in the old chimney.
  "Yes, I'm Percy," a disembodied voice sounded from the whiteness. "But who are you, coming here and speaking of those terrible people here of all places? Why can't I scare you away?"
  "Because we know you. Don't you recognise us? I'm Susan, and this is Knud."
  "You're lying." Percy said flatly. "Susan is like 16 or 17 years old and you're what? 60? same goes for Knud."
  "How long have you been in these ruins?" Knud asked softly. "You do not age, for being a ghost, but we do. How many years have passed since this place burned down. Do you remember?" Knud's voice was deliberate, strong and soft. Percy began crying, and small branches and leaves fell from the trees around them
  "Stop it!" Susan commandeered. "You always made thing fall when you cried. Please stop."    
  "Some days have passed, maybe even some months or a year or two," Percy said. becoming steadily less transparent. "And I have been so lonely. The Farm was a happy place, filled with people, and then the Bad Man came, and The Very Old, Wise Man made him stop. He made it all stop. All the magic. all the fun. He died. But first he did some very bad things. He broke your wands, he threw people around, he was ungentle, very much so to all of you. I tried to stop him, but I could not. I went right through him. He did not listen, only stopped long enough to say he was busy. He disappeared. pulling people with him. He let out all the animals, he magicked all the books, cauldrons and so on down into the old well. And when he was alone ... then he ..." Percy started crying again, silently.
  "He put the Farm on fire," Susan finished the sentence for her. Percy nodded. and raised her head.
  "You knew?"
  "We guessed. And then he laid down and died?"
  "He had drunk an antidote to the Mondrian. I remember Tristan asking him how he was going to explain away a barn full of idiots to the police, and I remember Gilvi answering that he had drunk an antidote, so as to keep his magic, but in return dying within 24 hours. That was why he was so busy, so ungentle. He had to clean up, get people away before he ran out of time."
  "And now you come here, telling me that you are my Susan."
  Knud spoke again: "Dear Percy. Look at the trees growing here, where the kitchen once was. They did not get this big in a year or two. Over 40 years have passed."
   Percy nodded, "I might begin to believe you. But first I am going to test you." She looked straight at Susan: "Where did you live. What was the name of your mother, my mother and who were my best friend ever?"
  "I lived in Elsinore, my mother's name was Edith, You never told me your mother's name, and your best friend ever was Sandra, the mom of Heidi, Tue and Lis." Susan answered. Percy nodded. "I believe you. But I'll need some time to get used to this. Just like I needed some time to figure out that Sandra had grown."
  "Sandra is a very old lady by now." Susan said quietly "I know that Kai, the father, died some years ago. Sandra is old, but I suppose she's still able to do magic."
  "No." Percy said, shaking her head and looking very sad. "Now I know who they are. They have come here recently, once or twice, when the sun is shining, three ladies, one very old, two as old as you are, and a man. They talk of magic, of the good times here, and bemoan the necessity of breaking their wands. I have never tried to scare them away. Like I normally do to visitors here. They make me feel so lonely."
  "Gilvi found them!" Susan smiled. "I'm sure he did not need to feed them Mondrian to make them renounce their magic!"
  "You said when the Sun is shining?" Knud said, "does that mean in the Summer, and have they been here yet? We would very much like to meet them, you know."
  "Yes," Percy said. "In the Summer. And it has been some time since they were here the last time. I would have liked to follow them, and I tried, but I have forgotten how to move anywhere. I'm sure Gilvi did something to me as well."
  "Gilvi did not do anything to us. We did. We spoke the words of the forgetting spell - all of us!" Susan said vehemently.
"I did too." Percy said with a surprised look at her face. Even if I had not drunk any Mondrian of course. Do you think it worked on me as well?"