Powsowdie at Home

Welcome to Powsowdie at Home. I hope you are all well in these strange times. Powsowdie is a themed reminiscence project, with food and music. Normally we meet once a month at Heron Corn Mill but as coronavirus has led to isolation we decided go online! Please explore, dip in and out. 

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July

Pastimes and hobbies

 

Hello Powsowdie folk! This month we are exploring pastimes and hobbies. We have all sorts of things for you: poems, songs, bassoon pieces, a mediation and a reminiscence letter from last month. That’s just the CD and soundtrack, your box is also full of things!

Here is a 30 minute track of me presenting each bit in a very relaxed way, so get the kettle on, relax in a chair and explore your box.

 

Here are the poems and songs if you want to read or join in as you listen.

Leisure 

by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

 

The Call of the Stream 

by Charles H. Crandall

I am sitting to-day at the desk alone,

And the figures are hard to tame;

I’d like to shift to a mossy stone

Nor bother with pelf and fame.

I know a pool where the waters cool

Rest under the brawling falls,

And the song and gleam of that mountain stream —

Oh, it calls, and calls, and calls!

There are hooks and lines in a wayside store 

Where the grangers buy their plug, 

And the loggers swap their river-lore 

For a jag they can hardly lug.

I wonder how long that tackle will lie

As useless as any dumb fool

Unless I happen along to buy,

And sneak for that mountain pool.

Oh, bother the flies, I guess I’ve enough,

I know where the worms are thick

By Billy’s old barn — Oh, they are the stuff —

You can dig a quart with a stick.

The reel is all right and the line is tight,

And if they should happen to fail

There’s little birch rods that are fit for gods

When they follow the trout-brook trail.

I jing! the demon has rung me up —

The “central” up in the woods —

Waders, and creel, and a pocket-cup!

I’m after the only goods.

Wire for Hank and the old buckboard —

The secret, I guess, is out —

Don’t bother me now — you’ll get in a row —

I’m catching the train for trout.

Fishing

by William Henry Dawson

I just take a bamboo pole,

Linen line and Limerick hook,

Make a sneak for some deep hole

In the creek, in shady nook.

Seat myself upon a stone,

Bait my hook and throw it in,

Sit there, quietly, alone,

And wait to see the fun begin.

First a nibble, then a take,

Then my float goes out of sight,

Then a sudden swing I make—

Got him? Well, you’re mighty right.

Bass, by jingo! Weighs four pounds;

Won’t I have a toothsome fry?

String him on this rope, by zounds!

Make him safe or I’ll know why.

Once again my hook I bait,

Once again I cast my line,

Seat myself and watch and wait.

Catching bass. Oh, gee! it’s fine.

Soon the float begins to sail,

Then it makes a sudden dive;

Holy smoke! I’ve hooked a whale,

Just as sure as I’m alive.

Pull, you sucker! Bet I’ll make—

Stop! You’ll surely break the pole.

Splash! and suddenly I wake,

Up to neck in swimming hole.

 

The Garden 

by Rudyard Kipling

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

 

Tchaikovsky Swan Lake the oboe solo played on the bassoon.

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For messin’ about on the river

 

When the weather is fine you know it’s the time
For messin’ about on the river
If you take my advice there’s nothing so nice
As messin’ about on the river
There’s big boats and wee boats ands all kinds of craft
Puffers and keel boats and some with no raft
With the wind in your face there’s no finer place
Than messin’ about on the river
There are boats made from kits that’ll reach you in bits
For messin’ about on the river
And you might want to scull in a glass fibred hull
Go messin’ about on the river
Anchors and tillers and rudders and cleets
Ropes that are sometimes referred to as sheets
With the wind in your face there’s no finer place
Than messin’ about on the river
Skippers and mates and rowing club eights
All messin’ about on the river
Capstans and quays where you tie up with ease
All messin’ about on the river
Inboards and outboards and dinghies you sail
The first thing you learn is the right way to bale
In a one man canoe you’re both skipper and crew
Messin’ about on the river
Moorings and docks, tailors and locks
All messin’ about on the river
Whirlpools and weirs that you must not go near
Messin’ about on the river
Backwater places all hidden from view
Mysterious wee islands just waiting for you
So I’ll leave you right now, go cast off your bow
Go messing about on the river.
 
 

English Country Garden

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow 

In an English country garden? 

 I’ll tell you now of some that we know 

Those we miss you’ll surely pardon 

Daffodil, heart’s ease and flox 

Meadowsweet and lady smocks 

Gen teen, lupine and tall hollihocks 

Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots 

In an English country garden

How many insects come here and go 

Though our English country garden? 

i’ll tell you now of some that we know 

Those I miss you’ll surely pardon 

Fireflies, moths, and bees 

Spiders climbing in the trees 

Butterflies that sway on the cool gentle breeze 

There are snakes, ants that sting 

And other creeping things 

In an English country garden

How many songbirds fly to and fro 

Though our English country garden? 

I’ll tell you now of some that we know 

And Those I’ll miss you’ll surely pardon 

Bobolink, cuckoo and quail 

Tanager and cardinal 

Bluebird, lark, thrush and nightingale 

There is joy in the spring 

When the birds begin to sing 

In an English country garden.

 

The Happy Wanderer

Florenz Friedrich Sigismund (1791–1877).[1][2]

I love to go a-wandering, 

Along the mountain track, 

And as I go, I love to sing, 

My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream 

That dances in the sun, 

So joyously it calls to me, 

“Come! Join my happy song!”

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

“Come! Join my happy song!”

I wave my hat to all I meet, 

And they wave back to me, 

And blackbirds call so loud and sweet 

From ev’ry green wood tree.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

From ev’ry green wood tree.

High overhead, the skylarks wing, 

They never rest at home 

But just like me, they love to sing, 

As o’er the world we roam.

Oh, may I go a-wandering 

Until the day I die! 

Oh, may I always laugh and sing, 

Beneath the clear blue sky!

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

Beneath the clear blue sky!

I love to go a-wandering, 

Along the mountain track, 

And as I go, I love to sing, 

My knapsack on my back.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

With My knapsack on my back.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

With My knapsack on my back.

 

Greevz’s childhood story

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Thanks again for the Powsodie box and the goodies enclosed.

I have been thinking about the theme of childhood and my memories of a rural upbringing in a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the mid to late 1950’s.

I used to help with my older brother on a local farm, which still used horses for ploughing, but also had a gunmetal grey coloured Ferguson tractor without a roll over cage.

We used to help with the harvest following the combine harvester as it churned out bales of hay.

We would help to load the bales onto the tractor trailor, hitching a ride back to the barn, where we would as best we could, help to stack the bales to provide feed for later in the year.

The hay was also made into hayricks or haystacks, which were  often ten to fifteen foot high.

A much more pleasing view, than those obnoxious plastic coated bales which are so sadly common today in the rural landscape.

There were also sheaves of hay stacked at times in the fields too. These were much smaller in size than the more common hayricks or haystacks.

We used to have food and drink carried in wicker picnic hampers, to give us sorely needed sustenance and the weather always seemed better too.

A world away from today, one could say.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reminisce about my childhood and to give thanks on how fortunate I was, to have had a rural upbringing before the nature of farming became increasingly mechanised and on a larger scale.

I like to think that Constable could have painted the same picture of “The Hay Wain” in the fields around my village on the outskirts of Leeds in the mid to late 1950’s, so long as it wasn’t the field within the solitary tractor in it!

Constable’s famous painting of a rural idyil was of course painted in the early C19th, but it does indicate how the pace of change in the rural landscape was much, much slower than the pace of the Industrial Revolution radically transforming the urban environment.

 

June

 

Childhood

This month we are hand delivering boxes to the group. Each box contains a variety of things relating to childhood. I have also created a CD that the group may listen to whilst exploring their box.

 

Here are the contents of the box.

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As I sat and thought about the theme of childhood, I noticed the shadow from a dangling-chime in my back garden. I thought the shadow looked like a child skipping down the road in a carefree way. IMG_5680

 

Here are the 6 tracks.

Introduction

 

Poems

 

Songs

 

Bassoon

 

Meditation

 

Goodbye

A meditation film of the garden

Poems

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
 
I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!
 
I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!
 
I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Here are some pics of the boxes being made up. We’ll add more pics in the next week.

 

 

My Heart Leaps Up

William Wordsworth – 1770-1850
 
Crossthwaite, Samuel, 1791-1868; William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Crossthwaite, Samuel; William Wordsworth (1770-1850); The Wordsworth Trust; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/william-wordsworth-17701850-143047

 
 
My heart leaps up when I behold 

   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

 

The Bumble Bee 

(and a little film of a bumble bee in my back garden)

By Luke Crookes

Bumblebee, bumblebee,

Where did you go?

I lost my house,

I lost my shoe,

I simply do not know. 

Bumblebee, bumblebee

When will you come back? 

I looked in red

I looked in blue

I looked in gold and black.

Bumblebee bumblebee might you be dead?

I wonder if my bumblebee was living in my head? 

 

Some photos of Cumbria that may bring back happy memories.

April 

The Blossom Tree

I’d like to share this photo of the blossom tree in my neighbours garden. Each year I wait for the blossom and love the moment it blooms. It always surprises me how quickly it loses its bloom and so I wrote a little song to capture that feeling. I also found a poem by Robert Burns called O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair about a man who loves a purple blossom so much that he wishes he were a bird sheltering under it and then he imagines becoming a dew drop resting on a rose petal, only to be extinguished by Phoebus’ light! (Greek god of light; god of prophecy and poetry and music and healing).  


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As sure, as sure as, sure can be,

The pink blooms fill the blossom tree,

Against the sky they bright the day,

and lift the heart and soul away.

 

As sure as sure the blossoms come,

And then a week the  blossoms go,

As blossom blow from branch to ground,

Like pink confetti all around.

 

The blossoms gone, the blossoms gone,

Until next year you bloom again,

Thank you blossom tree my friend.

By Luke Crookes.

Here is a recording of the song 

Click here to download

 

 

O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair

O were my love yon Lilac fair, 
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring, 
And I, a bird to shelter there, 
When wearied on my little wing! 
How I wad mourn when it was torn 
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude! 
But I wad sing on wanton wing, 
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d. 

O if my love were yon red rose, 
That grows upon the castle wa’; 
And I myself a drap o’ dew, 
Into her bonie breast to fa’! 
O there, beyond expression blest, 
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night; 
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest, 
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Robert Burns.

Here is a recording of the poem

Click here to download

 

 

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Meditation

Here is a recording of meditational sounds that you may want to listen to with your eyes closed. 

Two minute breath meditation

Click here to download

 

Since sharing this page people have got in touch with links to trees and blossom. I’ll put the links below. 

Paintings of dew drops
An artist friend, Marc Woodhead, listened to the poem and gave me a link to dew drops in art. 

Many, many Dutch still life paintings have drops of dew on the leaves . . . (Tip for viewing. Try the + zoom feature to see the detail of the drops on the petals) click the link below. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-huysum-glass-vase-with-flowers-with-a-poppy-and-a-finch-nest.

If you feel inspired by something why not write  your own little ditty, I’ve certainly enjoyed connecting with the tree in my garden, a tree I always quietly notice but it’s just nice to take a longer moment. Do send any pictures, poems or songs but there’s no pressure to do so. 


Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo about the blossoms in Arles . . .
 
 
 
 


Musician James Larcombe sent this link.

George Butterworth set the A. E. Housman poem about cherry blossom. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQeiLNSwekw
 

Please take a look at our film of last years sessions.


The meaning of Powsowdie:
Powsowdie is a Scottish sheep’s-head broth or soup. Traditional preparation of the soup includes sheep’s trotters as an ingredient. Dried peas and barley can also be used as additional ingredients. Powsowdie has been described as a speciality dish in Edinburgh, Scotland.