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  • Martin Castle

One day ...

This has turned into a 5-day a week blog but today there is this small extra one.

I started to write as a way of keeping in touch with family, some of whom are in fields foreign. It has grown from a simple email to something that wanders here and there. I also hope it brings the occasional smile and a little snippet of knowledge every now and again.

I know that I am lucky to be where I am, both physically and personally and that there are many for who the last weeks have been very difficult. I have friends who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that education continues in some meaningful way; others who have been stopped from working in the places they love and with the people they admire; family who cannot see elderly parents and elderly parents (and not so elderly) who are coping without the contact of their children; friends who cannot meet in their places of faith; past pupils (both recent and distant) who will be struggling with broken routines and uncertainty to their futures - plans and dreams on hold.

Sitting in the garden, surrounded by burgeoning spring, I feel a fraud to say I have found the last week much more of a challenge and difficult than previously - the rather gloomy weather not helping. Today the sun is back and writing, and knowing that it is read by a number of people is actually quite a thrill and helps when the physical tasks of the day are done - so thank you for your time and responses.

Looking back, I've enjoyed sharing the recipes and cooking up some old favourites as well as new discoveries. Dredging up memories, making connections (sometimes a little tenuous), sharing poems and music from a younger time has been quote cathartic. Having had time to think, in the coming days (or weeks) I'm going to to try read some of those literary pieces that I probably should have/think I have read/lied about reading (Sorry Mr Davies from A levels!).

So here's a start: Coleridge's epic poem of hope, horror & vision, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. We worked on this poem as a training task at college - we all got given a short piece - my group got the famous line about water. We were really chuffed by our artistic endeavour but somewhat deflated that we'd misquoted the lines and were marked down and how important accuracy was in teaching!

Never read the whole poem so here's a 'cheat' (a very good cheat) for those who need to tick a classic off their list. as it is being read in daily parts by voices inc. so you can follow each day for a while longer. The illustration is by Gustave Dore and the link is

It is a month since this all began and at the start of a new one I have refreshed the quotes. I am particularly taken by the words of Corrie ten Boom.

Thank you for your company on this journey and may you stay safe and well and let's look forward to the time we can celebrate being together in ways beyond the electronic.

Robert Macfarlane's Word of the Day is ...

"Honesty -- one of the common names of Lunaria annua, aka Moonwort, Money-Plant; named for its translucent coin-like silver seed-pods. Honesty flourishes in unlikely places; can rarely be found where you might hope to see it.

We are familiar with the dried seed pods but it is also an early spectacular splash of colour.


Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. “ - Corrie ten Boom
"The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." - William Wordsworth

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