– 22 – postcards from Cervinia, day 3/poetry Monday



“The wings of the mountains”  (Arthur Guiterman)

Before there were clouds in the heavens,
Before there were summers and springs,
Afar in the fathomless ages
The mountains, the mountains had wings.
For, first of the works of creation
Are they of the towering crests,
And great was their grandeur and glory,
And greater the pride in their breasts.

They soared to the starry pavilions;
Prodigious in power and girth,
They darkened the world with their shadows.
Yea, truly, unstable was Earth!
For madly they challenged each other,
Till, rising in menacing flight,
They sundered the peace of the ages;
In battle they measured their might.

 Then, rolling together, the ranges
In thunderous conflict were hurled;
The crags of the helmeted summits
Were scattered abroad through the world;
Till He that created the mountains,
Who stayeth the sea with His hand,
Dissevered the wings from their shoulders
And rooted the hills where they stand.

 So, marshaled in order of battle
The rolling sierras are seen;
But calm are the helmeted summits,
And calm are the valleys between.
The snows of the æons have softened
The pride of the towering crests,
And sunk are the passionate fires
That burned in the cavernous breasts.

 And still in the quiet of the evening
The clouds of the heavens enfold
The bulk of the great, shraggy shoulders
In ivory, crimson, and gold;
For these are the wings of the mountains,
Though clouds to the vision of men,
And thus, by the mercy of Heaven,
They come to the mountains again.



– 20 – postcards from Cervinia, day 1


Today the weather was unbelievably beautiful.  The big mountain in the photo is the Italian side THE Toblerone mountain.  Mount Cervino from here, Matterhorn on the Swiss side.

The boys had ski lessons in the morning so Mr M and and headed all the way to the top of Plateau Rosa (3480m… yes I did feel a tad light headed, but it didn’t last long).

The wind was very strong but the view… oh the view…



After another gorgeous lunch  – mushroom risotto for me –


we left Mr M in the capable hands of Ivan the ski instructor for an off-piste lesson, and me and the boys ‘caught some groomers’.  Well I did, they seemed to think that skiing/snowboarding outside the groomed and well marked areas is where it’s at.  Me? I’m not so sure.


Yeah, that’s my gang… for the ten seconds I managed to keep them still… sigh…


It was fun.  A lot of fun.

– 19 – postcards


… Volare… oh oh… cantare… oh oh oh..nel blue dipinto di blue… felice di stare lassù’…

Ok it might not mean a thing to you but that song pops in my head every time the plane breaks through the clouds and that deep deep blue welcomes you and promise you adventures.

I’m typing this from our hotel room, whilst the boys in the next room are already quieting because of the mad early start this morning.

Not too much ‘banter’ tonight.  (Don’t tell them I wrote banter.  It’s in my ‘words not to be used by a mother’ list).


Teenagers eh?

One day they’ll thank me for taking so many photos of them… or maybe not.

We arrived under a gentle snowfall which made everything perfect:


Let’s move on to lunch, which was delicious.  I had mini lasagne with deer ragu’ … perfection in a plate.

(Hilariously the predictive text keeps wanting to change ragu’ to rage… )



… and a delicious cappuccino… perfect temperature (not scolding like they serve it in England) and no chocolate powder.  AND let’s not ignore the crochet doily!


Yes, I think I’ll like it here.

– 18 –


I have a headache and I know why.

It’s because we’re off skiing tonight and I need to make sure that 4 people have the right number of pants and socks and teeshirts.  That they have a pjs just in case the hotel is evacuated in the middle of the night (I kid you not, it’s the only reason that works with my feral children who refuse to sleep in pjs).  That they have their toothbrushes and fleeces and warm clothes because IT’S GOING TO BE COLD AND NO I’M NOT EXAGGERATING ….

And cables/charges/ipads/books.

And shoes.  YES snow boots are necessary and NO I’M NOT EXAGGERATING IT WILL BE COLD.

Gloves AND woolly hats. Even if you don’t want to wear them, just bring them to make me happy and so that I can tell you I TOLD YOU SO when we get there and you’ll wear them.


I also possibly have a headache because the day we get back we’re hosting some dear friends from Spain for two nights so sheets need to be clean and ready and food needs to be prepared and in the freezer.

And all the plants watered.

And instructions written for the house sitter.  But the printer is not working (why oh why…) and so I’m kind of stuck.

Aaaarrghhhh my head.

Yes, the check in is done.  The hotel is confirmed AND the parking.

The taxi will be waiting for us at the other end.

I need to find “UNO” and “Monopoly Deals”.

And my headphones.


My reading is packed.  And my mascara.

I have knitting (I decided to bring socks because I haven’t knit a pair in ages and they are the perfect travelling project).

I have also a little cheeky sashiko piece for the plane.  Just in case.  It’s only a short flight and I’ll probably sleep… but you never know.  Better be prepared.

(I always sleep on planes.  Can’t help it)


I’ve just remembered I need to empty the drier… and do one more dishwasher run…


Will I make it through today?


I can do it   I can do it   I can do it   I can do it….



– 17 – poetry Tuesday


Ok, I’ll admit it… I forgot about ‘poetry monday’ yesterday, but in my defence I was rushing to attend the fourth hockey tournament in 7 days (that is 14 games, folks… just saying…) …

Two out of the four competition were played and watched in the pouring rain, so a poem about rain seems appropriate, right?


“Last night the rain spoke to me”  by Mary Oliver

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain—
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.



Have a good week.

– 16 – family tree


I don’t know what made me start on this project again… maybe the phone call from my dad, sad because his cousin had died before he could visit her again (the snow had made the journey impossible for him)… or maybe because Mr M’s mum is losing her stories and she’s had a most interesting life… or maybe it’s just a bit of melancholia about the crazy fast flowing of time… kids growing up fast, grey hair… this crazy world that seems so upside down at this present moment in history…

Who knows.  It doesn’t really matter.

All the photos you see and many many more were given to me by my dad and are now safely scanned and inserted in the boys family tree which travels from the South of England to the North of England, to Scotland, to India… and then Italy of course, different regions, different stories…  There are mysterious happenings in India, there are sniffs of ‘barons’ in Italy… all these need to be investigated.

They need to be fixed on paper or they’ll be lost.  Already so many have been lost.

So it looks like I’m going to be going onto a metaphorical journey across Europe and beyond…  fancy coming with me?

Who knows… we might even be related!


On a totally different note I have a cute thing for you.  Are you familiar with the ‘seven degree of separation theory’? (“Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps)

WELL, get ready for this…

  1. On Friday night I met this very lovely girl called Fay who is the girlfriend of one of Mr M’s business partners.
  2. Her son plays Polo with the top players in the world
  3. one of his player friend is Nic Roldan
  4. whose girlfriend is Jessica Springsteen
  5. whose father is BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN


How about that???

I doubt that if we invert those points the Boss will be as excited as me… but that’s a story for another day…