Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The sun

that shines on England
Well it lifts the heart in me.

Hermintage Road's coffee bar




It was a very good day yesterday, and the sun was shining on England. It was a day for meeting old friends after a long absence - coffee with a friend, at The Hermitage, delivering my bodhran to Ruth, Singing Aloud's Musical Director, for a recording session for the town's Christmas CD, and lots of other little things that go to make up a really good day.







The day began well when I read an entry on a friend's Facebook page, linking to a youtube video of Ralph McTell's England. The lyrics and simplicity of the tune struck a chord in me that morning.

What is it about you, makes me feel this way?
When I'm leaving you, when I'm coming home
I'm lost for words to say.
And I know your faults and failures,
And the troubles that you've been through.
But it's more about what happens now
And what were coming to.

And the echo from the green hills
Runs through her city streets,
And the sun that shines on England
Well it lifts the heart in me.

What is it about you, that took men into war?
Rows and rows of crosses: Who remembers why what for?
The corners of these foreign fields,
The dust in them concealed.
Out of sight but not out of mind,
Don't you know that England feels?

And the echo from the green hills
Runs through the city streets.
The rain that falls on England
Well it washes care from me.

England, oh England
England, oh England
England, oh England

Don't make this out a battle hymn or a song of victory.
It's just a way to try to say what England means to me.
And our accents and our colours change
From the city to the farmland
From the moorland to the mountain,
From the river to the sea.

And the echo from the green hills
Runs through the city streets
The rain that falls on England
Well it washes care from me.

England, oh England
England, oh England
England, oh England

From the rolling road to the winding lane,
From the field to factory,
From summer's haze to winter's glaze,
And all the colours in between.
It's a stillness in the evening.
It's the heartbeat that I'm feeling.
Fron Cornwall to Northumberland,
From the Pennines to the sea.

And the echo from the green hills
Runs through the city streets.
The rain that falls on England
Well it washes care from me

England, oh England
England, oh England 

A trip to town for a follow-up with my audiologist since the ear infection three weeks ago and a cappuccino two doors further along the street, where I had a long conversation on the merits of various coffees and various home-methods of making a cappuccino, completed my morning.


Back home, I had another lengthy conversation - this one via email, with Jim from Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold. He's taken on the Herculean task of advising me on the best method for achieving a decent ciabatta loaf using my trusty Panasonic Bread Maker. We got as far as 'no sugar', reduced amount of flour and increased liquid to give the dough more room to 'prove' in the pan, before it was time for bed for a baker who rises well before the sun does to do his work for the day. He found time to Tweet this image of the sun shining over Southwold.

While the rest of England was still sleeping, Jim posted this great shot of sunrise over Southwold.

Embedded image permalink
The sun that shines on England Well it lifts the heart in me.

Yesterday, the weather was bright, but cold - and it's going to get colder. It's too late to buy the dwarf holly to plant in the front garden now that night-time frost as forecast. They will have to wait until next year. From summer's haze to winter's glaze, And all the colours in between. 

Counting my blessings that I live in this country, in this time, and in this town.