Crown and Bough

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Roan:  "Knock, knock, Jesus, let me in!"  Outside the big door of our parish, Saint Joseph's.

Afon:  something was upsetting him--maybe the wind?  It was a blustery day!

Roan is smacking to give kisses now, it's the sweetest thing.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Some things from February

Joanna Childe had been drawn to this profession by her good voice and love of poetry which she loved rather as it might be assumed a cat loves birds; poetry, especially the declamatory sort, excited and possessed her; she would pounce on the stuff, play with it quivering in her mind, and when she had got it by heart, she spoke it forth with devouring relish.

-- Dame Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means

(Pictured: valentines and crochet hearts from my soul mates across the ocean; snowdrops in Tan-Y-Coed.)

Now we are six.

An uncomplex day with his auntie, cousin, immediate family, and a cake.  Six going on sixteen.  But still a baby in so many ways.  And always my little baby.  Happy birthday, my Afon.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Friday, 10 February 2017

In-between Time

February is my favorite month.  Not my favorite season, that's autumn (September through November).  I don't know why February; like most things I like, it manifests as a mysterious drawing-toward.  I am attracted to it.  I like the look of it spelled out on paper, I like the feel of it on my lips.  I like that it's the shortest month and that sometimes it surprises us by adding an extra day (and still remaining the shortest!)  There's Candlemas; and Saint Valentine's Day is my favorite holy-day, after Halloween.  I chose February as the month for my wedding.  And then my first child was born the 13th.  I like how it's the end of winter.  I like liminal things, and doorways where we pause to look behind before journeying ahead.  I am a past-looking person.

I'm thrilled this year that we have a "late" Lent.  Ash Wednesday doesn't come until March, and that feels like the truest, most appropriate kind of Lent.  February is an ordinary time, and Ordinary Time, and it is during this time that life is lived, that flowers wake up--when no one is looking.


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Roan:  fuzz-halo lit in the morning sunshine.

No photo of Afon this week.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Necessary Minimalism

Minimalism is quite the fad these days.  For my family, it's anything but.  Simplicity can't afford to be a luxury in our home.

We are much better off financially than we have been in the past, but we live in a very small flat, with very little storage, two adults for whom organization is the opposite of natural, and an autistic child and a toddler who are the very definition of destruction and disorder.

I have to throw things away.  I have to put up or shut up.  I have to be ruthless.  Today and tomorrow I am focusing on purging the stuff in our small, two-bedroom space.  For us, it's a matter of survival.

Wish me luck...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Roan:  a Welsh dragon in its natural habitat.
Afon:  such an Afon face.