Showing posts from December, 2018


This Christmas I have been aware of how many of us face the festive season with the loss of loved ones in our minds, made more poignant by the memory of times shared. For recent loss these can be difficult days however just as the Solstice passes and the days grow lighter I believe there is hope. The sharp depth of grief is part of the process and with time comes healing. Although they are forever missed, memories can be shared with laughter and their presence among us felt again.This photograph was taken on Christmas Eve in the countryside near my Spanish home. The sunlight illuminating the unseasonally deep carpet of clover and daisy. 
I have added a beautiful photograph of the light taken by my wonderful son in law Jose.
Creeping towards Solstice, darkening days following the glory of leaf fall, hard ground and chill air circling earth rhythms as souls crave hibernation, to burrow down in soft quilts in lulling, soothing sleep, to dream perhaps of change to come.


68 years ago my parents were married in a brief ceremony reflecting the austerity of the post war years. Their marriage was a long and happy one and today I remember them both with love and gratitude. 


How young they were, posed on their wedding day gloved and suited, shy beauty illuminating her austerity grey.
Breakfasted on mushrooms, honeymooned for an afternoon, hand in hand wandering the Science Museum, cream tea in Lyons Corner.
Sneaking back along the railway track, to reach their  dolls house caravan home, mud splashed through fields, so as not to be seen.
Hidden away for Christmas, stain glassed sun casting sparkling light on paper chains as pine needles spiked army blankets on fold down bed.

© 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.


I was inspired this evening by a beautiful image of silver birch trees on the lovely facebook page 'The guardian of the woods'. It took me back to the garden, where I would wander up the path stopping at the silver birch. Treading over the undergrowth, avoiding brambles and nettles I would lean on the tree and feel its gentle sway as it moved in the wind. 
The winding path curves stone edged, cutting sine waves though deep shrub, semblance of a green fingered order long lost as nature reclaims the garden, urban space wilding into glorious tangle; spiked brambles coiled like wire wool, whippy grass stalks bolt head high, cruel nettles guarded by velvet dock, spiralling ivy, tendrils curling, 
soft as ringlets in toddler hair.
The ghost child skips by my side,   sailing pirate ship on wooden frame, sculpting oxbow lakes in sand pit, digging cream potatoes plucked from earth like hidden treasure. Trample winter oak mulch to lean together in remembrance, souls soothed by gentle sway of s…


In a time of political chaos that is causing continual worry as we face losing our European citizenship and rights of freedom of movement to live in peace in Spain, I felt the need to escape the endless news. I am so fortunate to live between mountains and sea and today I let the waves wash away the stress. 

Take me to the shorewhere rocks cleft frommarble veined cliffs, spilling into foaming sealike lumps of sugar in steaming tea.
Take me to the lightwhere star flare whitescelestial sky, sea shimmering like liquid gold, flowing molten from the flames.
Take me to the waveswhere the endless riseand crashing break ofwind whipped surf mists upturned face with salt spray.
Take me to the seawhere ozone air clears


This beautiful Holm Oak is a rare example of a fully grown tree, most Holly Oaks in our countryside do not mature into trees and are more commonly found as spiked leaved bushes. This tree grows out of a metre wide dry stone wall, built from stones littering the surrounding land. 
FROM STONY GROUNDTree and wall grown in harmony,
stones plucked from arid earth,
balanced in hand raised precision,
protecting roots from snuffling
snouts as sounders of boar wait
for dusk to claim the terraces.
Cragged bark emerges from
ancient rock like spiked crocus
breaking free from spring mulch,
Oak parasol gifting green shade to
worn labourers breaking bread
with dust calloused hands.
Traces of their ancestors etched
in stone laid on lichened stone,
but only Oak remembers if the
wall was built around her trunk
or if an acorn sprouted upwards,
crumbling rock to reach blue sky. 

© 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved.