Virginia Barton

30 March 2014: The day the clocks change


30 March 2014


You’ll be glad to hear I scrubbed the Big Para of Purple Prose about my spring flower bed. Let’s face it, Wordsworth had the last word on daffodils.

The next item to be cut was a speculation upon the origins of Mother’s Day, which it is today. But Wikipedia, as usual, has the origins, date and customs; there is little to add except to remember how huffy my mother became if we forgot it. Our son ignores both Mother’s and Father’s Day on principle, our daughters never. Vive la difference, eh?

Or one might expand on the effects of changing the time; our clocks went forward by an hour last night. (There is a humorous side to this which the Sunday papers won’t be slow to point out.)




What I WILL do, is to put a marker by two books instead. The first was given to BH this week and had him chuckling, and nodding in agreement in no time. It’s a charming collection of poems, Making Tracks by Arthur Baskerville. The author is a retired vet, living in the countryside, who has a special devotion to pigs.

His observations on these are as characterful as the people he describes. Two old persons groping their way downstairs to breakfast had me staring at myself and BH, both poignant and funny. And the reader is present again, naughtily eavesdropping in an English tea shop.

One poem, Summer Dawn, has as fine a description of that precious time of day as any I have read. The collection is a lovely mix of the droll and the thought-provoking.  A book full of images that “… flash upon the inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude”.


The other book, if you can find it, is a tiny charmer. It’s a book that has been lurking in the back of my mind for years. I think my huffy Mum mentioned it about 50 years ago? (Seriously tho’, let’s get this straight: she was hardly EVER huffy, and it was MY fault for forgetting to send the Mother’s Day card.)

The book is called Our Lady’s Juggler by Anatole France, and it’s a simple re-telling of a Mediaeval tale. It was published in 1927 and is only 30 pages long, but it’s one of those unforgettable stories that you will want to share.


Possibly, next time, I will explain why I bought RH Tawney’s The Acquisitive Society. I might even have read it by then..


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