Hello All

Today at the 11th hour we will bow our heads in silent remembrance. I remember sons on opposing sides. My mother’s family my father’s. All those who lost their lives to fight for their countries. The pattern of my day echoed this duality.

My poppy finished.

I walked into town to watch the Remembrance Sunday parade which culminates at Kendal’s War Memorial with a mark of appreciation for the British forces past and present. As my good friends know anything to do with old soldiers makes me cry and there was quite a bit of sniffling on my part as I watched the musicians of the sea cadets drumming through the main street to herald a small corp of young soldiers and the veterans behind them.

It is very moving. The more so as the moment is shared by a large gathering. Children on the shoulders of fathers or ushered to the front of the crowd by mothers. Grandparents whispering to small ears what the ceremony marks.

As I walked home I caught sight of a little memorial created by the toddlers of the nearby nursery,

Despite its sad origin I can’t help but find it a hopeful sight.

Back home it is time to acknowledge my other self as I listen to the radio coverage of the commemorations taking place in Germany today. It is 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. I remember that period of history vividly as it occurred shortly before the birth of No 1 son and being a superstitious soul I took it as a good omen.

Wars tear families apart in my case it brought mine together. Through the Second World War my father came to this country and met my mother. Even in the darkest of hours thankfully love survives.

Until next we meet. Moke xx

PS For those that would like to know the pattern for the poppy came from one of my old favourites:


Moke xx

Being them and also Uz4

What a lovely weekend. Saturday I spent chewing the fat with JG at the lovely Waterside Cafe (so no real chewing of fat involved ‘cos Waterside is a yummy veggie restaurant). We had a good old catch up and then I had a walk home along the River Kent in glorious sunshine.

Turn the clock forward to Sunday morning and what a change in the weather! Blowing a gale, raining hard and sun? what sun? it was dark enough to be evening. But it would take more than that to dampen my spirits because it is drumming Sunday. Kettle’s on and pot’s warming….


Drums and percussion are out ready….

for the arrival of the other three members of Uz4.  Braving the storm we all managed to be sitting around the table with hot mugs of tea not long after 11am.

Uz4 is made up of four drummers who met as members of Tenterhooks a community percussion which we helped set up in the 1990s. Tenterhooks of yester year

They were wonderful times and involved us in many community projects, like the Kendal Torchlight Festival mentioned with the photo above, and even allowed us to record an album at a musicans’ cooperative in Lancaster.

Uz4 get together for a fun drum and a natter although we have managed to record some of our pieces and today I managed to master modern technology and upload some of our tracks onto Soundcloud. Whoo-hoo! Wonders will never cease.

On that happy note I must leave you.  Hope all is well wherever you are.

The sound of distant drums

The weather broke spectacularly yesterday with the rumble of thunder, flashes of lightening and a tremendous downpour. Good to watch and listen to but not so great to be caught in! Don’t worry yours truly was visiting a friend for a natter and a cuppa. Lucky because we were there to quickly unpeg her washing and bring it in. But it’ll take more than a bit of rain to dampen my spirits ‘cos today is a drumming day!

I started hand drumming back in the early ’90s when I took my children along to workshops run by Alan ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. It heralded a wonderful time in our lives when we joined in many community ventures and I met my good friend and community arts mentor B.  Together B and I helped form a local drumming group and went on to run drum circle workshops as On A Roll all over Cumbria. Today – after many years of hauling drums about the county – B and I meet up with a couple of other kindred spirits, Ph and R,  to form Uz4 a quartet of happy drummers. It is always a treat. We have drummed together for so long that we often anticipate individual changes of drum rhythm so complimenting each others playing. Of course there is always food (you are beginning to see a pattern here!), very good conversation and some laughs.

Happy day!  Although sorry R couldn’t make it. So strictly speaking we were Uz3.

It was also a ‘swopsie’ day as B gave me two of her hand made books in return for some crochet (can’t say exactly what I made as I think they may be gifts so don’t want to spoil the surprise).  Aren’t B’s books beautiful? DSCN0389

Finally one to look out for…. DSCN0375

A friend of B’s Julian Hyde is putting on an exhibition of his work to aid the local food bank. His atmospheric photos and the stories that spring from them are a wonderful illustration of what can happen when you wander the backroads.

Night night.