Sunday 6 September 2015


I have just returned from the first literary evening held at our local village hall - with the authors Allison Pearson (I Don't Know How She Does It) and Sarah Vaughan (The Art of Baking Blind). It was delightful; both women are 'locals' now, so it felt quite cosy. Pearson's novel about a high-powered fund manager named Kate was made into the Hollywood film of the same name, and she had a plethora of roaringly funny anecdotes from her time on the road. She also read a moving passage on the great yet unappreciated work done by mothers - which was the focus of Vaughan's novel, too. The two writers created a braid of literary intimacy on the complex subject of motherhood and working/writing. Both are journalists too - so it was a very connected evening.
As much as I enjoyed tonight, the reason for this post is dedicated to another Kate, a little girl who isn't a little girl anymore.
In my first years of living in Shelford, I babysat a lot, but it is difficult to maintain an unceasing thread with the children you babysit even though you continue to live in the same place for all their growing up years.
Tonight, before the event began, I was catching up with a few of the parents of my once-upon-a-time babysitting years, when I was made aware of a very pretty young girl sitting beside one of the mothers. I can't imagine she recognised me, as I would never have known her for the five year old I once wrote poetry with in a summer garden. I still have my poem but I wish I had kept hers - I must have left it with her mother, for her mother.

Here is mine…

June 28, 'Kate'

In the summer garden
an old pond
edged by lady's lace
and the sun 
falling low
down a blue bowl of sky -

Water lilies float
on a carpet of moss
and through the arch
a pair of blue eyes
watch me

(I think I shall try to send this poem to Kate - who might think it a silly memory, but might also quite like it. It's nice to be remembered, even if you can't remember the rememberer!) Tonight I also learned of the artist Margaret Tarrant, thanks to my friend Victoria - and I am now in love. I am sure I have seen her work before but I like knowing her name, and shall probably find myself making good use of Tarrant's illustrations with the nieces and nephew. Quite a handy evening, all in all!


Sherry Blue Sky said...

A lovely post, Shaista. The evening sounds wonderful. I have enjoyed that movie more than once, how astonishing you heard her read in person. I LOVE the illustrations! So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love the image of the lilies floating on moss! Lovely. Thank you Shaista.

Shaista said...

Aren't the illustrations beautiful?! I love dscovering new artists - I also learned a new word for this business of translating one type of art into another - ekphrasia 😊

Shaista said...

Thank you Kenza, I still haven't found a way to send this poem to Kate but I will. Writing a poem is a wonderful way of remembering a moment.. as you know!

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