A Bloom of Candles

The second Sunday of Advent and we light our candle again.

As I touched the match to each wick the phrase 'a bloom of candles' came to me. Where was it from? I dug out a volume of Laurie Lee's poetry that I've had since sixth form. The line about bare fruit trees also seemed apt as the last leaves fall from the Quince Tree. 

Christmas Landscape

Tonight the wind gnaws 
with teeth of glass,
the jackdaw shivers

in caged branches of iron,
the stars have talons.

There is hunger in the mouth

of vole and badger,
silver agonies of breath 

in the nostril of the fox,
ice on the rabbit’s paw.

Tonight has no moon, 

no food for the pilgrim;
the fruit tree is bare,

the rose bush a thorn
and the ground is bitter with stones.

But the mole sleeps, and the hedgehog

lies curled in a womb of leaves,
and the bean and the wheat seed 

hug their germs in the earth
and a stream moves under the ice.

Tonight there is no moon,
but a new star opens 

like a trumpet over the dead.
Tonight in a nest of ruins 
the bless├ęd babe is laid.

And the fir tree warms to a bloom of candles, 
the child lights his lantern,
stares at his tinselled toy;
our hearts and hearths 

smoulder with live ashes.

In the blood of our grief 

the cold earth is suckled,
in our agony the womb 

convulses its seed,
in the last cry of anguish
the child’s first breath is born.

Laurie Lee


I've been to the big city today. My Dad took my daughter and I to see The Birmingham Royal Ballet perform Cinderella. It was wonderful. Glitter and sparkle. 
One more birthday present came my way whilst at my parents' house.

Delicious new yarn. This is Rico Poems aran.
My Mum has been making herself a jacket with it.

It was Mum who taught me to crochet. Thanks Mum, and thanks for the yarn :o) She has used slightly different colours to those she bought me. What amazes me about this yarn is that it appears to change colour with each row, not half way through a row but at the beginning. Very strange I think it is magic. I'm planning a blanket for my sofa. I'm not sure whether to work it in trebles or in granny stitch. Must experiment. I can't wait to get started.



  1. Anonymous9:56 pm GMT

    Lovely yarn! I've just bought some King Cole Riot DK and your Rico looks very similar. I shall post a photo at some point on the blog and you can see the similarities for yourself. I really like that Rico though - beautiful colours and I do love me a bit of variegated yarn!

  2. What beautiful yarn, reminds me of the Noro yarn, yes it is magic I think. I bought some noro to knit a skirt for my granddaughter, I will knit it next year for winter.
    The UK have the best yarn, we don't have such yarns made here, so it costs a lot to get it posted out, however it is worth it.
    x Sandi

  3. I does look magic! Must be to do that. :-)

  4. That is going to look gorgeous. I have sometimes been disappointed by the muddle of colours on a finished piece, when the skein looked so promising. Thanks for the poem too. New to me.

  5. Hi Sue,
    You lucky thing, what gorgeous yarn and can`t wait to see the end result.
    I lit my candle last night too for the 2nd Sunday in Advent.
    The poem was lovely.
    Happy Birthday for last week( sorry i`m late!)
    Love Carole in Rossendale xxxx

  6. Beautiful yarn Sue - no wonder you can't wait to get started. All those magical colours mixing together will create a fabulous sofa blanket.

    I'm hoping that Violet will be able to sit still long enough for me to take her to see a Christmas Ballet production next year. My grandma used to take me and my cousin to see Swanlake or The Nutcracker every every year and we loved it.

    Can't believe it's the second Sunday in Advent already.

    Jill x

  7. Pati from London10:19 am GMT

    Morning Sue,
    I love the orange tonality of your new yarn, it exudes coziness and warmth. I love the ballet but my girls are a little bit too young for it at the moment... In a few days time I will take my eldest to the Beauty and the beast musical and my little one to see Peppa Pig, though.... (you can imagine how little they are). Look forward to seeing your new yarn project coming along. Enjoy this cold Monday.... Pati x

  8. The Laurie Lee poem is really evocative thank you for sharing it.
    It is a while since I have been to the ballet I am quite jealous .
    Beautiful yarn too you lucky lady.

    Jo x

  9. Anonymous12:33 pm GMT

    Hi Sue, The wool looks great, when you knit/crochet with changing wool at least you can't get bored. I like the poem it fits in perfectly right now. Freezing up in yorkshire,

  10. Anonymous1:12 pm GMT

    What a lovely poem Sue., totally new to me. I am going to put it in my anthology that I started when I was a student rather a long time ago! A belated happy birthday and I am also a little jealous of your lovely Sunday!! Much loved Penny Lxx

  11. Beautiful poem, candles and yarn....x


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