Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The weather is grey and wet, it gets dark early and doesn't get light until late.  The frosts and mists and fog are upon us.  In Scotland this sort of weather is described as dreich, I think that is a wonderful word to describe something so simply and yet so descriptively.

I love poetry.  One of my first poetry books was given to me by my father, he had had it at school.  It is called Laurel and Gold Junior Anthology.  I still own it and turn to it from time to time.  Many years ago when I was studying at college in America I spent one semester studying poetry and learned more about it and since then I have been even more interested.

One of the poems that was in my first poetry book, and that I studied again many years later was called No! by poet Thomas Hood.  He lived in London, was born in 1799 and died in 1845.  At that time in London smog would have been a frequent occurrence, indeed, the fog and mist and smog was referred to as a Pea Souper, it was so thick that you could hardly see ahead of you at times.  Thankfully the air quality in London is now much improved.

The other day the weather reminded me of this poem when it was wet and foggy and not at all nice.  Just the sort of day for staying at home and keeping warm, so I got out my little old poetry book and had another read of Hood's words.

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day
No sky - no earthly view
No distance looking blue -
No road - no street - no "t'other side of the way" -
No end to any Row -
No indications where the Crescents go -
No top to any steeple
No recognitions of familiar people -
No courtesies for showing 'em -
No knowing 'em!
No travelling at all - no locomotion,
No inkling of the way - no notion -
"No go" - by land or ocean -
No mail - no post -
No news from any foreign coast -
No park - no ring - no afternoon gentility -
No company - no nobility -
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
Thomas Hood

Although I haven't captured any pictures of the fogginess that inspired my thoughts a few days ago, I have been playing with my camera taking pictures on manual!  Scary huh.  One of the things that I really wanted to be able to do was to focus on what I wanted to see in pictures, not what the camera decided it would focus on.  I have been experimenting with raindrops on the windows especially.

These are not pictures of the fog, but they do capture the raindrops and give an essence of the weather in November I think!

Don't forget to sign up for the Christmas Card Swap 2014 before Friday 21st November.  You can find the post here.



  1. I know what you mean, it's been constantly damp here. The sun is trying very hard to break through the mist this morning though, I have high hopes! Lovely raindrop photos, they really give a sense of what it's been like. CJ xx

  2. I like the poem - I'd never read it before. Although I have to disagree with the "no cheerfulness" bit - looking forward to Santa coming is very cheerful! :oD

  3. Ah, the current Mrs ABAB is Scottish so I hear the word 'dreich' from tome to time. and you're right - it's a wonderful word. Not onomatopoeic, but certainly on the way to it! Cute poem. And your raindrop pictures are fab - I can't figure out how to use manual focus on my camera!!

  4. Nice pictures Amy. I need to experiment more with my camera. Usually I snap on my phone camera but it is useless for focussing and I probably delete as many as I keep.
    The sun is shining this morning and I can actually see some blue sky so it's more of a 'yes' day today.

  5. Wow, those raindrops are fantastic, Amy. I too have been trying to photograph rain, and it is very difficult. I have no idea how to turn my camera to manual, but now I want to try (of course :)
    Nice poem - I like poetry too.

  6. I think your photos sum up November very well. We've had fog and rain here too, but very little frost yet.

  7. I too remember the poem well, really appropriate for the weather we are having of late.

  8. Good raindrop pictures! It's actually brightened up here (slightly) after showers early this morning. And quite mild too. Or maybe after living here for 12 years, I have finally acclimatised :-)

  9. Good poem, and I can just imagine how the poet felt during a walk to bring forth these lines. You are full of surprises Amy ... you went to college in the States? You did great with photographing the rain drops. I keep trying with the manual setting, but sometimes it's just hit and miss with the results. There's sunshine here today, but it's deceiving us. Once you're outside there's a bitter cold wind. Won't enjoy walking the dog this morning! Wendyx

  10. Very evocative poem....and witty to boot!
    Jane x

  11. I love the poem and the pictures of your rain drops.x

  12. Those are fantastic pictures of the raindrops. Well done! My father (who is 86) recites the first few lines of that poem every year - he learnt it at school. I've heard many people describe the weather as dreich - it's a great word. And it really has been dreich!!

  13. You took some great pictures of the rain drops, so beautiful! We have a mild weather here with high temperatures, I'm not so happy about that.

  14. What a great poem! Thanks for sharing it during this month of gloom. I love your photos of the raindrops on the windows. They look like jewels lined in rows. Just amazing to see! Great job, Amy.

  15. What a great poem. :)
    Fantastic raindrop pictures too. It's been a nice change to see some sun here today. x

  16. It is a beautiful poem !
    And although no fog in your photos, they still combine perfectly with the poem... (And your pictures are lovely, btw !)

  17. Lovely poem! And I love the photos of the raindrops. I really like this time of year - a bit of patter on the window, sitting under a nice blanket and watching a black and white good old film. Not that it happens so often but this is when I want to do it! Hope you'll have a good week! Anna

  18. I like the poem and your photos are awesome!

  19. Very interesting about the poetry book. How special that you still have the book. I love the photos you have captured and shared.

  20. What a brilliant poem - I haven't come across it before. I too am quite a poetry fan, both writing and reading. The photographs are excellent, they really romanticise the dismal weather, which takes some doing! Lil xx

  21. Great poem. The older I get I hate cold, damp, weather. I try not to, but I still feel that way.

  22. Amazing how a photo can be so atmospheric Amy,
    Have a good rest of week, Kate xx

  23. Very evocative, it is extremely damp & drizzly at the moment. I'm waiting for a good, hard frost!

  24. I love the poem, and your raindrop photos are excellent. It has indeed been dreich here - at times so foggy we can't see the field across the road, then the fog starts to lift and suddenly you can see sheep!!

  25. I also love poetry, I find it comforting and have many writer's that I like, Betjeman.
    As for pea soupers, I'm old enough to actually have been out in one. Coming home from school in the 50's I remember not being able to see the kerb to cross the road, pretty scary!

  26. This year though there are flowers in November! Still roses in our garden and I've seen all sorts of things still flowering on my travel. What an abundance of bright berries too! I love foggy days and especially misty mornings so I don't mind November at all (I love all seasons, and most weathers!) - there is plenty of light and beauty to be found in November :) Here are three examples from my week - http://365project.org/roachling/365/2014-11-14
    http://365project.org/roachling/365/2014-11-17 http://365project.org/roachling/365/2014-11-18

  27. Love the photos and the poem is actually quite dramatic in a rythmic way, but doesn't really describe November here in Oz. Take care.

  28. I like the poem - never seen the word 'No' used so much!
    I see you are hosting a Christmas card exchange, I joined one through our FB tea group and have made 37 cards to send off, mostly to the US.
    I hope your exchange is successful.

  29. Aren't we lucky the air quality has improved since those days. I always love the fog hanging in the vallies at this time of year. It always looks so magical! Sarah x

  30. I love raindrops on a window. This is an incredible photo. Glad to see you blogging again. I've been swamped with doing things, things and more things and haven't read blogs as often as I should. I need to slow down. Running takes the joy out of the season. At least it does for me.

  31. Beautiful pictures, Amy. I am impressed.

    Thanks for sharing the poem by Thomas Hood entitled November. I've not heard it before.

    You are always sweet to visit me. I enjoy your blogging friendship.
    Hope you are nice and warm inside with all your projects to keep you busy during the cold and damp weather.

  32. The perfect poem for this time of year! And oh how I love good poetry! It is my goal to introduce my beans to poetry so they appreciate its beauty!! And your photos pair so beautifully with the poem you chose! Wishing you a wonderful day dear friend! Hope you are cozy inside this Tuesday evening!! Nicole xo

  33. Your quote is certainly on target! Nice pictures of the rain drops.

  34. I remember one pea souper when I had just learnt to drive - I lost my way whilst driving home and it was very frightening.
    Love your raindrops on the windows - it is good to experiment.

  35. Love how the pictures capture the raindrops, and the way they hold the world in miniature. Very clever effect. I had a longer comment entered, but it disappeared!

  36. Lovely post today my friend.

  37. I love playing with the manual focus. Your raindrops pictures are great! :-) What kind of camera are you using?

  38. I love poetry, and it really sticks in the mind, I remember several poems from school that I still love. X

  39. I've been thinking of all those who have to go to work in bad weather. It's so misty at the moment and I'm thankful we don't get those 'pea soupers' any more. They were so disorientating when out and about. Have fun experimenting with your camera!

  40. Lovely post :0)
    Sorry I've not been around lately, but I'm recuperating from an operation.
    Hope all's well with you.
    Jill x

  41. What a utterly wonderful poem :)
    Warm Woolie Hugs to you friend

  42. Hello Amy

    Like you I love poetry, and this poem is wonderful. It's so true and describes November very well.
    I also like the words by Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Emily Dickinson.

    What amazing raindrops they are beautiful.
    My favourite is the second one as I love the pattern/shapes the raindops make. and agree so scary on manual focus,


  43. Love love love the image I got from your happy dance (it only it was a small one) and of you shouting out, "Hey, my name is Amy" while others who have never read the book looked around at you. Said with love you understand. I feel that way when I go off on a tangent talking about Anne of Green Gables like everyone has heard then I notice only because I'm aware that others don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Amy you are fun, love the poem and the rain drops, wishing I could visit longer my friend but the RV has started and Mr. is waiting for me to take the front seat, hugs I'll be back


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