Snow as Art, An award, and yes, a wee story

All my favourite artists have an ability to disconnect from the present and plunge out into the future and their art.

This is why I love snow after the storm. As an artist Miss Nature is brutal, selfish and startling.  She is very fond of mixed media too. She is my favourite artist today.

A wee while ago a very beautiful and generous blogger passed the Leibster Award across to me. Aimee at Soul Dipper is a gentle and kind, compassionate woman who genuinely loves mankind and is a lovely writer.  A rare gift. She is indeed one of a kind. And I thank her for her gentle sure  words both for me and the others she mentions. 

I have chosen a few bloggers  to pass the Leibster award to who love the land. They are at the end of this post waiting for you. Some are very new to me and  a few not so new.  One I have been following since July 4th when I started this blog. That is old!! I will tell them that the nomination is not a chain letter. I only want to highlight them as memorable and worth visiting. I do not want to add to their workload!!  So they may pass it on if they choose and when they choose.  Life is all about choices.  I  think that if you have time to pop in they will stretch our wee blogging bubble a bit.   A bonny blogging bubble.  Hmm..  That is an Alliteration. I love the word Alliteration. Alliteration reminds me of a moment many years ago.

The day I  learnt the word alliteration it was summer. School had just resumed after the New Zealand summer holidays and I was 11.  In class that day hearing and understanding that word was like a light bulb going on  above my head.  Suddenly  I knew this word, I could say it and spell it and I knew what it meant.  I owned it. I could have it and keep it. It made sense to me.  I was thrilled to bits at this massive discovery.

It was a big old school.  All varnished wood or clean cream  and blue paint.  It had one long L shaped building, with one wide indoor corridor  that ran the length of the building turned the corner and ran down that side as well.  It was very wide, about four kids laid head to toe with their shoes on wide.  The corridor was  light, as the top half of the exterior wall was entirely made up of  generous windows stretched right  to the ceiling. The highest windows were open to the pine trees laden with summer scent. It had  hundreds of  brass pegs  under the window sill- dark with age, maybe they had been brass once. Their tips shone brassy. These pegs were to hang our schoolbags (mine was brown leather and I hated it as it was a hand-me down of my brothers and I hated him too because I also had to ride his hand-me down bike from the beach to the town school. Secretly I did not mind about the boys bike but appearances had to be maintained even when  eleven years old).

Hey out of the bike shed with you and back to this corridor. The pegs also ran the entire length of the corridor.  Hung with the motley collection of dark bags.  Now, way below the hanging bags and also stretching as far as I could see  and further (they still had not realised I needed glasses at this point), was a shiny wooden boxy bench. So a child could sit on this bench under his hook to do up his shoe maybe. Or drop her bag there when she was lazy until she was told to hang it up on the hook – that is what they are there for.  The bench had to stay clear.   This was a rule.

On the interior side of the corridor facing these huge light windows were the classrooms, they had high windows  along the wall too, also open today to catch the breezes delivered from the corridor windows. Spaced evenly down this side were the classroom doors.  Each door had a number on it and a classroom stuffed full of children and a teacher behind it.  So the corridor with its gorgeous hardwood floor was long, wide,  full of sunlight and delicious fresh early summer air, the scent of pines and leather and waxy floor polish.

For some reason on the morning that I learnt this word alliteration, I was walking this corridor alone. Everyone else was still in class. Maybe I was delivering a message or coming back from the loo. I cannot remember.  I DO remember that I began to walk smartly, swinging my arms and legs, saying the new word softly to myself.  Alliteration. Then I broke into a kind of shuffly dance jog, my roman sandals catching on the floor, tripping down the glowing corridor, letting the word gain volume and speed. Then I began to leap up and down,  up and down,  on and off this bench as I took off and raced and flew down the corridor, jumping over the puddles of sun, singing alliteration, up onto the bench turn and weee off the bench. A rhythm developed , a dance gallop, a leap. Alliteration I called out with each jump!  Then shouting it at the top of my voice.  ALLITERATION!  The sound rung wonderfully. The acoustics were gorgeous in this big wide light empty sun filled corridor. Alliteration took form and that form was me and we leapt and shouted and flew down the corridor together.  Then bang, bang, bang. Doors sprung open and out popped teacher after teacher, growling like awoken bears, cuckoo clock rumbles. What is this commotion.  No running in the corridors. Who shouted.   Then doors gently shutting.   One tall teacher had  sent all the others back in with a flick of her imperious finger. She remained in the open doorway of her classroom.  She beckoned me with her one long finger.

Caught mid leap, I stumbled across.  You are a noisy child.  What do you think you are doing? Her words precise. Her diction perfect, her back ramrod straight.  Did she strap the rod on every morning. That ram rod. She was the scariest of them all, her hair absolutely white, in a tight white french roll. She was a Miss  somebody and taught French to the Clever Kids. Her glasses were on a chain.  Her cardigan buttoned and matching.  Pearls. Have you anything to say for yourself? She peered down at me.  Oh the contrast – me with shirt hanging out, skirt askew, socks fallen, all elbows and knees, curls wild and I do mean wild.  I had pale blue eyes and freckles and a nose that was always sunburnt.  Panting. You can see it now can’t you. I looked back up at her, grinning like an idiot. Heaving with delight. Not even Miss Whatever Her Name Was could subdue me that day. I had a Word.  Well? she said.  Have you anything to say for yourself?  Silence, she looking down the perfect line of her nose. My  head bent backwards a bit further,  trying not see up her nose.

Alliteration, I said very quietly.  Letting the T sound tickle.  She raised her eyebrow at me.   She could raise one eyebrow, it was very impressive. She pulled her lips together, and twisted them hard to the side.  What is your name? Cecilia, Miss, I said.  Another pause as I was accessed. Back to class, Cecilia. No running. Then much to my surprise she  turned back in to her room and there was the sigh of an obedient door closing behind her.

I ran as slowly as I could back to class and to my complete delight My teacher was discussing onomatopoeia. She nodded to me to sit at my desk. Wow. I whooshed back to my seat. Onomatopoeia. I wanted that word too!   The delight. 

These bloggers  are great teachers.  So many great teachers in the Blog World.

Mud Ranch



Kenleigh Acres

Life at the End of the Road

Dawn and 8F (yes -that is 12.7) another 2 hattie, 2 pairs of gloves and 2 pairs of socks morning.  No wind though.  Clearing skies. Time to get to work.

Good morning


104 Comments on “Snow as Art, An award, and yes, a wee story

    • That is my motif. You will see those shots in my images often. I have many of them and hang them all over the place.. c

  1. It is amazing to me that you have time to farm AND chronicle your adventures in photo and blog. My day is always brighter when I get the notification in my email that your blog is up.

    • That is a lovely thing to say, and the secret is timing my time on the computer. i am just like a kid. if I am only allowed an hour i work fast! Plus I get up really early! c

  2. O, Celi, you must’ve been really something as a child! While your classmates were undoubtedly grousing about having to learn about alliteration and, later that other word (I refuse to give the typo gods the pleasure of watching me attempt to spell it), you were out in the hall, reveling. I would enjoy hearing Miss Whatever Her Name Was’s account of the story. I bet she talked about the “dancing girl in the hall” afterward. Love this morning’s farm photos and your ornamental pepper plant in the cement planter has given me an idea for a similar planter. Rather than flowers, I’ll use it to plant some pepper plants for Lucy. This was a great post in so many ways!

    • Ach! I forgot to pass along my heartfelt congrats on this latest and most-deserved award that you’ve received. (I told you: I’ve no memory whatsoever!) Congratulations!

    • Probably talked about that Thumping Shouting Girl! I made that concrete planter years ago. It is so heavy that it seldom moves. I just loved those little peppers so we are keeping them for winter decoration! c

  3. What a lovely post and your photographs are simply beautiful! Love the blazing red of the chillies against the snow.

  4. Great story Celi … and as usual, great writing.

    Nature as a designer and an artist is SO true. I recall an art teacher I knew told me that nature has the best designs and artist use them as inspirations to mimic.

    BTW … Especially given my work time, thank you very much for stopping by yesterday to say hello!

    • Morning Ksenia. The snow is so much nicer now that the wind has died down! We made your kale stir fry the other night, it was YUM! c

  5. Cecilia, you have a blessed gift for placing your readers plumb in the middle of the scene and taking them on a joyful ride through whatever happens to be on your mind. I was there, and shared your glee at the wonderful words.

    • I remember that morning so vividly. And every single time i come across that word i think of my excitement when i learned that i could learn it and Own it! c

  6. As ever, you leave me happily exhausted but wanting more! I loved this story, I adored the photos, I feel the cold for you. And now I am happily reminiscing about the “Red Corridor” in my convent school which we raced thriugh (breaking all the rules) becuase we didn´t want to meet the ghost outside the cookery and art rooms.

    • You had a ghost too! In our convent the ghost lived in a cupboard in the room behind the hall stage. It was the cupboard where the harp lived so you can imagine! c

  7. Lovely and thanks for the snow. I can’t really say I miss it, but I do love visiting it briefly… and your pictures were a delight! Mmmm…

    • Well Rachel, we are halfway through Jan. So I feel like we have almost got this winter licked. Only two more months!! c

  8. My goodness, an award! I’m so pleased that you think I deserve one, I shall display it with pride, thank-you! Thanks too for the lovely story.It immediately brought to mind my favourite teacher, Sister Mary Loyola, who taught english with a passion and probably would have fought with you to keep onomatopoeia for herself! As a compromise I guess she would have let you hang on to alliteration!

  9. And now your lush photos and skippity words are dancing their way through my early morning thoughts… you must have been a delight to teach. When I was a teacher of little ones… yours were my favorite kind.. passionate, a touch rebellious, giddy and full of joy! And, that award, no one more deserving:)

    • I loved to learn, I was not the kid gazing out the window wishing life could be easier. I flat out loved school! c

  10. What a tale of passion, of derring do, your energy must have shone out like a clear light in that dark corridor, you remind me of My Naughty Little Sister 🙂 I love the last photo and the yin yang and the flower in the middle 🙂 Is it a piece of something else or free standing/hanging

    • Before I put the verandah on the house there was a little door into the basement. It hade an arch around it and the arch was made of these designs all linked. When it came down it jolted and like pieces of a puzzle about 40 of these fell neatly into the grass. I have them hanging on nails all over the place, sitting in corners, growing into trees, piled up in the garden. i just love the shape. It is my motif! c

    • I love your site .. i love your work with the kids and especially love the walks! I want others to know about you too! c

    • In my memory as i shouted that word and ran with it down the corridor i had forgotton I was even in A School! i just was! c

  11. Good morning 🙂 Onomatoepoeia brings back so many memories for me! I can still hear my teacher saying ‘O-no-ma-toe-p-o-e-i-a’! Too fun. I love the journeys you take us readers on. You certainly deserve the Leibster Award and thank you so much for feeling my little blog deserves it!

    • It made us feel so grown up learning those big words didn’t it and your wee blog is lovely. i am so grateful we found each other. c

  12. Snow does make some interesting pictures. I am asking old man winter to go back to sleep. School days bring interesting stories to mind. Yours just brought me a couple, like the first time I was called “old Weird Harold” and “the Mad Bomber”. The old days of youth when life was almost carefree!

  13. Congrats on your new award. You certainly deserve it because you know I feel your blog is amazing. And Congrats to all the new nominees 🙂

  14. We had Mrs Folliet who was a stickler for correct speech and grammar. Children who made the terrible mistake of say youse and gunna were singled out for attention. This didn’t bother me as my mother had got there first. I was most impressed with assonance and alliteration, but onomatopoeia was the one that I loved.

    • There is one in every school. And I am impressed at how many other writers had the same reaction to this collection of words. This must have been a favourite day for us all! Loved your beach shots.. what a day! c

    • The NZ schools were superbly designed in those days weren’t they Juliet, all those big big doors and tall windows! Beautiful. We had no idea how lucky we were learning in those big light airy rooms! c

  15. What a amazing child you must have been! A fabulous story of delight in a word that not many would have valued so highly. And I was there in that school with you.

    I’m looking forward to checking out your recommendations!

  16. Oh! Oh and…Oh! Lovely story, equally wonderful photography! I love that little girl! May she forever love and keep her words! (Oh, right! She did!)

    • It is true maggie. To this day i can be heard saying a word out loud as I work! Just because it is on my head. I love the sound of them. i always read my writing aloud before i post! c

  17. Great story Cecilia. I did my schooling in New Zealand too. That picture of the chilli plant surrounded by snow is beautiful – such contrasting colours.

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  19. A great and lively story: I can see it as a scene in a movie. I didn’t have the sort of epiphany that you did about the word alliteration, but I must be in the top 1% of non-academic users of the word. As for onomatopoeia, I don’t like its standard pronunciation because of the syllable pronounced pee; I like to pronounce it ah-nuh-mah-tuh-po-ay-uh because the ending sounds closer to poetic, a word that it’s actually related to.

    • Oh Steve that is exactly how we say it in NZ. How wonderful that you see words outloud. i do this too. If i am writing I am speaking out loud in my head at the same time. In fact when I was teaching those wild kids in NZ I used to tell them to “Read the question out loud in your head!” They knew exactly what I meant. In fact i have not read your words lately, I must zap over and make sure you are on my list! c

  20. Good morning! Oh the joy of words 🙂 Wrapping them around your tongue and mouth. I’ve already checked out Gary Buie’s blog, off to read the rest. I need to get back into the garden and feel the earth!

  21. These are really beautiful pictures. My memory is not so good on when and where I learnt the word alliteration. This is a lovely story and paints such vivid word pictures of your old school and of course of the scary teacher with the ramrod back who taught French to the Clever Kids.

  22. Beautiful, beautiful images, C. And your story made me smile 🙂 There are so many great teachers out in the blog world, that is truth. It’s -29 degrees Celcius up here, today. A good day for staying in, catching up, and enjoying nature’s most recent masterpiece from my comfy sofa!

    • Thank you janet. lovely to see you, i shall pop over and see what you are up to tonight,, put the kettle on.. c

  23. Thanks for your kind words, Celi. Interesting that this post is about alliteration and onomatopoeia. I was entranced by the discovery that there were words for those silly things I thought about. Writing out onomatopoeia felt as though I’d been given the key to the Larder of Literature.

    Love your personification of Nature and her use of mixed media. She knows how to hide a multitude of humankind’s sins with her talent.

  24. Gorgeous…again. One of the great gifts we can give children is a rich vocabulary. My classroom children are always delighted when they discover (or are helped by me to discover) a word of their own to present to the class. The enthusiasm is contagious.

  25. What a wonderful story, I could picture everything you said. Thank you so much for the award (and the option of posting about it… or not.) 🙂 What a very nice thing to have mentioned me on your blog, and send readers my way! I’m excited to be a part of your blogger bubble.

    • You are welcome. My objective is to give other readers the chance to see what is happening out there, not to add to your work load. I think you are busy enough!! Have a great day.. c

  26. You always have the best stories Celi. Congratulations on the well deserved Liebster Award! Love the photos again today. I will be studying LOTS this week to learn about my new camera.
    Stay snuggly and have a grand week.
    🙂 Mandy

    • So far the week started off with a bang!! I look forward to seeing something from your new camera! c

  27. Congratulations on you award deserve it and many many more 🙂
    I love your pictures, You are my inspiration when it comes to photography and I enjoy studying every picture, the angles, the colors, the composition..
    Thank you for being a gifted teacher C

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