When Icicles Hang By The Wall


When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
When nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot,

When all aloud the wind doth blow
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
When nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
William Shakespeare
From Love's Labours Lost, Act V. Sc. II

This was a poem we had to learn by heart in our English lessons at school, and at the time it seemed  very boring to us, and indeed, recited as it was at our leaden pace, it certainly lacked the tour de force of a great Shakespearean performance.  Gielgud it wasn't. But it does come into my head every winter at some juncture, especially when I see things like this on the roof of the house

so I'm glad now that we did have to learn it. Even though we spent more time making silly schoolgirl jokes about "greasy Joan" than was strictly required.

Even in the depths of winter the wisteria manages to give us seasonal delights.In fact these two foot long icicles are something of a ghost of the summer flowers when you think about it.  I did endanger life and limb to get these shots though - if there had been a sudden thaw I could have been impaled!
Anyway, the Met Office advises us now that no more snow is expected in the Wilts/Glos area before Christmas, - we have got quite enough to be going on with thanks very much, so I'm spending some time making mince pies, wrapping presents, and generally catching up on all the stuff I should have done last week before what will henceforth be known as The  Log Basket Incident. And on that subject, many thanks to all those lovely people who left kind comments about our little incendiary moment, which really cheered me no end when things were looking a bit bleak last week. Our Lady Decorator, Sharon, and her other half is doing a sterling job, and assures me we will all be ship shape again before Christmas day.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
from Kathy and all at Carters Barn


  1. Magnificent pictures of ice in the natural state! Dangerous looking, and so interesting!

    Shakespeare's poem seems quite appropriate to accompany the pictures!

    Love your post!

    Happiest Greetings from all here on the hill!

  2. Never mind "greasy Joan" -- what does keeling the pot mean? Beautiful pictures, yet somewhat ominous.

    I missed your fire entry somehow. Glad that you and yours are all OK, and that things are falling back into place.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  3. I like that poem, it is the first time I have read it. Look at all that ice...brr.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks Sharon and season's greetings to you too.

    Thanks Louise, as far as i can remember Greasy Joan was meant to be an image of winter, as a woman stirring a pot or cauldron to stop it from boiling over. Merry Christmas to you too.

    Thanks Mr H and Season's Greeting to you too.

  5. I love the icicle photos and how they hang like the wisteria flowers.

  6. what beautiful photos mum- i think youve read the instruction book on your camera!!

  7. Great poem for sure. The photos are amazing but you did risk life and limb--those beauties could kill the oldest of vampires :) LOL Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and glad your home is getting back to normal :)

  8. Oooh, cool pictures! My son would have a field day with those icicles.

    What an interesting poem to have to memorize.

  9. Thanks John,I'll be popping over to your blog to see what you've been up to.

    Hi verde farm, yes I did take my live in my hands, oh what one does for art....

    Hi Jacque It occurs to me now, I could have used one to stir my gin and tonic with!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts