Saturday, 11 April 2015

Reasons To Be Cheerful, 2015

Spring is sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where those birdies is.
They're on the wing - 
Now that's absurd.
The wing is always on the bird.

My Dad recited this, at about this time, every year. So now I repeat it, in memory of him, and to greet the sprung spring.

That's one reason to be cheerful. Here's more - well, for me, anyway.

I took some time off this week, and went over to the archery field with my longbow. I set up my own butt at 40 feet, quite a way from everyone else, and spent a peaceful time, in the sun, shooting. I was so close to the target, I could almost have leaned over and stuck the arrows in, but I was able to take my time and think. A fellow longbow-ist at the club had advised me to ignore all other advice, and to keep both eyes open while I shot - so I did, and found my aim much improved. Whereas before, closing one eye, I'd been unable to hit even such a close target. My shots had been going far over, under, to the left, to the right.

With both eyes open, I'm very cheerful to report, I only missed the
An archery face and scores.
butt about three times in some 90 minutes of shooting. (Thank you, Keith.) The rest of the time I was putting the arrows mostly in the blue (scores 5) or in the red (scores 7.)  I put it in the gold ten times. I was aiming at gold all the time, of course. Gold scores nine.

I was also bunching the arrows very closely, or placing them in a lovely straight line across the target - which shows consistency of technique and aim. I wasn't shooting wildly and putting them just anywhere (as I had been before) but was placing them in straight lines approaching closer to the Gold, even if I didn't actually hit it.

This is a huge improvement in my shooting - just by keeping both eyes open! - and I was very cheerful about it. The great, meaty thwack! of an arrow hitting the soft centre of the target is a very cheering thing too. (Although it makes you reflect on just how much iron-tipped force is being unleashed, and that these things are weapons.)

Every now and then I would stop shooting and realise that I was standing in warm sunshine, on a field surrounding by tall, beautiful trees, under a blue and almost cloudless sky in which a buzzard was idly circling. Another reason to be cheerful.

At my back, as I shot, was a busy road. A strip of land between the road and the archery field had been fenced off, and this strip of land had become a little wood (as all land, left to itself, in Britain, does.) A stream was trickling along it, just on the other side of the field's edge - and all the ground in this little wood was spangled and sparkling with celandine and primroses, as they grabbed their chance before the trees leafed up and blocked all the sunlight. Looking at them made me very cheerful.

And then I skived off again yesterday, and walked by the River Severn. There were plums, cherries and magnolias all joyously shaking out their blossom, green hills, blue skies - and it was positively hot. I got a bit sunburned. First time this year.

What's made you cheerful recently? Let's be hearing from you - !


Joan Lennon said...

Sometimes cheerfulness just comes - in its own good time - after long stretches of greyness - strange, isn't it!

Susan Price said...

Bio-rhythms, I think, Joan. And then it just £*&! off again. It's like sunshine - make the best of it while it's here.

madwippitt said...

Love the cheery background! Primroses are the loveliest of Spring flowers ... and hurrah for your good grouping - much more important than the occasional stray arrow vibrating gently in the gold :-) Next step will of course, be to group them in the gold ! Interesting thing eye dominance too ...
Love your dad's rhyme too :-)

Penny Dolan said...

What a nice, optimistic post to read here today! Love the Spring borders.

Jenny Alexander said...

I love this post - thank you, Sue. I'm in week 2 of a nasty bug and just beginning to feel normal life is returning, so this glimpse of Spring is a real tonic.

Susan Price said...

Sorry to hear you've been ill, Jenny - may the recovery pick up speed in time for the sunshine coming back, so you can get out and view them primroses for yourself.

Uouo Uo said...


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