Abingdon Share a Poem – Autumn

Yesterday the Abingdon Share a Poem group met via zoom and read poems on the theme of Autumn.
Before lockdown, these meetings took place in the Hearth Room at St Ethelwold’s House, and we each paid £5 towards the hire of the room. Now the meeting are free and St Ethelwold’s House is not getting the income.

Most poems were by established poets, but some people read their own poems, and they were very enjoyable.
Pauline, who leads the group, read a poem she had written about Venus – the planet, seen early one morning. Justin read a poem about swallows preparing to leave. David read one on roasting chestnuts.
The garden at St Ethelwold’s is looking autumnal, but a lot of flowers still remain,
and there are vegetables ready to be dug.
After two poems on blackberry picking (Blackberry-Picking by Seamus Heaney and Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath), we got talking about the farm, on Milton Heights, where Pauline’s daughter had picked a lot of cherries this year. That reminded me I took two pictures through the hedge at that farm: one of blossoms in the spring, and one a few days ago, at the same location. It doesn’t look like the plums will be picked this year.

8 thoughts on “Abingdon Share a Poem – Autumn

  1. Daniel

    Harwell is ‘famous’ for The Harwell Cherry…records dating back to the 1600s…

    Did I hear somewhere that The Veil and SODC are building a new joint HQ in Didcot? Can anyone shed any light on that?

    1. Daniel

      Thanks Hester, that’s an interesting article.

      I wonder why are they building new, isn’t Abbey House available anymore?

      1. Hester

        Remember that the offices are shared with South Oxfordshire: they decided a good many years ago to use the SODC premises at Crowmarsh rather than (new) Abbey House, but then the Crowmarsh offices burned down and they have been renting at Milton Park since. While Crowmarsh wasn’t exactly convenient for us in the Vale, I doubt if they would want to reverse the original decision and move back to Abingdon, with its well-publicised transport/traffic problems(!) – even most of the other Vale towns would probably complain about that, not to mention the South!
        So, realistically Didcot or Milton Park are probably best for all -and if SODC own the Didcot site and they sell the Crowmarsh one it probably adds up.
        PS I assume you meant “New” Abbey House – even I as an ardent champion of Old Abbey House couldn’t make the case that that would be suitable for a modern office facility on the scale they will need!

  2. Denton

    We hosted a valentines party years ago where asked the guest to compose and share poem. We were surprised how many guest participated and much fun we had.

  3. Daniel

    Thanks Hester. Yep, I remember, I remember. And yes, I lean New Abbey House…But…the link you said talks a lot about “value for money”, “environmental impact” etc…. They had a great site already, in Crowmarsh- fair enough. But it burnt down. But now, rather than use a perfectly good existing building in the middle of one of their towns they’ll spend money on building a new one in another town?

    (Of course, if it goes ahead I have every confidence it’ll be covered in solar cells, ground source heat pumps and use grey water recycling, and off set it’s carbon footprint massively?)

    But…why not just use the assets we have already paid for?

    I didn’t know that SODC definitely owned all the proposed site though. It’s good that they have land banked.

    I hear you regards the traffic issues. But perhaps that would incentivise them to do something about the issue (that they created)? After all….we have to live with it and work with it, why shouldn’t they?

    I am happy to be convinced, but so far, I’m not on board with the council, who has so little funding to provide essential services, is looking so eagerly to build shiny new, rather than “reduce, reuse and recycle”…

    Maybe the rest of us needen’t be so fastidious with watching our carbon footprint either?

  4. Daniel

    There’s some interesting opinion on the plans Hester (https://gatewayaware.wordpress.com/2020/07/28/a-new-proposal-for-the-didcot-gateway-site/#more-297) …

    I though it very insightful to read that the decision as to whether this plan of SODC’s is “a good idea” and approved is made by the planning department…at SODC.

    I may put in for some building plans myself – on the assumption the decision will also be up to me…

    There is further examples of the developers commitment to public engagement on the development…by them finding reasons not to have public consultation, when they could have done.

    and so it goes on…

    ah well…I’m sure it’ll all work out well for someone…

  5. Julian

    Daniel, I wonder if Abingdon’s favourite builders will be the ones to get the contract for building it? They could put in a tender, (fairly low of course, to beat all competition), and once accepted immediately plead that they need to double costs, and then do the same again halfway through the build. I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem with that?


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