It was over in an instant. It felt like a lifetime.
A sparrowhawk is sitting on the balcony railings. A large bird, a female. Facing us as we watch through the window, I can see she is brownish-grey and without the beautiful rufous colourings of the male. Her eyes, bright yellow and steely, are alert and watching.
… it still has its gold lettering on the spine, just about visible
I was so careful. I gave myself a list of 8 titles without committing to any. But my fate was sealed in a single sentence:
“Even I ought to be able to write one Jazz Age post in June…”
Sadly, Jazz Age June has come and gone and we’re past the midpoint of the next month. But Jazz Age July has a certain ring to it and if Laurie and Fanda will permit it, I have a post or more to contribute on the basis that late is better than never.
It’s July and we must be roughly mid-way through the time allotted to the 20/15/10 Books of Summer. Those weeks seemed endless at the beginning, where have they gone already? Not that I haven’t been reading; I’m enjoying an unexpectedly rich period of reading at the moment. There will be no problem in reading my 10 books. As usual, the challenge lies in writing about them, particularly as most of them seem to demand a post to themselves. But picking up this weekly meme again is a way of ticking off a couple of books at least, and keeping tabs on my reading in general.
At the bottom of the hill sits our nearest neighbour: a run of whitewashed cottages which at first sight appears to be three small farm workers’ homes but is now one large and one smaller dwelling, the latter a more recent addition. These days they form the frontage of a discreet holiday business. Six pleasant wooden chalets lie beyond, out of sight of us or passers-by. The owners are warm and friendly but keep to themselves; the guests are quiet. We couldn’t ask for better neighbours.
From the neighbours we learned that the original building was once a public house and that it was also briefly the home of the writer, Mary Wesley. I read a fair few of her books in the eighties and nineties, which I then passed along to a charity shop. I rather wish I’d kept them now. She is probably best known for her second novel: The Camomile Lawn (1984) which became, as I remember it, a slightly racy tv series.
It’s now – looking back – that I can see how worthwhile it was.
This post has existed in draft for almost a year. It seems fitting to publish it now – in its original guise – with an update at the end.
July 2019 It was easy when I began blogging. I wrote for myself. Slowly a community has built which I value highly, but as it has grown I find myself questioning the content I choose. I begin to ask myself what others may wish to read; I begin comparing what I post against what others post. And that’s not what it’s about. Family stuff has quietly slipped off the table although it was a key part of why I started the blog in the first place. But this is a post that I want here for many reasons. I remind myself that it’s easy enough for people to slide on past if the subject matter is not to their taste. Continue reading “The View from Here: love is the true price of love (George Herbert)”
For the last couple of months I have created a chain for Kate’s Six Degrees of Separation but not managed to post it. There is a risk of another month passing in the same manner. So without further ado, here is my chain for June. The background to Six Degrees can be found here.
Photographs with a different colour palette this time (bar one). Taken within half a mile of home.
Time passed. April stepped aside gracefully; May burst onto the scene. And I have adapted. Same walks, different perceptions. I lose my fear of emptiness. I see the flowers erupting along the lanes. Bluebells and stitchwort, dandelions and celandines. Dainty violets and bold purple orchids. Tardy primroses, still tucked shyly in nooks and crannies and the delicate white spheres of wild garlic which proliferate along stretches of shady pathways. Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 2)”
this has been a spring like no other but not because the sun has been shining
What follows is a compilation of fragments written or thought about as we wend our way through early spring. Too short and disjointed as individual posts, the final compilation proved too unwieldy. In the spirit of compromise – one post in three parts.
The photos are from an evening walk mid-May when everywhere glowed pink as the light faded. Pink – the colour of compassion and understanding.
It came as no surprise to learn that in the UK, May 2020 has been the sunniest and driest for over a century. May is one of my most favourite months. I began, mid-month, waxing lyrical to myself on the glories of the wildflowers and the Cornish spring – for surely this has been the earliest spring and the most marvellous year for the flowers? Then I noticed drafts of posts from past years, some published, some not, but all centred around the wonderful month of May and how this year or that year has brought forth one of the finest Mays I’ve seen. It gave me pause for thought. Is there really a need for yet another paean to this most beautiful moment in our calendar? Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 1)”
… at the end of the day, it’s all about the reading …
Reading challenges are always fun: the choosing, the list-making, the reading… But that’s where I get stuck. It’s not that I dislike writing about the books; I’m just very bad at producing posts of any type to order. Continue reading “Two Reading Challenges for Summer”