1. Three more days and I’ll be back in Sussex.
    Time for long walks and apples.
    I’m lonely and I miss my friends.
    I’m so awkward here. I spend my time with rivers and trees and birds and clouds.

     
  2. News from home:

    Pumpkin and Conker Day at The Vine was not without controversy - the prize for largest pumpkin went to a pumpkin entirely green.

    *

    "Patcham Tunnel is 492 yards long. It was specially extended at the north end to protect the estate of Major Paine."

    British Railway Journeys: Victoria & Waterloo to the South, Caroline Dakers, 1986

     
  3. News from here:

    The colour of the petals on these buttercups could be a mutation or a response to the weather. They’re outside IMMA.

    I saw a dipper on the Dodder.

     
  4. Cormorant

     
  5. Saturday 4th October. The sun rose without fanfare.

    I watched dust motes in the bright morning sunshine, they moved to waltz time as I listened to Dusty Wreath. This was my favourite part of the day.

    I lay under a tree and watched its leaves fall. I watched tiny flies, lit by the afternoon sunshine.

    I walked from sunrise to sunset and I’m exhautsed. The sunset was beautiful. The river is full from yesterday’s rain.

     
  6. October 2014 marks one year of living in Ireland. Autumn sunrises and sunsets in Ireland are really wonderful, so I will try to see every sunrise and sunset this month.

    I watched the sunrise on 1st, but by the end of the day I was sick in bed, and sick in bed all day of the 2nd. I read Emily Dickinson instead:

    Autumn begins to be inferred
    By millinery of the cloud,
    Or deeper color in the shawl
    That wraps the everlasting hill. 

    This morning, the 3rd, I stopped to watch a heron and he shrieked at me and flew straight off. I am out of favour with the herons and I know exactly why.

     
  7. I fell in love with these allotments last weekend, in a village in the Sussex Weald. The village is written in the Domesday Book as having 12 households, eight ploughlands and one mill. The mill is still here but no longer in use.

    There must be magic in the allotment soil as every plant was healthy and fruitful. The morning grass was dewy and irresistible. The chickens were well fed and happy. Bats flew about in the evening.

    Before the land was taken in the Norman Conquest, it was the domain of Wulfeva. I will name my second daughter Wulfeva (if I ever have daughters).

     
  8. I’m dreaming of a life on the south downs.

    On the following morning she fell asleep again, in a beech-wood, curled up in a heap of dead leaves. After that she had no more trouble. Life becomes simple if one does nothing about it.

    Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

    "I should like to stroke it" —and he waved his hand towards the pattern of rounded hills embossed with rounded beech-woods.

     
  9. Sussex

     
  10. Rooks are flying above and calling with a strange soft sound.
    A sound escapes from me as I stretch my arms up towards them.

    *

    "I can never read in summer out-of-doors. Though in shadow the bright light fills it, summer shadows are broadest daylight. The page is so white and hard, the letters so very black, the meaning and drift not quite intelligible, because neither eye nor mind will dwell upon it. Human thoughts and imaginings written down are pale and feeble in bright summer light. The eye wanders away, and rests more lovingly on greensward and green lime leaves. The mind wanders yet deeper and farther into the dreamy mystery of the azure sky. Once now and then, determined to write down that mystery and delicious sense while actually in it, I have brought out table and ink and paper, and sat there in the midst of the summer day. Three words, and where is the thought? Gone. The paper is so obviously paper, the ink so evidently ink, the pen so stiff; all so inadequate. You want colour, flexibility, light, sweet low sound—all these to paint it and play it in music, at the same time you want something that will answer to and record in one touch the strong throb of life and the thought, or feeling, or whatever it is that goes out into the earth and sky and space, endless as a beam of light.”

    The Life of the Fields, Richard Jeffries

     

  11. Sunday morning, an early walk through morning mist.
    My mind misty too. A long swipe up my arm from a singing nettle.

    I happened upon the circular rose gardens in the war memorial gardens.
    Alone with the blackbirds, I took in ten thousand, dew-covered, waiting roses.

    image

    Pink and cream, peach and pink, raspberry red.
    Around the edge grew herbs and poppies.

    Completely alone. The sun cleared the mist.

    image

    I’ve been mentally composing a suicide note all week.
    This Sunday morning gift made me grateful for all life.

    There are walks that are boring, ordinary, aggravating.
    And there are walks which bring revelation, walks which can save your life.

     

  12. I could tell you about the river, or we could just get in.

    I walked along the river today. I saw a freshwater sponge and an otter slide.

     
  13. I got into a secret garden. Okay, it’s not a secret, but it’s usually locked.

    How good it was to be inside the locked garden at last.

    I saw (and smelt) a common stinkhorn (phallus impudicus).

    You would’ve loved it.

     
  14. Convolvulus will climb anything it can get a tendril around
    then flow like a waterfall over and down and down

    I don’t know what I’m living for

     
  15. My Bright Abyss, Christian Wiman