The whole mists-and-mellow-fruitfulness schtick: the scent of wood smoke, the fungi popping up all over, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the squirrels squirrelling… There’s something about autumn’s inescapable sweet melancholy, the pas de deux of death and life, the decay that presages seedburst, the nourishing of the earth by the leaf-fall from the sky: I just love it.
It was, in Thoreau’s lovely phrase, the afternoon of the year. The hills slumbered under the wide blue sky, looking more like Tuscany than Dorset, alternately suntanned and bleached…
Three Morning Pages filled with an ode to a hairbrush, or shopping lists, or in-depth “journalling” — there is a lot that we write on life’s behalf
The joy of writing sheds.
The hottest, driest June on record had simply extended unbroken into July, and apart from one brief downpour, which barely managed to soak the topsoil, looked set to unroll till the end of summer.
It was a typical English summer’s day, in that it felt like early November and I was regretting not bringing my gloves. The wind clawed through the sycamore and chestnuts, yanking their leaves back at the wrist and setting their silver undersides streaming, while above them, the hilltops vanished into the low-bellied clouds.
I walked along the lane leading up to the Wessex Ridgeway, the way I’d come in January. The trees had lost the sharp distinction of winter, and even the crisp pointillism of early spring had given way to a kind of blurring – a soft wash of green…
Across the world, book fairies are quietly leaving gift-wrapped books in little crannies with a simple instruction: Share the joy
We need books, like Ali Smith’s How to be Both, to remind us to stop talking into our hands, to remove little blocks from our ears, and look up from screens
Ali Smith’s sparkling anthology is a spirited advocacy for public libraries: an institution that is underfunded, underused and under threat.