The walk of two seasons

The walk of two seasons

That was a strange one. I was supposed to work all day today, but I woke just before dawn because of the cold. Winter, still. But then noticed how clear and gradually cobalt blue the sky was. And so, by breakfast it was a case of “Dammit!”, laptop off, hiking shoes on, stuff thrown into overbag, and out the door. This time I tried a few new paths heading straight south, but the second one did not exist; not for…

Read More Read More

Walking, not writing

Walking, not writing

The older you get, the more you realize how artificial the calendar is. December 31st marks the ending of a period of time. January 1st marks the starting of another. “Easter” moves around according to some bizarre rules. Some floaty date in mid-June marks the solstice. A fixed date, one of 366, marks the day you exited your mother’s womb. Far better, arguably, to follow the passage of nature, the sun and the seasons, the cycle of crops and food;…

Read More Read More

Winter, arrives, in England

Winter, arrives, in England

Observations of the outside, this evening. As tweets, originally. + + + + + That warm autumnal yesterday, shunted, fronted away by the tail of the storm. Winter enters, for the clocks to fall back in a hundred hours. The fourth quarter slides in. The quiet countdown to Christmas, the silent worries of relative visits; that micro-social etiquette of cards. Dinnertime darkness. Signs for bonfires protestingly tug at fastenings with each gust. Cyclists slowly strain and wince into the headwind….

Read More Read More

True Librarian

True Librarian

Phil Bradley, library advocate and activist, writes about libraries and Internet things (he’s particular good on search engines). He’s on the ball, open-minded, and tends to – sensibly – avoid many of the zero-win library arguments on social media. His website. His latest post, A response to “This Librarian Is Not Impressed With Your Digital, No-Books Library”, is worth a read. I’ve posted a comment, though I can’t help but think I’ve written the same before in various places, about…

Read More Read More

Nidificating

Nidificating

It’s the first Saturday of August. After being held prisoner all night with an overactive mind I’m sitting, surprisingly comfortably, in an empty, early morning, coffee place in an English market town. So guess it’s somewhat like my childhood, except with better coffee. And the money to buy it. And wifi. And the person making the coffee reminds me of Lena Dunham in Girls. And the coffee place has the spacious, relaxed, brick wall feel of a coffee place in…

Read More Read More

Archipelago days

Archipelago days

An ‘archipelago’ is a group of islands, or a collection of bits of land in a sea, ocean, or stretch of water. Sometimes it’s a cluster of islands, sometimes a chain, sometimes a random sprinkling of tiny specks of land in a large expanse of watery nothingness. There are archipelagos with lots of land mass e.g. Indonesia, and lots of islands e.g. off the southwest coastline of mainland Finland, and archipelagos within archipelagos e.g. the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides) off…

Read More Read More

Rehabilitation, recovery, rebuilding

Rehabilitation, recovery, rebuilding

Under a blue summer English sky, I continue this non-linear quest of Fellowship proportions to get my health back to something that won’t trouble the emergency room of a country without socialist medical treatment. You can probably guess which one. This week just finished, one minor health setback but one major thing finally ticked off the medical list. In addition, and finally without giving up yet again, I’ve managed to back-up everything digital I still possess from the last 15…

Read More Read More

Overhead

Overhead

The ISS appeared again this evening. No longer smothered by the glow of city lights, I watched it from the countryside as it rose and soared, bright and clear, floating silently, constantly, almost overhead. This sight will never pale; in a world that seems relentlessly broken it’s a reminder that, occasionally, our flawed species can produce something great. And make the International Space Station we did; centuries of science culminating in an almost impossible craft. 240 feet long, 990,000 pounds…

Read More Read More

Writing

Writing

You remember the sunrises and the sunsets, and in between the diners, the customers, the food, the coffee refills, the waitresses, the way the cutlery was arranged, the condiments, the font and laminate of the menu, the anticipation. The person opposite you, your reflection in their glasses and in their eyes. You see yourself, and you always look different to the person you think you were. You watch the confidence and immortality of youth, the middle life struggle of definition,…

Read More Read More

An intermission of rural England

An intermission of rural England

Rural England is a small place. All of England to start with is smaller than most US states, and can fit into Scandinavia many times over. Take out the cities, take out the airports, the motorways and main roads, the growing suburbs and industrial sites, and you aren’t left with a huge amount of area. Set your mind to it and in a few days you could walk across its width; in a few weeks, its length. But, what there…

Read More Read More