Saying goodbye

My three-month-old Scarpa boots already look three years old. Caked in the mud of fields that grew maize, potatoes, and horse radish, and now catch stars in their puddles. My lungs have forgotten city air. The soles of my feet are tough, cracked, Hobbity. The rails along the upstairs landing have become the Place of … Continue reading Saying goodbye

A gift of deer

The fields have been empty for weeks. The roe deer have slipped away to their secret places, so I will have to summon them to a page instead. We British live, essentially, in padded rooms, though most of the time we can’t see the soft blind walls around us. We are insulated from the wild. … Continue reading A gift of deer

The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison: a strong contender for your Christmas list

If The Stubborn Light of Things was an object other than a book, it would be a wooden countryside gate, drifting open at the gentlest of touches to let you onto the path beyond. Nature-writing is a tricksy beast of a genre. I find myself less enamoured as time goes by of the books that … Continue reading The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison: a strong contender for your Christmas list

Isolation Thoughts (3): If, If, If

My Outlook calendar is in an alternate reality to me. Island Holiday! Sophie’s birthday party. Hike! Book group. Mike’s birthday party. Kat? Lido. Pack up flat. Cheddar Gorge Trip. Leaving drinks. In physics, the many-worlds interpretation holds that for each decision you make, a parallel reality hives off. Branches away. I've always been an If? … Continue reading Isolation Thoughts (3): If, If, If