For a while now I’ve been posting short vignettes on my Instagram and Twitter. A single image and jotted down streams of awareness notes always starting “Notes made whilst …”. Usually, though not always these are nature or landscape based. Most of the photos have been made digitally: some are Read more…
Notes made whilst in Sheffield: 6 August 2019. ~ warm wind, with an edge; blowing dark cloud in from the peak ~ children’s squeals from fairground rides ~ sparrows bustle in paving hemmed street trees ~ in Fargate’s swirling crowd’s chaotic flow leaves a sudden eddy of space, pigeons swoop Read more…
Notes made whilst on a bridge: 20 June 2019. ~ rumble of traffic, chatter of people ~ sand martins scooping river flies ~ shadow of heron passes ~ dragonfly hawking from typha ~ crowfoot trailing in the current ~ river Don, dead in my childhood, now alive again ~ …
A picture can paint a thousand words, or so the phrase says. Perhaps so. On a long office day, editing my back catalogue, a 5×4 slide starts talking about memories. In 2001 my world, like many other people’s, was turned upside down. On an isolated farm in Northumberland some Read more…
“The wood, under a winter storm. A time when all creatures thought of good sense seek shelter of burrow or nest. There remains though, dancing through the tempest, a runner, chill of finger, wet of foot, wide of grin.”
Desk work day done. Storms are building, both ADHD and weather.
So. Night run. Winter night run.
Headtorch, leggings and lifa, hardshell and hat. Lock my door with glove clumsied fingers, quick step up the ginnel. Grin growing on my face. Couple of hundred metres of sleet slick pavement ‘twixt house and wood. Most times a skippy dog walker dodging warmup, tonight it’s a lone stroll, chilling fingers and feet.
The wood. My local patch, a bright place of birch and willow and hawthorn hedge. Not this night though. This night it’s a wildwood waiting. Tonight the gate is a liminal space, a creaking transit from blandly civilised suburbia into an older place. Into a dark wood galethrashed and sleetlashed.
Step through into the wood anyway. Go, now. Go run.(more…)
The voice of a cuckoo
Dropped to the lake
Where it lay floating
On the surface.
A foreword? To a short piece? Yes, there are a couple of words in here that bear definition. One very old, one new. Both I think deserve more use.
Mogshade: an old English for the welcome cool shade cast by trees in leaf
Shivelight: a word coined by Gerard Manley Hopkins for the gleaming shafts of light shining through trees in leaf
The verses are haiku by Bashō, from Sumidawara, published in 1694
Now that’s done, let us away to the story…
Petrichor; derived from Greek petra, “stone” & īchōr, “divine fluid”: that uniquely fresh, rich aroma of rain falling upon parched earth after days then weeks of hot dry weather. Early summer, the driest on our modern record. The birchwood copse, moist cool haven where I run, is parching now. A Read more…