Hibernation

Winter has its charms, at least for those who’ve acquired a taste for it, but it must be acknowledged that, in spite of its lovely parts (the crunching and cracking of snow underfoot and the blintering* of the stars above on clear nights), winter also makes life more complicated. It takes a long time and…

A “right good-will draught” to end the year

It was the best, most, and first of times. 2017 was other adjectival things too, but I’ll stick to the good bits. Best reads (in alphabetical order by author surname) Grand Hotel, Vicki Baum A Favourite of the Gods, Sybille Bedford Notes from a Dead House, Fyodor Dostoevsky Old Filth, Jane Gardam Hild, Nicola Griffith…

Snow and cold and long, dark nights

It’s winter here, real winter. Last year was vaguely winterish, but it really didn’t mean it. It sure as snowy, blowy, shivery hell means it now. I kind of love it. I am fortunate enough to be in a position to love it: I have warm clothes and solid, water-defying winter boots to wear when…

September renaissance

Something magical has happened to me. It’s almost September; it feels very much like September–cool nights, the dark leaning in earlier each evening, days that feel more like a slightly wistful memory of summer than summer itself–but I don’t feel like September. For the first time that I can remember, all of this climatic loveliness…

Bicycle-riding during the apocalypse

The first time I heard about climate change was in the early or mid-’80s. My babysitter (the lovely Mrs. B.), her cozy back turned to me while she washed the lunch dishes, delivered this warning about the future: “In fifteen years, the climates of Nova Scotia and California are going to be switched.” I don’t…

Ears shining with a faint, silver light

He raised his head and said, “Do you want to talk to me?” “Yes, that’s what I’ve come for,” replied the other. “You know me, don’t you?” “Yes, of course,” said Hazel, hoping he would be able to remember his name in a moment. Then he saw that in the darkness of the burrow, the…

Plaint

Plaint, n. 1.a., Oxford English Dictionary: “The action or an act of plaining; audible expression of sorrow; (also) such an expression in verse or song, a lament. Chiefly poet. after 17th cent.” Here beginneth the lament of a weak and whiny ladie who cannot fucking believe that she’s been laid low these last 3 weeks,…

Love letters

About three years ago, one of my beloveds sent me this short email: I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared with you my creed, which was put into words for me by the considerate E.M. Forster. This is it: “I believe in aristocracy, though–if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it….