Days pass like shadows – especially when it’s dark, winter or foggy. It’s been almost a year since I last posted anything here. For a while I’d contemplated giving up this blog. The majority of people seem happy to share personal information online, but as an introvert, I’ve always felt uncomfortable about it. I go through phases. When there’s a lot going on in my life, I embrace periods of radio silence when – and I’m sorry – I can’t reply to emails, even to close friends, until that phase has passed. I call it self-preservation, others call it annoying, but it’s what I do.
2015 was the year I found myself knitting 17 cats, one for each year our cat Polly had been alive (she died at the beginning of last year). They’re still around, living in a small wicker basket (currently under the TV table) as is the wooden box containing Polly’s ashes which we can’t bring ourselves to scatter until we find somewhere that feels right.
2016 is, so far, all about printmaking. A focus on images, narrative structure (something I picked up from last year’s knitting marathon) and the printmaking process.
More about words and images, the tactile qualities of ink, paper, linoleum and sh*t hot carving tools in future posts!
A song for Jeff. Wasn’t going to post this – we said our goodbyes many years ago – but he is someone I remember being full of life, and I was sad to hear he’d gone.
where is my hot chocolate no thank you mummy’s hand here George take the teabag out bring a spoon please John you’ll have to put it there here fine so it would be hello folks hello darling how are you you’re going to knock it off try and lick it from the top mind your tee-shirt hahahaha every year you dig it out oh yes charity what’s charity for …
Spent spring and summer on the hill and many hot afternoons in the ‘van catching up with friends and family. Also caught Lorrie Moore and Joshua Ferris reading at the Hay Festival which was brilliant!
This time here (our third summer) I’ve read a LOT: Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams; Richard Ford, Canada; Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud; Paul Theroux on The Old Patagonian Express; Bruce Chatwin On The Black Hill; Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways; Kjell Askildsen, Selected Stories; Kyle Minor, In The Devil’s Territory; Don DeLillo – Americana; Anthony Doerr, The Shell Collector.
Currently reading (bad habit but yes, I do read several simultaneously): Lee Rourke’s Vulgar Things (captivating read in caravan!); Sarah Hilary’s debut crime novel Someone Else’s Skin (and my first crime novel); Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist; Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki; Joshua Ferris’s Man Booker shortlisted novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour; Kelly Link’s collection Pretty Monsters – and after I’ve been to the library tomorrow, the J. Robert Lennon collection, Pieces of the Left Hand.
Writing? Had a year of writing/drafting only – no editing no rewriting no submissions – to work out (again) what sort of a writer I am. It was scary to step back and not submit, and there were times when I nearly waded back in, but the year I spent working this out, will I hope, be worth it.
[Photo: Golesworthy’s window. 2014. Diane Becker]
Most days I cross the border from Wales to England, on foot, either to pick up the car or do some shopping at the local supermarket. I’ve taken these photos over the last few months. Some were taken in the afternoon on my way back home across the border, others – rare ones that show the sun shining directly into the lens – were taken in the morning. These remind me that I’m facing east.