Showing posts from September, 2017

Book Review, September

I found this author via Radio 4, Desert Island Discs. Having spent so many years without the funds for new books, I am unaware of many writers whose work I would otherwise be munching up. Of course the 50p box at the second hand store has delivered me many unusual delights, no need for sympathy - but I heard Ali talk and thought, I like her, I want to read those books. So when I could, I bought a brand new paperback. I had been working long hours and the first page swam in front of me for a while. It seemed too dense, I couldn't get through it. Such disappointment! Luckily this was just tiredness - for which I will accept some sympathy because I am tired again today - this week I have clocked 97 hours!  Anyway, we should discuss the book, now I’ve told you how honest-poor and hard working and admirable I am (grins, sheepish, impish). Two stories, one of a young girl whose mother has died, and one of a renaissance artist, are told and spliced without it seeming incongr

Making Charcoal At The Bulworthy Project

Just a structure, at first. A ring of metal that sits, foot-swaddled in tarred sand.  (It has a big lid, like a witch's cook pot, and here we are in the woods…) We learn how to stack logs inside, how the layers wheel out, how positioning of sizes is guided by pockets of future heat. It is good work, smelling cut wood, eyeing grain-whirls, hands on bark, the muffled drop of getting each piece in optimal place.  Even the rain is fun, a challenge.  Stacked, lidded, sealed with a slick of sand. Into the middle of our sculpture fire is set.  An effigy for burning, unseen - well, we may peek with mirrors through out-pipes, witness a glow - but should we crack the lid the fumes would ignite - we should all burn. Potential annihilation has an awe, a draw, even before the smoke seeps across our feet and the squat ring takes on a life.  Is it a portal, to a world of steam and light? It is something new, hypnotic, pluming, turning. We ar

Autumn Weft

Late in August warm air sunk to the ground, cooler air dropped to our shoulders. We had felt the thermal transfer - thought of skin softly clothed, cinnamon and blackberries bubbling under pastry.  We felt hot work easing, the loss of hot lazing.  Rich greens remain, and summer bright blooms. Nasturtiums flare up, like small fires.  We smelt tree bark, apple skin, damped wood smoke. Peripheral autumn. But no season just becomes.  It is a weaving. (Spring in every bud, summer in every petal, autumn in every seed, winter in every root, or however you wish to follow the thread.) In the hedge two spiders tango on a web - a match, or a meal for one? Berries drop into our cache: sloe, hip, haw, black: a heap of jewels. Harvest secured, we snuck through tall maize, to feel the leaves grab, and drop rain down our backs. We were racing, laughing, till we saw the bird sat: injured, by a jaw-snap. Too injured for us to mend, and fright wo