Homemade

I was indulging in my favourite pastime of the season, which is to moan about the short, dark days, when A. modified my melancholy.  ‘The darkness gives you more time to be creative,’ she suggested, ‘for example, I’m feeling a jumper coming on.’  A. is a knitter.  ‘New pattern or new wool?’ I asked.  Maybe … Continue reading Homemade

Advent

Auden, Barrett-Browning, Cope, Dickinson, Eliot, Frost, Gallagher, Heaney, Ibsen, Jamie, Kinnell, Larkin, Mahon, Neruda, Owen, Plath, Qabbani, Rossetti, St Vincent Millay, Thomas, Updike, Vaughan, Wordsworth, Xenokleides, Yeats, Zephaniah.  Who is your favourite?  Feel free to reach beyond the 26 I’ve offered you; I was just playing the alphabet game, and, in doing so, left out … Continue reading Advent

Brigid

Ireland has three patron saints: Patrick, Columcille, and one woman, Brigid. Today, February 1st, is Brigid’s feast day and it also traditionally marks (in Ireland at any rate) the first day of spring. There are many legends surrounding Brigid: she had a reputation as an expert dairywoman and brewer, with the enviable reputation of being … Continue reading Brigid

Yorkshire

I’m back in Yorkshire for a few days. Mostly I’ve been in York itself, town of snickets and ginnels, inviting little passageways that you might call an alley, close, entry or vennel, depending upon where you come from. Last time I was down here was December and I could barely move through the narrow streets, … Continue reading Yorkshire