I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get round to this one. I’m often late to the party and the fact that I only read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (JS&MN) by Susanna Clarke (2004) in 2021 is proof of this. Clarke's debut fantasy novel divides readers between those who loved it and … Continue reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Book Recommendation
A change of scenery. Headspace. Being reminded of the bigger picture. Friends. Family. These are the things that restored my energy in August. Work, childcare, studying, laundry, meals… the cyclic routine of our everyday lives, good and normal things, started feeling exhausting after the lockdown...
I’ve been intrigued by foxes for many years, my interest and imagination kindled by the mysterious and often mystical representation of foxes in literature. But I wanted to become better acquainted with the animals themselves and Brand’s book, packed with her knowledge and research, was an accessible read. The Hidden World of the Fox briefly … Continue reading The Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand – Book Review
A witch-hunt in Northern England in 1612 led to the accusation and imprisonment of twelve women. One of the women died in custody, ten were found guilty of witchcraft and hanged. Only one was acquitted. The Familiars explores some of the burning questions around this notorious piece of history: why would women willingly admit to witchcraft if the penalty was death? Considering the lack of evidence, and that the main informant was a child, why was only one woman, Alice Gray, found not guilty? The book is a well-researched work of fiction based on these historic events.
Gardens are teachers. The joy and satisfaction I experience when I spend time in my garden come from a deeply rooted relationship. As I tend my garden, it tends me and my need to nurture, create, and build a relationship with nature, or the non-human world. I tend sick plants, plant seedlings, water pots, add compost. I decide where to create borders, which plants to thin, how to prune shrubs and trees, how often to deadhead flowers. But the garden has a life and agency of its own...
June and July are a blur in my mind. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way...
Are there any wild places left in Ireland and Britain? In his book, The Wild Places, Robert Macfarlane embarks on a journey through mountains, islands, moors, forests, salt marshes, and more, searching for ‘wildness’. But Macfarlane must revaluate his own ideas and preconceptions about ‘wildness’ as he discovers and maps the so called ‘wild places’ on these islands in this well-researched book. His search takes him to a variety of landscapes, from the hostile pinnacle of Ben Hope to the fascinating Burren in Ireland. Each landscape is unique and layered as natural and human history entwine.
But waiting is part of life, for all things, and there’s value in waiting too. Waiting, either actively or passively, is simultaneously an act of acceptance and resistance and anticipation. Accepting the discomfort of uncertainty, yet resisting the urge to become stuck while anticipating change.
A poem for the last week and a half. Thank goodness it’s the weekend. It was still raining yesterday but we made the most of the day and went for a lovely rainy-day walk. There's something soothing about walking on a quiet rainy day in summer... The world feels softer, like it's wrapped in wool, and yet your senses come alive with the smell of rain on the earth and the touch of droplets against your skin. I'm still hopeful for some sunshine this weekend, though! Because there's something wonderful about seeing the sun on a busy summer's day 🙂
Clarke creates a strange world and you have to orientate yourself in this labyrinth, but keep reading! Soon I was so intrigued by Piranesi, the House and its mysteries that I didn’t want to stop reading.